White House Defends $2 Billion India Trip
by Arya Reddy
NEW DELHI, India, Nov. 8, 2010 — White House spokesman Noah K. Lou today disputed reports that President Obama's trip to India and Indonesia is costing taxpayers $3 billion and said the trip is already paying dividends.
"This trip is costing just a tad more than $2 billion, which is a drop in the bucket when compared with the national debt of almost $14 trillion," Kluh said. "And contrary to media reports, he doesn't have 3,000 people traveling with him in 47 jetliners. We defunded his astrologer and acupuncturist, so we're down to 2,998."
Skinnyreporter's chief mathematics advisor Count M. A. Gehn of Romania said the "drop in a bucket" analogy is grossly inaccurate.
"Assuming a standard size of two and a half gallons, a bucket contains 189,250 drops," Gehn said. "Compared with the national debt, therefore, $2 billion actually amounts to 28.3 drops."
Critics have said Obama's lavish trip cannot be justified immediately after big-spending Democrats took a shellacking in last Tuesday's mid-term election.
"Americans just can't understand how President Obama can ignore us and continue to spend like a drunken sailor while the real unemployment rate is 17.1 percent," said Tea Party political analyst Ignacio "Ig" Norris.
MSNBC commentator and Democrat campaign donor Keith Olbermann defended the cost of the trip.
"There is no connection at all between the president's trip and unemployment," Olbermann said. "In fact, this important journey is saving or creating 3,000 temporary jobs on land and thousands more jobs at sea."
Olbermann evidently was referring to the military personnel who are manning an unknown number of warships protecting the president during his visit to the world's largest democracy. Pentagon officials dismissed as false a report that 34 ships, including an aircraft carrier, are protecting the president during this trip to see the Festival of Lights but did not reveal the true number of craft for security reasons.
Retired Admiral Thom E. Gunn said the true number is likely 30 ships, based on conversations he has had with current naval officers.
"An average warship holds 350 crew members and uses about 250,000 gallons of fuel to reach India from the U.S.," Gunn said. "I think President Obama will be fine with just 30 ships, which would use about 7.5 millions of gallons of diesel fuel and hold 10,500 crew members."
White House Budget Chief Hy Price said the trip is justified to prevent the U.S. Navy from giving the crew members a 10-day furlough due to a lack of conflict in the world. He said the land-based contingent also would be receiving unemployment compensation if it weren't for Obama's job-saving trip.
"The key to our whole economic plan is that President Obama's chief goal, other than raising taxes and eliminating private medical insurance, is to save jobs," Price said. "In one fell swoop, he has saved 13,500 jobs over a single 10-day period. If he could make 36 trips like this during the year, taking off just five days for a vacation, he could save around half a million jobs just by himself."White House Chief Economist Les Cache said the trip has the added benefit of reducing unemployment in India.
"We are spending tons of economic stimulus money," he said. "For example, we reserved the entire Taj Mahal Hotel, all 500-plus rooms. The money American taxpayers give to the hotel will circulate through the economy, which is good for everybody.
"The hotel's rupees will trickle down to the common folk who make the beds, cook the food, park the limos, and so forth, and then that money will trickle down to the lower classes as the hotel workers spend their money on food, transportation, clothing, vacations, and so forth. We believe a lot of that money will be used to buy American goods, such as DVD copies of Should-Have-Been-President Al Gore's 'An Inconvenient Truth.'"
Cache said Obama's trip is costing 10 times more than President George W. Bush's 2006 trip to India because "President Obama is 10 times the president."
"President Bush didn't even try to persuade the huge calling centers here in India to hire unemployed Americans," Cache said. "President Obama is working hard, trying to figure out how to get the Indian companies to pay enough that Americans can afford to get off unemployment."
President Obama's international publicist, Ilene South, said the trip is necessary to "show the world that we're still the second most powerful super power on earth."
Critics have argued that the trip is leaving an enormous carbon footprint on the globe as planes, trains and automobiles, as well as ships, burn fossil fuel to transplant the Obama possey, adding to the predicted problem of global warming.
