It made sense for politicians and lawmakers to commission paintings of themselves at the time of the founding of the United States. They were preserving history and that’s how they did it at the time. Even today, presidential portraits aren’t out of line to continue the tradition in the White House. But spending tens of thousands of dollars for paintings of people like outgoing EPA head Lisa Jackson is beyond the pale. They’re releasing criminals from jail but still wasting our tax dollars on these portraits!?!
Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense argues that it’s time for a change. “You really have to really wonder, is it worth the cost?” Ellis said. “It certainly strokes their ego but at a cost to taxpayers, and we can’t afford just ego strokes when we’ve got a trillion-dollar deficit and $16 trillion in debt.”
Ellis and other watchdogs haven’t been able to stop government spending on portraits of cabinet secretaries and generals. As the Washington Times first reported, the latest portrait for outgoing EPA administrator Lisa Jackson cost $38,350. Air Force Secretary Michael Donnelly’s portrait cost $41,200.
Commerce Secretary John Bryson’s portrait cost $22,500, the paper said. He served President Obama for eight months.
In the past two years alone, the Obama administration has spent almost $400,000 on oil portraits. The administration turned down ABC News’ request to enter a building to see some of the portraits hanging. But the White House told ABC News it is spending less than previous administrations did. (Read More)
H/T to reader Michigan.