American taxpayers will pay an astonishing $3.5 million to fly President Barack Obama and his family to Hawaii for the eighth consecutive year for a holiday vacation. Obama, who was born in Hawaii, will take a trip to the islands for the eighth year in a row to spend Christmas in his home state. However, the trip comes at an excessive cost to taxpayers. In fact, just the flight expenses alone are set to cost American taxpayers $3.5 million, as Air Force One costs $206,000 per hour to operate. In addition to the flight expenses, taxpayers will also be charged with paying for Obama’s security detail and emergency crews, which costs upwards of $300,000 for the two-week vacation.
The Daily Mail reports that President Barack Obama will be heading to Hawaii for the Christmas holiday for the eighth year in a row. The Obama family will spend about two weeks in Hawaii soaking up the sun, but it doesn’t come cheap. Though the Obamas will foot their own bills for food and their luxury villa, the taxpayers will be forced to pay for the travel expenses to and from the islands. The POTUS is required to fly on Air Force One, which comes at a hefty cost. In fact, Air Force One costs an astonishing $206,000 an hour to operate.
Last year’s Obama family Christmas trip cost $3.7 million in flight expenses alone, according to the Judicial Watch Group. This included 17.8 hours in the air for the round-trip. Housing and security costs are on top of that amount, but not all that information is released to the public. However, what we do know is that local police must work overtime when Obama and his family are in the area, and the taxpayers foot the overtime bill. Additionally, an ambulance must be on standby for the president should something go wrong. It is estimated that the overtime costs associated with the local police detail costs roughly $275,000, while Emergency Management Services are billed at $15,890 to keep on call. This means the local police force and ambulance will cost taxpayers just over $290,000 for the Obama Hawaii vacation.
In addition to the millions spent on the flight and local security, taxpayers also pay for the extra Secret Service detail that is needed, along with their boarding. According to the report, “dozens” of Secret Service members are needed for the Hawaii trip, and that each one costs approximately $200 a night to house. Judicial Watch says that the Hawaii trip isn’t the only costly vacation that taxpayers have paid for this year regarding President Barack Obama.
They note that three trips earlier this year to Palm Springs for a golf trip, New York, and a trip to Martha’s Vineyard cost taxpayers $3.1 million in travel expenses. These trips were strictly for vacationing purposes and not related to diplomatic events. Therefore, when you couple the three trips earlier in the year with the over $4 million that taxpayers will pay for the Hawaii trip, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton says it shows how “out of touch” the Obama family really is in relation to the struggles of the American public.
“The Obamas’ travel is out of control. They are treating the Air Force One like an Uber ride. And President Obama seems oblivious to the burden he is placing on Americans with his continuous vacations, getaways, and political junkets at taxpayer expense.”
Though Fitton says the Obamas’ travel is “out of control,” not everyone agrees. In fact, many point out that President Bush spent more time on vacation than the Obamas, by a landslide. However, while former President George W. Bush took more vacation days than the Obamas, critics note that Obama is spending more on his limited vacations, as more flight time is needed to get to Hawaii than to George Bush’s Texas ranch. It is also noted that Obama prefers lavish villas and hotels when traveling, whereas Bush spent the majority of his “vacation” time at his own home in Texas. Therefore, many say that Obama is “out of touch” with the general public as he chooses vacation spots like Hawaii and the ritzy Martha’s Vineyard.
What do you think about the allegations that Obama is “out of touch” for going to his home state of Hawaii for Christmas vacation? Should he choose a more modest location, or is it unfair to say Obama cannot visit his home state simply because it is located too far away from Washington D.C.?
[Image via AP]