Many Americans have been unable to afford a family vacation in recent years. The economy's bad, prices are high and concentrating on simply making ends meet are the priorities for many.
Here on the Space Coast of Florida, where I live, we've taken a major hit because of the aforementioned. Americans are tightening their belts, for sure. Well...apparently not all Americans... The First Family has found the time and resources to take a total of 16 vacations in the last 3 years.
One recent jaunt by the First Lady and the girls cost the taxpayers a tidy sum.
A February 2012 ski trip enjoyed by first lady Michelle Obama and her two daughters cost taxpayers at least $83,000, according to records obtained by Judicial Watch.
The total cost of the President’s Day weekend getaway was at least $83,182.99. The largest expense was $48,950.38 for Secret Service protection, which included accommodations at the Fasching Haus deluxe condominium and the Inn at Aspen.
The cost of transportation was also hefty. Using official Department of Defense hourly rates, Judicial Watch estimated that the flights cost $22,583.70. This didn’t include in-flight purchases costing $235.44. The cost of rental cars was $6,442.23.
...said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The costs of the Obama family ski weekend are staggering. These high-priced luxury vacations, and the lack of transparency about them, are beginning to seem like an abuse of office.”
While the cost of the trip was high, it hardly compares to some of the other trips the Obamas have taken, including a vacation to Spain that cost $467,585 and a trip to Africa costing $424,142.
Now, I don't begrudge anyone being successful and indulging in elaborate getaways. Particularly if they've worked hard and earned enough disposable income to do so. And I especially want my President to be able to take some time and recharge, as well as his family...but this may be a little over top. And on the taxpayer's dime, nonetheless. Don't you think?