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Cost of Obama Hawaii Vacation Could Save 160 Teachers’ Jobs

by Keith Koffler on February 20, 2013, 9:35 am

The $7 million price tag for President Obama’s most recent Hawaii vacation could pay the salaries of about 160 teachers for a full year.

Obama Tuesday sought to dramatize the potential effects of the sequester by surrounding himself with more than a dozen first responders whom he said would be “degraded” in their ability to do their jobs while alleging “thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off” and critical government functions like prosecuting criminals would be damaged with criminals filling the streets.

He suggested Republicans would be to blame, even though he originally insisted on the sequester and must be party to any deal.

Obama first respondersAt an average salary of about $44,000 a year, Obama could have taken care of about 160 teachers by skipping his vacation – and nearly that number by simply vacationing a little closer to home.

That’s because some $6 million of the $7 million expense of Obama’s trip was due to the use of Air Force One, which he hopped aboard not once, but twice, to journey roundtrip to Oahu. If he’d choppered to Camp David or one of the beautiful resorts in the mountains of Virginia or West Virginia – or even just flown to Florida if he and Michelle required tropical weather – he would have paid scores of teachers’ salaries.

The estimate of another $1 million for Hawaii trip costs like staff, security, local travel and the use of cargo planes is almost certainly low.

Obama’s annual Hawaii idyll was more expensive than usual this year because he chose to return to paradise after suspending his vacation and traveling back to Washington to deal with the fiscal cliff.

Should any of those first responders on the dais have been in danger of losing their jobs, Obama’s vacation cost could have taken care of them all plus dozens more, since first responders make only about $35,000 a year.

In describing the potential cutbacks, Obama painted a dire picture:

Emergency responders like the ones who are here today — their ability to help communities respond to and recover from disasters will be degraded.  Border Patrol agents will see their hours reduced.  FBI agents will be furloughed.  Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go.  Air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, which means more delays at airports across the country.

Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off.  Tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find childcare for their kids.  Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings.

What’s unclear is why, when the administration makes the cuts, vital services such as these would be hit so hard. Obama has not delineated how he would apportion the cuts. Presumably he would focus on less-critical spending and waste.

{ 4 trackbacks }


RickW February 20, 2013 at 9:47 am

Keith, bulls eye! To cancel the expensive trips would be “leadership” and this POTUS is incapable of such actions.

RT February 20, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Bad math. And, BTW, it created 53 jobs… A net gain.

ImNoDhimmi February 20, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Please provide a link to prove your assertions.

Just2old February 20, 2013 at 9:50 am

Classic “do as I say, not as I do” rhetoric. Why all the reductions in teachers when that’s a local expense out of property tax $$? . obama’s great sequester idea kind of backfired on him…..funny.

Girly1 February 20, 2013 at 10:39 am

He’s twisting in the wind – love it!

LouisianaTiger February 20, 2013 at 9:56 am

Don’t forget to factor in the cost of both Air Force One’s making the trip – they always fly the back up 747 on overseas trips.

srdem65 February 20, 2013 at 9:58 am

School teachers, police, firefighters, healthcare workers, and local or state criminal prosecutors are not Federal employees paid from Federally collected taxes.

Border Patrol agents, airport screeners, flight controllers, and Federal prosecutors are Federal employees who are not only paid by Federally collected taxes, but are mostly union controlled.

MrObama’s fearmongering is a another shameful example of the lengths this administration will go to further fleece the remaining employed taxpayers of their disposable income so they can continue to destroy the American economy.

Julie Brueckheimer February 20, 2013 at 10:17 am

One of the most unsettling problems with the media is that they don’t call Obama out on your excellent points. Nor have I seen the Republicans point his lies out which is even sadder. I’ll try my Congressman, srdem, because he usually does reply to me. Maybe we should all try with out representatives, those of us with Republican ones.

veritaseequitas February 20, 2013 at 10:26 am

No sir. The sacrifices must be borne by everybody except King Craptastic. And the reason this tiny measure of a man can get away with blaming the GOP for his grostesque manipulation of the country is because of the media and Congress, but mostly the media.
He knows they won’t report the truth because they are not committed to the main tenet of their profession which is reporting the whole story not just the parts that they want people to hear.
MSM “journalists” are like lawyers. Utterly useless.

Girly1 February 20, 2013 at 10:30 am

The gluttonous Obamas are taking taxpayers for the ride of their lives. Pigs at the tough doesn’t begin to describe them. There was a story circulating inside the beltway after their $100-200M India/Indonesia odyssey back in 2010. It seems that all Obama could talk about on his return was the royal treatment he and wifey received…the lavish accommodations, the haute cuisine, the parties, the State dinners, the sight-seeing, his reunion with childhood friends, etc., etc. But not ONE word about U.S/Asian relations and the results of his trip. The grifters are all about self-indulgence – nothing more, nothing less. Americans, be damned!

