Rep. Schweikert to Obama: Stop buying your own books with taxpayer money, please

posted at 6:45 pm on November 1, 2011 by Tina Korbe

According to various reports last week, the State Department spent $70,000 on copies of Barack Obama’s three lauded literary masterpieces (Dreams from My FatherThe Audacity of Hope and Of Thee I Sing) to stock library shelves or to pass out as Christmas presents from U.S. embassies. The administration claims the book distribution helps to “broker talks on important foreign policy matters.” That especially makes sense as a defense of Of Thee I Sing, which just happens to be a children’s book (although, to be fair, royalties on that book go to charity).

Supposedly, the White House had no knowledge of the State Department decision to spend taxpayer dollars on purchases that personally benefit Obama. (As one writer put it, “You pay … Obama reaps the royalties.“) Sheesh, not a lot of communication goes on in the Obama administration, does it?

But Obama can’t claim to be ignorant now — unless he, like his AG Eric Holder, doesn’t read his own correspondence. Republican Rep. Dave Schweikert of Arizona yesterday sent a letter to the president to tell him to knock it off. Wrote Schweikert:

At a time of record deficits and a heightened need to cut government spending, it is clear that spending taxpayer money in this manner is inappropriate.

Furthermore, as with any book deal, there is no doubt some level of royalties paid to you for each copy purchased by the government. Receiving royalties from government purchases of your book is exactly the type of out-of-touch Washington behavior that the American people are weary of and will no longer tolerate.

We request that you instruct all agencies to no longer purchase copies of your books and remit a payment to the Treasury Department for any royalties received as a result of these sales.

Here are a few reasons not to be too worked up about this story: (1) $70,000 is chump change in the federal budget, (2) At best, Obama probably received something like $6,000 in royalties from taxpayer-funded purchases and (3) The more people read Dreams from my Father, the more they’re exposed to the roots of Obama’s rage.

Still, the reason to be worked up trumps them: As American Values president Gary Bauer put it, it’s a prime example of ethics blindness. In other words, it’s the principle of the matter. The administration has violated it — and Schweikert seeks to uphold it. Thank you, Rep. Schweikert.


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“Supposedly, the White House had no knowledge of the State Department decision to spend taxpayer dollars on purchases that personally benefit Obama…”

I am starting to see a pattern here…

/

Seven Percent Solution on November 1, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Here are a few reasons not to be too worked up about this story: (1) $70,000 is chump change in the federal budget, (2) At best, Obama probably received something like $6,000 in royalties from taxpayer-funded purchases

1. $70,000 is alot of money to a lot of us Tax Payers

2. $6,000 payment to Barry & Michelle Obama from us taxpayers is just salt in the wounds to most of us who see them on extravagant vacations Michelle has been taking.

portlandon on November 1, 2011 at 6:51 PM

But Obama can’t claim to be ignorant now — unless he, like his AG Eric Holder, doesn’t read his own correspondence. Republican Rep. Dave Schweikert of Arizona yesterday sent a letter to the president to tell him to knock it off.

Doesn’t he understand that our dear leader, the resplendent El Presidente Downgrade (Peas be upon him) is above mere mortal law?

Chip on November 1, 2011 at 6:51 PM

This guys arrogance is positively unmatched.

Tim Zank on November 1, 2011 at 6:52 PM

As American Values president Gary Bauer put it, it’s a prime example of ethics blindness. In other words, it’s the principle of the matter.

Principles? Ethics? This Regime?

rbj on November 1, 2011 at 6:52 PM

Here are a few reasons not to be too worked up about this story

I hope reasons 1 and 2 were a JOKE…otherwise you need serious help distinguishing right from wrong and what constitutes THEFT

winston on November 1, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Has anyone calculated what Bill Ayers royalties on $70,000 would be?

warden on November 1, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Isn’t something like this what brought down Jim Wright and Newt Gingrich?

The “optics” – I’m sure the Dems will like me using one of their favorite words here – don’t look good at all….

TeresainFortWorth on November 1, 2011 at 6:54 PM

“Supposedly, the White House had no knowledge of the State Department decision to spend taxpayer dollars on purchases that personally benefit Obama…”

I am starting to see a pattern here…

/

Seven Percent Solution on November 1, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Yes, here we have the smartest, most intelligent genius of a president ever (and has the transcripts to prove it), someone who knows all and is able with the tinniest part of his immense intellect, run the lives of us poor peons and yet he doesn’t know what is going on is his own administration?

