by Beth Perry
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
The political accountability watchdog group, Judicial Watch, had been trying since August, 2013 to get the U.S. Dept. of the Air Force to turn over documentation of the flight expenditures incurred that year for three vacation trips made by President Obama and his family. The documentation was turned over only after Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the department. When the information finally arrived, the cost of these vacations was eye-popping:
Flight expenditures for the Obama 2012-2013 family Honolulu Christmas tallied up to a sum of $4,086, 355.20 for taxpayers.
Flight expenditure for Obama’s wining & dining trip to California in August, when he also appeared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno came to a sumptuous total of $2,145,907.20.
The Obama family vacation to Martha’s Vineyard (again in August) cost us a kingly $1,164,268.80.
These figures represent only in flight expenses; and these three vacations are just a fraction of the trips the President and/or his family have enjoyed since he took office. There have been more exotic excursions, like the First Lady’s trip to Spain, the family vacation in Ireland followed by the sight-seeing venture to Africa–which the WH touted as a “bang for our buck”. Over the last four months alone, the Obamas vacationed to Hawaii for the Christmas holidays (the President, in his generosity, gifted his wife with a private extension of that trip as an early birthday present). In February, the First Lady and daughters spent Presidents Day weekend skiing in Aspen while the President surrounded himself with golf buddies at the Sunnylands retreat in California. And just this month the Obama family was treated to an outing in Key Largo, FL.
“What the president will be doing this weekend in Florida is essentially what the president would be doing back at the White House,” deputy press secretary Joshua Earnest told reporters about this last mini-vacation. While the President did make a few calls to European leaders about the Ukraine-Russian hostilities, he didn’t let this or the still high unemployment rate impede on fun time. He played golf at the exclusive and very pricey-to-join Ocean Reef Club.
The First Family may be back in DC right now, but expect another jet fuel refill later this month when the First Lady takes off for China. She says her visit will focus on, “the power and importance of education”. The WH has not released an estimated price tag for this educational stint, but we know she plans to take along her daughters and her mother.
Some of us may wonder, if Mrs. Obama is so concerned about education, wouldn’t her time be better spent going to NYC, where she could confront Mayor de Blasio about his ongoing attack against charter schools? Support for charter schools was a repeated promise during her husband’s first presidential campaign, wasn’t it? It would be an excellent opportunity for her to invoke her message about the power and importance of education. With NYC not so far from DC, she could even just make the trip via an executive limo and save us all a bill on the jet fuel.
But I imagine such a suggestion would come across as too bourgeois for the tastes of our jet-setting First Lady. The Obamas look forward to their lavish vacations; their extended family members look forward to them, their celebrity entourages look forward to them. The President has his golfing habit to satisfy, his basketball games to attend, his television appearances to get to.1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has become a place for the globetrotting Obamas to cool their heels between travels. At this point, expecting them to view the White House as anything more than a pit stop would be unrealistic. We’d have a better chance of someone among our alleged fiscally-conservative elected officials to propose a statutory limit on Presidential holidays.
For the typically accommodating person, telling a pampered child, “No” requires searching for backbone. And I just don’t see any of our lawmakers embarking on that journey any time soon.
The Queen entertains fools
and polishes her jewels
before sailing for fair Tuscany.
The King steals from the poor
and taxes for more
and tosses the worn coins in the sea.
Beth Perry is a fiscally conservative Libertarian and a follower of Norse Traditionalism. She is known as a writer of children’s stories and as a contributor to Hubpages. Under her pen name, Anya Howard, she has authored several Romance novels and stories. Happily married and mother of four, Beth lives in the Smokey Mountains region of Tennessee where she has never made moonshine – though she has been known to dance under it. See: http://bethperry.hubpages.com/ http://anyahoward.com