carlton pryor 2

As the American economy heals toward prosperity today in the first week of 2015, conservative writers are angered that while on his annual holiday vacation in Hawaii, President Obama and his family dined at Honolulu’s exclusive Vintage Cave restaurant. Meals at the Vintage Cave can cost $1,000 per person and up and this cost outrages WorldNet Daily columnist Chelsea Schilling to no end. She begins her article with a small bit of journalistic deception:

A record 47 million Americans are now on food stamps, but that didn’t stop President Obama and Michelle Obama, who are known to have extravagant taste, from dining at an exclusive restaurant Thursday where memberships cost as much as $500,000.

The Food Research and Action Center notes that the September 2014 number of SNAP recipients totaled, “46,459,998, a drop of 16,412 persons compared to the prior month, but a drop of 845,726 persons compared with September 2013.” this is not the “record” of 47 million as Ms Schilling refers. Actually SNAP recipient numbers have been declining over the past 18 months at a slow and steady rate matching the return of hiring in several job sectors. The quote also makes a vaguery of the membership to join the exclusive restaurant and take advantage of its wine storage facilities and discounts on meals. president Obama was not required to join as a member; his staff reached out, over a year ago to the restaurant to find out if they can accommodate his family.

Schilling continues to go on about the expense of presidential travel during this administration but mentions nothing about the standard of presidential travel that began with President Eisenhower. All presidents in the modern era have utilized Air Force One for travel and have sent their families on trips both as goodwill ambassadors and for vacations. This is nothing uncommon nor are the Obama’s spendthrift.

What this article truly exposes is the nature of the conservative mind as it relates to the sitting president. I am an economist, not a political scientist, but it is clear to me that this article plays into the desire of the common conservative citizen that the black man in the White House is wasteful and that he is wasteful and greedy because he is black. Schilling makes the case subtly that this greed and lavish living is being enjoyed by the Obamas at the expense of the poor. These are the same poor that conservatives say should not be getting the SNAP benefits at all because such programs discourage people to seek work.

Qu’ul cuda praedex nihil!

Carlton Pryor, D.S.V.E., O.Q.H.[Econ.].
Lead Economist
89 Melnar 3 AS

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