The U.S. Secret Service has arrived, street barricades are in place, and the U.S. Coast Guard has stationed itself in the waters surrounding Kailua, Oahu.
That is a sure sign President Barack Obama’s security team is preparing for the first family to arrive in the small beachside community as early as Friday night for what is expected to be a 17-day vacation.
The President and his family are traveling separately to Hawaii because he wants resolve the payroll tax cut issue before leaving Washington – and his wife does not want to wait.
But the advanced trip and the cost that comes with it – as much as $100,000 (flight and security) – adds to an already expensive vacation for the taxpayers.
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. Here’s why.
The biggest expense is President Barack Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii via Air Force One, a cost the GAO office estimated at $1 million in the year 2000. Contacted today, the GAO confirmed there is no report the independent office affiliated with Congress has prepared since 2000 to operate Air Force One and Air Force Two.
However, the U.S. Air Force provides the most current numbers of $181,757 per flight hour. Travel time for Air Force One direct from Washington D.C. to Hawaii is about 9 hours or $1,635,813 each way for a total of $3,271,622 for the round trip to Hawaii and back.
The cost for USAF C-17 cargo aircraft that transports the Presidential limos, helicopters and other support equipment to Hawaii was not made available. However, the flight time between Andrews Air Force Base and Hawaii is at about 21.5 hours roundtrip, with estimated operating cost of $12,000 per hour. (Source: GAO report, updated by C-17 crew member). The United States Marine Corps provides a presidential helicopter, along with pilots and support crews for the test flights, which travel on another C-17 flight. That is $258,000, not including costs for the 4 to 6 member crew’s per diem and hotel.
Mrs. Obama’s early flight to Hawaii costs about $63,000 (White House Dossier), but add security and personnel for a total of about $100,000.
The rest of that article calculates the remaining components of the FOUR MILLION DOLLAR bill.
On another topic, here is a re-cap on our budget situation in 2012:
Remember, the Democrats took control of the House and Senate in January 2007, and that’s when the overspending started.
Why should we expect someone who can spend FOUR MILLION dollars on a vacation to have the discipline and frugality to balance the nation’s books?