Free To Speak
Rodney Simmons

Tighten Your Belts.....

Posted Wednesday, December 21, 2011, at 9:33 AM
View 25 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • Just as the Almighty O has done so many times, once again he talks out both sides of his mouth. It doesn't appear that he has done any tightening for himself and his crew. A great number of people of our country (US citizens) are struggling and going thru extreme difficulties financially, but, yet he thinks it's o.k. for him to use taxpayer dollars for an extravagant family vacation! He throws money to the four winds, and if I don't pay those taxes, I get thrown into jail! I have tightened my belt, many times over and work two jobs, so tell me where he gets off thinking he is so entitled! Sure, running a country is no doubt hard work -- but what a mess he has made of this country! And the respect this country once had from other nations, has gone south with the birds! Almighty O sure doesn't practice what he preaches.

    -- Posted by ILoveRoses on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 12:22 PM
  • You shouldn't be so hard on Owebama, he is the fourth best president in history...he said so himself.


    -- Posted by quietmike on Thu, Dec 22, 2011, at 3:47 AM
  • Just out of curiosity, how doe it cost $181,757 per flight hour to fly the airplane? No wonder airlines are going broke if it costs that to fly to Chicago.

    Are they including jet fighter protection, etc.?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Dec 22, 2011, at 6:29 AM
  • Steve from what I have read the cost includes fuel and staff but I haven't found anything that provides any more detail than that. Air Force One has a crew of 26 and that doesn't count the number of people in the Presidential staff that accompany him on flights.

    -- Posted by Rodney Simmons on Thu, Dec 22, 2011, at 9:44 AM
  • Obama is no worse or no better than any other past president.I think he needs to practice what he preaches too.I suggest that before everyone of our elected are allowed to take their place in Washington,have to go live in a low income housing and live on what is considered poverty level for at least 6 months.The poverty level is around $24,000 for a couple.

    Everyone is sick of all the s... going on in Washington.Will they ever start working for the good of the people? Oh wait they already do,THE RICH!

    -- Posted by jdem on Thu, Dec 22, 2011, at 10:08 AM
  • A lot of the rich are themselves!

    -- Posted by jdem on Thu, Dec 22, 2011, at 10:56 AM
  • I am not sure that they are doing a good job for the rich. I have an acquaintance that has lost about 12 million in this economy already and he is not seeing any light at the end of the tunnel.

    Of course, it was paper money but...his properties are hurting as well. OF course, until he see that light, he is not developing any new jobs either.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Dec 22, 2011, at 11:45 AM
  • When the politicians in Washington state that the wealthy should "pay their fair share", what they really mean is that they should pay more.

    I honestly do not understand how anyone could believe that the very businesses we expect to provide much needed jobs will go on a hiring spree after their taxes go up.

    -- Posted by Tim Lokey on Thu, Dec 22, 2011, at 12:26 PM
  • "According to the Air Force it cost $181,757 per flight hour to operate Air Force One..."

    while i am not an obama supporter, i have to admit i have become fascinated with the phenomenon of what seems to have become a contest: how outrageous of a falsehood can you tell, without it being questioned... as long as it is associated with an attack on obama. my conclusion is that you can say anything.

    while the above statement was made by fox news (possibly the least reliable source of information outside of north korea) it is at best misleading, and more accurately it is patently false.

    it took some searching to track that number back to its source, since the claim is flooding the internet as ardent bloggers pick it up, embellish it a little, and pass it on.

    here is the truth. the number was produced by one damian brady, a "senior policy analyst" for the national taxpayers union foundation. some of the data he used was (possibly) obtained from the air force, but the estimate was his sole work.

    unfortunately he did not publish his work, but he did list some of the "costs" he was charging per hour of flight. these included the cost of maintenance (much of which of course is done whether the plane flies or not), the cost of repair parts that are stocked in the event of a breakdown (allowing him to charge the cost of all repair parts for every flight), crew training, depreciation on the equipment, upgrades to the plane, etc.

    as a cost accountant, i was originally intrigued by the claim that the figure came from the government, because the government notoriously undercosts everything. instead, this was produced by an independent agency with a specific purpose of inflating the cost to the greatest number possible. using damian brady's methodology it probably costs $10,000 an hour to drive your car.

    more reliable estimates range from $60,000 to $100,000 per hour, which is still an exorbitant sum of money.

    as an aside, while reading the fox news report, i noticed they had included several quotes from a "master sgt jeff campenos" in an effort to sell the fiction that the air force was the source of this figure. before i finally tracked it down to the source, i was puzzled as to why a master sgt was producing these figures, rather than someone with an expertise in accounting...like maybe an accountant. on top of that, his quotes just didnt sound quite right. attempting to find out more about this jeff campenos was pretty fruitless, because as far as i can discover, no such person exists.

    -- Posted by lazarus on Thu, Dec 22, 2011, at 1:29 PM
  • Obama said we need to tighten our belts,but then he takes a vacation,spending tax dollars.One thing I think no one thinks about is that he is on call 24/7.He has agreed to tax a hike on the rich to help with deficit which would include himself.I know everybody says if he wants to pay more taxes he could write a check ,but that would not put a dent in our debt.The 1% he is proposing would pay down the debt that began with Bush starting 2 wars then giving tax cuts and borrowing money from China.We had no debt when Bush took office so all this is not Obama's fault.He has had no help since he took office.All the Republicans from day one were set on making him fail.Saying all over any network on tv we are making sure he is a one term President.So maybe we should not be so against Obama taking a vacation even though it is costly when all the senators and congress are leaving their jobs and not voting .They are also paid by tax dollars.So all of them are getting paid for nothing.

