Watchdog group calls this Obama behavior ‘unusual abuse’

I’m not going to assess or analyze this story at all – I’ll let you decide. I just find it interesting it’s happening when so many American middle-income families can’t afford a vacation and are struggling to make ends meet.

As reported by the Washington Examiner, “In what a taxpayer watchdog group called “an unusual abuse,” President Obama’s decision over Labor Day to fly home from New York to sleep in his own bed instead of overnighting and then attending the New York wedding of his chef cost Americans $295,227. It was just one expensive leg of a Labor Day work and fun trip with an overall price tag of $1,539,402.10 in flight expenses alone — not including security costs, food, housing or those associated with his staff. The financial details were provided to Judicial Watch by the Air Force.”

There were two lessons I learned in my twenty-two years of service in the US Army — lead by example and service above self (Officers always ate last, and if food ran out, that was your sacrifice to ensure the needs of your soldiers were met). Leaders are there to serve, not to be served, which is a leadership model that defines a unit’s command atmosphere — and its resulting standard of performance. It also defines the policies and relationship of a leader to those her or she has been chosen to lead.

Tom Fitton, head of the DC-based watchdog group Judicial Watch has been charting presidential travel costs for years, and said Congress should look into Obama’s use of Air Force One for fun and fundraising. “The new Congress could do worse than to reform presidential travel so taxpayers aren’t gouged by candidates and campaigns benefitting from the political use of Air Force One,” he said.

America is in a truly dire fiscal situation and hard working American taxpayers are feeling the brunt of the federal government’s fiscal irresponsibility. I agree with Tom Fitton — it is indeed time for Congress to review what is “official travel” and what is charged to taxpayers.

What are your thoughts on travel for elected representatives?

60 COMMENTS

  1. When it’s the President’s decision to alter a travel plan, which results in additional (and exceptional cost), then the President should have to pay for that additional cost. Fair is fair!

  2. I’m with you on this one Allen. I don’t think any President should be vacationing on the taxpayer’s dollar. If it’s a personal trip, it should come out of the President’s own wallet. If it’s business related then let the taxpayer cover it.

    • Your confused. $18T ? We have to bail out the insurance companies for ACA which by 2016 will be $3T. By the time Obama out of office our debt will exceed $24T. Not to mention the unfunded liabilities going from $40T to $110T. The money is gone and the debt is there. Ever see the TV add where couple is withdrawing the white worthless paper from thier retirement account?

  3. Obama had planned on staying in the NYC area, but several top country clubs declined to give him a tee time on Saturday 8/30, since it would inconvenience their members.
    So, like a little boy he ran home and sulked.

  4. Air Force One should be used ONLY upon urgent business concerning the country. Using it to attend fundraisers and take endless vacations should never been allowed. All other law makers should fly commercially or use their personal transportation if they have it.

    • Air Force One needs to be near the President wherever he is in case he needs a mobile command base. It’s going to need to be used for just about all travel by the President. However, if the President is using it for personal jaunts he/she ought to cover a portion of the expense roughly equal to the cost of hiring a small private jet.

      Some things like the need for those specific airplanes and the need for that level of security are out of the President’s control. It can be considered a perk (and the Obama’s treat it as such), but it is also a headache at the same time.

      • Finally! An intelligent rebuttal! You are correct, indeed. The abuse is so the little gay boy doesn’t have to sleep in a strange bed.

  5. As usual, Allen West & Company are in attack Obama mode. Wouldn’t it be nice if they had something constructive to contribute regarding real issues. Perhaps they’d like to comment on the socialized costs of capitalism, or climate change, or world population growth, or income inequality, or lack of US voter participation…. Instead they’d rather nip at Obama’s heels. What a wast of time and energy.

    • America is in debt. I know you libbies think $$ appears out of thin air but his excessive travel adds to that? Understand? Didn’t think so.

      • COMEDY!! President OBAMA was the first to spend taxpayer money on trips! You people are just too freaking FUNNY!!!

      • Actually Bush, etc they did audit on spending for campaigns verses business. It is standard campaign reporiting. Every president has done this for many years since like 1975. Obama has not! It is illegal to spend certain money certain ways on campaign. Go do some research …. FYI it is reason nobody in office states they are running in election until they have to. Hillary today for example was called on this. You may think it is a joke.. It is many millions to fly a president anywhere. Adds up. Obamas have many more staff than other presidents so it cost a lot more. There are hundreds of people that fly everywhere they go!

    • Millions of dollars of tax-payer money used for personal whims, and
      Multi-million dollar vacations IS a real issue. The stuff you mentioned is conjecture or opinion.

      • Once again, whether because of racism or because of conservative talking points, your outrage is misplaced. “The Fortune 500 corporations alone accounted for more than 16,000 subsidy awards, worth $63 billion.” That’s billion with a ‘B’. Where is your outrage over income inequality and corporate welfare?

  6. “I’m not going to assess or analyze this story at all” …indeed.

    So what is the “unusual abuse”? I take it the watchdog group (and West)
    are selling us on President Obama making unprecedented use (or abuse) of Air Force One compared to his predecessors, yet the linked article doesn’t offer any numbers for comparison, and West has decided not to vet the article at all.

    I get that, regardless of any comparison, people aren’t fans of the use of Air Force One for campaign reasons – but JW/ Allen West make a point of calling Obama’s travel decisions an “unusual abuse” – so what’s unusually abusive about it? Was Bush merely ‘usually’ abusive?

