When sequestration went into effect earlier this year, President Barack Obama did everything possible to make it hurt the American people so he could make Republicans look bad. What he continually fails to remind everyone is that sequestration was his idea designed to blackmail the Republicans into submitting to his spending terms. The Republicans refused to submit to his extortion attempt and forced the President’s hand. However, he could have stopped the sequestration from ever going into effect by refusing to sign it into law, but he chose to sign it anyway and then immediately laid the blame on Republicans for his mess.
One of the ways Obama decided to use the sequestration to hurt the American people was to cancel all tours of the White House. Millions of people travel to the nation’s capital every year to see the White House, Congress and the monuments. Hundreds of schools also plan educational field trips to Washington DC and book their tours of the White House and Congress in advance.
Like the Grinch at Christmas, Obama stole that opportunity from the hundreds of thousands of students, leaving them with a bitter taste in their mouths for politics and politicians. How much did the president save by cancelling the White Tours? Would you believe it was only $2 million?
But Obama’s not through screwing the American people because he and his family are preparing for yet another luxurious vacation at taxpayer expense. This time, the first family will be staying at an island mansion on Martha’s Vineyard owned by David Schulte, a wealthy corporate finance manager from Chicago. The report doesn’t say how much the Obama’s are paying Schulte to use his $7.6 million mansion for their 8 day stay, but you can bet Obama is making it worth his while either financially or politically.
When the Obama’s travel on a family vacation, they don’t travel alone. In addition to the Schulte mansion, the White House as reserved more than 70 rooms at the Wesley Hotel at a cost of up to $345 per night per room. That comes to somewhere between $170,000 to possibly more than $200,000 for staffers, body guards, hair dressers, manicurist and probably the royal dog walker. Oh, and let’s not forget Michelle’s mother who continues to leach off of the American people and travel with them. Don’t forget that you need to add in all of the meals and drinks for 8 days for more than 70 people. By the time you’re done with the hotel and food expenses, you’re probably looking at close to $400,000 to $500,000 if it’s anything like past vacations.
Then there is the travel expense of using Air Force One. The reported cost of operating the presidential plane is around $180,000 per hour. Flying time from Washington DC to Martha’s Vineyard is about an hour and a half. Add all of the prep time before and after and you have about 4 hours round trip time. At $180,000 per hour, that comes to another $720,000. That amount could double if the president travels separately from the family as he often does or has to make any trips back to Washington which sometimes happens. Regardless, figure on $720,000 per trip with the possibility of up to 4 trips.
Let’s not forget about paying over 70 staffers and security for the 8 days to be with the first family. Many White House staffers make over $100,000 per year, some more than twice that amount. But based on just $100,000 per year, they make a minimum of $384 per day with some making more than $500 per day, so I’ll just use a round figure of $400 per day times 70 people times 8 days comes to another $224,000.
So bare minimum, this vacation will cost taxpayers $1,344,000. More realistically, it will cost $2 million or more by the time all is said and done and added up. Cancelling the White House tours saved them $2 million, the cost of this luxurious vacation. I would love to see President Obama personally tell the thousands of disappointed school kids that they could not tour the White House because his family just had to take their third or fourth vacation of the year.