As it has every year since he took office, President Barack Obama’s Christmas with the first family meant traveling to Hawaii for the holiday in 2015.
According to information obtained by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch from the U.S. Air Force via a Freedom of Information Act request, that trip to Hawaii cost taxpayers more than $3.5 million in flight expenses alone.
Those expenses include the fuel, maintenance and crew costs for Air Force One for the president, as well as for a separate military version of a Boeing 757 that was used for the first lady, according to Judicial Watch.
What those expenses don’t include are the millions of taxpayer dollars spent on things like advance teams and vehicles, Secret Service and other security, specially positioned Navy and Coast Guard assets, or the food and lodging consumed by the dozens upon dozens of individuals who accompany the president and first family wherever they may go.
It has been estimated by Judicial Watch that more than $78 million has been spent on family trips and vacations by the Obama’s and Vice President Joe Biden, with nearly $28 million being spent on trips to Hawaii alone.
The group also discovered more than $286,000 in expenses for four separate trips in 2014 and 2015 that were not official White House business, but rather included two fundraising efforts in Los Angeles and New York for the Democratic National Committee, a campaign assist for Chicago Mayor and former aide Rahm Emanuel, and a golfing getaway in Florida.
Those figures were obtained from the Department of Homeland Security and largely account for the costs of Secret Service travel and accommodations, leaving much of the rest of the cost of those trips unknown.
“The American people have every right to be appalled that Barack Obama wastes their precious tax dollars on an endless stream of golf vacations, political fundraisers, and exorbitant vacations,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “The Obama travel issue is about abuse of office, abuse of the taxpayer, and contempt for the rule of law.”
Fitton is absolutely right that the American people are appalled at the taxpayer money being wasted by Obama for nonofficial trips, vacations and golf outings, particularly when many are still struggling in a seemingly stagnant economy.
Americans are increasingly counting themselves lucky if they can afford to squeeze a vacation into a long weekend, much less take a major trip across the country for several days or weeks at a time, multiple times a year, as our vacationer-in-chief has shown he is quite adept at doing.
Please share this on Facebook and Twitter to help spread the word that the travel costs for Obama’s most recent Christmas vacation to Hawaii have been released, and they are as absurd as you’d guess them to be.