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« I Can't Believe I'm Willfully Rushing to the Defense of Tom Vilsack | Main | James O'Keefe Strikes Again »

What Bad Economy?


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?

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Reader Comments (23)

President and Mrs. Do-As-We-Say-Not-As-We-Do are being pretty transparent here, aren't they?

President Narcissus says,"We all have to get some skin in the game." What he really means is, "We all have to get some skin in the game, except for me, because I'm special."

President Condescension says, "Turn down your thermostat." What he really means is, "Turn down your thermostat, but I'll keep the Oval Office at 85 degrees in January, because I'm not paying the fuel bill."

July 19, 2012 at 06:41 | Registered CommenterRedBeard

Is there something wrong with Camp David?

July 19, 2012 at 07:33 | Registered CommenterMachiavelli

This administration is trying to perfect the Imperial Presidency.

The trend toward a too-powerful chief executive began in earnest with Franklin Roosevelt, and presidents since have been adding to the problem. I still recall Tricky Dick trying to go for the imperial look by outfitting the Secret Service with stupid looking palace guard-style hats. What utter nonsense.

Someone needs to remind the guy in the Oval Office, regardless of party, that he works for us, not the other way around. He's the hired help, not a king.

It's really too bad that today's politicians have lost sight of the principles first laid down by George Washington. When those around him were suggesting titles, such as Majesty, he refused, and said that he should be referred to simply as Mr. President. The two term limitation was Washington's idea as well, and it stuck until F.D.R. decided he was too much an imperial prince to abide by the standard.

July 19, 2012 at 07:49 | Registered CommenterRedBeard

Another slow news day, with the Nooshans all wet-henning about where the White House thermostat is set. If there were ever any bounds to their whackadoodle sense of grievance, resentment and persecution, they're gone now that they've got their industrial-strength fabricators of rightwing bulls**t "news" to feed it every day.

Stop reading this junk. It's designed and intended to wind you up; why would you want to salivate instantly every time Pavlov rings your belll? Re-read the Two-Minute Hate scene in Orwell's 1984 and try to have a little self-respect. Rightwing media points and you bark obediantly. You look like the most clueless dumbasses that ever lurched around the planet.

July 19, 2012 at 10:34 | Unregistered CommenterWinston

Shorter Winston: Everything looks better once you've learned to love that boot endlessly stamping on your face.

July 19, 2012 at 10:42 | Registered CommenterMachiavelli

You look like the most clueless dumbasses that ever lurched around the planet.

The casual dismissal of such an abuse of taxpayer money truly speaks volumes of who the true "clueless dumbasses" really are.

July 19, 2012 at 10:43 | Registered CommenterGrayRider

LeBron James didn' t make that jump shot. The government did.

July 19, 2012 at 10:49 | Unregistered CommenterThomas Miller

Yet they still complain about George Bush...
over flying to his home in Crawford, TX...
where he lived... and worked...

Maybe Bush should have taken more trips to fancy getaways

July 19, 2012 at 10:51 | Registered Commenterskinnydipinacid

Calm down, little Winnie. Tantrums are unbecoming an educated adolescent such as yourself.

July 19, 2012 at 10:51 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

Ronald Reagan and George Bush took twice and three times as much vacation time as Obama respectively, as if such empty nonsense even matters. There’s news reporting out there documenting that their vacations cost more, too. But you won’t see it from a Certified Bullsh!t™ “news” provider, so wingnuts will discount it.

Let’s face it: people whose level of “political” discourse is “This President takes expensive vacations on the taxpayer dime” are people who don’t really know or care about government or policy to begin with, and are just looking for convenient ways to express their simmering resentment. They never showed the slightest interest in Republican Presidents’ vacations and would ridicule anyone who did. Anyone with the faintest glimmer of perspective left could try looking up “Unnecessary Iraq War, Cost of,” before going all ballistic over the White House thermostat. It’s not an “issue,” it’s just rampant dumbassery.

“Tantrum”? I sure love it that whenever I point at wingnuts and laugh, Redbeard robotically accuses me of apoplectic rage and “panties in a twist.” Too funny. And too predictable.

I almost feel bad for Romney at this point. He has to satisfy these rabid nitwits in his base while simultaneously trying to reach out to normal people. It's practically an impossible balancing act.

July 19, 2012 at 11:27 | Registered CommenterWinston

Winnie, climb down off your high horse before you fall and hurt yourself. You very well know that Nanny told you never to get up there again. Bad Winnie. Bad.

July 19, 2012 at 11:47 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

Rampant dumbassery, and empty attitude.

Or, for wingnuts: Thursday.

