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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 12, 2013 at 6:30 AM

Budget cuts mean no more White House tours

Appreciation of history is more important than a vacation

The Seattle Times reported that President Obama has canceled all tours of the White House as a result of staffing reductions prompted by the sequester, tours that are overseen by Secret Service personnel [“No more White House tours, thanks to budget cuts,” seattletimes.com, March 6]. Yet there are now media reports that he is planning for a summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, an excursion that will cost the Secret Service and the White House budget far more than the budget for a year of White House tours.

Perhaps President Obama should follow the practice forced on many of his constituents and consider a “staycation” this year. There is lots to see and do in the Washington, D.C., area that he and his family could enjoy. The money saved by substituting a staycation for a lavish trip to New England would be more than sufficient to restore the White House tours and once again provide school groups and ordinary citizens a chance to appreciate this historic building that our taxes built and support.

It’s a simple equation, really. Golf on a very costly island, or the interests of America’s youth. I encourage him to make the better choice.

–Christopher Hodgkin, Friday Harbor

Comments | More in Barack Obama administration, budget cuts, Federal government | Topics: Barack Obama, Sequestration, The White House

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