  7. Allen (rob these loons blind) west is a man of ACTION?? NAH….a MAN of BLOG POST only!! Its apparent that he isn’t willing to do ANYTHING to change this nation!! COWARD

    • Yep, we r to forget democrat Gertrude Walker as Supervisor of Elections – and her scheming activities – having boxes of early ballot votes – hidden in a closet near her office – “uncounted” – failing to include these early ballot votes in the count on the night of election deadline = cause for recount. Walker failing to meet deadline to report the count for the recount. While Walker is hiding in a “hospital” – to not be held accountable for manipulating the election results, it is discovered she also failed/refused to follow orders to purge voter rolls of deceased people, illegal aliens and ineligible voters – who voted for the Democrat candidate in the election.

      US Congressman Allen West actually won ‘re-election.

      *
      The excuse given for her failure/refusal of the DeMoCRATIC party’s Gertrude Walker as Supervisor of elections for St. Lucie county, FLORIDA – to purge voter rolls = was not in her budget –
      Although it is in her Job Description to keep ACcurate voter rolls.
      Walker should be Prosecuted.

  8. Look…As far as I’m concerned, this guy is a fetid POS. Congress should pass a bill that would deprive him of all funds and perks usually remitted to the president following his term. Leave him, relatively, in the same financial condition as he’s left the country. As for his sleeping in his own bed, rumor has it the amazon has barred him from their nest of connubial ecstacy. Besides, what’s wrong with sleeping on his $250 million airplane. I’m sure they can find someplace for Reggie Love to sleep.

  9. It is bittersweet to see all the Obama leg jumpers on this website – particularly on this thread – trying to disrupt discussion on The outrageous spending habits and abuse of our US Taxpayer money by the Obamas.

    FEAR of Allen WEST – just like FEAR of PALIN.

  10. The Marcos of the Philippines were removed from office – and sent in Exile – for their outrageous spending habits – looting their country’s treasury –

    just as The Obamas are doing to the US Treasury.

  11. The Obamas should be given a bill to pay – to reimburse the US Treasury –
    as what was supposed to occur when Moochelle was exposed for her drunken stupors in SPAIN , celebrating w her friends, toasting how their trip was being paid by US Taxpayers.

  12. George bush took 879 vacation days compared to Obama’s 150 quit bitching and become president or show me comments you made about the same topic when bush was president vacationing 4 times more often

    • Well…in all fairness. ..according to the Huff post….Bush’s days of vacation were mainly spent at his home in Texas, more than likely owned by him …not racking up expenses…in other words…stfu!! But good try!

      • Is this a real statement? You missed the point. The triple digit point. If you missed that too, the difference is the cost between the two is very significant! It’s like going on vacation from work and and staying home versus the cost of vacationing in the Bahamas, and then on to France…just saying!

      • No, I got what you were selling. My statement was tongue-in-cheek, but with a nuanced point regarding the assumption of cost (or lack of it) which you seem to have missed. 😉

        “the difference is the cost between the two is very significant!” Okay, by how much? And is that difference enough to overcome a more than 3-to-1 ratio of vacations taken? I haven’t looked it up, then again I’m not making assumptions about it. Did you look it up? Is there any factual basis underlying your claim, or just guessing?

        I would guess (now I’m the one making an assumption) that it might take a lot of cheap living days on the Texas ranch to overcome triple the use of vacation time.

      • Incorrect. As of late August 2014 the Obama’s are credited as having taken anywhere from 138 to 150 days of vacation, numbers vary on the source but they all fall within that range. No idea where came up with 150 days in the first to years, but that number is, basically, ludicrous.

      • In the real world, you take vacations after you have done some work. Not after three months or so of golfing.

      • Obama lies! His entire administration composed of crooks and cronies lies! The lapdog media lies! The only “work” Obama does to in formulating ways to deceive the American people.

    • Bush vacation days were working vacation at his Ranch. When we were attacked 9/11 Bush went to his ranch a lot and hand many meetings with various people. 99% of his “vacations” were at his texas ranch or at camp david. Government works from home a lot! Bush actually had a lot to deal with after 9/11 . Attack on our soil caused a lot of issues….. You just keep letting Obama blame Bush. You will find that there is not a lot of Bush actively blaming Clinton. You will also see he does not get on news and bad mounth Obama. Kind of the sign of a good leader and a good person. Obama has never taken any criticism and said I screwed up. He constantly just blames people. FYI you will find the cost of Bush’s vacations are far lower than Obama. In fact just look at the cost of staff, meals, etc of all presenindes and Obama exceeds all of them added together since around 1980.

      • Give us a break with “Bush took working vacations” – like he was at all unique by doing so. All President’s vacations are working vacations, it’s the nature of the job, Bush didn’t reinvent the wheel. Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, and yes, Obama, work on their vacations

        Bush vacation totals are far lower than Obama’s? Okay, source please?

  13. BO likes to go on fundraising trips to amazing vacation spots, not to mention travelling to exotic locales on our dime. I have seen several presidents in my lifetime, virtually all have gone Home or to Camp David regularly. Rarely did I see any travel for nonwork. Fundraising using Airforce one was always considered bad form in my recognition. Why should these people be allowed to spend money like it belongs to them. He gives money away too. Congress has the purse strings. They need to tie them closed where this guy is concerned.

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