As Barack, Michelle, Malia and Sasha Obama, family, friends, pets and staff enjoy their half-month-long Hawaiian vacation, the Secret Service finally complied with a court order to release some Obama vacation expenses from two years ago.
That’s how eager the Obama administration is about being transparent when it comes to spending large sums of taxpayers’ money on itself.
As with the slow-motion releases of Hillary Clinton’s emails, the idea of bureaucratic stalling, of course, is that the details become “old” news more likely to be ignored by media. Fortunately, we’re not on vacation this week, so we can help the president out. Here goes:
The new expense reports, heavily-redacted allegedly for security reasons, push the total known costs for vacations during Obama’s reign to nearly $71 million — with another full year to go. That’s about $10.1 million per year in known expenses.
The totals come from Judicial Watch, the dogged watchdog group that pursues such information through repeated Freedom of Information Act requests.
Earlier this year Judicial Watch obtained transportation costs for a pair of the Democrat’s cross-country golf weekends just in 2015. They totaled nearly $2 million, or $20,000 per hole, the Washington Examiner calculated.
In February, for instance, Obama spent President’s Weekend golfing with male friends in Palm Springs. At $206,000 per flight hour, that trip set taxpayers back $1.03 million. That does not include other costs such as security and transportation.
Of course, even with Camp David available for free in Maryland every president goes on vacation, though none have gone so far so often as the Obamas, sometimes in separate planes.
Their family trips to Hawaii, for example, require at least 18 hours of Air Force One flight time at $206,000 per flight hour. Or $3.7 million minimum.
Complaints of over-spending on personal travel have dogged this first couple starting with Michelle Obama’s luxury vacation with friends to Spain at the peak of the recession and subsequent family excursions during the nation’s weakest economic recovery since World War II. Read More