The taxpayer tab for the vacations for President Obama and his family now has surpassed $74 million, even though Obama once said a president must be prepared to give up taking vacations for the sake of the nation.
The word comes from Judicial Watch, which has been demanding public records from the government and filing lawsuits to get the information about the Obamas’ profligate spending on travel.
Judicial Watch found taxpayers have spent at least $74,124,562.48 on the family’s down times.
“Now that we’ve sued, the Secret Service has stopped ignoring our requests for details on more of the costs of Barack Obama’s luxury vacations,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said on Wednesday.
“Taxpayers, the U.S. Air Force and the Secret Service are being abused by Barack Obama, who too often treats Air Force One and his security detail like some of sort of kingly entourage. Does Barack Obama really think that over $5 million for two family vacations, which include nearly $1 million in Secret Service hotel bills for a two week Martha’s Vineyard vacation, is an appropriate use of tax dollars?”
WND reported in December the discovery of a video showing Obama as a candidate in 2008 declaring a president must be prepared to sacrifice vacations, his leisure time and even his need for sleep to fulfill his obligations to the American people.
The latest spending total comes after Judicial Watch obtained records from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security revealing that the August 2014 Martha’s Vineyard and Christmas 2014 Honolulu vacations cost taxpayers $1,243,057.80 for Secret Service accommodations alone.
Many of the costs associated with the president’s vacations are not ordinarily released. The government defines many of them as secret to protect the president’s security detail and its methods.
The Judicial Watch report said: “According to the newly obtained records, accommodations provided by Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Reservations for the Secret Service detail accompanying the Obama family on their two-week Martha’s Vineyard vacation in August 2014 cost taxpayers a total of $946,435. The documents show that ‘GSA Lodging variance’ was obtained in order to approve the high costs of accommodations in the ‘high season’ of travel in Martha’s Vineyard. The documents provide no other details about the Secret Service accommodations.”
The report said accommodations for the Secret Service detail accompanying the Obama family on their December-to-January Christmas Honolulu vacation cost taxpayers $296,622.80.
The Hawaii trip included $39,575.95 at Paradise Luxury Rentals; $34,827.57 at The Kahala; and $209,218.25 at Cabana Girl LLC. ”
Earlier, Judicial Watch revealed the Obama family’s Christmas vacation to Honolulu cost $3.67 million in flight expenses alone.
The total for known expenses for the 2014 Martha’s Vineyard and Christmas Honolulu vacations was $5.3 million.
Judicial Watch said that in Martha’s Vineyard, the Obama family stayed a in a “plush, secluded seven-bedroom, nine-bath, 8,100-square-foot house in the exclusive Chilmark neighborhood.”
Judicial Watch said an outing for Obama and his daughters to New York, “hanging out with his girls,” cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“President Obama evidently cares not one whit about the costs to beleaguered taxpayers of his personal and political travel. Why would any public servant think it appropriate to use an Air Force plane (and an army of law enforcement) to take his daughters sightseeing in New York? Barack Obama is enamored with the presidency’s trappings of power and taxpayers are left holding the tab,” the earlier JW report concluded.
WND reported a few years ago when Malia Obama’s March 2012 spring-break vacation to Mexico cost taxpayers at least $115,000.
Prior to the presidential trip to sub-Saharan Africa in 2013, the Washington Post reported: “Hundreds of U.S. Secret Service agents will be dispatched to secure facilities in Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. A Navy aircraft carrier or amphibious ship, with a fully staffed medical trauma center, will be stationed offshore in case of an emergency. Military cargo planes will airlift in 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines and three trucks loaded with sheets of bullet-proof glass to cover the windows of the hotels where the first family will stay. Fighter jets will fly in shifts, giving 24-hour coverage over the president’s airspace, so they can intervene quickly if an errant plane gets too close.”
Additionally, 100 Secret Service agents “are needed as ‘post-standers’ – to man security checkpoints and borders around the president – in each of the first three cities he visits. ”
“Sixty-five are needed to meet up with Obama in Dar es Salaam. … In addition, 80 to 100 additional agents will be flown in to work rotating shifts, with round-the-clock coverage, for Obama’s and his family’s security details.”
In 2014, WND reported that two golf outings for Obama – to Key Largo, Florida, and to Palm Springs, California – cost $2.9 million.
Then there was the $7.9 million for the Obamas to fly to Northern Ireland. The trip included an extra $251,000 for Michelle Obama and her daughters to go sightseeing in Dublin.