The Royal Presidency – Obama lives better than kings. (Mark Steyn)
Great! Maybe Kate could return the favor and give Snooki and her fellow Americans some advice. About fiscal prudence, for example…
In his recent book Presidential Perks Gone Royal, Robert Keith Gray, a former Eisenhower staffer, revealed that last year the U.S. presidency cost American taxpayers $1.4 billion. Over the same period, the entire royal family cost British taxpayers about $57 million. There’s nothing “royal” about the current level of “presidential perks”: The Obama family costs taxpayers more than every European royal house put together.
In the American republic, even the dogs cost more. The Queen is a famous corgi lover and has been breeding them since she was a young girl. Now in her late 80s she’s slowing down and only keeps four. The president has one pooch, a photo-op accessory called Bo, who unlike the corgis requires a full-time handler. In contrast to the stingy remuneration offered by the royal household, the presidential dog-walker is one of 226 White House staff earning over $100,000 a year. For many centuries, the King had a courtier whose somewhat intimate duties were reflected in his title: the Groom of the Stool, a position abolished in 1559.
Now, after two and a third centuries, the American presidency has evolved to the point that it has a full-time six-figure Groom of the Canine Stool. Will he be accompanying the president on Air Force One to liaise with the Keeper of the Privy Flatscreen over screenings of Lassie?…