Julie Brueckheimer February 20, 2013 at 11:20 am


Car in February 20, 2013 at 10:35 am

If Obama can pose himself in front of a couple dozen firefighters, Republicans should prop up 160 teachers and make Keith’s point.

This- as has the ENTIRE Obama fiasco -is about OPTICS. Because it’s all the uninformed voter understands.

Lizzy February 20, 2013 at 10:43 am

How many prescriptions would the $900 dinner date buy? How many food
pantries or soup kitchens would be glad to see a $900 donation.
Or how about skipping the $225 ‘bite of carrot’ at Minibar.

cincycinco February 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Food pantries? Remember when Michelle Antonette wore $500 tennies to dish up food and political optics?

“While volunteering Wednesday at a D.C. food bank, the First Lady sported her usual J.Crew cardigan, a pair of utilitarian capri pants and, on her feet, a sneaky splurge: trainers that go for $540.

That’s right: These sneakers – suede, with grosgrain ribbon laces and metallic pink toe caps – are made by French design house Lanvin, one of fashion’s hottest labels. They come in denim and satin versions, and have been a brisk seller all spring. ‘

Read more:

Yeesh. If tone deaf was a crime – it wouldn’t matter, Obama would just refuse to enforce it where he and his are concerned anyway. But, Mooch WOULD have a technical Felonious Stupidity here…

Susan February 20, 2013 at 10:45 am

Spot on, Keith. Unfortunately, it is not about saving the jobs of first responders or feeding the children, it is about destroying the Republican party. I’ve got to say, it is pretty hard to defend the Republicans from his demagoguery when they roll over on their backs and play dead. The leadership needs to gather up enough courage to stand up and fight for their principles, rather then cowering in the corner and allowing themselves to be beaten by his lies and rhetoric. They need to go on offense. If the Republican party were to fight for something they believe in, such as securing our borders, killing off Obamacare, and serious spending reductions, we will fight right along side them. As long as they keep listening to self-serving political consultants like Karl Rove – the “architect” who allowed George Bush to be pummeled and destroyed by the left with nary a whimper – they will wander in the wilderness.

Just2old February 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Classic Rope-a-Dope!

Lynn II February 20, 2013 at 10:47 am

Funny, he had nothing to say for 18 months….now, BO finds out the WH budget will also be affected by the sequester and he comes out with scare-mongering. Everything he touches turns into a major fail.

cincycinco February 20, 2013 at 1:00 pm

“….now, BO finds out the WH budget will also be affected by the sequester and he comes out with scare-mongering.” – Lynn II

You don’t REALLY think some budget geek is going to be able to cut into the WH entertainment budget just because some silly piece of paper says so?!?!

THIS GUY ignores CONSTITUTIONAL LAW! Ain’t no budget thang gonna dampen HIS ability to rape the Dhimmis for the partay money for HIS posse…

Star February 20, 2013 at 10:50 am

Why would the feds pay teachers here in AZ anyhow? This is just strongarm threats–the president threatening the people. Nice. He could move around accounts–or since he knows nothing of managing, his appointees could. Actually this is his job, either to do it or find someone who can govern.

Star February 20, 2013 at 10:55 am

You know another weird thought I had. He seems like he is on Make a Wish–do you think this is a last meal sort of binge he’s on with the Tiger Woods, etc. He looks kinda greenish still, and weary.

Girly1 February 20, 2013 at 11:32 am

It’s not an illness that gives him that greenish pallor – he just realized the mess he inherited is his own mess. Reality bites! Wouldn’t be surprised if he decides he has to ‘spend more time with the family’ in the not too distant future.

srdem65 February 20, 2013 at 10:59 am

From one Arizonan to another; John McCain had his hat handed to him yesterday when he bravely/stupidly went before the real stewards of America, our senior citizens. His position on amnesty was scorched when one gent asked him about the “wall” being built when he was campaigning for re-election.
His comment that “we don’t have enough buses” was insulting and not true.

I do believe that if the question of giving amnesty to illegal aliens was placed on a secret ballot, the majority will go thumbs down.

AZ Granny February 20, 2013 at 11:25 am

McCain is having another townhall this morning at the Music Instrument Museum near Scottsdale. It will be interesting to see how he fares today. I know things got heated yesterday but I really don’t expect our Senator to call one of his constituents a “jerk.”

Susan February 20, 2013 at 12:07 pm

McCain treated his constituents with the arrogance and smugness typical of the ruling class…

“You said build the dang fence! Where’s the fence?”

When McCain turned around to point at a graph, the man quickly shouted out, “That’s not a fence.” A slightly smug McCain shot back, “It’s a banana. We’ve putten up a banana with about $600 million dollars worth of appropriations.”

Lizzy February 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Term limits.

Just2old February 20, 2013 at 1:02 pm

he and Biden are the poster-boys for term limits.

Michael February 20, 2013 at 10:59 am

Instead of flying all over the country on his never-ending campaign, wouldn’t staying in Washington and showing some leadership with Congress save a lot of taxpayer dollars too?

