As always, the Obama family vacations come with a high price tag, and you, of course, are footing the bill if you happen to be a taxpayer. They have returned to Hawaii for this year’s Christmas extravaganza, and the conservative estimate for the vacation is $4 million – more than most of us will earn in a lifetime for a two-week respite for the President and his family.
Even the Obama family dog is getting a nicer Christmas vacation than most Americans. Meanwhile, for poverty-stricken Americans, fights are breaking out at Salvation Army as people slug it out over donated toys to put under the tree for their children, food banks are strapped as they try to provide holiday dinners for the poor, many of whom have lost their jobs to Obamacare, and more and more people have become classified as “the working poor” as they struggle to keep the utilities on and their children fed and clothed.
Lest you think we are paying the entire tab, you’ll be delighted to know that the President and his cronies pay the $25,000 per week rent on the house that the First Family resides in while in the tropical paradise. Sadly, this gesture of fairness is a drop in the bucket when compared to the taxpayer’s portion of the vacation bill.
Some figures have not been released, citing security concerns, but the Hawaii Reporter has estimated the tab:
Michael Tasselmyer of the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, estimates the 18-hour roundtrip aboard Air Force One, which he said costs $179,750 per hour for flight and operation, will total $3,235,500 for the roundtrip. A Congressional Research Service report released in May 2012 matches that figure.
There are reports the President might also stop on the island of Maui, a 30-minute flight from Oahu, which would add additional expense.
The cost for USAF C-17 cargo aircraft that transports the Presidential limos, helicopters and other support equipment to Hawaii has never been disclosed, but the roundtrip flight time between Andrews Air Force Base and Hawaii is 21.5 hours, with estimated operating cost of $12,000 per hour. (Source: GAO report, updated by C-17 crew member).
The U.S. Marine Corps provides a presidential helicopter, along with pilots and support crews for the test flights, which travel on another C-17 flight. That is $258,000, not including costs for the 4-to-6-member crew’s per diem and hotel.
U.S. Secret Service, Navy Seals and Coast Guard rent homes along the canal and ocean for $250 per room per night, according to residents renting their homes. Real estate source said the delegation rents at least 7 homes in the area, and arrive ahead of the President, costing taxpayers more than $183,750 for the length of the visit.
White House staff who do not stay in Kailua secure hotel rooms at the posh Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa on Waikiki Beach. Hotel rooms typically rent for $670 a night, but the hotel offers discounted government rates for about $255 per night, according to hotel public relations manager Diana Su. The hotel does not disclose information about The White House visit. However, estimating prices for room, as well as Transient Accommodation Tax and General Excise Tax, for about two dozen staff, totals more than $100,000. The President is accompanied by 22 vehicles, whether he goes golfing and to a basketball game with friends at his Punahou alma mater or to body surf at Sandy Beach and local favorite restaurants such as Nobu’s and Buzz’s Steakhouse.
Honolulu Police are on special duty, paid $250,000 by city taxpayers, and another $10,000 is spent on around-the-clock ambulance detail.
There are several costs the White House annually refuses to release, citing security
– For example, The White House rents an entire floor of an office building in Kailua on the canal during the President’s stay.
– Security upgrades, such as bulletproof glass, and additional phone lines, are added to private homes, while existing security systems are disabled.
– Rental cars and fuel for staff and security, as well as additional travel costs Secret Service and White House staff traveling ahead of the President, are kept secret.
The White House has not released expenses, citing security concerns. However, the most conservative estimate, based on what is known, for a 17-day vacation in Hawaii for the President and his family and staff and security is more than $4 million. (source)
Meanwhile, disabled veterans who make less than $10,000 per year are having to take a 1% cut in their pensions. So with only the estimated cost of the extravagant holiday, approximately 40,000 men and women who served the country for real, could have their pensions untouched.
But clearly, the President doesn’t care about those veterans or about the people who are doing without this year due to his poverty-inducing “healthcare” policy. He and his family have left the mansion in which they live and are getting their beachside vacation in a tropical paradise, with their entourage in tow, and that is clearly all that matters.