It would be nice to spend the holidays in Hawaii, wouldn’t it? In case you haven’t heard, President Obama and the First Family did just that — and they were spending your money.
In a press conference today, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed that the family’s trip to Hawaii and Michelle Obama’s extended stay — a birthday gift from the President — was actually on the taxpayers’ dime.
According to the Hawaii Reporter, the guesstimated total cost for the 17-day vacation for the President, his family and staff last year was over $4 million. Reports estimate this year’s trip will cost about the same – not including the one-week extension for Mrs. Obama.
The Washington Examiner reports:
The biggest expense is Obama’s roundtrip flight to Hawaii on Air Force One, which costs taxpayers $3,271,622, according to Michael Tasselmyer of the National Taxpayers Union Foundation and a Congressional Research Service report released in May 2012.
Estimates for costs on the one-week extension vary but Breitbart reports that a previous travel change for Mrs. Obama was upwards of $100,000, according to Treasury.
The First Lady has been criticized in the past for her love of lavish vacations, like when she spent five extra days at a beach side hotel in Spain in 2010.
It’s tough to swallow those numbers as our national debt creeps quickly above $17 trillion – a number President Obama increased by $10.6 trillion since he took office.
Ericka Andersen manages the social networking platforms and strategy as well as online outreach, and she is the Senior Digital Communications Associate at The Heritage Foundation http://www.heritage.org/