It would be nice to spend the holidays in Hawaii, wouldn’t it? In case you haven’t heard, President Obama and the First Family did just that — and they were spending your money.
In a press conference today, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed that the family’s trip to Hawaii and Michelle Obama’s extended stay — a birthday gift from the President — was actually on the taxpayers’ dime.
According to the Hawaii Reporter, the guesstimated total cost for the 17-day vacation for the President, his family and staff last year was over $4 million. Reports estimate this year’s trip will cost about the same – not including the one-week extension for Mrs. Obama.
The Washington Examiner reports:
The biggest expense is Obama’s roundtrip flight to Hawaii on Air Force One, which costs taxpayers $3,271,622, according to Michael Tasselmyer of the National Taxpayers Union Foundation and a Congressional Research Service report released in May 2012.
Estimates for costs on the one-week extension vary but Breitbart reports that a previous travel change for Mrs. Obama was upwards of $100,000, according to Treasury.
The First Lady has been criticized in the past for her love of lavish vacations, like when she spent five extra days at a beach side hotel in Spain in 2010.
It’s tough to swallow those numbers as our national debt creeps quickly above $17 trillion – a number President Obama increased by nearly $7 trillion since taking office.