Obama runs $100M vacation tab on taxpayers
As the Obamas finish up nearly two weeks of vacation in Hawaii over the holidays – with their White House stay coming to an end – the president’s hypocrisy is becoming increasingly evident.
“As a candidate in 2008, then Sen. Barack Obama (R-Ill.), vowed he would give up vacations if elected president, in order to completely focus on his job,” WND reported. “Fast-forward to the present, and it is now projected Obama will have spent more than $100 million in taxpayer funds on vacations during his eight years as president.”
A legacy of waste
A government watchdog organization has monitored the Obama’s expenditures since the 44th president’s inauguration eight years ago.
“[We] received new documents from both the Secret Service and the Air Force relating to Obama travel expenses, bringing the known total over the past eight years to $96,938,882.51,” Judicial Watch informed.
After filing two separate lawsuits under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to reveal how much Obama’s travel cost the Secret Service, Judicial Watch was able to tally the numbers.
“The Obamas notorious abuse of presidential travel perks wasted military resources and stressed the Secret Service,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton asserted. “Judicial Watch estimates that the final costs of Obama’s unnecessary vacation and political travel will well exceed $100 million.”
Fitton said that President-elect Donald Trump’s presidency will be a relief to taxpayers’ wallets, alluding to the incoming president’s own promise to not take vacations – and take an unprecedented $1 salary for his four years in office – to get the job done and save Americans money.
“President-elect Trump can immediately save taxpayers money by reforming presidential travel,” the head of the watchdog group stressed.
Obama made a similar vow nearly a decade ago in an attempt to convince voters of his sacrificial and hardworking spirit.
“When Obama was [a] candidate in 2008, he told an interviewer that as the occupant of the Oval Office, his vacations, his leisure and even his need for sleep would be sacrificed for the sake of the nation,” WND’s Garth Kant recounted. “The comment came in an interview with New York Times columnist Bob Herbert. It was recorded in 2008, but apparently not published online until 2012.”
At the time, Obama portrayed himself as someone who gives up everything for the greater good of the nation.
“You have to understand that if you seek that office, you have to be prepared to give your life to it,” Obama expressed the year before the start of his first term. “Essentially the burden that any president, I think, strikes, with the American people is, um, you give me this office and in turn my, fears, doubts, insecurities, foibles, need for sleep, family life, vacations, leisure is gone. I am giving myself to you.”
Apparently, setting the presidential record for the most rounds of golf and lavish expenses was not on his itinerary eight years ago.
“The American people should have no patience for whatever is going through your head because you’ve got a job to do.,” Obama added. “How I think about it is, um, that you don’t make that decision unless you are prepared to make that sacrifice … that bargain. I think what’s difficult and important for somebody like myself, who has a wonderful forbearing wife, and two gorgeous young children, is that they end up having to make some of those sacrifices, too.”
Numbers don’t lie …
Below are just several of the Obamas’ travel expenses collected by Judicial Watch, giving a limited number of specifics that cover just a small fraction of their excursions during 2015 and 2016.
- Secret Service records reveal that Barack Obama’s April 22, 2015, Earth Day trip to give a global warming speech in the Florida Everglades cost taxpayers $145,752.36, which brings the total cost of the trip to at least $1,012,367.76.
- The Secret Service records for Obama’s October 2015 fundraising travel to San Diego reveal expenses totaling $180,187.09. Including the U.S. Air Force expenses, the total cost of Obama’s San Diego trip was at least $2,181,655.99.
- Michelle Obama’s February 2016 ski trip to Aspen with her daughters cost taxpayers a total of $222,875.58. The Secret Service expenses were $165,806.78. Judicial Watch previously obtained records from the Air Force revealing that Michelle Obama’s weekend trip to Aspen, Colorado, last year cost American taxpayers $57,068.80 in travel expenses alone for the 7.4-hour round-trip flight.
- Judicial Watch obtained records from the U.S. Air Force and the Secret Service revealing that Barack Obama’s trip to Cuba and Argentina in March 2016 cost taxpayers $7,146,015.18 in Secret Service and Air Force travel expenses.
- Air Force records regarding Michelle Obama’s trip to Morocco, Spain and Liberia with her daughters in June 2016 revealed $450,026.40 in flight expenses alone. A C-32A was flown for 28.4 hours.
- Judicial Watch recently obtained Air Force records which reveal that the Obama’s August 2016 vacation to Martha’s Vineyard cost taxpayers $450,295 in flight expenses alone.
- Judicial Watch also recently obtained records from the Air Force showing that in July 2016 taxpayers paid $360,236 for Hillary Clinton to accompany Obama on Air Force One for a campaign trip to North Carolina.
- Also, in October 2016, Michelle Obama joined Hillary Clinton in North Carolina for a rally reportedly to “encourage early voting in North Carolina.” Documents regarding this trip have been requested but have not yet been received. The first lady typically flies in a C-32A, so the 1.8 hour flight can safely be estimated to have cost taxpayers $28,522.80.
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