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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

  1. I’m sure they do not exchange Christ Mass gifts. Axe dem ’bout Kwanzaa gifts.

    Some compare previous presidents’ vacations to Obummer’s vacation dollars and days.

  2. I live in the town where he vacations.

    I think the nation should witness the entourage of police cars and staff that accompany the Obamas while we all wait in stopped traffic trying to get to work to pay for all of it. This is a really expensive state to live in! While he is hiking or having shave ice hundreds of people are inconvenienced. I say bring the shave ice machine over to your REALLY expensive vacation compound instead of making us all wait hours to get out of our neighborhood.

    We are not all on vacation in Hawaii. Some of us are just trying to get to work or take our kids to soccer practice. One of my daughter’s friends missed her Nutcracker performance waiting in traffic while the Obamas went for a hike.

    He should stay on the Marine Base next door to the posh residence he stays in and save us all a little money. He goes to MCBH almost every day to the gym anyway, followed by a huge security detail. The Obamas act like the nouveau riche with no concept of how hard everyone else is working. How many schools could be rebuilt with this vacation money?

    MAHALO for calling him on it. Our state is allowing him to get away with it. I can’t imagine Chicago would close down streets so he can go hiking and golfing. I appreciate that the Clintons and other presidents used Camp David. The Obamas should consider the same.

  3. Come on, like him or not he and his family are entitled to go on vacation where they want to go, whenever they want to go. The fact that in this day and age it costs so much is an expense we have to live with. He is not a prisoner of the White House, he is the President of our great country.

    • What is great about a country that murders millions of men, women and children overseas? That has no manufacturing? That is owned by banksters that have and are stealing more than the workers of this country have ever even made? That has a government that has sold out to big pharma, big corporations and perpetual war? That is so far in debt that it can never recover? That has and is letting its entire infrastructure crumble? That steals from the pensions and social security of its own people? That has rigged elections with only elitist picked swine as candidates? That has a lying congress that does and will do anything to keep themselves in power regardless of what it does to the people and the country? That has 50 million people on food stamps and welfare, that sends the youing to foreign soils to fight meaningless battles and then discards them when they finally come home? Just what fn great country are you referring to?

  4. While millions of American families struggle to pay their bills and put food on the table, these insensitive buffoons spend tens of millions of OUR money to have a good time. Most families cannot even afford a driving vacation thanks to Obama’s war on oil that has driven up the cost of gas to almost $4 a gallon.

    And his ignorant, illiterate supporters think he and Moochelle “care” about them. Nothing could be further from the truth. He only cares about himself and what is in it for him. Sociopathic narcissists are like that.

    • Lets, be fair. The Democrats ran Congress when Barney Frank , and Chris Dodd, were instrumental in forcing lenders to lend to the subprime market. Talk about cowards, after creating the bubble, Obama threw the blame on Bush , and threw him under the Bus like a million times.

  5. The American taxpayer has been entirely too generous with politicians. At all levels, these people live like kings and queens while lecturing the citizens about cost-cutting and ‘paying their fair share.’ What is ‘fair’ about a couple of America-hating taxpayer employees squandering millions of dollars on vacations? I think it would be ‘fair’ for all politicians to be paid a salary equal to the median income of the America people. I think the private jets and limos should be sold and the proceeds applied to the national debt. I think these people should fly commercially, in economy class, if the taxpayers are footing the bill. Also gone: ‘retinues’ tagging along with politicians, C-130s hauling automobiles, airfare for routine trips home from DC. I’m certain that we can think of more cuts. We the people have allowed this monster to grow and we the people can cut it back to size.

  6. Wouldn’t you think in this day and age that the President and his First Lady would think about the cost to the tax payers? Are they both so out of touch with reality?

    • Who do we right to Pelosi, OH Gee, she uses transports to fly privately back to California for how many years, not even talking about the liquor bill for the bar on board.

  7. That’s not the REAL problem:

    Why is almost every TV commercial now required to have at least one black, if not ALL blacks in it? Bright House Networks are FLOODED with them.

    Noticed this trend as of mid December ’12 – have you?

    For a “minority” group of American citizens (now well outnumbered by Hispanics), sure seems that blacks are the majority in this country.

    I’m going to file for welfare and food stamps, and not tell them about my partial Native American heritage….

    Don’t wanna mess up MY free ride!

  8. Mitt Romney gets lambasted by the media as a “rich elitist” and for taking his five boys and wife in a STATION WAGON for a family vacation because he put the family dog in a kennel on the roof because there was no more room in the vehicle. Sixty million Americans dumber than dirt that bought this fools nonsense.

  9. What people are missing: When most folks go on vacation, they absorb the expense of that. If you are fortunate to get vacation days, or get to take time off your job, or your business, THAT IS ALL YOU GET. YOU then pay for all related vacation expenses out of your pay or savings for where you go or what you do on your time off. POTUS should get the TIME OFF WITH PAY no problem, but – HE SHOULD BE PAYING FOR HIS OWN TRIP. Plane tickets, hotels, all are up to him and should be out of HIS POCKET. Wherever he wants to go who cares!!!!!

    • Right after he was elected the elitist hypocrite delivered a speech about the world wide crises known as global warming… telling all of us little people to drive scooters to work, put on a sweater, and sit in the dark.

      Three weeks later he jumps on a 747 to go for a “date night” dinner at he and Michelle’s favorite restaurant in Chicago. He burned more fuel on that single “date” and created more CO2 than the average family that owned Hummer would do in a LIFETIME.

      Liberals are fools for supporting the political elitists that say do as I say not as I do… useful idiots all of them and sure Barry laughs about it all the time. Karl Marx would be proud.

