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FIRST LADY OF LUXURY TRAVEL: THE COSTLY TRIPS
SPAIN: AUGUST 2010
- Michelle Obama and 40 of her friends paid for personal expenses, such as hotels and meals themselves.
- But the U.S. taxpayer would have paid for the 68-strong security detail, personal staff and use of presidential jet Air Force Two.
- Payment for the secret service team ran at around $281 each - nearly $98,000 for the duration of the summer break.
- Use of Air Force Two comes in at $149,900 for the round trip, not including time on the ground.
- Mrs Obama's personal staff, of which there were an unknown number, should also be taken into account
HAWAII: DECEMBER 2010According to the Hawaii Reporter the costs were:
- $63,000 on an early flight bringing Mrs Obama and the children to Hawaii ahead of the President
- $1,000,000 on Mr Obama’s return trip from Washington on Air Force One
- $16,000 to rent nearby homes for Secret Service and Navy Seals
- $134,000 for 24 White House staff to stay at the Moana Hotel
- $251,000 in police overtime
- $10,000 for an ambulance to be on hand at all times
SKI TRIP TO VAIL: FEBRUARY 2011
- Michelle Obama and her daughters stayed at the Sebastian hotel on Vail Mountain, where rooms cost more than $2,400 for multi-bedroom suites.
- The family appear to have flown there on Air Force Two.
- They were escorted to the resort by about a dozen vehicles, including 15 state and local law enforcement officers.
MARTHA'S VINEYARD: AUGUST 2011
- The Blue Heron Farm estate, where the Obama family stayed, rents for about $50,000 a week.
- Michelle, Sasha and Malia Obama flew to the estate just hours before the president to make the most of the holiday - again, incurring extra flight costs.
- According to U.S. News and World Report, the Coast Guard was required to keep ships floating near the property. The presidential helicopter and jet remain at the ready and security agents will be on 24-hour duty.
HAWAII: DECEMBER 2011
According to the Hawaii Reporter the costs were:
- $63,000 on an early flight bringing Mrs Obama and the children to Hawaii ahead of the President but add security and personnel for a total of about $100,000
- $3,271,622 on Mr Obama’s return trip from Washington on Air Force One
- $151,200 to rent nearby homes for Secret Service and Navy Seals
- $72,216 for 24 White House staff to stay at the Moana Hotel
In 2012, the Obamas' 17-day vacation to Hawaii cost taxpayers $4.1 million.
The Hawaii Reporter estimates that the total cost of the vacation to Hawaii and federal taxpayers, including funding for travel, staff and protection, is at least $4 million. Obama’s vacations are more expensive than those of previous presidents because of the huge costs to fly Air Foce One and an accompanying cargo plane for nine hours or so to Hawaii.
With the staff, special forces, local police presence and equipment, the President's visit adds up annually to at least a $4 million vacation courtesy of the Hawaii and federal taxpayers.
While the President and his friends pay for their own rental homes, taxpayers pick up the cost of security and waterfront housing for the Secret Service, Navy Seals and Coast Guard as well as staff accommodations at a plush beachfront Waikiki hotel.
The biggest expense is Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii via Air Force One.
A Congressional Research Service report released in May 2012 said the plane typically used by the President, a Boeing 747, costs $179,750 per hour to operate. The U.S. Air Force has listed the cost of travel as high as $181,757 per flight hour.
Travel time for Air Force One direct from Washington D.C. to Hawaii is about 9 hours or as high as $1,635,813 each way for a total of $3,271,622 for the round trip to Hawaii and back.
The cost for USAF C-17 cargo aircraft that transports the Presidential limos, helicopters and other support equipment to Hawaii has never been disclosed in the years the President has traveled to Hawaii. However, the flight time between Andrews Air Force Base and Hawaii is at about 21.5 hours roundtrip, with estimated operating cost of $12,000 per hour. (Source: GAO report, updated by C-17 crew member). The United States Marine Corps provides a presidential helicopter, along with pilots and support crews for the test flights, which travel on another C-17 flight. That is $258,000, not including costs for the 4 to 6 member crew's per diem and hotel.
Golf Double Standard:
The Press That Hated Bush Golfing Loves Obama’s Leisure Time
The frustratingly awesome game of golf is tarnished through association with either one of these two imbeciles.