To translate the Jay Carney-speak, the answer here is “yes, taxpayers paid for her party”:
“The first lady had her 50th birthday party and I believe you said that the president picks up the cost for that party?” asked ABC’s chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl.
“I think we put out information on that,” Carney said. “I don’t have it here. I refer you to the East Wing.” The White House’s East Wing includes the office space for the first lady and her staff.
“I was just wondering if you have an estimate on what the cost was?” Karl prodded. “I don’t, but I would refer you to the East Wing,” Carney said, putting an end to this line of questioning.
Of course taxpayers ate the cost, which is why they didn’t want any of the guests putting out pictures on social media. But I don’t know what the big deal is about not wanting to publicize who paid for a birthday party, especially after it’s well-known that taxpayers had already paid for FLOTUS’ extended stay in Hawaii as Barack’s generous “birthday present” to his wife.