ABC News tried all day yesterday to get an answer out of the White House and Secret Service about how much money will be saved by canceling White House tours. Now we have an answer: $74,000 per week, according to Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan.
Here's how they do the math:
The Secret Service says it takes an average of 37 officers to secure the tours. Each officer's total pay (including benefits) averages $50 an hour. And, although the tours only are only open for 20 ½ hours per week, Donovan says the officers are on the clock for 40 hours. So - 37 officers at $50 an hour for 40 hours a week adds up to $74,000.
SEE VIDEO: White House ending tours
It's not entirely clear, however, how shutting the tours saves the entire sum of money: All of those officers will continue to be paid, with benefits. The Secret Service plans no furloughs. The officers will be reassigned to other posts, though, cutting the need for overtime.
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I wouldn't even go that far. You and I have to pay for our own way to work.... if they do get a travel stipend, I am going to blow an o-ring. I read something that says they do get a stipend but it pays for costs pertaining to running their office, like staff salary, office rent, supplies, etc.
I found this article. They are given a stipend when overseas but the host countries often pay their way and they pocket the stipend. Freeloadin suckers.
I think its kind of humerous actually that this particular cut has so many upset. I mean, didnt they want cuts? We cut defense (initially), meat inspections in some areas, holy crap even head start! Some smaller airports are taking hits. But no one is ridiculing those cuts, soooo folks, why this one?
I mean, it does seem a little hypocritical dont ya think? 74 thou a week for tours? A week? So what is that in a year? I mean really? Really? What is all the fuss about? You would think they would be thrilled, so why aint they?
It doesn’t bother me at all. While living in Virginia I passed by the W.H. several times. While working in Memphis I passed by Elvis’s house several times. I never had a desire to go in either of them. I’ll take BB King’s place on Beale Street over the WH and Elvis’s House anytime.
At the same time this is happening I just read in the Washington Post that the current administration is spending $150 million this year to promote tourism here in the US. They are also advertising faster Visa processing by way of hiring new employees in other countries to speed it up.
This is so confusing
"It's not entirely clear, however, how shutting the tours saves the entire sum of money: All of those officers will continue to be paid, with benefits. The Secret Service plans no furloughs."
That's one of the issues; if it were REALLY going to save money, I'd be all for it. I've read, but not verified that the actual tours are conducted by volunteers, anyway.
So if the Secret Service personnel will continue getting regular pay and the volunteers weren't getting paid to begin with, where's the savings? Because this move came when it did, it appears to be an attention getter, more than anything constructive.
As far as the actual tours, I really don't care. I do feel badly for those who might have bought airline tickets and/or made other travel plans based on a tour, which they will not be able to take. You would think that they could just have stopped making reservations for the tours and let those already scheduled, take place as planned.
I still find it ridiculous the biggie this is being made out to be when one considers, that meals on wheels is cut, education will be cut, first responders in communities will be cut, after school programs will be cut. And everyone is squalling about the tours at the white house being stopped? LOL, okay then! Priorities I guess. To me, it seems foolish.
I hear ya. But I think if all these people want to pay to keep the white house tours going, they might wanna think of sponsoring meals on wheels instead? I didnt hear any offer like that tho. I just find it tickles my funny bone. I think a more reasonable cut would have been to the congressional paychecks that they get for a part time job that they are doing. That makes much more sense to me. But nobody ever asks me, so.... Especially if they are so affluent that they can pay for white house tours while most of us are seeing if we can afford beef instead of noodles this week. lol
The very first cut should come from Congressional pay/benefits. Unfortunately, they never ask me either - or anyone else I know - but of course, that's because they know we'll tell them they don't deserve the pay/benefits they get, particularly over the past few years.
Dang - I just looked at the White House site, regarding tours...... no way would I even want to go there....... Prohibited items include cameras or video recorders (who wants to go on a tour like that and not have photos taken with the party you're in?), handbags, book bags, backpacks or purses (they REALLY expect me to go somewhere without my bag?). Heck, you can't even take things like makeup or a lotion. If you have a child, plan on carrying her/him, because strollers are not allowed either....... They don't even have a place to go pee........... Forget it; shut it down...........lol
You guys are funny! I am not going any place without my purse, did they provide lockers? That is crazy
It seems, if they are not cutting hours while they cut tours this is just posturing. Again, confusing how we are cutting across the board for the govt but still sending money to other countries.
It may be apples and oranges but it makes no sense to me. Across the board should be across the board.
"I am not going any place without my purse, did they provide lockers?" Nope, no lockers...... Leave your purse in the car so someone can break in and steal it.......lol
I agree that this is simply posturing; a big "todo" over nothing. Apparently, the White House thought those tours were so important that there would be tons of outrage over cutting them......
Agree, that we should not be sending money to other countries when they are threatening to cut benefits to our citizens. How crazy can they get? How many billions could be saved if we kept that money, here, at home?
I think there is plenty of money, the fight is how to spend or not spend and on what/whom. I think its all one huge scam perpetuated for political gain. Our system is obviously not working any better than those we elected to work it.
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