Cut Carter's house from budget


Ever since the financial meltdown of 2008, politicians on all points of the political spectrum have been championing budget cut after budget cut. It seems odd then, that no one has thought to cut the cost of upkeep for former President Jimmy Carter's private home. Most people are unaware that taxpayers are footing the bill for cleaning Carter's residence — but they should be aware, especially considering the heft of that particular price tag. Last year alone, $67, 841 of taxpayer money was spent on cleaning the house. We have a simple question — why haven't we cut this from the federal budget yet?

Taxpayers are responsible for the upkeep of Carter's home because of a deal he brokered with the National Park Service. In exchange for cleaning the Carter residence on a regular basis, the government will be allowed to add the house to the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site when Carter and his wife die. We are all for maintaining historic sites in the United States, since that is an integral part of celebrating our cultural heritage as a nation. But the government, the National Park Service and Carter all need to realize that our nation is still in a recession. Our wallets just are not as fat as they used to be. All across the United States, integral services are being cut — police departments, fire departments, public education and so on. It is safe to say that keeping Carter's house clean is not as important as any of the aforementioned services, and yet no one has decided to cut it from the federal budget.

Carter of all people is the kind of former president one expects to readily recognize when he has to make some sacrifices for the good of his nation. He is, after all, the man who turned down the thermostat and put on a sweater to conserve energy while in office. If he is the same man who did that, he should be the first to step up and offer the federal government a break while the nation tries to recover from serious financial losses.

"Most people around here wouldn't think it's worth the effort, but it's symbolic," said Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, who is chairman of the subcommittee that oversees that park system. He is certainly right about the first part — shelling out more than $67,000 to keep a house clean is something the United States just cannot afford right now. Besides, we are confident that Carter can afford to keep his home clean on his own.


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