It would seem that the waste of taxpayer’s money knows no bounds with Democrats anymore. Just recently we learned of Nancy Pelosi’s high-flying, top-shelf, habits aboard the Air Force plane that she was granted in the post-9/11 era. Now it seems that we are all paying for Jimmy Carter to have pretty flowers and a clean pool…
“The tennis court at former President Jimmy Carter‘s private home is swept twice a day, his pool is cleaned daily and his grass cut, his flower beds weeded and his windows washed on a regular basis — all at taxpayers’ expense.”
This information comes courtesy of a Washington Times article dated for the February 1 edition. It goes on to report that we paid the bill for upkeep of his Georgia home to the tune of $67,841 last year alone. To be clear, it is not uncommon for the National Park Service to assist in preserving former President’s homes but it is unheard of for that assistance to come while that President is still living in the home. Typically, a childhood home or place of longtime residence is turned into a historical site after the eventual passing of the President. But that is not the case here as President Jimmy Carter and his wife enjoy first-class property maintenance without paying for it. Here is what the article lists as the kind of care the property is receiving:
“The list of daily maintenance, financed with taxpayer dollars, includes clearing the driveway, walkway and tennis court, picking up trash along the road that runs by the home, clearing tree branches that have fallen along the estate’s walking trails and cleaning the pool.
On a weekly basis, the Park Service removes cobwebs, mows grass around the estate’s pond and weeds the flower beds, and on a less frequent basis clears leaves from the pool’s pump house and washes the windows of the home.”
Through the years there have been many ex-President’s homes that have been granted as life estates to the National Park Service. Two such arrangements are detailed in the article…
“Dwight D. Eisenhower‘s 1967 agreement on his working farm in Gettysburg, Pa., exempted him from paying property taxes, but taxpayers did not pay for maintenance to the home, according to his presidential library.Eisenhower and his wife continued to run their 230-acre farm and were responsible for all maintenance and upkeep. After he died, his wife, Mamie, was granted a special-use permit to live at the house and use the surrounding 14 acres, and she remained responsible for insurance, repairs and maintenance costs.
Lyndon B. Johnson also signed a life estate agreement with the Park Service, but neither his presidential library nor the Park Service at the Johnson National Historic Park has a copy of the document, so it’s unclear what agreement they reached.”
A significant difference can be made here… these former Presidents made it a point to take care of their responsibilities unlike the nutty peanut farmer from Georgia. However, the Park Service spokesman says that they learned from the Eisenhower estate that sometimes upkeep isn’t quite as good when left to the former Presidents. Do we really think that clearing the driveway, walkway and tennis court, picking up trash along the road that runs by the home daily will keep this residence in better shape than the Eisenhower estate? Seriously, can we scale back some of this or instruct the former President who spent so many able-bodied years building homes under the Habitat For Humanity banner to provide for his own property’s upkeep?
Important to note that although this agreement was signed in 1987 by President Reagan after passing through Congress, there were concerns from the beginning about expenses. The “lawmakers added language making sure the government didn’t spend too much to refurbish Plains High School.” This High School has actually been folded into the estate and is therefore part of the overall daily grounds keeping expenses. The article finishes with one more nugget:
“The budget for the overall Carter National Historic Site has grown 32 percent over five years, from $1.29 million in 2006 to a request of $1.704 million in 2010.”
Haven’t we done enough for you Mr.Carter? For someone who professes to have the concerns of the common working man at heart, he sure does enjoy the fruits of our labor!
**Just a footnote for comparison and cited in the article:
“A 2002 law authorized the government to buy the Reagan boyhood home, but the Park Service‘s offer was rejected by the Reagan Boyhood Home Preservation Foundation.”