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FILE - In this June 27, 2012 file photo, President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, arrive at the Congressional picnic on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) FILE - In this June 27, 2012 file photo, President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, arrive at the Congressional picnic on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)  

Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion on Obama family last year, perks questioned in new book

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Here is a sample of other pricey taxpayer funded perks exclusively reserved for the president:

The president can to appoint high-paid staffers without Senate confirmation: Obama has 469 senior staffers and 226 are paid more than $100,000 a year, according to the book. Seventy-seven are paid as much as $172,000 per year. He also has appointed 43 “czars.”

The president can vacation for free at Camp David: Gray writes that each round trip made to Camp David costs the taxpayers $25,350. It’s also estimated that the combined transportation and personnel costs for a Camp David visit are $295,000 per night.

The president has a full-time movie projectionist in the White House theater: Projectionists sleep at the White House and are there 24 hours a day in case anyone needs to see a movie. “Compared to the 450 times President Carter used the movie theater in his four years in the White House, the average American citizen, according to industry statistics, goes out to see a movie slightly less than five times a year,” Gray writes.

The president’s family’s gets certain travel and security expenses paid while vacationing: “First Lady Michelle Obama drew flack from the media and irate citizens when it was disclosed that, not counting Saturdays and Sundays, she spent 42 days on vacation — within the span of one year.”

The president’s dog gets its own high-paid staffer: “Bo made the news when he and his handler were flown to join the president on vacation in Maine,” Gray wrote about the Obama family dog. “It has been reported that the first family’s dog handler was paid $102,000, last year.”

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