So, just how much will President Barack Obama's Hawaiian vacation cost this year? That's a question that can't be definitively answered until the costs are in and the trip has concluded, but an assessment of the numbers shows that it will likely be the 44th president's most expensive vacation to date.
The Hawaii Reporter has estimated that travel, alone, will cost $3,629,622 -- a startlingly large figure considering the length of the trip. And, yes, in case you were wondering: Taxpayers will be footing a chunk of the bill. After all, it's not cheap to ensure that the world's most powerful leader is safe as he travels and enjoys time away from the grind.
To begin, the family is traveling separately, as Obama has had plenty to wrap up in Washington, D.C. before the holidays (i.e. the payroll tax cut drama). So, First Lady Michelle Obama already left for the family's tropical getaway -- a $100,000 expenditure, including personnel, travel and security.
Obama's round-trip flight to Hawaii on Air Force One is estimated to be the largest expense associated with the vacation. According to the Air Force, it apparently costs $181,757 per flight hour to run the nation's most secure (and probably its most lavish) aircraft. Thus, the total for the nine-hour trip from Washington to Hawaii and then back again will come in at $3,271,611.
And let's not forget that a USAF C-17 cargo plane is also needed to bring Presidential limos, helicopters and other essentials along. This, too, comes at the tune of thousands of dollars. Plus, there's security for the president and his family. A team of between four and six Marine Corps will travel along on a separate flight and require per diem and hotel, coming in at $258,000 (estimated).
The Obamas do cover the expense for their own private beach-front home in Kailua, Oahu, which costs up to $3,500 per day ($75,000 per month). However, taxpayers are responsible for housing monies associated with the U.S. Secret Service, Coast Guart and Navy Seals. There are seven houses needed to accommodate these individuals, which amounts to about $21,600 per home.
And these are only some of the costs. There are plenty of other numbers that can be crunched as well -- including the local taxpayers' burden for services needed during the president's stay -- but the total expense for the vacation, according to the Reporter, will be $4,113,038 (estimated).
You can read more about the associated expenses that taxpayers will foot here.
(H/T: Daily Mail)