Chip on November 1, 2011 at 6:57 PM

That’s all fine and dandy, but before we cut this off, we should find out what plan B is for embassy Christmas gifts. Because I suspect it may be ipods preloaded with the president narrating from TOTUS.

TexasDan on November 1, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Gotta wonder if Obama’s books are laggin behind Palin’s as far as sales go, and if he’s just oversensitive about that.

malclave on November 1, 2011 at 6:59 PM

Sounds like a twisted kick-back scheme type thingy!!

Jus Say’n!

canopfor on November 1, 2011 at 7:00 PM

How can this man be so clueless as to how this looks?

Cindy Munford on November 1, 2011 at 7:01 PM

Gotta wonder if Obama’s books are laggin behind Palin’s as far as sales go, and if he’s just oversensitive about that.

malclave on November 1, 2011 at 6:59 PM

They said that Palin’s book (out for 2 years) outsold Dreams of my Father (which has been out 5 years).

portlandon on November 1, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Here are a few reasons not to be too worked up about this story: (1) $70,000 is chump change in the federal budget, (2) At best, Obama probably received something like $6,000 in royalties from taxpayer-funded purchases

1. $70,000 is alot of money to a lot of us Tax Payers

2. $6,000 payment to Barry & Michelle Obama from us taxpayers is just salt in the wounds to most of us who see them on extravagant vacations Michelle has been taking.

portlandon on November 1, 2011 at 6:51 PM

3. A fair amount of the time, it always seems like the initial story is just the tip of the corruption iceberg, with more damaging admissions being yawned off by Obama’s Writer Sycophants in the press as just more of the same.

Chip on November 1, 2011 at 7:07 PM

when you govern against the will of the people, who gives a rats a**
the optics this admin (mooshelle and obowmao) has put out makes this a joke. I’ll take the cash back for weekly Kobe Beef parties and he can keep the royalties.

screwauger on November 1, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Yet another in the “what if a republican did it” file. I’m going to need a bigger filing cabinet.

Scrappy on November 1, 2011 at 7:08 PM

News won’t cover it, Obama won’t respond to it. It never happened.
We’re done here. Nothing to see. Move along.

The sheer bombastic arrogance of the man is breathtaking.

gordo on November 1, 2011 at 7:08 PM

Doesn’t he understand that our dear leader, the resplendent El Presidente Downgrade (Peas be upon him) is above mere mortal law?
Chip on November 1, 2011 at 6:51 PM

I needed that chuckle. : )

Thanks, Chip.

listens2glenn on November 1, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Great. We’re in the process of selling everything we own just to make ends meet for the next couple of months. Six thousand means a LOT to us right now. Too bad I don’t have a book the Government could buy…

karl9000 on November 1, 2011 at 7:15 PM

The administration claims the book distribution helps to “broker talks on important foreign policy matters.”

Yeah, and I’m the freaking Tooth Fairy!

GarandFan on November 1, 2011 at 7:16 PM

(1) $70,000 is chump change in the federal budget,

True.

However, like the first ladies’ monumental and constant vacations and The One’s frequent flying on AF1, these chump change figures add up to gigantic numbers.

tru2tx on November 1, 2011 at 7:17 PM

Here are a few reasons not to be too worked up about this story: (1) $70,000 is chump change in the federal budget

Chump change?
That’s a lot more than many of us make after working hard for a year.
One of the reasons the national debt is so high is that no one cares if $70K or $25K or $82K is wasted here & there. But the $trillions are merely an addition of all of the “chump change” amounts.

itsnotaboutme on November 1, 2011 at 7:18 PM

Maybe we can get him on tax evasion…

… like they did with Capone.

/

Seven Percent Solution on November 1, 2011 at 7:19 PM

BREAKING: GREECE ABOUT TO COLLAPSE AFTER COUP UNCOVERED.

andy85719 on November 1, 2011 at 7:19 PM

the White House had no knowledge

Well, there ya go.

esnap on November 1, 2011 at 7:19 PM

Did bho see the Queen got a copy for her review?
L

letget on November 1, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Has anyone calculated what Bill Ayers royalties on $70,000 would be?

Incalculable. The royalty Ayers receives for Dreams from My Father is the destruction of America.