    -- Posted by himey on Thu, Dec 22, 2011, at 8:34 PM
  • Anyone who says we had no debt when Bush took office is ignoring all reality.


    Also spending on welfare costs much more than the wars.


    -- Posted by quietmike on Fri, Dec 23, 2011, at 5:54 AM
  • himey- I agree with most of what you said and I am not against Obama taking a vacation but he is the one who said Washington needs to tighten their belts and whether he knows it or not he is part of Washington. When a working family is in hard economic times they either take a shorter, less expensive vacation or no vacation at all and Obama and his family are going to go to Hawaii no matter the cost. And yes Bush added a significant amount to the debt but so has Obama. Taxing the rich more is not going to help our country as long as Washington does not stop recklessly spending the money they take in!

    -- Posted by Rodney Simmons on Fri, Dec 23, 2011, at 8:45 AM
  • quietmike Bush took office then he ignoring all reality to.

    -- Posted by himey on Fri, Dec 23, 2011, at 10:26 AM
  • Himey,

    Congress writes the budgets, not the president.

    Who controlled congress at the end of Clinton's term when the deficit and debt was reduced?

    Who controlled congress under Bush, when the economy started to tank?

    -- Posted by quietmike on Fri, Dec 23, 2011, at 10:46 AM
  • It does'nt matter who was controling congress ,because once the wars were started they had to be funded.Now that the war in Iraq is coming to an end we might get the belt tightened a little.But then when some one has a pet project that one of their rich buddies wants done any money we stopped spending in Iraq will be gone.

    -- Posted by himey on Fri, Dec 23, 2011, at 8:02 PM
  • Who controlled congress at the end of Clinton's term when the deficit and debt was reduced?

    Who controlled congress under Bush, when the economy started to tank?

    -- Posted by quietmike on Fri, Dec 23, 2011, at 10:46 AM

    Essentially the same Congress that immediately quit worrying about debts and deficits when they had someone like them in office... RINO's.

    -- Posted by nascarfanatic on Fri, Dec 23, 2011, at 8:14 PM
  • But then when some one has a pet project that one of their rich buddies wants done any money we stopped spending in Iraq will be gone.


    Like giving hundreds of millions to Solyndra? Or propping up other failing union businesses?

    -- Posted by quietmike on Fri, Dec 23, 2011, at 8:29 PM
  • You only mention Solyndra because it made national news...how about the thousands of "small pork barrel projects" that people never talk about. We all live in a country full of pet projects because both Democrats and Republicans serve special interests and the laws they pass (and sometimes don't pass) make it obvious.

    Pet projects and government waste are some of the few things in Congress that are still bipartisan.

    -- Posted by darrick_04 on Tue, Dec 27, 2011, at 7:32 AM
  • It made national news because democrats have become so brazen about funneling taxpayer money to their union contributors, and this one came back to bite them.

    -- Posted by quietmike on Tue, Dec 27, 2011, at 7:49 AM
  • Not much will change until there is a fear in Washington that we might "throw 'em all out"' because essentially they are all in bed with each other. As long as we argue among ourselves over which party spends the most, they will continue on their merry way. We deserve the politicians that we vote into office.

    -- Posted by jzinsky on Thu, Dec 29, 2011, at 2:42 PM
  • CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    -- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Thu, Dec 29, 2011, at 3:37 PM
  • jzinsky- The concept of throwing them all out sounds good but who would you replace them with? And I don't think we deserve the politicians we have, yes we voted them in but we haven't much choice. Look at the options we have to choose from when we go to the polls. Think of it like this, you go to the supermarket wanting apples but when you get there all the apples look rotten, but you need an apple so you look over the pile and try to pick out the one that is less rotten and no matter which one you choose you still get a rotten apple. That's pretty much how it goes when we vote!

    -- Posted by Rodney Simmons on Thu, Dec 29, 2011, at 3:56 PM
  • You are right Rodney ,they are all a bunch of bad apples,except for the so called Tea party .They are rotton apples.One of these days there is going to be a march on Washington to over throw our so called Government like what has happened in other countries.It's hard to see what is going on in Washington,just wishing there was a solution for the sake of our young people.

    -- Posted by jdem on Thu, Dec 29, 2011, at 6:57 PM
  • Unique, I am relieved to see your comment. I was beginning to worry that you had already been given an extended tour of the FEMA camps.

    -- Posted by memyselfi on Fri, Jan 13, 2012, at 1:36 PM
  • A good leader of anything always tries to be an example of the principles he expects his followers to embrace. One of the biggest problems with President Obama is that he fails to show in his own life the principles he preaches. He claims to be a Christian, but he doesn't take his family to church but a few times a year. He tells America to tighten her belt, and then his family is forever shown living like kings and queens. For example, they had a huge costume ball around Halloween one of the first years he was in the White House. It was so extravagant, they made sure it was kept quiet because they didn't want the struggling Americans to see how taxpayer money was being spent when we are hurting so bad. President Obama will do photo ops on special days, but you rarely see him donating large blocks of a day to a charity, even on days like MLK Day. He can mostly be found playing golf. He and his family have not impressed me in four years. I'd just as soon that we had a change in residents in the White House come next January!

    -- Posted by AlmondJoy on Tue, Jan 24, 2012, at 4:34 AM
Respond to this blog

Posting a comment requires free registration: