That’s easy. The Congressional Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 2008 indicates that the yearly operating expense of the White House was $12,814,000. Or, about $35,106 a day. These expenses include: “maintenance, repair and alteration, refurnishing, improvement, heating, and lighting, including electric power and fixtures, of the Executive Residence at the White House and official entertainment expenses of the President…”
If only the answer were that simple to procure.
The real answer is exceedingly complicated. In addition to the annual congressional budget for the operation of the White House, there are over 22 other budget accounts, in 13 different departments, that pay the expenses and salaries of the White House staff.
Defining what constitutes “The White House” is also difficult. In his book, To Serve the President, Bradley H. Patterson argues that there are 23 separate accounts that make up the costs of the White House. Some of these accounts include the President’s Salary, the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Security Council, the Department of State, and so on. As Patterson notes, finding the real cost of the White House is almost impossible. The funding for these various White House functions are buried within numerous appropriation bills, some of which are classified.
However, Patterson provides a ball park figure by tallying the following expenses.
Total Cost of the Whole White House for Fiscal Year 2008
Total Cost of All White House Elements, for fiscal year 2008: $1,592,875,254
(This total does not include classified expenses or donations)
$1.5 billion is a lot of money. $4,364,041/day, to be precise. But keep in mind, this is for the Executive Office of the United States of America, which is more than just a building.
Image by Scott Ableman.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
By Stephen M.