Fabozz on November 1, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Three cheers to Rep. Schweikert for doing what all GOP members of Congress ought to be doing: opposing this incestuous deal.

itsnotaboutme on November 1, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Funny how no one mentions that Cain is doing the exact same thing with his donations.

nswider on November 1, 2011 at 7:22 PM

listens2glenn on November 1, 2011 at 7:11 PM

You’re welcome.

Chip on November 1, 2011 at 7:26 PM

All of the left’s causes are now funded buy tax payer money. Why should this be any different.

Grunt on November 1, 2011 at 7:26 PM

Your taxes pay for more royalties for Obama and his buffalo, so that sadi buffalo can preach to the rich how bad it is to be…er, rich.

Schadenfreude on November 1, 2011 at 7:27 PM

The administration claims the book distribution helps to “broker talks on important foreign policy matters.”

Well, the administration better come and clean my monitor because they just made me spew coffee all over it.

Tuning Spork on November 1, 2011 at 7:28 PM

This guy’s arrogance is positively unmatched.

Tim Zank on November 1, 2011 at 6:52 PM

I suspect that this is precisely what President Obama and his minions thing of Representative Schweikert.

I think that if Obama’s ego gets any larger, it will need its own zip code.

/but that’s just me

cheers

eon

eon on November 1, 2011 at 7:45 PM

Funny how no one mentions that Cain is doing the exact same thing with his donations.

nswider on November 1, 2011 at 7:22 PM

Taxpayer money? nope.

Scrappy on November 1, 2011 at 7:45 PM

“thing”= think.

PIMF.

cheers

eon

eon on November 1, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Didn’t Newt get into trouble from Democrats after they won the House back in 94, because he was paid advance royalties for a novel he wrote just before becoming speaker?

If I remember right, the Dems almost made it into a mini scandal… even though it wasn’t. Newt did nothing illegal or even wrong. Certainly wasn’t any tax money involved. Oh, but what difference is it. Dems can do whatever they want and all Boehner does is send protest letters to Obama.

JellyToast on November 1, 2011 at 7:48 PM

T H E

A U D A C I T Y

O F

A U D A C I T Y

By Barry Ojesus and Billy Ayers

hillbillyjim on November 1, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Yet another what if “W” had done this?

Dingbat63 on November 1, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Here are a few reasons not to be too worked up about this story: (1) $70,000 is chump change in the federal budget, (2) At best, Obama probably received something like $6,000 in royalties from taxpayer-funded purchases and (3) The more people read Dreams from my Father, the more they’re exposed to the roots of Obama’s rage.

1. No excuse for theft
2. That’s a lot of money to me and my family. He’s stealing from us. Thanks for nothing for blithely dismissing it.
3. Nonsense. His book is crap, and the less it is read, the better.

This is really pathetic stuff from you Tina.

fossten on November 1, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Tina: Where is your compass? Your reasons 1 and 2 not to get worked up about this are no reason at all not to get worked up about this. Are we to agree that a little stealing by the president is OK? Just every once in awhile? And probably completely OK if he does not get caught? Or if he gets a pardon?

GaltBlvnAtty on November 1, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Dreams from a SCOAMF

hillbillyjim on November 1, 2011 at 7:56 PM

fossten on November 1, 2011 at 7:55 PM

fossten: We seem to have been having the same thought at the same moment.

GaltBlvnAtty on November 1, 2011 at 7:57 PM

Funny how no one mentions that Cain is doing the exact same thing with his donations.

nswider on November 1, 2011 at 7:22 PM

Taxpayer money (Forced)

vs.

Campaign money (Volunteered)

You Fail.

portlandon on November 1, 2011 at 8:06 PM

portlandon on November 1, 2011 at 8:06 PM

Im sure those who contributed knew their contributions were going toward cain buying copies of his own book. Your right it wasnt forced, but it wasnt disclosed either. Im saying both may be ok technically, but neither instance is right.

nswider on November 1, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Im sure those who contributed knew their contributions were going toward cain buying copies of his own book. Your right it wasnt forced, but it wasnt disclosed either. Im saying both may be ok technically, but neither instance is right.

nswider on November 1, 2011 at 8:09 PM

And Mitt Romney buying up huge numbers of his books and warehousing them to make it a “best seller” is right???

portlandon on November 1, 2011 at 8:13 PM

portlandon on November 1, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Havent read that, would love to know your source for that and whether the money was his or campaign money.

nswider on November 1, 2011 at 8:15 PM

T H E

A U D A C I T Y

O F

A U D A C I T Y

By Barry Ojesus and Billy Ayers

hillbillyjim on November 1, 2011 at 7:55 PM

hillbillyjim:And,….. TRANSPARENCY BABY!!!!

canopfor on November 1, 2011 at 8:20 PM

You know, for being the top law enforcement officer in the Nation, Chief Executive and all that, Obama sure plays fast and loose with the law.

