US President Barack Obama and his family cost the taxpayer $1.4 billion per year, according to a recently published book.
By contrast, the British Royal Family costs less than $60 million each year.
Two of the principal costs of the Obama presidency – and any other presidency – are staffing and security, according to Robert Keith Gray’s book Presidential Perks Gone Royal.
When it comes to keeping the First Family safe, few would dispute that it is worth paying a high price to keep the President safe from harm.
This means paying for hundreds of Secret Service agents, travel in the secure space of Air Force and funding a team of doctors to follow Barack Obama around.
But even this essential expense can be exploited to political ends, according to Robert Keith Gray, a former staffer for Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
When the President travels around the country on campaign, he is obliged to take Air Force One.
His party reimburses the taxpayer with the cost of a first-class air ticket per passenger – but this is far from the full cost to taxpayers.
It also provides a President running for re-election with a national transport network which is unavailable to his challenger.
Moreover, much of the money spent on Barack Obama’s family goes to perks such as entertainment and household expenses.
For example, the White House contains a movie theatre which is manned by projectionists 24 hours a day in case one of the family feels like a trip to the cinema.
And even the Obamas’ dog Bo costs the taxpayer thousands of dollars – his handler is reportedly paid over $100,000 a year.
Another huge presidential outgoing, according to Robert Keith Gray, comes in the form of staff members who can be appointed by the commander-in-chief at his own personal discretion.
226 members of Barack Obama’s staff are apparently paid over $100,000 – and the President can increase their salaries at any time.