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Daily Archives: January 4, 2013, 5:45 pm

Obama to Depart Hawaii Saturday

But don’t worry. He has arranged a late checkout.

The First Family will board Air Force One at 10:00 pm Hawaii time and arrive on the South Lawn of the White House at 11:45 am ET Sunday.

Looks like they might miss church.

Obama Heads to Exclusive Resort for More Golf

After a “dad” day Thursday, President Obama is back with the boys, headed out this morning in Hawaii to play golf.

But this time, he’s forsaking the Marine Corps base course where he has played so far this trip. Instead, he motorcaded an hour to get here:

Turtle Bay Golf Course

Nice, right?

He’s visiting the exquisite fairways of Oahu’s Turtle Bay resort. The course features wondrous views of ocean water, trees, rocks, sand and sky – but no Fiscal Cliff in sight.

It will be his second golf outing of the four-day-old 2013, and the 113th time he has gone golfing as president.

Thursday Obama took Sasha and Malia bowling and then out for some shave ice.

Obamanomics: More Mediocre Job Growth

The economy added 155,000 jobs last month, about the amount needed to keep pace with population growth and too few to bring down the unemployment rate, which was revised upward to 7.8 percent in November and pegged at the same level for December.

What does this mean? Four years into the Obama presidency, the economy is not producing enough jobs to even come close to gaining back the millions that have been lost since 2008.

Welcome to the new normal: crummy GDP growth, and high unemployment.

And in the short term, it’s more likely to get worse than better. You, for example, will be spending a bit less since your taxes just went up : As of New Year’s, the Social Security rate returned to 6.2 percent from 4.2 percent.

And gosh, those rich people whose rates rose to 39.6 percent might just decide to cancel their daughter’s piano lessons. That is, they’ll be participating a little less in the economy too. Believe it or not, Mr. President, they have a lot of money, but not unlimited money.

If President Obama gets his way, more tax increases are coming. And spending cuts needed to avoid Fiscal Cliff Part 2 in a couple of months will also take a morsel out of economic growth.

It’s hard to keep the American entrepreneurial spirit down, but this president is succeeding where all since Jimmy Carter have failed.

Taxpayer Bill for Obama’s Hawaii Vacations: $20 Million

Michelle Obama recently revealed that she and President Obama don’t give Christmas gifts to each other. They merely say, “We’re in Hawaii,” and that’s Christmas gift enough.

But actually the present is from taxpayers, and it’s an expensive one.

The total cost to taxpayers of Obama’s vacations to Hawaii since becoming president is likely in excess of $20 million, and possibly much, much more. During a time of budget deficits that threaten the nation’s security and its future, the Obamas have chosen to  maintain a “family tradition” and vacation halfway around the world instead of finding far cheaper alternatives closer to home.

The $20 million figure is based on estimates of the cost of the four Hawaii vacations the Obamas have taken during Christmastime 2009-2012. According to a detailed breakdown by the Hawaii Reporter, the annual excursions in 2009, 2010, and 2011 cost about $4 million, much of it attributable to the expense of taking Air Force One, at an hour rate of about $180,000, on an eighteen-hour roundtrip journey to Honolulu and back.

New Year's Day, 2012
New Year's Day, 2012

But $4 million almost certainly underestimates the true tally, as it does not include many miscellaneous items like the cost of flying advance teams out to Hawaii and separate flights Michelle Obama took in 2010 and 2011, when she left ahead of her husband, who was forced to stay in Washington to finish up work with Congress.

This year, Obama returned from Hawaii to complete a deal on the Fiscal Cliff and then jetted back to Honolulu, where he is now engaged in Part 2 of his vacation. The second roundtrip flight added about $3.24 million to the tab this time, bringing the cost of the 2012-1013 vacation to well over $7 million.

If we assume the estimates are probably quite low, then it’s likely to the bill for the combined vacations is more than $20 million.

Given that much of the cost involves transporting the First Family and its retinue, the Obamas could have saved taxpayers millions by doing what the vast majority of Americans do: taking either one trip a year, or none.

The Obamas get plenty of vacation. They have sojourned every summer in Martha’s Vineyard except for last year, when campaigning and pre-election concern about appearances got in the way. They often take a side trip somewhere else during the year, and Michelle goes skiing annually out West.

At the very least, they could spend their Christmas holidays at Camp David or at one of the many fine resorts outside of Washington, which would require only the use of the presidential helicopter to get them there.

If they must find a warm haven, a rental home on the Gulf Coast, the Atlantic shore of Florida, or even Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands could easily be arranged at a fraction of the price of getting to Hawaii.

Some argue that Obama is justified in returning to Hawaii because that is where he spent his formative years. But how many of us get to go visit our roots for a two week vacation every year?

The Obamas probably also feel they must go to Hawaii because they are creatures of habit. While there, they do the same things and visit the same places every year. But their allegiance to routine is costing the taxpayers – including those in the middle class Obama claims to care so much about – millions of dollars.

Which brings us to OBAMA 5-0.

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The Obama Morning News || January 4, 2013

Obama eases visa rules for illegals . . . Washington Post
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Boehner: No more one-on-one talks with Obama . . . Fox News
Reid threw Obama cliff offer into fire . . . Mary Katherine Ham
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