Prepare yourselves for another round of “wasteful government spending” headlines on right-leaning publications, folks. Obama’s Africa trip might cost John Q. Taxpayer $100 million.
According to a document obtained by The Washington Post, Obama’s Africa trip will include the company of several hundred Secret Service agents, 56 support vehicles (including 14 limos), fighter jets flying around-the-clock over President Obama’s head, a Navy aircraft carrier to serve as a floating hospital, and three truckloads of bulletproof glass to be placed over the Obamas’ hotel windows.
They packed everything but the kitchen sink.
To be fair, it is President Obama’s first extended trip to sub-Saharan Africa, so it is kind of a big deal. Additionally, these preparations “appear to be in line with similar travels in the past.”
Still, the trip will reportedly cost tens of millions of dollars, with estimates ranging between $60 million and $100 million for the stay.
Luckily, the administration does have a ceiling for what they’re willing to spend on such an excursion. A safari was planned for President Obama’s stay, but that seems to be where the administration had to draw the line.
“We do not have a limitless supply of assets to support presidential missions, and we prioritized a visit to Robben Island over a two-hour safari in Tanzania,” said spokesman Josh Earnest. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t do both.”
Also, adviser Ben Rhodes said that “security requirements are not White House-driven, they are Secret Service-driven.”
Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush made numerous trips to Africa during their presidencies, all with similar expenses. So if you’re upset about this story, you could probably safely argue that we’re spending an awful lot on presidential trips abroad period.
Still, we want to know what you think. Is Obama’s Africa trip too costly? Sound off!