But, not to worry, I heard he was like, you know, awesome or something like that, you know.

coldwarrior on November 1, 2011 at 8:20 PM

We’ve heard a story like this before:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Wright

“In 1988 Wright became the target of an inquiry by the House Ethics Committee. Their report in early 1989 implied that he had used bulk purchases of his book, Reflections of a Public Man, to earn speaking fees in excess of the allowed maximum, and that his wife, Betty, was given a job and perks to avoid the limit on gifts.”

Can’t they at least do something original?

patch on November 1, 2011 at 8:41 PM

At a time of record deficits and a heightened need to cut government spending, it is clear that spending taxpayer money in this manner is inappropriate.

FIF Him.

KS Rex on November 1, 2011 at 8:53 PM

Supposedly, the White House had no knowledge of the State Department decision to spend taxpayer dollars on purchases that personally benefit Obama.

Nothing to see here. Obama probably told Hillary he needs to up his royalty receipts, with the new transparency rules going into effect, that communication never occured.

TulsAmerican on November 1, 2011 at 9:18 PM

The administration claims the book distribution helps to “broker talks on important foreign policy matters.”

Are foreign policy talks between the U.S. and foreign nations not complete until the participants have had a chance to explore, in depth, Obama’s reminiscences about smoking pot in college, or snorting blow, when he could afford it? Do U.S. State Department officials broker talks on important foreign policy matters by discussing Obama’s feelings of discomfort with his white mother’s sexual attraction to black men?

I’m very curious to know just what part of these books is used to “broker talks on important foreign policy matters,” and exactly how that is done.

AZCoyote on November 1, 2011 at 9:39 PM

The administration claims the book distribution helps to “broker talks on important foreign policy matters.

It’s also suitable for wrapping fish or lining bird cages.

Tim_CA on November 1, 2011 at 9:44 PM

Let’s not forget Dan Rostenkowski, from Chicago. He finally got caught selling his free postage stamps back to the post office for pocket change.

jpcpt03 on November 1, 2011 at 9:46 PM

Actually, I WANT my copy, since MY tax dollars went to buy one of his books. I need some kindling for my fireplace…

easyt65 on November 1, 2011 at 10:05 PM

So. Taxpayer funded book spam. What next.

starboardhelm on November 1, 2011 at 10:13 PM

Dee Rasta’s in da drum circle can use dee pages for rolling da spliff mon!

Tim_CA on November 1, 2011 at 10:31 PM

Let’s not forget Dan Rostenkowski, from Chicago. He finally got caught selling his free postage stamps back to the post office for pocket change.

jpcpt03 on November 1, 2011 at 9:46 PM

That is a good recollection, and it goes to Tina’s errant argument that Obama’s book defalcation may be too small to get worked up about.

GaltBlvnAtty on November 1, 2011 at 10:37 PM

Thank you, Rep. Schweikert

Yes!

cmsinaz on November 1, 2011 at 10:38 PM

It’s not only the principle of the matter, it’s the money of the matter.

Alana on November 2, 2011 at 1:06 AM

Very costly toilet paper.

Sherman1864 on November 2, 2011 at 3:01 AM

Here are a few reasons not to be too worked up about this story

I hope reasons 1 and 2 were a JOKE…otherwise you need serious help distinguishing right from wrong and what constitutes THEFT

winston on November 1, 2011 at 6:53 PM

That rattled my cage as well, winston. Tell me, Tina, is a woman less of a prostitute if it takes $1000 to get her to drop her panties or only $20. In law there may be degrees of theft, but it’s all theft. You should never downplay any of it by comparing the amount of the theft to the wealth of the victim.

Extrafishy on November 2, 2011 at 6:21 AM

This is an excellent example of the major disconnect in Washington concerning the source of its “income.” There is a glaring and growing lack of respect (among lawmakers and the Prez, in particular) for the hard work on the other end of all those taxpayer dollars that go into their coffers. They spend it, waste it, use it to buy votes, and otherwise roll around in it like it’s their own money!

