6/14/14 – Cheyenne, WY – President Barack Hussein Obama has, unfortunately for our nation, been in office for almost six years. During that time, Mr. Obama has taken many lavish vacation trips at taxpayer’s expense. So has his family.
The major liberal media has chronicled these trips by Michelle Obama and her two daughters. But they seldom bother to report the cost of any of them. Instead, they parrot the White House’s defense and attempts at justification: “these are business trips,” White House officials claim. Well, that may be true at times for the President, but it is definitely NOT true for the First Family. Let’s look at just one recent trip.
In June 2013, President Obama made a trip to Belfast, Ireland – I think it was for the G-8 Summit – June 17, 18, and 19. Michelle and her two daughters went along. After accompanying the president to a meeting with Northern Ireland youth, the First Lady, her daughters, and her entourage departed on their own aboard Air Force Two. Destination? A sight-seeing trip to Dublin.
When asked, the White House claimed (what else) that this trip was for diplomatic purposes. But, the itinerary showed that, “She and her daughters will visit the Trinity College Library to explore President Obama’s Irish family roots, attend a performance by the world-famous Riverdance troupe, and visit the Wicklow Mountains national forest.”
Leaving aside arguing over the purpose of the trip, and just how many people made up Michelle Obama’s “entourage,” what was the actual cost of this lavish excursion? According to Judicial Watch (www.judicialwatch.org), which obtained records from the Department of the Air Force AND the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, but only after JW was required to file a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit, the total cost of transportation for this trip – both ends of it; the president’s trip to Belfast, and Mrs. Obama’s side-trip to Dublin – cost the taxpayers a whopping $7,921,638.66. Here’s a breakdown: Department of the Air Force records show the flights of Air Force One and Air Force Two for the Ireland trip totaled 33.6 hours of flying time. The hourly cost for flying each of these two planes is $228,288 per hour. That comes to a flight expense of $7,670,476.80.
Now, according to DHS records, the cost of “security and/or other services” for the Dublin side trip by Mrs. Obama and her entourage was $251,161,86. This included $55,004.44 at the deluxe Shelbourne Hotel, and $70,855.44 at the nearby luxury Westbury Hotel. Vehicle rentals? That cost $114,721.
Hotel expenses? These, alone, raise serious questions about a First Lady, who at best, lacks good judgment in these matters and at worst is drunk with the power of her position and out of control.
Why do I say that? Is there any justification for paying $3,300 per night on her hotel suite when taxpayers are picking up the tab? And in the Grace Kelly suite, no less? That’s what rooms at the five-star Shelbourne Hotel cost. So, the cost of this two-day junket to Dublin by Michelle Obama and her entourage was estimated by a British newspaper, The Daily Mail, at “around $5 million.”
“The [people of the United States] can see through this ‘official business’ lie used by the White House to justify the cost of this trip,” said Judicial Watch Director of Investigations and Research, Chris Farrell. “The Obamas’ clearly abused the perk of the president’s trip . . . for a luxury vacation at taxpayer expense. And this is far from the first time.”
And, lest you are wondering, I might add that other presidents have NOT done the same. President George H.W. Bush spent most of his vacations at his own home in Kennebunk, Maine. President George W. Bush spent his vacations at his own small family ranch in Crawford, Texas. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon went to their respective homes in the State of California. None of them spent taxpayer funds on such lavish vacations.
If Congress ever develops the courage to file Articles of Impeachment against this man in the White House, wasteful spending of taxpayer resources should be included.