President Obama had hoped to be in Hawaii today for the start of his 17-day Christmas vacation. Instead, he’s stuck in Washington until Congress finishes its work for the year. But in the Aloha State, residents are already abuzz about the first family’s trip — and its high price tag.
Figures obtained by Hawaii Reporter reveal the trip is expected to run taxpayers about $4 million. It has already cost taxpayers about $100,000 extra just so first lady Michelle Obama and the president’s daughters, Sasha and Malia, could leave Friday before the president, according to White House Dossier.
Hawaii Reporter’s comprehensive breakdown uses government data to calculate travel, housing, hotel and local costs.
Hawaii Reporter research shows the total cost for the President’s visit for taxpayers far exceeded $1.5 million in 2010 — but is even more costly this year because he extended his vacation by three days and the cost for Air Force One travel has jumped since last assessed in 2000. In addition, Hawaii Reporter was able to obtain more specifics about the executive expenditures.
The total cost (based on what is known) for the 17-day vacation roundtrip vacation to Hawaii for the President, his family and staff has climbed to more than $4 million.
White House press secretary Jay Carney was asked about the vacation’s cost at a briefing last week. He dodged questions about Michelle Obama’s desire to travel separately from the president.