Sunday, January 1, 2017

President Obama's Vacations Have Cost Taxpayers Over $96 Million

                President Obama and his family have taken 28 vacations spanning 217 days and costing the taxpayers $96 million over the course of their eight years in the White House. That doesn’t include the Hawaiian vacation they are currently enjoying, yet it’s an average of 3 and ½ vacations a year, spanning an average of 27 days a year, at an average yearly cost to the taxpayer of $12 million.
                Let’s be honest: all presidents take their work with them on vacation. Yet Democrats blasted presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush for frequently leaving Washington and going on vacation. (They blasted Reagan for taking naps- on doctor’s orders- after he nearly died from an assassination attempt that left a bullet lodged within an inch of his heart). Yet both Reagan and Bush nearly always went home, Reagan to Rancho del Cielo and Bush to his parent’s home in Kennebunkport, Maine- or to his ranch in Texas. Obama and family, on the other hand, virtually never return home to Chicago, opting instead to stay at lavish hotels and resorts around the world, in places such as Palm Springs, West Palm Beach, Africa, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, Aspen, and Hawaii. Obviously, putting his entourage up in places such as these costs infinitely more than would staying at one’s own home. The much longer air travel (with its attendant greenhouse gas production!) also costs significantly more.
                By contrast, at least insofar as we are to believe him at this juncture, Donald Trump is pledging to take relatively little vacation time, even though he will be older than  any other president was when first taking office. In fact, in a recent interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes,” he stated: “There’s just so much to be done…so I don’t think we’ll be very big on vacations, no.” He also appears committed to following the lead of George Washington by eschewing his presidential salary. Trump, in that same interview, said in regards to the $400,000-a-year compensation, “No, I’m not going to take the salary. I’m not taking it.”
                And we already know that, unlike Obama, he’ll alter his itinerary to support those stricken by catastrophic flooding.
                I’m guessing the Big Bully would even set down his golf clubs to do so.

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