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

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  2. It’s been rumored that the Obama’s vacations since he first stepped foot in the Oval Office has been in the excess of 3 billion dollars. Why such a large number you ask? Think about it. The cost of air travel for Barack, Micheal @ kids and some times their dog on his own costs what was posted in the article. Then you have the cost of the president’s security team, the renting out floors of these grand hotels & resorts, the cost of added security by the country being visited who sends us the bill and all of the other things that we aren’t aware of. 3 billion + sounds about right to me with how often they do this. This guy and his wife hate this country, so why would they try to be fiscally responsible during this economic crisis when they can milk the nation for all it’s worth while in office?

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  6. Why shouldn’t he go to Hawaii? I am glad to scrape up a few dollars from my pick up truck that needs tires to get me to work…. that i can’t afford, and my property taxes that I don’t know how I’m going to pay… and all of the Chirstmas presents that I most certainly will NOT be able to afford for anybody… God bless this man , who has done so much… (none of which I approve of,,,) but, hey, like he said…”He won…” I’m glad I am as old as I am to not have to live through the left wing socialist hell that he is putting this Great Nation through…and sad that my children and their children will grow up in ‘just another’ country… God Bless America, & God F**** Obama

  7. I have no problem of the Presidents taking vacations.
    BUT,it should be out of their earnings, as we have to do if we take a vacation.
    We the taxpayers cannot afford such.

  8. I don’t understand why do tax payers pay his vacation cost i am sure this isn’t the first president who takes a vacation on our money but really. I can’t even afford a vacation most the time and bio one gives me a room of cash to pay for it. That need to pay for their personal vacations out of checkbook. Pat into law. What a damn waste of taxes. Looks like what they say is true politicians are criminals thiefs.

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