This article originally appeared on watchdog.org.
The King of Pop has absolutely nothing on President Barack Obama.
The now-deceased Michael Jackson, he of crotch-grabbing, a white glove, and extreme opulence, once held the record for most expensive music video in the history of the world.
As Forbes reported last fall, Michael and his sister, pop princess Janet Jackson, spent more than $10 million on the music video for â??Screamâ?ť, which might have been worth the cost, as the duo won a Grammy for the production.
Elderly pop queen Madonna holds spots two, three and four in the top five list. She spent more than $20 million on the three videos, including $9.4 million for â??Express Yourself.â?ť
JacksonÂ rounds out the top 5, with $6.9 million for his â??Black or Whiteâ?ť video.
Even combined, those productions donâ??t hold a candle to Obamaâ??s spending on music videos.
His tab? $340 million and rising.
Were you unaware of Obamaâ??s exorbitant spending on something so trivial? Many are, so letâ??s step back in time a bit.
In late 2013, Cover Oregon, a state-backed and approved Obamacare exchange, began airing two totally hipster television ads that made national news because, well, they didnâ??t actually advertise much of anything and they were really, really, really weird. Like, really weird.
Here are the words of one of the ads:
We fly with our own wings. Care about the same things. We stand strong together. So let me hear you say. We fly with our own wings. Dreaminâ?? all the big dreams. Long live Oregonians; weâ??re free to be healthy. Long live Oregonians; weâ??re free to be healthy.
Ready to buy Obamacare? We thought so.
Americans for Tax Reform called them â??acid-trip TV ads,â?ť and pundits across the country, including Obama apologist John Oliver, mocked the two ads produced.
Still, Cover Oregon was hailed for its innovation and early progress in building a system that would eventually sign up people for subsidized health coverage.
Fast-forward to this week and youâ??ll see a shocking story of waste, corruption and taxpayer abuse. Oregonâ??s new governor, Democrat Kate Brown, dissolved Cover Oregon and transferred its duties to a state agency.
From its onset, though, Cover Oregon was a dismal failure. It couldnâ??tÂ sign up Oregonians for months after its initial launch due to tech failures, which forced state residents to submit paper applications for coverage.
When the agency ironed out some of its tech problems, it only signed up less than a quarter of its goal.
The dissolution comes after $340 million in total spending, including $300 million in federal dollars.
But the sagaâ??s not done yet. The state and federal government may pay up to $30 million to bring Oregon onto the federal exchange. A Cover Oregon vendor is also suing for as much as $23 million, which could add to the tab.
On the bright side, the state is suing that vendor, Oracle, for $5.5 billion in damages.
Cover Oregonâ??s legacy, and Obamaâ??s in Oregon, will be of lawsuits, corruption, fraud, waste and, of course, really nifty music videos.
The Wallowa County Chieftain, Enterpriseâ??s newspaper of record,Â offered a scathing censure of the project:
Cover Oregon has now cost $300 million and did not benefit anyone. It signed not a soul up for health insurance. Heck, it didnâ??t pave a road or build a bridge. We didnâ??t even get to buy a Hawaiian island (like the one Oracle founder Larry Eillison purchased for $300 million in 2012) or throw an epic statewide parade. That makes the failed exchange a terrible disappointment and a waste of money, without even mounds of ticker tape to show for it.
Ouch. The paper also wrote this:
It will go down as Oregonâ??s biggest tech debacle ever, and you could exclude the word â??techâ?ť and still make a credible case. The biggest debacle in Oregon government history? It is, as people like to say, in the conversation.
When then-U.S. House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Congress needed to pass Obamacare to find out whatâ??s in it, very few probably imagined spending $400 million on music videos.
In case youâ??re interested, hereâ??s John Oliverâ??s take:
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