Think back to the last vacation you took… I’ll wait… if you are anything like me, it might take a few minutes to remember back that far. As you know, I’ve written on this topic before, and had left off at sixteen Obama family vacations in his first four years. I can agree that official travel, trips that are necessary to the office of President, are to be expected, Presidential vacations should not be taxpayer responsibility. We’re still in a recession people!
The cost per hour to run Air Force One (which was obtained by a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made by the Washington Times) went up to $228,288 in 2013, which is a 27% increase since I last wrote about this. That makes vacations even more expensive, and the Obamas like to travel hours and hours away. As I said, Presidential vacations should not be taxpayer responsibility. I have to pay for my own, when I can eke out a few extra dollars to actually take one. The Obama’s should have to pay for their own. And yes, I think that means paying for the enormous amount of staff it takes to travel, cost for Air Force One and their hotel bills. Maybe if they had to pay for it, they’d take quite a few less!
Picking up where I left off last column, Malia and Sasha spent time in March of last year partying it up at the posh Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. Although Judicial Watch requested the information regarding the cost to taxpayers through a FOIA request, no reports have surfaced that they got it. Estimates for this little vacation for the First Daughters are in the neighborhood of $200,000 based on the $115, 000 it cost Malia to go to Mexico for vacation the year before.
Then there was the $100 million dollar trip to Africa. This trip apparently required the use of a Navy aircraft carrier to be on call for whatever His Highness needed. It was fully equipped with military cargo planes to fly a fleet of fifty-six support vehicles to transport the Obamas which included fourteen limousines and three trucks carrying bulletproof glass to cover the windows of the hotels where the Obamas were to stay. Oh, then there was the fleet of fighter jets that flew in shifts to provide coverage over the president’s airspace for the entire trip.
Then June came and it was time for Michelle to go to Europe again. Ireland, to be exact. That little two day jaunt cost us $5,000,000. She stayed at a $3,300-per-night hotel in Dublin. Her staff and security team took up 30 rooms at the classy Shelbourne Hotel.
Time for the annual jaunt to Hawaii for Christmas/New Year. 15 days this year. Last I checked the Obamas were from Illinois. If they want to go home for the holidays, I’m sure Chicago would be cheaper. Plus no hotel costs. Given that the 2012/2013 trip cost taxpayers more than $4 million dollars, this one probably is in the same neighborhood, although the airtime alone was $5.7 million. I’ve never been to Hawaii. I hear it’s lovely… and expensive.
Next up, mini-vaca to Florida. Early this month, the Obama’s went to Key West, ostensibly for POTUS to speak at a local school, but why does his speech mean that the whole family goes? Ok, so airtime alone cost the taxpayers approximately $2.5 million dollars and then there was the squad of five government helicopters, contingent of about fifty Secret Service Agents and hotel stays. Oh, and the poor stressed man made sure he spent a lot of time golfing at the exclusive Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo. Not to be left out of the vacation frenzy, the Bidens decided to spend the same weekend in the US Virgin Islands. No word on their travel costs, or who paid. I think we all know who got to foot that bill.
Currently, Michelle, both kids and her mother are now in China staying in an $8400/night hotel for 8 days. It’s a thirteen hour flight from DC to Beijing. So round trip, flight time is costing us a whopping $6 million dollars. Hotel suites, as I’m assuming Michelle, her mother and the girls occupied at least three suites, is running about $202,000. I have no idea how many rooms they required at that hotel, or what they run a night for how many staff and Secret Service members. Then there is all the transportation costs while there. I’m guessing that the total cost will certainly be released by the White House any day now. I’ll hold my breath…
Oh, and Martha’s Vineyard is on the calendar for this Summer! Isn’t that just so nice? Remember that it only cost $1.2 million last year just in flights, so adding in a bit more for the hike in flight costs I’m guestimating we need to pony up about $1.5 million this year. Yay for us! Hope they bring us back a souvenir!
Note to the POTUS, FLOTUS and their daughters: The American people are sick to death of footing the bill for your never ending series of vacations. I have had exactly three maybe four vacations in the last 10+ years. You obnoxious, greedy people have gone on twenty-three in the last six years. All on my dime. STOP IT! Try a few staycations this year like most other American’s have to do, if they can even staycation at all!
Image: Courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/usarmyafrica/3773067890/in/ photostream/