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Tag Archives: Obama Hawaii vacation 2012

Watchdog Group Suit Seeks Costs of Obama’s Hawaii Vacation

The political watchdog group Judicial Watch is suing the government to ascertain the costs to taxpayers of President Obama’s January 2013 trip to Hawaii, the second he took to the Aloha State during this winter’s holiday season.

According to Judicial Watch, the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Secret Service seeks:

All records concerning use of U.S. Government funds to provide security and/or other services to President Obama and any companions on their January 1 and 2, 2013 trip to Honolulu, Hawaii.

The lawsuit focuses on Obama’s shocking decision to travel to Hawaii a second time on January 1 after having returned to Washington from his initial sojourn there in late December in order to conduct negotiations to avoid the Fiscal Cliff.

At the time, White House Dossier estimated Obama’s second trip added over $3 million to the more than $4 million that the first Hawaii excursion had already cost taxpayers. A significant portion of the known costs are attributable to the use of Air Force One, which costs about $180,000 an hour to fly.

Judicial Watch says it is filing the lawsuit in the wake the Secret Service’s failure to state – as required by law – whether it would comply with a January 2, 2013 Judicial Watch FOIA request for information.

Cost of Obama Hawaii Vacation Could Save 160 Teachers’ Jobs

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.

Michelle Wears $30 Dress on $7 Million Vacation

While on a ritzy vacation that set taxpayers back at least $7 million, Michelle Obama made a public display of wearing a cheap, off the rack dress from Target that cost her about $30.

Michelle dressThe first lady was photographed arriving and departing Hawaii in the same Target Merona brand dress. What she wore while out of sight of photographers during her stay at her lavish vacation home and visits to expensive restaurants is unclear.

Michelle, who as first lady often wears high-end designer clothing and pricey accoutrements and takes exorbitant vacations to far-flung locales like South Africa, the Spanish Riviera and the finest Rocky Mountain ski slopes, works hard to maintain her regular gal image by occasionally donning cheap stuff. She brought a member of the media along a little while back to make sure she was photographed pushing a shopping cart around Target.

Including the costs of two Air Force One roundtrips to ferry President Obama back on forth to Oahu, the the taxpayer price tag for the vacation was at least $7 million.

Michelle has worn the dress before and it long ago was sold out, but similar Target dresses retail for about $30 or less.

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… Continue Reading

Obama Uses Autopen to Sign Fiscal Cliff Bill

President Obama used his autopen late Wednesday to sign the Fiscal Cliff bill, a move that will raise questions in the minds of some about whether the legislation and the massive tax increases included in it have actually become law. Obama was forced to use the autopen – by which a machine puts his signature… Continue Reading

Obama Resumes Love Affair With Chris Christie

President Obama took a moment out of his vacation to try to sooth New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is having a conniption over the failure of House Republicans to move a Hurricane Sandy relief bill. Christie, who talked to the vacationing Obama by phone, had said not approving the Senate pass bill was “disgusting”… Continue Reading

Obama’s Family Vacation for Dudes

President Obama’s just-completed five-day respite in Hawaii was the vacation some guys dream about, including an intense focus on recreation alone or with the guys and a comparatively light schedule of family-oriented events. Obama played golf three out of the five days he was on Oahu, engaging in marathon sessions of up to six hours… Continue Reading

Michelle to Remain in Hawaii, Costing Taxpayers Over $100K

President Obama will return to Washington from Hawaii Thursday while First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters plan to continue their vacation, adding at least $100,000 and probably more than $200,000 to taxpayer costs for the excursion. Instead of accompanying her husband home on Air Force One, Mrs. Obama will fly on her own Air… Continue Reading