Hawaiian vacations are getting pricy. Just ask the First Family — and the American taxpayer.
With inflation jumping the cost of flying Air Force One, the price of President Obama's 17-day family vacation to Hawaii last Christmas was $7,781,361.30 -- and that doesn't even include rent, rooms for staff, security, and the use of cars, helicopters and communications equipment.
The pricing provided to taxpayer watchdog Judicial Watch by the Air Force means that over just the last two Hawaiian Christmas vacations, the price of just flying the family west was nearly $12 million.
Judicial Watch also received cost documents for the president’s trip to Africa last year, and that price tag was $8,104,224. News reports put the total cost of the trip at about $100 million, but this is the first accurate accounting of the flight portion.
So in just two trips, figures provided to Judicial Watch by the Air Force total $15,885,585.30.
“The costs to taxpayers of President Obama’s travel, especially his luxury vacation travel, are beyond the pale,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And the secrecy surrounding these costs shows that Obama’s vows of transparency are rubbish,” he added.
The watchdog group has been keeping tabs on the First Family’s travel costs but has often been stymied in their requests. The latest documents came back from a Freedom of Information Act request.
With the documents, tabulating the flight costs are simple. At the time of the Christmas trip, Air Force One cost $210,877 an hour, and the total flight time was 36.9 hours. For the trip to Africa, the flight cost was $228,288 an hour over 35.5 hours.
The National Taxpayer's Union recently revealed that Obama has become the most travelled president in history, with 31 trips under his belt. And that was before his trip this week to Europe, and Michelle Obama's trip to China with her daughters and mom.
Presidents typically get hit for their travel, especially vacations. George W. Bush, for example, was often slapped by critics for traveling so often to his home in Texas.Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.