WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA9) -- Can you tell the difference between White House invitations crafted by a quarter-million dollar calligraphy staff and the fake one made using a regular computer and printer for pocket change?
The computer printed invitation would likely be spotted by Secret Service agents in a second, but when we asked you in person, most of you couldn't tell the difference.
The Weekly Standard called out the $277,050 expense in a Daniel Harper column juxtaposing that expense against the most high profile White House sequestration cut.
"With the White House closing its doors to public tour groups in order to save money for the sequester, it's worth remembering some of the other costs the White House incurs annually," Harper wrote. "Despite sequestration, there's been no announcement of the White House scaling back on calligraphers."
In an undated C-Span video, a staff calligrapher says they hand craft master invitations, placards, citations, and award which are printed and then often hand personalized with the recipient's name.
"It may seem insignificant in the big pile of money we need, but every little bit helps," wrote Jocelyn Kennedy. "There needs to be more of this kind of things done away with."
"I would not be insulted if I got a thermography invitation," wrote Facebook fan Lauren F Rutley. "That said, what would happen to all the newly unemployed calligraphers? "
Other defended the craft as an important tool in diplomacy.
" Many foreign leaders would find the typically-American preference for informality disrespectful, which could threaten negotiations before they begin," wrote Tim Flavin. "State dinner invitations should not look like they were laser-printed on stationery from Target."
The calligraphy staff and hand written invitations are not unique to the Obama White House.
The best invitation sample we could find was from the George W. Bush Administration and the oldest was issued by John Quincy Adams in 1801.
Both images were provided by the White House Historical Association.
The White House did not respond to our request for comment