This article documents only known costs of Obama’s vacation to Hawaii. There are many costs that are not known because of “security” reasons. This is code for ” if they knew what we are spending on our vacation, they would greet us at the airport with pitchforks.”
Costs not mentioned in the article? The cost of taking over an entire island and securing it. I would bet that there is a 200 man army of secret service agents there at the taxpayers expense, having a wonderful Hawaiian vacation too. The families of these agents are probably there as well, after all it is the Christmas holiday and these people can’t be away from their families.
The costs are staggering. One would think that the president would simply stay at the white house or go to Camp David to save the country a few bucks.
We are not bad mouthing President Obama. All presidents do the same thing. Although it should be noted that Presidents Bush, Reagan, Nixon and Bush “W” generally went to their homes for vacation.
Why would it be cheaper for the president to go to their own home instead of an exotic location? Because a home only needs to be secured once. You don’t have to run security checks on a whole hotel of employees. In fact, you don’t need to do any of these things more than once.
I remember when Ronald and Nancy Reagan vacationed at their home in Santa Barbara, and the locals up there would be raking in the dough.
I guess we could also make the argument that its good for the economy, at least locally wherever the president vacations. Think of how much money, personal money that all these secret service guys, navy seals, the Obama family themselves are spending on goods and services.
On to the article.
President Obama and his family are enjoying a delightful Christmas vacation with friends and family in the chief executive’s home state of Hawaii.
Nobody questions a president’s right or need to take take away from the White House, but an investigation by Hawaii Reporter has turned up some eye-opening information about the costs and other aspects of the Obama get-away.
Just consider these estimates on part of the costs of the latest Obama Hawaii trip:
* Mrs. Obama’s early flight to Hawaii: $63,000 (White House Dossier)
* Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii: $1 million (GAO estimates)
* Housing in beachfront homes for Secret Service and Seals in Kailua ($1,200 a day for 14 days): $16,800
* Costs for White House staff staying at Moana Hotel: $134,400 ($400 per day for 24 staff) – excluding meals and other room costs
* Police overtime: $250,000 (2009 costs reported by Honolulu Police Department)
* Ambulance: $10,000 (City Spokesperson)
TOTAL COST: $1,474,200
But that $1.47 million figure leaves out a number of signficant costs that simply could not be calculated by Hawaii Reporter:
* Rental of office building in Kailua on canal
* Security upgrades and additional phone lines.
* Costs for car rentals and fuel for White House staff staying at Moana Hotel (Secret Service imports most of the cars used here to escort the president).
* Surveillance before the president arrives.
* Travel costs for Secret Service and White House staff traveling ahead of the President.
White House spokesmen insist Obama’s vacation expenses are in line with those of previous presidents, which may well be true, but, since the government refuses to disclose many important details about any presidential journey, nobody can know for sure.
There appear to be reasons to suspect the Obamas’ trip could have been done for less, according to Hawaii Reporter.
“They could have chosen a less expensive and more secure place to stay such as a beachfront home on the Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station – just a two-minute drive away from the Kailuana Place property where they are now,” according to Hawaii Reporter.
“The president visits the military base daily to workout, bowl with his kids or enjoy the more private beach there. He also could have stayed at a home 15 minutes away on the beach fronting Bellows Air Force Base as President Bill Clinton did.”
But Obama and friends opted instead to secure use of three luxury beachfront places, including the “Winter White House” – or Kailua home that the president rents two weeks a year.
That facility, Hawaii Reporter, noted, normally rents for an estimated $3,500 a day or $75,000 a month, according to the web site Gadling.com.
The latter describes the place as a “7,000 square foot home [that] features 5 bedrooms, 5 ½ bathrooms, a media room with surround sound, a kitchen suited for a master chef, a dining room and great room, a secluded lagoon-style pool with tropical waterfalls and a lavish island spa. The ocean lanai and garden lanai showcase ornate landscaping and stunning views of Kailua Bay and Mount Olomana.”