January 26, 2009

Here's The Bill, Mr. President

Ken at Popehat has found an absolutely fascinating piece of information -- the White House bills the President for his food. Not for state dinners, but for regular meals he and his family eat, he gets to pay out of his own pocket. It works like a hotel with room service, and apparently it's priced accordingly. "[F]ormer White House chief usher Gary Walters said that he couldn’t remember any first families not complaining about the high prices of the food."

Yikes. Think about a really nice hotel -- let's say, The Plaza in New York. A contender for best big hotel in the country. How much do you think room service costs at The Plaza? Those are the kinds of prices we're talking about here -- $50 a plate for dinner, easily. That means that a family of four probably can't get away with less than $500 a day. And the fact of the matter, as Ken points out, is that they can't really shoot up Seventeenth Street to get their own groceries (and if they did, they'd be going to the Soviet Safeway, which has no food to buy anyway). So it does seem a little bit unfair and certainly exclusionary of people of middle-class means to charge those kinds of prices.

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