Ordinary Americans are struggling to pay their bill in the middle of a recession. The budget deficit is at record level. First Lady Michelle Obama has ignored these facts and increased the First Lady staff size by almost 30%. Laura Bush had a staff of 17 people at a cost of $1.28 million. Michelle Obama has increased that to 22 employees at a cost of $1,495,700 per year.
The first lady of the United States is not elected, has no constitutional duties and receives no salary, but that doesn't mean the position is without its privileges – including a staff of 22 White House employees who make a combined nearly $1.5 million per year.
Various journalists have scoured the White House's annual report to Congress on the West Wing payroll and listed those names that serve as members First Lady Michelle Obama's staff. Combined, their salaries total $1,495,700.
By comparison, a similar examination of the 2008 payroll, printed in the Washington Post, shows First Lady Laura Bush tallied 17 staffers, who combined made roughly $1.28 million.