Car in February 20, 2013 at 11:37 am

He sucks at the “Staying in Washington” and showing leadership thing. He rarely meets with anyone, and couldn’t negotiate his way out of a paper bag.

His idea of being a president was to get together everyone in a room, and do those “strategy” session. He did those to get idea on jobs and healthcare- remember – in Year One.

He’s a fricken idiot. He doesn’t do any of the hard work, refuses to negotiate, comes up with unworkable plans and says he’ll veto anything else.

cincycinco February 20, 2013 at 1:04 pm

“…staying in Washinton”

“…showing some leadership”

“….save a lot of taxpayer dollars…” – Michael

Congratulations, my friend. You just created a LIST of things that Obama has no interest in, capability for, or ability to do.


Lizzy February 20, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Perhaps he could borrow Michelle’s broom?

AZ Granny February 20, 2013 at 11:10 am

But wouldn’t those 160 teachers graciously go without their salaries so that His Arrogance and family could indulge in a Christmas vacation? Just because they have bills to pay and families to care for doesn’t mean the Obamas should go without.

What I’d like to know is how will the sequester affect Obama’s travel? Will he not be able to gas up the family airplane? Will he be forced to vacation at Camp David next Christmas instead of Hawaii? No, of course not!

Julie Brueckheimer February 20, 2013 at 11:32 am

I’ll hold my breath yet, but Obama seems to have crossed the line with a lot of people with his stunt in DC yesterday. If you read down the list of articles on RealClearPolitics this morning, the majority seem to be anti-Obama policy.

The reporting on his golf extravaganza seems to have helped too. At first I was annoyed that so much attention was given to it as apposed to Benghazi, for an example, but I do think now it has brought to the public attention the utter inanity of Obama press coverage as well. The public may be gradually awaking up to what those of us here have know for a long time: the emperor has no clothes.

Just2old February 20, 2013 at 1:04 pm

We can only hope!

TimW February 20, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Even the New York Times today said that Obama is full of crap with his misleading claims. Obamas speech was so ridiculous and full of lies that I am surprised Obama could keep a straight face delivering it.
Sequester away! It’s time for punishment for all of the public sector unionistas who voted for this charlatan.

Regina February 20, 2013 at 11:59 am

they care so much they just spent another cool 2 mill on a 3 day vac. living the dream!

The Business February 20, 2013 at 12:13 pm

everyone (especially liberals) should be made to read this article.

jill colby February 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm

This morning I heard on the news that he plans to go in front of the t.v. news and make his point. He also intends to fly around the country to bolster support for his way of thinking. This “support” does nothing, the low info voters that will be out cheering him on have literally nothing to say as to what will be decided. Maybe he should try to stay at the White House and work with his congress and senate to get a budget going on. Staying home would save a ton of money, and might even accomplish something.

tumu February 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm

The president really needs to cut back, how dare he spend $7 million on a round trip to his home state using the same plane his predecessor used while taking over 1000 vacation days? Even JFK had the manners to ride a car with no roof.

Susan February 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm

tumu doth projecteth too much.

Dbb February 20, 2013 at 1:52 pm

How many teachers could have been hired on what Bush’s 80 trips to Crawford cost? Including the reverse trip to sign a bill to “save” Mary Schiavo? Keith won’t answer it, maybe you can, Little Susy?

Susan February 20, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Little Susy? Sounds like a racial slur to me. RACIST!

Dbb February 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Can’t answer my question?

Star February 20, 2013 at 3:34 pm

DBB–the same number the feds hire now. Basically none.Even if the Bushes did screamingly wasterful, in your face, conspicuous consumption things on vacay, that would not make it right for the next pres to do it. See how that works…the two wrongs don’t make…oh, this is hopeless.

Star February 20, 2013 at 3:37 pm

PS The American people know about staycations–that’s what we take. Bush went to his home. That’s what we do. If we still have one. I think the word optics is dumb, but basically the appearances are the difference. And the attitude.

JOEP February 20, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Because he’s a lying sack of shit!!..oops did I say that??

chester arthur February 21, 2013 at 10:32 am

This is a great point you’ve made.Every lavish,self-indulgent move these people make should be reported on as costing the salaries of first responders,teachers,air traffic controllers,and any other group the Obama administration has used as a prop.How many people could get health care for what he spends on himself and his entertainment per month?This would be a point even the most low information voter out there would begin to understand.

Barbara OConnor March 2, 2013 at 10:43 pm

I so sick of listening to him whine about the sequester he thought up. Now all he can do is try to blame it all on the Republicans, saying they just won’t negotiate. Negotiating is a two way street, and the absolute only thing the Republicans won’t negotiate is another tax increase that Obama wants. He could just as easily give up his desire for more to avoid the sequester, but he wouldn’t. So he is no more willing to compromise than the Congress he keeps bitching about.

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