Acting as one of the most well-traveled Commander-in-Chiefs in U.S. history, President Obama has made several historic trips around the planet. Going from the Czech Republic to India and Cuba, Obama has prioritized foreign policy while flying around for thousands of miles on Air force one – all on the taxpayer dime.
While the First Family enjoys their eighth and final trip to Hawaii, new estimates have put these yearly trips at $3.5 million or more of your money, Americans.
Altogether, the cost accrued from the first family’s personal travel during the last eight years has rang up to a total of $85 million – and it is likely to climb to $90 million after additional records are revealed, according to Judicial Watch and based on federal government records.
The high costs of Air Force One and other government vehicles – including helicopters, cargo planes, armored cars, Secret Service detail along the way, and communications and medical staff – has led Judicial Watch to pressure for less personal travel.
“The Secret Service and the Air Force are being abused by unnecessary travel,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “Unnecessary presidential travel for fundraising and luxury vacations on the taxpayers’ dime would be a good target for reform for the incoming Trump administration.”
Luckily, the budget for the next 8 years under President Donald J. Trump reflects his taste for his own property and money. Trump is spending Christmas at his resort, Mar-a-lago, where he and his family stayed for Thanksgiving. After the election, he spent a weekend at Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey.
On Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe met with President Obama in Pearl harbor 75 years after Japan’s assault on the site. Abe is the fourth Japanese prime minister to have been to Pearl Harbor after the sudden attack in 1941, which lead the U.S. into world war II officially.
Reports stated that the trump’s thanks giving trip to Florida ended up costing $7 million. Congress recently acquired $7 million to payback state and local law enforcement agencies for overtime costs linked with protecting Trump before his inauguration. Palm Beach County states the county spent $250,000 for security support towards Trump during his four-day vacation over thanksgiving – a big difference from Obama’s expensive taste.
The White House even defended Obama’s trip to Hawaii, which is supposedly where the president was born and spend much of his childhood.
“Despite the security apparatus that accompanies any president when traveling, the administration works with the United States Secret Service to minimize the disruptions to local residents and businesses,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said. “Honolulu is a place where the president can enjoy some downtime with his family and friends and he’s grateful for the warm hospitality he enjoys when there.”
Obama went on 28 vacations totaling 217 days, according to Mark Knoll, a CBS News White House correspondent and record keeper. The numbers, however, do not include the latest Hawaii trip, which began Friday and is expected to end Jan. 2.
As if to insult, Obama attended a historic baseball game with Castro in Havana.
By comparison, President George W. Bush made 77 visits to his Texas ranch spanning all or part of 490 days, and 11 visits to his family’s home in Kennebunkport, Maine, spanning all or part of 43 days, according to Knoller.
“Like every other human being, presidents need time to refresh or replenish,” said Ken Duberstein, who served under President Ronald Reagan as chief of staff in his second term.
Critique of presidential vacations is a long running thing, and may have started with John Adams, who was known to frequently travel from the capital to his Massachusetts home.
Even if they do get away, a President’s staff and equipment follows them, as do problems. Some presidents have had to cancel or interrupt their vacations.
“A president is never truly on vacation,” said Brendan J. Doherty, a political science professor at the U.S. Naval Academy who tracks presidential trips. “A President might get a change of venue but a President is never truly off the job.”
Judicial Watch has recently acquired records revealing the Secret Service expensive of the First Family’s 2015 Hawaiian vacation accosted taxpayers $1.2 million, bringing the total cost of the vacation trip to at least $4.8 million. $180,118 Cost per hour of flying Air Force One
If vacationing is considered “on the job,” it makes one wonder how serious he takes his duties when Obama is present at the White House.