WASHINGTON, March 20, 2014 – Michelle Obama and her daughters and mother are on the first day of their excellent China vacation. It is costing the taxpayers millions of dollars.
Meanwhile, the Obama’s are planning for the Obama family vacation this summer in Martha’s Vineyard. The Obama family has gone there every year they have been in the White House, except for 2012.
That year, Barack Obama had to campaign so he could keep taking taxpayer-financed vacations.
It is only March and Michelle Obama is on her third vacation of 2014. She went to Hawaii with the family over Christmas, then stayed by herself, at government expense, for another ten days to prepare for her fiftieth birthday.
When she was ready to come home, Barack Obama sent an Air Force plane to pick her up. The conservative estimate of the cost of that flight was a million dollars and that was just for the plane.
In February, she went to Aspen Colorado, again at the taxpayers’ expense.
Now she is going to China.
Last year, the Obamas went to Africa, in a vacation jaunt that only cost the American people $100 million. That is actually an incomplete estimate, as the cost of security arrangements is never disclosed.
On that trip, the Obama daughters were listed as “senior staff.” One wonders what is Michelle Obama’s mother listed as on the China trip? Very senior staff?
Obama vacations used to inspire outrage in the conservative media. Even conservatives are getting tired of complaining about the Obama vacations, but they should stay on target as the Obama vacations are a symptom of a greater problem in Washington.
Today, Barack Obama is leaving Washington for an event in Orlando, Florida. Then he will go to Miami for a DNC fundraiser. What is the cost for Obama to take Air Force One and his entire entourage to Miami? They have to pay the price of a first class airline ticket.
Obama is not the first to misuse Air Force One. George Bush used it to go to fundraisers and campaign. Bill Clinton did it before him and so did George H.W. Bush. Just because the precedent has been set, doesn’t make it right.
If the Obamas want to take these vacations, let them pay for them, themselves. If Michelle Obama wants to take her kids to see China, let wealthy Democrats pay for it. If Barack Obama wants to raise funds for the DNC, let the DNC pick up the cost for Air Force One and the Obama entourage.
Republicans in Congress should step in, especially if the GOP takes control of the Senate next year. Unfortunately the Republicans do not want to clip Obama’s wings because they will have to live by the same rules. And they believe in 2017 there will be a Republican in the White House and they want that President to have all of the perks of office.
They want that President to be able to fly around on Air Force One and raise funds for Republicans the way Obama is doing for the Democrats.
The real problem is not the abuse of the Presidential perks it is Washington. The closer to the center of the beltway you get, the more it intoxicates and beguiles. And once in office, it brings out the worst in the people we send their to work on our behalf.
Perhaps we should all remember the words of Frank Underwood from Netflix’s House of Cards. “The road to power is paved with hypocrisy.”