"This trip will help cool North America," said Burr Moore, assistant director of Immediate Cooling Exponents (ICE). "If all those warships and jetliners had been forced to stay in North America, temperatures would have skyrocketed from all the carbon dioxide they would have emitted, and the last of the polar bears would have drowned."
Reporters traveling with Hillary Clinton, who was accidentally introduced as the president of the United States during her trip to New Zealand and Australia, where she is working during President Obama's trip to India, asked her why the contingent traveling with Obama was so enormous.
"I always said it takes a village," she replied. "And so he has taken the village with him, including his psychics, his psychiatrists, his psychologists and his psychoanalysts to ensure that he maintains tiptop health. I'm just upset that he had to leave his astroger home for politically correct reasons."
Blackwater Worldlife security expert Harry Beard said a major reason for the large size of the traveling party is that Obama is staying in the same hotel that is the site of one of the world's worst terrorist attacks in the past few years.
"He needs a security force big enough to wage a middle-size war," Beard said.
Obama's astrologer, Rye Z. Ingstarr, said the positions of Venus and Mars indicated that her boss needed an escape.
"The Republicans won in such a landslide that he needed to get away," she said. "I noticed that the growth of the red spot on Jupiter roughly paralleled the growth of the U.S. budget deficit. Not only was our country going into the red, but it was getting redder, and then when I noticed his eyes getting redder, I knew it was time to go."
Bill Ayers, from whose house Obama announced his 2008 presidential campaign, said the president traveled to India primarily to see how the largest democracy in the world works. Ayers, an avowed communist, said Obama is committed to democracy "insofar that people are educated enough, sophisticated enough and intelligent enough to vote for candidates and issues that further socialism."
So far, it seems that President Obama is enjoying his trip to India. The New York Times reported that yesterday he even showed off some dance moves that "are likely to provide iconic images of his trip."
The president has been careful not to say he was opposed to jihad or that the Pakistani terrorists who terrorized Mumbai in 2008 were from Pakistan, according to a Times report.
A National Security Council official has revealed that Obama "specifically wanted" to celebrate Diwali, or the Hindu Festival of Lights, with the Indian people.
Jeff Gooder Bader, a senior director of Asia affairs for the NSC, speculated that Obama wanted to go "beyond simply his official business."
Global warming expert S. Kair Mahnger, professor emeritus of Scientific Theoretical Studies at Stanford University, said the festival of lights is a waste of energy that pollutes the universe and contributes to the warming of the earth and the eventual extinction of humans, mammals and all other life.
"The lights used in Diwali are powered by fossil fuels,nuclear energy and carbon-based pre-fossil fuels such as beeswax," Mahnger said. "This festival won't last many more years because as we enter a new Ice Age and layers of ice and snow prevent us from growing food, the world's population will begin dying off, and the problem will be particularly egregious in India, which relies on primitive forms of agriculture for almost its entire food source.
"President Obama should show some courage by boycotting any light shows anywhere rather than contributing to this tragedy by taking a light show lightly."
Indian students called President Obama the "king of the world" and postulated that he will soon announce his candidacy to run against former President Bill Clinton for the soon-to-be-announced position as Global Chief Executive.
"Most American presidents have done things that benefited Americans rather than all citizens of the world," said one student, Aya Dor-Heem, who wore an Obama hat, Obama t-shirt and Obama badge to the festival. "President Obama always chooses to do the right thing for world citizens, even if it's not always what Americans selfishly want. That is why I intend to vote for him as soon as he can help other leaders finish organizing the new world government that we have been so desperately seeking for years
"We consider him an Asian since he was raised in Indonesia, and so we know that he will always do what is best for Asia."
Even after admitting to possessing unlicensed likenesses of the president after an interrogation by the Secret Service and then being forced to pay 61 rupees in royalties, Heem said he admired and respected the Nobel Prize-winning leader.
"I think the King Obama deserves the next Nobel Peace Prize, too," Heem said. "He should get it for sending more troops to Afghanistan, something President Bush should have done a long time ago."