Our national lampoon goes on vacation
This year, it finally became fashionable for comics to lampoon President Obama. His infamous lies about Obamacare and the disastrous rollout of the Healthcare.gov website were too tempting for comics to ignore. It is no surprise that the President’s poll numbers have significantly dropped. In fact, the latest poll shows that the President is more unpopular than former President George W. Bush and his disapproval ratings are the lowest of any President since Richard Nixon.
Obviously, President Obama is ready for a vacation and as we approach Christmas, it is time once again for the Obama family to embark on their extravagant, wasteful 17 day taxpayer funded vacation.
According to former spokesman Robert Gibbs, this is how the President recharges “both physically and emotionally.” Unfortunately for taxpayers, recharging the presidential battery is not cheap. According to the Hawaii Reporter, last year’s 17 day vacation cost more than $4 million.
All of this hoopla is quite inconvenient for the residents of Hawaii who have to deal with closed beaches and numerous security roadblocks. Many residents are wondering why this has to happen to them every year. In fact, no other President has ever enjoyed such extravagant Christmas vacations. Previous presidents either used Camp David or their own property, such as the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas.
While President Obama owns a home in Chicago, he rarely uses it. Instead, he prefers the luxurious resorts of Martha’s Vineyard or Hawaii. Of course, liberals in the media who love the President believe he deserves whatever type of vacation he wants. Rarely do they ask questions about the cost or appropriateness of such a vacation. However, in a country still suffering with a massive $17.3 trillion national debt, such questions need to be asked.
It might be time for Congress to pass legislation to limit the funding we provide for such presidential vacations. While the President is paying for the rental of his villa, the taxpayers are footing the cost of the airfare, security and staff.
His supporters claim he needs the break after such a tough schedule, but such a view is almost comical. President Obama works less than almost any other President in memory. He is a frequent golfer, who enjoys concerts and movie premieres at the White House, basketball games and non-stop fundraisers. In contrast, he rarely meets with the media or negotiates legislative details with Republicans on Capital Hill.
In one sense, he is on a perpetual vacation, courtesy of the American people. The apex of this extravagance is the Hawaiian vacation, a tradition for the Obama family since 2008. Let’s hope for this vacation the President, Mrs. Obama, the children and the family dog can all travel together on the same flight. In the past, they have not been able to coordinate their schedules, thus costing the taxpayers even more in travel costs.
The costs of using Air Force One are tremendous, approximately $179,750 per hour for fuel and operation. There are also significant costs for the massive presidential entourage of staff and security, Marine Corps helicopters, local police, and Secret Service that total in the millions. The cost of the C-17 cargo aircraft that accompanies the President is at least $12,000 per hour, so the 21.5 hour flight will cost taxpayers more than $500,000 round trip.
We do not know the final tally because the Obama administration refuses to release the detailed expenses. In fact, in May, Judicial Watch sued the U.S. Secret Service to provide specific information about the costs of the last presidential Hawaiian vacation. Unfortunately, there has been no resolution to that lawsuit, so taxpayers are in the dark about the extent of the extravagant vacation they are funding.