The Tin Ear – More “Do As I Say, Not As I Do”

Yesterday, President Obama expressed outrage at Wall Street’s “excesses” and said he would cap the salaries of CEOs in institutions getting federal bailout money to $500,000 a year. If that isn’t absurd enough:

Adding to the outrage was a flurry of reports that after taking taxpayer rescue funds, some big banks were still planning to purchase corporate jets, planned executive junkets to Las Vegas and Monte Carlo, or had spent millions of dollars on office renovations.

He said it was “bad taste” and “bad strategy”.

Can’t have that – well, except if you’re the Democrats:

The House Democratic Caucus spent more than $500,000 in taxpayer money over the past five years for its annual retreats at resorts in Pennsylvania and Virginia.

On Thursday, Democrats will head to the Kingsmill Resort and Spa in historic Williamsburg, Va., for the three-day planning powwow. The resort boasts multiple championship golf courses, a full-service spa and six restaurants.

And guess who’s jetting in to say “hi”? Yup, all 157 miles from Washington DC:

Tonight, Obama takes his first trip as president on Air Force One for a one-day “out and back excursion” to the House Democratic Caucus retreat at the Kingsmill Resort and Spa in Williamsburg, Va.

To be fair, the Republicans had their retreat as well. But the Republicans aren’t carping about executive pay and company junkets at the presidential level, are they? And don’t forget about the recent Democratic corporate junket with Citi.

What, there’s no place in DC in which the Dems could “retreat” to do any of this?

If a President is going to insist on box lunches and Day’s Inns for others, it might be wise to look at cutting back on a few things himself (like no more $100 a pound Wagyu beef?). But that’s leadership. And leadership is usually developed throughout life by doing things, not talking about them. So turn down those thermostats, America – while they grow orchids in the Oval office.

Hope and change.

[Crossposted at QandO]

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