“Without precedent” is how one member of Congress described it.
Another member announced it was “nearly unbelievable.”
No, they weren’t talking about the latest Obama girls’ outing to China. They were talking of the more than $1 billion spent on travel every year by Obama and his family.
Or, as Britain’s Daily Mail reported, Obama is spending 20 times what the entire royal family spends for travel. That sort of luxury and excess would make the sovereigns of any European nation wince.
The latest trip to China includes all the must-see sights, such as the historic city of Xi’an, the southern district of Chengdu, and the home of China’s beloved panda bears. American taxpayers should be in open revolt, as they’re footing the bill for this opulence and grandeur.
Adding insult to injury is the simple fact that Michelle Obama won’t answer a single question about the entire trip. And still we’re paying the freight….
Living Large in Spite of the Times
When the Obamas travel, they never seek to lower the bill. They stay at the finest private homes, rented for top dollar, or they check into the most luxurious resorts.
Figures and details are often hard to obtain, but the Washington Post estimated that the Obama’s June 2013 sojourn to Africa cost taxpayers $60 million to $100 million. The legendary size of the entourage forced the government to pay for 4,000 “room-nights” for the single stop in Johannesburg, South Africa. They also rented a mind-boggling $2-million worth of cars – that must have been nearly every auto in town!
Back home, Obama keeps a 747 at his disposal, ready to take off at a moment’s notice. He’s used the plane so frequently that the White House had to expand the number of pilots available since Obama was elected. As Andrew Malcom reported in the L.A. Times, “At an Air Force-estimated cost of $181,757 per flight hour (not to mention the additional travel costs of Marine One, Secret Service, logistics and local police overtime), that’s a lot of frequent flier dollars going into the president’s carbon footprint.”
The perks of the office don’t end with a plane, either. Not only does the White House have a theater; they have a projectionist available on standby 24 hours a day. Chefs, gardeners, and personal trainers are available for any family member at a moment’s notice.
Bored with the movies? How about a party? The Obamas have thrown the most ostentatious parties in White House history, including Michelle Obama’s infamous 50th birthday party. Beyoncé headlined the party, but it included musicians like John Legend, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Jennifer Hudson, James Taylor, Gladys Knight, and Mary J. Blige. Celebrities lined up to attend, including Magic Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson, Rachel Ray, Billie Jean King, and Al Roker.
Meanwhile, our defense budget and foreign policy are in shambles. Our economy has sputtered and sank while Obama has been in office. Deficits are out of sight. Obamacare is on the ropes. Yet our First Family parties and lives large, passing the cost off to hard-working Americans.
It’s no wonder that Obama’s popularity is in the toilet.
This commentary appeared at CapitolHillDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission.
Photo credit: A Richie (Flickr)
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