I’m not sure what’s going on in the head of a person who thinks that White House tours are more important than other duties of government personnel; in this case it’s secret service agents who would be used on other posts to cut back on overtime, or possibly fill in in more important duties if agents are furloughed.
I think that trying to hide the effects of the sequester is a mistake, as the Smithsonian is doing. By keeping normal hours and cutting other expenses, the public gets the impression that the sequester is no big deal. This is short-sighted, though. You can appear to save money by not changing the oil in your car, too, but eventually it costs you more than the savings. This is not business as usual, and I think it’s a mistake to present that facade.