July 19, 2012 at 12:13 | Registered CommenterWinston

I hate to see someone in such pain, Winnie.

Try sitting crosslegged, palms up, and humming "Oooooommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm........."

Or try drinking heavily, if you've got a fake ID, or if you can get someone to buy you a big jug of Mad Dog 20/20.

July 19, 2012 at 12:21 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

Republitards are really melting down in convulsions. John McCain had to call out the lunatic McCarthythism of The Girl With Kaleidoscope Eyes. Joe Arpaio demands the microfilm. And in front of the swells, Clueless Plutocrat expresses his solidarity . . . with the waitstaff.

July 19, 2012 at 12:33 | Unregistered CommenterWinston

Winston is so hooked on that Obama "Hopium" that the news out today has to be a real kick in the gut. Even though Obama has spent $100 mil on negative ads he's tanking like a rock. See NYT poll. Wait until they poll the public after Obama's "stupidest comment ever" quip that "you didn't build that, someone else did" comment. More "Hopium" please!!

July 19, 2012 at 13:44 | Unregistered CommenterThomas Miller

Wait until they poll the public after Obama's "stupidest comment ever" quip that "you didn't build that, someone else did" comment.

I defy anyone to find a piece of ludicrous dumbass claptrap from a Certified Bullsh!t™ “news” provider Tom Miller WON'T believe and parrot.

It's a *choice*.

July 19, 2012 at 14:02 | Unregistered CommenterWinston

Gray - Most of the expense related to these trips seems to be from things the government requires of the first family. Secret Service protection for the first family isn't optional, it is a necessity and a requirement. The use of DoD planes? Should the first family fly on a commercial airline so that every person that flies along with them has to endure a criminal background check?

Even down to the hotel they stay at. It ain't like they can stay at the local Motel 6. They have to have a hotel with the proper security and be able to accomodate the first family safely without inconveniencing other patrons. $6,442.23 for rental cars? Need enough vehilcles to accomodate the first family and their entire security detail along with staff members. And more than likely those vehicles were bullet proof security SUVs and it probably made more sense to rent them than to fly them from Washington DC.

I'm sure a trip overseas requires an even greater threat awareness level with more advance teams and security personnel.

July 19, 2012 at 14:25 | Registered Commenterkwawk

Winston now hates the NYT.

July 19, 2012 at 16:19 | Unregistered CommenterThomas Miller

Romney +1 is Obama tanking?

So Foxnews having it at Obama +4 would mean it's a blow out right?

July 19, 2012 at 16:27 | Registered Commenterkwawk


RCP does have Obama up 1.2% but the dirty little secrets are:

1). Many of the polls RCP uses to make the average use registered voters over likely voters. Those polls built on registered voters can under report voter intent by as much as 5%.

2). The make-up of the polls has dem respondents in the high 30's and Republicans in the hi-20's. Sorry, flip that percentage. Center-right country.

That's why leading up to the Walker race in Wisconsin those polls that used likely voters and had adjusted the poll participants for Republicans to at least in the mid-30's were dead on with his nearly 8% win. Those that used registered voters with poll make-ups of Republicans in the hi 20's were left scratching their head why that race wasn't a dead heat. See coverage by MSNBC for which polls they were using. LOL. Bottom line; Obama is likely down 3.5%-4.0% today. Intra-trade still has Obama winning but look for those numbers to change quickly over the next few weeks once more polls with likely voters start being used (their more expensive that’s why they hold off in using them.)

Hopium is done.

July 19, 2012 at 17:14 | Unregistered CommenterThomas Miller

I've been looking at RCP for years and they generally seem to be in line with the actual election results. If anything the LV models show the same dead heat as the RV models.

The WI recall election was absolutely bizarre. Never seen anything like it where all of the polls were showing a 1% to 3% spread and on the day before the election one relatively unknown polling outfit showed a 9% gap and pretty much hit it right on. That would have been an election where I'd have liked to see a recount.

July 19, 2012 at 18:10 | Registered Commenterkwawk

"I've been looking at RCP for years and they generally seem to be in line with the actual election results. If anything the LV models show the same dead heat as the RV models."

Absolutely 100% wrong. But run with it if it eases the pain.

July 19, 2012 at 19:39 | Unregistered CommenterThomas Miller

Gawd, another hypocritical cheap shot. I guess you have to fill a 3 hour radio show with something, lol? I would take conservatives seriously if they were at least somewhat consistant. By that I mean where were you when the last administration (that you voted for) took 25% of his presidency off? I didn't see you counting pennies on Bush's vacations then, but suddenly its a big issue.

July 20, 2012 at 07:18 | Registered CommenterChoy Lee Mu

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