Obama can restore tours for kids

2013-03-15T00:00:00Z Obama can restore tours for kids Arizona Daily Star
March 15, 2013 12:00 am

The following editorial appeared Thursday in the Washington Post:

The decision to drop White House tours had a whiff of what's known as Washington Monument syndrome. When government is facing cuts, officials go after the services most visible and appreciated by the public. The pushback of bureaucratic hostage-taking is a proper comeuppance.

The popular tours have been suspended in response to the across-the-board spending cuts of $85 billion. The decision - coming just as the tourist season revs up - prompted an immediate outcry. Disappointed tourists took to Facebook and the airwaves to register their displeasure, while congressional Republicans and conservative commentators pounced.

Administration officials, the Post reported, said the Secret Service made the decision, estimating a savings of $74,000 in weekly overtime costs. Why overtime is needed for the self-guided tours plotted out in advance is anybody's guess.

Is the $2 million in estimated savings through September worth shutting Americans out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.?

Apparently the president doesn't think so. In an interview Wednesday with ABC News, President Obama said he's talking with the Secret Service about restoring some visits, citing in particular long-planned visits by school groups. "Can we make sure that kids, potentially, can still come to tour?" he asked.

Well, he's the one in the house, and he has the authority to provide the answer.

Copyright 2015 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Latest Fitz Report video


Fitz studio: How to draw the President

In this video tutorial, Star cartoonist and columnist David Fitzsimmons teaches you how to draw the Preside…

Latest Newsmakers video


Dr. Peter Rhee on mental health

Dr. Peter Rhee discusses mental health and other issues surrounding gun violence.

Featured businesses

View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...

Make a Plan in 2012, Free Legal Consultation!

Peter G. Schmerl is an experienced estate planning attorney. H…