Calls to start charging for White House tours miss the point

Updated
White House
White House

Sequestration is hitting home or in this case, the president’s home. The White House is cancelling tours effective this Saturday, March 9, until further notice.

And you can blame the sequester, $85 billion in automatic cuts that began on Friday after the White House and Congress failed to agree on an alternative budget.

“Due to staffing reductions resulting from sequestration, we regret to inform you that White House Tours will be canceled effective Saturday, March 9, 2013 until further notice,” the White House said in an email. “Unfortunately, we will not be able to reschedule affected tours. We very much regret having to take this action, particularly during the popular Spring touring season.”

Minutes after the announcement was made, rightwingers blasted what they called “Obama’s sequester tantrum,” claiming the president was sticking it to Congress.  They also slammed the president’s spending priorities (trips on Air Force One, foreign aid and new uniforms for TSA workers, to name a few).

And still others said it’s time to start charging for the White House tours. But wait, that completely misses the point. Folks, we have decided as a country to make certain things accessible to all (or nearly all) Americans such as: entitlements (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid), K-12 education, postal delivery, roads, parks and yes, White House tours!

But the righties just hate it. For them, it all smacks of “socialism.” Everything, they believe, should be privatized (run by corporations for-profit) or at least require a user fee that covers the entire cost of a particular service. And the heck with Americans who can’t afford it.

In the case of The White House, the tickets are free because it is considered the “people’s house.” Let’s keep it that way!

Calls to start charging for White House tours miss the point

Updated