  10. What happened to Obama telling us the we all have to sacrifice? We have no money and are $16 trillion in debt. I guess Obama means all of us except him self and his friends need to sacrifice. Another example of one set of rules for Obama and his friends and another for the rest of us.

  11. Ole Papa Joe Kennedy manipulated the stock market. He made his wealth prior to crash. Only poor suckers were left holding the bag.
    Btw, what was Ted Kennedy’s estate tax? Funny we never heard about that. Joe Robbie’s family had to sell the miami dolphins after he died they couldn’t afford the estate taxes.

  12. This article forgets Michele Vacations that cost millions to Africa and Spain as well as Daughters trip to Mexico with 25 secret service agents and Coast to Coast Vacation to black Hills, California and other places Michele and girls took on tax payer dollar and don’t forget when Gulf Oil Leak happened Obama went on vacation to North Carolina arriving 11 days after the leak and when Gulf Shore Hotels were empty Michele spent millions going to Spain to five star hotel with 60 people , remember media complained about Bush trips to his home in taxas that cost fraction of Obama vacations

  13. Action speaks louder then Words. The Obama’s Spin, their Campaigned image building aura , has always been, that they are a leader of compassion, of caring for the down trodden. Their divisiveness, and attack of the Wealth, as if they were all greedy, out of touch.
    Their actions, which they flaunt with an uppity snobbish attitude, profoundly shouts hypocrisy ,with down right insensitivity when ,with so much suffering in this country, that They are so very out of touch with reality, and have no guilt for their extravagance and waste fullness.
    I’m sorry but $7 millions for a 3 week vacation is not wealthy elitism , it is Tyrant dictator type elitism, which everyone has frowned on because of a imbalanced society with no freedom, poverty, while the royalty lavishes in decadent gluttony with taxpayers money.
    I would ,if being a servant of the American people, go to Camp David, and use the $7 million dollars , and either build modest new homes for about 150 homeless families, or help 300 families to start a small business, or allow retrain 600 family providers into another career. Wow , this to me would be something that would be awesome , the good I did, would make me feel, like a king, like a saint, such power to good, something my mind would remember a lifetime, more then swimming in the Ocean, playing golf,or anything I would get from a lavish vacation.
    Unfortunately many Americans are either complacent ,don’t care, not even aware, out of touch, or down right cowardly, to complain of this waste, and behavior.
    This Country was established as a loving christian Nation, and the leadership we have now is not Loving, not Christian, not Free.
    We give all of that up by letting things like this continue to happen.

  14. Embezzlement = the fraudulent appropriation of funds or property entrusted to your care but actually owned by someone else.

    Obama receives a $450K annual salary with a $50K allowance for expendetures but on this last vacation he has used $20 million of Our Money. In 2011, he and his moochy family used $1.4 billion of Our Money for their vacations and personal protection.

    It’s time for these thieves to be charged with open embezzlement and the misuse of public funds. These vacations have nothing to do with matters of state, and he has breached the confidence of the American people for personal gain.

    When Nancy Reagan used public money to purchase chinaware for the White House, the media screamed to high heaven – and that was a purchase for the White House. Now it’s time to manufacture that same anger at the Obamas and hold them personally and financially liable for the tax dollars they have stolen from us.

  15. The time has come to put a limit on the amount of time and money a president can use at tax payer’s expense. Obama is completely out of control and has to be reeled in . Time that the Congress and Senate crack down. If not they all need to be replaced and term limit set

  16. you stupid Demons think that he is for the poor. Obummer is for Obummer and nobopdy else if you haven’t figured this out by now you are even stupider than I thought.

  17. I would like to take a hawaii trip, however I can’t afford it with my pay freezes and ever rising tax bill. I geuss its more important for us to give our lord and savior BhuseinO, queen moochelle, their 2 little princesses and all of their enterage a vacation there. Stay locked and loaded my friends

  18. The Obamas have made it abundantly clear that the cost to the taxpayer is of absolutely no concern to them. They consider themselves royalty and they act like it. Their arrogance has no bounds.
    Leading by example during what they call the worst economy since the depression would have been staying in Washington or doing something less than what they do. And does anyone believe that they pay for their accomodations themselves? Show me the invoice. And how many of MO’s staff of 24 go with her to Hawaii? We can expect much more of the same in the next four years because they have not been effectvely challenged on the excesses of the first four. Everybody is apparently afraid of being labeled a racist I suppose.
    There should be legislation to define and budget what the royalty, er, President and First Spouse are provided courtesy of the taxpayers.

  19. Keith,

    You need to think about something else other than what other people have you don’t. Thinking like yours…. Well what can I say. Presidents need a vacation too. And, thinking about it, sounds like you need a vacation too.

  20. Well, considering your comment about Obama “visiting his roots”… at least you’re coming to grips with the fact that he really isn’t Kenyan.

  21. Revelation 6:15

    Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us[f] from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their[g] wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

  22. Just the cost of being President. I am sure when Reagan made 50 trips to California during his presidency, the Dems bitched about that. It all averages out in the long run.

    • True, he did make many trips to CA, his own ranch where SS protection was already in place. No extra security detail needed on every trip. Little or no added expense.

  23. Despicable is what it is. What’s wrong with going to Camp David?

    And what is this nonsense about Bush and his ‘supposed’ 1000+ days of vacation he took during his two terms as President? Seems a bit on the excessive side to be believable.

    Seems he and his administration don’t care either way. Thanks to the idiots who re-eleceted him, you’re going to come up short over the next four years. Let us all know how that hope and change is moving you ‘forward’?

  24. When I get my paycheck at the end of this month and discover there’s $150 less in it, I’ll be sure to read your article again. I’ll know it’ll make me feel so much better. (*Seinfeld eye roll*)