While Americans face fiscal cliff, Obama plans annual $4 million Hawaii vacation

Patricia Campion
Policy & Issues Examiner

…According to a Congressional Research Service report released May 17 – at a cost to the American taxpayer of $179,750 per hour — the flight to Hawaii on Air Force One will be the most expensive part of the $4 million vacation.

A direct flight from Washington D.C. to Hawaii takes about 9 hours. With an approximate cost of $1,635,813 each way, that’s a round trip cost of about $3,271,622.

Factor in the cost for the USAF C-17 cargo aircraft that transports the Presidential limos, helicopters and other support equipment to Hawaii – which the “most transparent” president “in history” has “never disclosed” over the course of his multiple trips to the islands – and the cost jumps another $258,000.

Then there will be the room rentals.

The President’s staff and White House Press Corps typically stay at one of Hawaii’s oldest and most elegant hotels, the Moana Surfrider.

“Government rates are $177 per night,” Hawaii Reporter noted last year. “But that only is available during certain times a year.”

Rooms typically start at $250 but can cost on average as much as $450 a night, and are even higher during the holidays.

Hawaii Reporter also estimated the costs for the Kailua rentals – which housed Obama’s entourage of “special forces” members added up to about $200 per bedroom per day, or $21,600 per average home for a nearly three week period.

Of course, Obama’s security Advance Team – described in 2008 by The U.K. Guardian as “far and away the most complex, expensive and thorough presidential or premier advance guard unit in the world” — arrives ahead of the president to sweep and secure the area.

That will cost taxpayers around another $176,400.

“I think most folks understand how hard I work and how hard this administration is working on behalf of the American people,” Obama told Connors during his April interview.

Whether or not “most folks” would consider jetting off to Hawaii would qualify as evidence of “how hard” he works “on behalf of the American people” as the stretch of runway between the front bumper of the United States economic bus and the edge of the fiscal cliff runs out is – of course — a matter of opinion.

Whether Obama goes “forward” with the plans remains to be seen.

But one thing is for certain. Should he follow through with his badly timed vacation plans, Americans will receive another special Christmas photo of the president waving to “folks” back home while he enjoys his 105th trip to a golf course — at their expense.

Read the complete article at the Examiner.

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