The Obamas are about to embark on a 20 day Hawaiian vacation that will run from December 17th to January 6th. The cost to U.S. taxpayers will be around $4 million.
I’m pretty comfortable with the President of the United States having more vacation time than the average person. He’s got a big job to do. It just seems a bit extravagant to be handing taxpayers a $4 million expense as the country is worried about the Fiscal Cliff and the future of our economy.
If you think the $4mil cost is overblown, let’s look at the breakdown of the expenses to be paid by ordinary citizens, as it is being reported in Hawaii:
The biggest expense is President Barack Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii via Air Force One. The U.S. Air Force has listed the cost of travel as high as $181,757 per flight hour. Travel time for Air Force One direct from Washington D.C. to Hawaii is about 9 hours or as high as $1,635,813 each way for a total of $3,271,622 for the round trip to Hawaii and back.
There’s also a cargo plane needed to bring various vehicles to wherever the President will be for an extended period of time. The cost to bring the cargo plane back and forth is estimated to be $258,000.
LOCAL TAXPAYER COSTS: $260,000
Local police are paid overtime for the President’s visit, which has historically cost Oahu taxpayers $250,000.
(We’re not adding in the cost of the Secret Service detail, Navy SEALs, Coast Guard, and White House staff who must also be flown back and forth and housed in a beachfront hotel. This President and any American President deserves the best protection and support that money can buy.)
The locals and seasonal visitors will also face significant travel restrictions during the 20 days that the Obamas will be staying in Kailua.
How many vacation days do you get each year? For the record, I get two weeks of paid vacation each year… 10 days. And that’s right in line with government stats.