Judicial Watch Reveals Massive Taxpayer Bill For Obama’s PERSONAL Travel Expenses
How much has your family spent on personal travel in 8 years? My guess is that it is but a tiny fraction of the amount spent by the Obama administration on the former first family’s personal travel. Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, has uncovered the cost to taxpayers and it will probably make you a bit perturbed.
It used to be that going into politics was some noble sacrifice. Elite individuals, with the potential to make huge amounts of money in the private sector would give it all up for a meager government salary and “serve the public.” While in office, there was an expectation that taxpayer money would be used wisely. We all know that is not how it is anymore. Now, it seems even being president is just a stepping stone to massive wealth.
Past presidents are free to make as much money as they want and I certainly understand why, with all the book deals and speaking engagements. However, it seems that living the lifestyles of the rich and famous really should begin after their service is complete and on their own dime. Why should taxpayers be footing the bill for anything above perhaps a “normal” amount of travel expenses for official business?
Looking at the staggering amount of taxpayer money spent on presidential travel is just mind boggling. A lot of people are interested in how much presidents are paid, but Obama’s personal travel cost taxpayers enough to fund 285 year’s worth of presidential salaries. His paycheck is chump change in comparison.
“Newly released presidential travel records from the U.S. Department of the Air Force and the Secret Service show that former President Barack Obama’s family vacations and campaign expenses cost taxpayers $114 million.
Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, announced Monday that they obtained the records after filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and two federal lawsuits asking for presidential travel expenses of Obama and President Trump.
The latest batch of documents released by the two agencies shows that the Obamas spent $9,028,346.90 on non-work related travel, bringing the total amount of personal travel expenses during Obama’s presidency to $114,691,322.17.
The additional records show Secret Service and Air Force expenses for two Obama family vacations that took place the weekend of February 14, 2014, and two campaign trips Michelle Obama made to North Carolina to campaign for Hillary Clinton in 2016.The two vacations, which included Michelle Obama’s annual trip to Aspen, Colorado, with her daughters and former President Obama’s annual golfing trip to Palm Springs, cost the Secret Service $272,192.91, records show.Michelle Obama’s campaign trips, meanwhile, cost the Air Force $40,902.40. In both instances, Judicial Watch notes the former first lady flew a C-40C military jet with an operating cost of $5,312 per hour:
- Michelle Obama flew to Charlottesville then to Raleigh on October 4 for 2.1 hours at a total of $11,155.20
- Michelle Obama flew roundtrip to Belville and then Salem on October 26 and 27 for a total of 5.6 hours at $29,747.20.
The records also note that Obama spent more than $7 million in taxpayer money to fly to Chicago over the last three years of his presidency.
But Obama’s taxpayer-funded trips did not end there: Secret Service documents showed that Obama spent nearly $2 million of taxpayer money on post-presidency travel. The former president’s travel destinations, however, were redacted for “privacy” and “law enforcement” reasons.
The documents also show that Trump spent $2,821,367.34 on non-work related travel, bringing the total known travel costs for the president and his family to $10,381,792.35.
Air Force documents show that Trump has spent $1.1 million of taxpayer money on two trips he made to his Mar-a-Lago resort in April 2017 to meet with Chinese President Ji Jinping and to celebrate Easter.
The current president also spent $603,107.40 to fly to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to attend a rally to celebrate his 100th day in office and to visit his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club once in May and once in June.
Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch’s president, said he was frustrated that it took several federal lawsuits to get the government to release information about presidential travel costs that are funded by taxpayers.
“It shouldn’t require federal lawsuits to prod the Secret Service and Air Force to produce information about the costs of presidential travel – whether the travel is necessary or not, it’s a massive amount of money,” he said. “We will continue to monitor this spending while taxpayers continue to pay the bills for presidential travel.”
The presidency is a tough job and they deserve time off. But come on, this level of luxury at taxpayer expense is simply outrageous. While these numbers are for the Obamas, I feel the same way about Trump. According to Newsweek, Trump’s personal travel expenses amount so far to about $10 million, so he may even pass up Obama’s bill. As a Trump voter, I admit this ticks me off!
I realize $114,000,000 isn’t a huge number in the scheme of things, but it is what it represents. We treat our presidents like royalty and there are enough people in this country struggling that the message it sends is just wrong.
Here are some things that $114,000,000 could fund instead. Based on the most recent estimated cost to feed a child in the U.S., you could feed over 100,000 hungry children for a year. According to the USDA, over 42 million school lunches could be purchased (although if they are the lunches Michelle imposed, I guess it would be just as much of a waste). Or if you prefer, $114,000,000 could buy 270 Lamborghinis. If we bought our presidents even one Lambo, I’m pretty sure there would be outrage.