Friday, December 23, 2011

The Obamas Head Off To Their $4 Million Hawaiian Vacation..On The Taxpayer's Dime

Now that President Obama has finished his labors on our behalf, it's time for yet another vacay.

This 17 day idyll is estimated to cost the American tax payer a cool $4 million plus, over $235,000 per day.Ain't no recession here, bubba!

First let's start with the travel expenses:

The biggest expense is President Barack Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii via Air Force One, a cost the GAO office estimated at $1 million in the year 2000. Contacted today, the GAO confirmed there is no report the independent office affiliated with Congress has prepared since 2000 to operate Air Force One and Air Force Two.

However, the U.S. Air Force provides the most current numbers of $181,757 per flight hour. Travel time for Air Force One direct from Washington D.C. to Hawaii is about 9 hours or $1,635,813 each way for a total of $3,271,622 for the round trip to Hawaii and back.

The cost for USAF C-17 cargo aircraft that transports the Presidential limos, helicopters and other support equipment to Hawaii was not made available. However, the flight time between Andrews Air Force Base and Hawaii is at about 21.5 hours roundtrip, with estimated operating cost of $12,000 per hour. (Source: GAO report, updated by C-17 crew member). The United States Marine Corps provides a presidential helicopter, along with pilots and support crews for the test flights, which travel on another C-17 flight. That is $258,000, not including costs for the 4 to 6 member crew's per diem and hotel.

Mrs. Obama’s early flight to Hawaii costs about $63,000 (White House Dossier), but add security and personnel for a total of about $100,000.

These numbers also don't account for the food and drink bill en route, especially when it comes to Michele Obama's assorted staffers and hangers on.

Now, when the Obamas reach Hawaii, they're going to be paying their own rental for a house nearer to the beach rather than using the Winter White House. Unfortunately, since the Kailua rentals are fronted by the ocean and backed by a canal, not only are the taxpayers footing the bill for housing a larger than usual Secret Service detail,but the cost of housing U.S. Coast Guard and Navy Seals in beach front and canal front homes in Kailua, as well as the cost of maintaining ships off shore.

Rentals in pricy Kailua are calculated at a cost about $1,200 per day ( figured at a cost of $200 per bedroom per day,which I think is frankly low). 18 days ( since security arrives a day early) comes to $151,200.

Now, the President’s staff and White House Press Corps ( don't ask me why they're along) are staying at the Moana Surfrider a world famous five star hotel overlooking the beach in Waikiki.

Rooms usually start at a base rate of $250 to $450 per night, and are even higher during the holidays. There's a special government rate of $177 per night,but the Surfrider's normal policy is that it's not available during the holidays, which are peak time.

But let's make this a gimmee, as President Obama's golf budies would say and calculate this at that rate. That would mean the taxpayers are footing the bill for over $72,216 in hotel bills for an estimated 24 staff. If it isn't at the government rate, we're talking better than double that figure.

Also, tourist mecca that it is, Hawaii charges a 9.25 percent Transient Accommodation Tax and a 4.712 percent General Excise Tax - $10,082.80 if we're talking government rates, more like just over $20,000 if we're not. Add in taxes and charges for meals, internet use, and other et ceteras,( figure an average of $75 per day, again a lowball estimate) and we're probably talking about more like between $150,00 and $185,000.

None of this includes food and beverages for the president's party and their guests while they're on vacay, car rentals, the cost of installing extra phone lines, bullet proof glass and other and security precautions in private residences and then restoring them to their original condition, greens fees, and all the other little extras that crop up when you're on vacation.

At least a bit over $4,000,000...and probably more. And this at a time when a lot of Americans are struggling to get by and just pay their bills. Yes, President Obama is definitely out there fighting for the middle class!

Hawaii is beautiful this time of year I'm told. Especially if someone else is footing the bill.

In fairness to the president, there's a Daily Mail story out there based on a National Inquirer piece saying that the president tried to talk Mooch-elle into a local holiday at the presidential retreat at Camp David, which is not exactly one of the slum properties then State Senator Obama got funded out of public money and had his old pal Tony Rezco build back in Chicago.

But the First Lady apparently got in his face and told him no way, no how.

This actually has the ring of truth, seeing as the president probably would have preferred to keep things more low key with elections coming up. And based on her previous performances, I can well believe that Mooch-elle simply was not to be denied. It's obvious who wears the pants in that particular family.

please helps me write more gooder!

No comments: