There was recently some buzz surrounding the daughter of Hong Kong’s chief executive as she pulled her best Marie Antoinette, mocking democracy protestors and taxpayers from her ivory tower through social media. While Sasha and Malia haven’t taken to Twitter to show off their taxpayer-purchased jewelry, federal documents show that the first family has enjoyed themselves quite a bit on the public dime.
According to a new report from taxpayer watchdogs Judicial Watch, three recent Obama vacations have cost us more than $6.2 million, and that’s just for security and transportation. This includes the family’s trip to Honolulu in 2012, a trip to Aspen last winter, and their Martha’s Vineyard getaway in 2013. No word yet on how much Obama’s endless golfing summer of 2014 cost the taxpayers.
According to Judicial Watch, the Obamas and Biden have cost the American taxpayers more than $40 million in vacation dollars. It’s also important to realize that these costs are merely for security and transportation. Yet to be tallied is how much is being spent on the accommodations for other staff members, local transportation while on location, and various other expenses.
The man Breitbart.com once called the “most well-traveled, expensive president” in history is not quite thumbing his nose at the American public…but he’s not far from it. If we were in the middle of outrageous economic growth, it would be one thing. Maybe we could even take some grudging pride in being able to afford such extravagances on the part of the president. Got to look the part, right?
This is a whole ‘nother deal. There have been serious issues facing the American economy since before Obama took office, and they have only been partially remedied since. No one is suggesting the President of the United States live like a pauper, and no one is suggesting that he not go on vacation. But these extravagances are a slap in the face at a time like this. According to numbers from American Express, the average American family spends $4K on vacation expenses for a single year. If the Obamas were spending $40K or, hey, $400K…but this is beyond the pale.
It’s not even about the money “belonging to the taxpayers.” If that money were refunded equally to every American, we’d each get about 13 cents. That’s not the point. The point is that there are millions of Americans out of work, unable to find a job despite the administration’s assurances that everything is better. The last few days have shown a stock market in sharp decline, demonstrating that we may never see an economic boom before sliding into another recession.
It’s also about this high-and-mighty attitude we see from Obama, where he tells people to cut their phone bills so they can afford his mandatory insurance. Or when he tells people to inflate their tires so they can get more mileage out of an expensive gallon of gas. Maybe come and talk to the American people about making financial sacrifices when you didn’t spend $15 million to go to Africa.