Having a president costs money. Even the most-ardent fiscal conservative should be able to admit that taxpayer money can and should be used for the maintenance of the presidency. The White House needs repairs. The president needs to be able to travel. And, of course, we cannot have much of a republic if the president is getting whacked every other month, so a Secret Service detail is absolutely necessary.
However, while the taxpayers should be willing to fork-over cash for white paint, jet fuel and the little coiled wires that protrude out of every Secret Service agent’s ear, are we obliged to shell-out millions for lavish two-week Hawaiian vacations each and every year?
Like a low-level bureaucrat, President Obama likes to combine work and play in order to avoid paying his own way. He’s prone to taking “business trips” that include lavish accommodations for him, his wife and daughters and even his mother-in-law.
I love my mother-in-law, but I can scarcely recall the last time she accompanied me on a business trip.
According to a new report from Judicial Watch, the fierce government watchdog group, Obama’s lavish two-week Hawaiian vacation cost taxpayers a whopping $3.6 million for flight expenses alone.
That does not include accommodations for Secret Service personnel and the associated expenses that come with relocating the presidency across the country for half-a-month.
The 15-day Christmas vacation cost taxpayers $3,590,313.60 in flight expenses for Air Force One and a Boeing C-32A used to ferry Michelle Obama.
To date, the known travel expenses for Obama and Vice President Biden have totaled more than $78 million.
The Washington Free Beacon reports on the not-too-shabby flights for the President and First Lady:
According to the Air Force records, the per-hour flight cost for Air Force One is $180,118 and the same cost for the Boeing C-32A is $15,846. The Obamas flew 18.2 hours in Air Force one, putting the total cost of travel on the aircraft at $3,278,147.60. The flight time for the Boeing C-32A was 19.7 hours, which cost $312,166.
The passenger cabin of the Boeing C-32A is broken into four sections, one of which is designated for the “primary passenger” and features “a changing area, private lavatory, separate entertainment system, two first-class swivel seats, and a convertible divan that seats three and folds out to a bed,” according to a fact sheet provided by the U.S. Air Force.
The aircraft also features a communications center, a conference and staff facility, and multiple lavatories and closets.
Meanwhile, though Obama lives a life of luxury that would make Louis XVI blush, Obama has repeatedly urged Americans to be more-focused on the needs of the poor and has continually promoted wealth redistribution as a means of achieving a more-equal society.
It’s good to be the king.