If there is any book purchased in bulk with taxpayer money, it should be the one about Millicent Fenwick, the Conscience of Congress, who spent taxpayer money very frugally and reprimanded others who did not think likewise, refused to vote for congressional pay raises and returned all unused money allotted for her office expenses as well as all pay raises she would not accept. She is probably the only representative in the last 100 years who held taxpayer dollars in higher regard than her own money. This book should be sent to everyone in Washington who uses taxpayer money, with all the good parts about spending wisely, respectfully and conservatively highlighted in dayglow orange!

Logic on November 2, 2011 at 6:56 AM

This is not a joke. There’s a book of his most ‘electrifying‘ speeches!

Urban Infidel on November 2, 2011 at 7:15 AM

Or you can buy his inaugural speech with illustrations for kids. And then there’s this version too. And this one! Man, this guy can sell his speeches six ways to Sunday.
My question is: shouldn’t they be free?

Urban Infidel on November 2, 2011 at 7:22 AM

to pass out as Christmas presents from U.S. embassies.

Really?
I guess not every world leader deserves an ipod of speeches.

(1) $70,000 is chump change in the federal budget,

We have to get out of this mentality. It’s sort of like my husband saying, “it’s only $15 a month!” Yes, when you’re trillions in the hole, tens of thousands isn’t much, but you have to start somewhere and realize that every dollar counts. As a country, we can’t nickle and dime ourselves back to prosperity but adopting a more austere mindset about it would be a step in the right direction.

Quisp on November 2, 2011 at 7:24 AM

I am surprised that the Obama books are not mandated to be sold at all Federally funded parks, museums, monuments, etc. (But maybe they are?)

Also will not be surprised if the books are for sale at places to vote in 2012.

albill on November 2, 2011 at 7:48 AM

It’s the Chicago way.

HammerNH on November 2, 2011 at 8:47 AM

Here are a few reasons not to be too worked up about this story:

Well, when you’re dealing with a 15 trillion debt what is the level of skimming that should we get worked up about? 100 billion? 300 billion?

Herb on November 2, 2011 at 9:05 AM

Here are a few reasons not to be too worked up about this story: (1) $70,000 is chump change in the federal budget,

I hate that type of reasoning…$70,000 is not chump change, maybe 5 wise, but what we need is to eliminate all of the “$70,000″, and we would have a balanced budget…

right2bright on November 2, 2011 at 10:08 AM

The letter should have asked how many government departments have purchased books and what the cost was. I would imagine the department of education would have spent millions to provide one Obama book to every student in America.

davod on November 2, 2011 at 10:51 AM

2. That’s a lot of money to me and my family. He’s stealing from us. Thanks for nothing for blithely dismissing it.

fossten on November 1, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Exactly what I was thinking. $6,000 is a lot of money to me, even if it’s nothing to Tina or Barack.

sobincorporated on November 2, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Here are a few reasons not to be too worked up about this story: (1) $70,000 is chump change in the federal budget, (2) At best, Obama probably received something like $6,000 in royalties from taxpayer-funded purchases and (3) The more people read Dreams from my Father, the more they’re exposed to the roots of Obama’s rage.

Chump change adds up. The current Federal budget is taxpayer death by chump change cuts.

unclesmrgol on November 2, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Funny how no one mentions that Cain is doing the exact same thing with his donations.

nswider on November 1, 2011 at 7:22 PM

The comparison doesn’t make any sense

joey24007 on November 2, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Here are a few reasons not to be too worked up about this story: (1) $70,000 is chump change in the federal budget, (2) At best, Obama probably received something like $6,000 in royalties from taxpayer-funded purchases and (3) The more people read Dreams from my Father, the more they’re exposed to the roots of Obama’s rage.

So is there a line where it is no longer “chump change?” If we use the TARP and stimulus as “not chump change” then it would be okay if they spent $70,000,000 on the books and Obama made $6 million?

Obama probably received something like $6,000 in royalties from taxpayer-funded purchases and

enter in any number there and anybody can see that it is wrong. President earned royalties from taxpayer funded purchases.

Make that “Obama made something like 6,000,000 in kickbacks from the stimulus…”

joey24007 on November 2, 2011 at 1:21 PM