The First Lady has been criticized for seeming to enjoy the perks of her husbands’ positions a little too much: The seemingly endless schedule of exotic and extremely expensive family (and entourage) vacations, all the parties, all the meet-and-greets with celebrities, and the very expensive designer dresses and accessories.
All First Families need to take vacations and make public appearances, of course, and that requires a lot of security and therefore a big bill for American taxpayer. The Obamas seem to have taken it to a new level, which has made this more of an issue, especially given the terrible economy and lackluster “recovery” (if that’s still the word we are using) that her husband has presided over.
What makes it so much worse, however, is the Obamas’ demonization of the rich and their urging other Americans to forgo needless luxury and the pursuit of big money. This graduation speech by Michelle Obama is just latest example. She urges those young Americans to focus on other endeavors—giving back to the community, etc.—rather than shooting for big salaries and fancy corporate jobs.
This from the former corporate lawyer and lover of expensive designer clothes. She claims, of course, to have given up the corporate life so she could make a real difference…but that difference wasn’t so different at all. She may have given up an officially “corporate” job, but she has managed to consistently pull in corporate size salaries.
Her urgings are troubling not just because of the hypocrisy. She reveals a basic misunderstanding of what our economy needs. President Obama has been pushing versions of the “millionaire” tax, supposedly in an attempt to close the budget deficit. Shouldn’t the Obamas actually want there to be millionaires, or at least some people who are making a significant sum to fund their big government dreams (as well as all the White House perks)? We need to route for and pursue policies that help our private sector to grow and businesses to thrive so there can be more jobs at all levels—including in fancy corner offices.
Here’s some different advice for new graduates: Work hard at whatever you do. If you want to make a lot of money, go for it. Work hard and help a company grow so you can hire others and provide needed services and products for others. There is more than one way to “give back” to your community, and growing a business, creating jobs, providing for your family is one of them.