By Tom Fitton. Barack Obama’s taxpayer-funded trips are costing taxpayers a pretty penny. Other presidents have certainly pushed the line on this. However, here, one has to ask if the Obamas are really doing the people’s business on these extravagant, spare-no-expense trips across the country and to luxury destinations overseas.
Judicial Watch just obtained records from the U.S. Department of the Air Force revealing that Michelle Obama’s 2014 trip to China cost American taxpayers $362,523.53 in air travel expenses alone. The first lady, her daughters, and her mother spent March 19-26 in China, in a trip highlighted by extended visits to some of the country’s most popular tourist sites. . .
Judicial Watch previously uncovered an expensive combination of trips by the Obamas to Africa and Honolulu, which cost taxpayers $15,885,585.30 in flight expenses alone.
The single largest prior-known expense for accommodations was for Michelle Obama’s side-trip to Dublin, Ireland, during the 2013 G-8 conference in Belfast, when she and her entourage booked 30 rooms at the five-star Shelbourne Hotel, with the first lady staying in the 1,500-square-foot Princess Grace suite at a cost of $3,500 a night. The total cost to taxpayers for the Obamas’ Ireland trip was $7,921,638.66.
To date, the known beyond-first-class travel expenses of the Obamas and Vice President Joe Biden exceed $57 million. (Read more from “Obama Family Vacations Causing Enormous Burden for US Taxpayers” HERE)
38 Obama Vacations Cost Taxpayers Tens of Millions
By WND. How much does the first family cost taxpayers for vacations? While it’s difficult to pin down precise figures, the Washington Examiner reports they have “spent tens of millions in tax dollars to vacation . . .”
Judicial Watch has compiled a list of vacations, fundraisers and other presidential trips and their accompanying expenses. A rough tally of this incomplete list comes to a minimum of $33,441,728.23.
It is routine for the government to cover a president’s travel expenses, which can include security, staff housing and transportation, communication, prepositioning of aircraft and other related expenditures. Some, however, are questioning the sheer cost of travel, and whether such costly vacations are necessary during a weak economy.
Prior to the presidential trip to sub-Saharan Africa during 2013, the Washington Post reported, “Hundreds of U.S. Secret Service agents will be dispatched to secure facilities in Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. A Navy aircraft carrier or amphibious ship, with a fully staffed medical trauma center, will be stationed offshore in case of an emergency. Military cargo planes will airlift in 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines and three trucks loaded with sheets of bullet¬proof glass to cover the windows of the hotels where the first family will stay. Fighter jets will fly in shifts, giving 24-hour coverage over the president’s airspace, so they can intervene quickly if an errant plane gets too close.”
Additionally, “One hundred [Secret Service] agents are needed as ‘post-standers’ – to man security checkpoints and borders around the president – in each of the first three cities he visits. Sixty-five are needed to meet up with Obama in Dar es Salaam. … In addition, 80 to 100 additional agents will be flown in to work rotating shifts, with round-the-clock coverage, for Obama’s and his family’s security details …” (Read more from “Obama Family Vacations Costing Americans Tens of Millions” HERE)
Editor’s note: Earlier today (7/22/15), we posted an excerpt of a story from ConservativeFrontline.com suggesting that the Obama family vacations had cost taxpayers $100 million. We have determined that the source for this article was unreliable and pulled it, replacing it with the above articles documenting at least “$57 million” and “tens of millions of dollars” in vacation expenses rather than “$100 million.” We strive to provide accurate information to our readers and apologize for the earlier, unreliable posting.
Additionally, in fairness, it is important to note that President George W. Bush took significant vacation days while in office, a number that apparently exceeds President Obama’s. However, the costs associated with President Bush’s vacations were likely much lower due to most of them occurring at Bush’s private ranch in Texas.