After blowing nearly a half-million dollars on a Spanish shopping spree, MICHELLE OBAMA has plans to spend a whopping $2 million in the coming year – while the nation struggles with its worst recession ever.
Nearly 15 million people are unemployed, but that hasn’t stopped the first lady from “spending like Marie Antoinette” and appearing to live it up “like a lottery winner,” fume outraged critics.
Worried White House advisers have told the president he quickly needs to get his wife “under control” because her reckless spending – on trips, shopping and redecorating – is sending an intensely negative message to Americans in a bad economy and could undermine his re-election plans.
“The president’s advisers hit the roof recently when they found out Michelle was arranging other exotic trips in the new year with girlfriends – on top of sprucing up their White House living quarters and her plans to do some redecorating at their home back in Chicago,” disclosed a top Washington source.
“They’ve estimated that all the spending will top more than $2 million!”
While the first family was in Martha’s Vineyard on an end-of-summer vacation, Michelle’s hush-hush makeover of her husband’s Oval Office was completed. The White House had to quickly point out it was done without cost to taxpayers by the nonprofit White House Historical Association.
But critics insist it sent the wrong message to a belt-tightening public, and a New York Times columnist pointed out that in 2009 when Obama released his first budget, he said: “There are times when you can afford to redecorate your house, and there are times when you need to focus on rebuilding its foundation.”
Confided a D.C. insider: “Michelle was behind the redesign of her husband’s office, but the last thing he needs is an electorate thinking she’s living it up like a lottery winner.
“They’ll flip if she takes more exotic vacations – and they won’t care if renovations to the White House living quarters and their house back in Chicago are done by benefactors. It still sends the wrong message.”
As The ENQUIRER first reported, Michelle and her entourage recently spent five days in Spain, ringing up some $500,000 in expenses – much of it on the taxpayers’ tab, say sources.
On top of that, the stylish first lady “loves top-dollar designer duds and hosting fancy dinner parties,” said a Beltway insider. “The bad economy seems to have no effect on her.”