Obama staffers said his state of the nation speech this past Tuesday was "Reaganesque". Seems Barack isn't the only Obama copying the Reagans. Michelle is borrowing jewelry and designer gowns, like Nancy did, and not reporting it. But now she's been found out.
But wait! Remember the outrage at the clothes the RNC bought for the Palins? What did Michelle Obama have to say about that, a few short months ago, on the October 27 Jay Leno show?
"We buy the clothes we wear."
And, to further make her point, she told Jay Leno:
""I mean, especially a VP pick, it's like being shot out of a cannon ... All of a sudden, you are the center of attention. But our policy has always been whatever we wear, for us, we buy."
What a liar.
Tell that to Jason Wu and the other designers and jewelers who have given her freebies to wear, including a pair of diamond earrings valued at $17,313, and that inauguration gown. Even though Michelle's press secretary claims they paid for the clothes, an article in the New York times quotes the designers as saying they did not charge the Obamas.
The Obamas have also accepted free custom clothes for their kids from J. Crew. On the day that gift was announced, the company’s stock increased by 10.6 percent.
“The transactions are clearly taxable,” says Richard Rampell, a Palm Beach, Fla., accountant whose clients include several of the island’s billionaires. “The designers are indirectly paying Michelle Obama to go and display their wares. And they get a huge economic value for it, just as if they were paying a model to do this. If they are paying her in this indirect way by lending her their clothes, then she is actually performing a service for the designer, and she should have to recognize as income whatever the value is of the clothes that she got.”
Aside from the tax implications, Obama is obligated to report the value of the clothes she has received free of charge on government forms mandated by the Ethics in Government Act."
So what if she donates these clothes to charity? According to Rampell:
“If somebody gives her a dress and it’s worth $6,000, and she’s not expected to return it, then she has $6,000 worth of income, or she’s received a $6,000 gift,” he says. “I’m sure that the company is deducting the cost of that dress — the cost of manufacturing, the design, the materials and all that other stuff. And then when she gives it away to the charity, then she gets a charitable contribution for it.”
While some articles in the press have reported that the clothes or jewelry were given to her free of charge or lent to her, none has criticized Obama or compared her practices with Nancy Reagan’s. Instead, the articles have swooned over her fashion sense."