President Obama, grappling with two major international crises and a new federal court decision that threatens to dismantle Obamacare, hit the road for a three-day West Coast fundraising trip that will cost nearly $3 million just to fly Air Force One.
At $228,288 an hour, the base flight time of 12.5 hours from Washington to Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and back to Andrews Air Force Base will cost taxpayers $2.85 million.
Expensive? That bill doesn’t include the cost of flying and housing staff and the Secret Service, or the prepositioning of equipment like limos to get the president from his hotel to events.
According to the White House pool report noting Obama’s departure from Andrews, “Obama has 5 fundraisers sked for the trip, as well as a speech on the economy on Thursday in LA.”
The hourly cost of flying Air Force One has risen under Obama, in large part due to the increase in fuel prices. The Air Force recently told watchdog Judicial Watch that the price jumped to $228,288 from $179,750, an increase of 27 percent.
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, told Secrets, “We need a fundamental rethink of the costs of the traveling presidency. Presidential fundraising gets taxpayer-funded subsidies that are incalculable.”
Typically, some of the costs of party fundraising are covered by the groups hosting the president.
Editor's note: Judicial Watch is representing the Washington Examiner in the newspaper's federal lawsuit seeking access to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau records under FOIA.Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.