Remember just two years ago when President Obama paid a visit to Pennsylvania’s Allentown Metal Works plant?

Should this nation’s voters ever forget that Obama then announced that this was the kind of factory that his $800 billion spending stimulus would keep open?

Well, former governor of Massachusetts and presidential candidate Mitt Romney has just paid a visit to Allentown Metal Works, where he declared:

“Look around you. This is what he called a symbol of hope.”

Romney’s news conference was held in front of this factory’s padlocked gates. And Romney noted:

“There are weeds, boarded-up windows. This was the stop he picked to symbolize the success of the stimulus. My eyes tell me it ain’t working. … He’s out of his depth when it comes to getting the economy going. It’s just not something he understands.”

Repeatedly calling Obama “a failure,” Romney talked about his own 25-year career in business investment, building start-up companies into job-creators – a process he said Obama “knows nothing about.”

This was reported in the Donald Lambro syndicated column, headlined, “Closed Factories Symbolize Obama’s Economic Woes,” which noted the following:

“With the nation’s 9.1 percent unemployment rate worse than it was when Obama took office in 2009, and the economy slowing down to less than 2 percent growth …”

Right along with this nationally grim economic news came additional news from the White House. This additional news must have been infuriating to the millions of our nation’s unemployed – especially those so long without a job that they face, or already have suffered, loss of unemployment assistance.

The headline:

“141 White House staffers make six figures.”

This news story included the following, which hardly suggests either Obama devotion to economy or any White House sympathy for the unemployed:

“One out of every three White House employees makes at least $100,000 a year, according to data released by the White House on Friday.

“Top earners pull down a salary of $172,200 a year …

“White House Press Secretary Jay Carney makes $172,200, as does counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, speechwriter Jon Favreau, adviser David Plouffe and Chief of Staff Bill Daley.”

An Internet report headlined, “White House Staffers Got a Raise Last Year, And You Did Not,” reported:

  • “Seventy-five percent of the continuing White House salaries were raised from 2009 to 2010 – a huge number given the fact that, according to compensation experts, most companies had skipped routine raises this year, in reaction to the economic crisis the White House was busy failing to solve. … The average White House salary increase was 8 percent.”


  • “One of Obama’s first acts as president was to freeze the salaries of all White House officials earning more than $100,000 because ‘during this period of economic emergency, families are tightening their belts and so should Washington.’ Two years later, he extended the policy to all federal workers, using the same logic: ‘Small businesses and families are tightening their belts. Their government should too.’ But the across-the-board freeze didn’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2011, so the most recent report (which goes back to July 2010) features some eye-opening raises, like special assistant to the president for economic policy Matthew Vogel’s $59,000, 82-percent raise to an annual salary of $130,500, or director of African-American media Kevin Lewis’ $36,000, 86-percent pay hike.”

All this leaves the compelling question: Have the number – and costs to the taxpayers – of the staffers of the president and the first lady shown either restraint or compassion for the millions of Americans unemployed?

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