First Lady Michelle Obama recently returned from a weeklong trip to China with her daughters Malia and Sasha and her mother Marian Robinson. No word yet on how much that jaunt cost. On Tuesday, Glenn reported President Obama had traveled to Europe with a 900-person entourage. It’s safe to say the American taxpayers will be on the hook for a pretty penny. And now Judicial Watch has released official documentation obtained through the Freedom of Information Act that sheds light on the monstrous cost involved in operating Air Force One.
In June 2013, the Obamas visited Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania. The Washington Post estimated the 7-day trip cost $100 million, and Judicial Watch reports the Africa trip required 35.5 flight hours at a cost of $228,288 per flying hour. The grand total for Air Force One: $8,104,224.
You may recall the Obama family spent Christmas and New Year’s in Honolulu. The per hour flying cost for this trip came in slightly lower at $210,877. According to the documents obtained by Judicial Watch, Air Force One operation costs for that trip totaled $7,781,361.30.
So the total cost to the U.S. taxpayer just for Air Force One is: $15,885,585.30.
See the entire document HERE.
As Breitbart reported, these new documents from Judicial Watch come on the heels of February reports that the first family’s 8-day vacation in Martha’s Vineyard August 2013 had the American people on the hook for $1,164,268.60 in flight costs alone.
While all presidents are forced to travel with tremendous security for official business and all first families are entitled to go on vacation, the optics aren’t good for the Obama Administration. As the President preaches income inequality, his family jet sets to opposite sides of the world on the backs of the American people.
On radio this morning, Pat, Stu, and Jeffy looked at President Obama’s travel compared to that of other recent presidents. President George W. Bush, for example, spent most of his ‘vacations’ at his Crawford, Texas ranch, which essentially became a contained outpost of the White House.
“Air Force One is essentially the White House in the sky, right? You could basically run the country from there. So it's a pretty impressive vehicle,” Stu said. “However, that also was the case with Crawford, Texas. Essentially, it became… the southern White House. And it was a working White House, where they would actually do the work that they would do in the White House… Obviously some of the expenses are built in and there's a lot of crossover. But it's not like he's going somewhere expensive or Hawaii or somewhere like that.”
The guys couldn’t help but consider how the media would have reacted to these astronomical costs and lavish vacations had the Bush family been taking the types of trips the Obama family is now.
“If Laura Bush and Jenna and Barbara had gone to China by themselves, with W's mom… can you imagine the uproar there would have been on taxpayer expense,” Pat concluded. “You would have heard an endless barrage of it, and really there is no outcry over this… But if this was George W. Bush, it would be outrageous. But with the Obamas, just doesn't matter. [It’s] perfectly fine.”
Front page image courtesy of the AP