Former President Barack Obama infamously spent large amounts of taxpayer dollars on vacations and family outings, but until recently, an exact amount was not available due to refusals by certain groups to disclose their records.
However, a Freedom of Information Act request and subsequent lawsuits filed by Judicial Watch resulted in the disclosure of U.S. Air Force and the Secret Service documents showing that the Obamas spent $9,028,346.90 on non-work related travel.
When added to the previously reported tab of $105,662,975.27, the total cost of personal travel expenses during Obama’s presidency amounted to $114,691,322.17.
These additional records showed that over the course of just one weekend in February of 2014, Obama family vacations cost the Secret Service $272,192.91.
Those costs included Michelle Obama’s annual trip to Aspen with daughters Sasha and Malia, which amounted to $6,970 in air/rail expenses, $5,614.99 in car rentals, and $76,078.30 in hotels for a total of $88,663.29.
Meanwhile, the former president was on a golfing trip to Palm Springs, which cost $10,951 in air/rail travel, $10,166.79 in car rentals, and $162,411.80 in hotels for a total of $183,529.62.
The records also revealed how much taxpayer funding went toward campaigning for 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
In fact, during the campaign, the former first lady made two trips to North Carolina to stump for the Democratic candidate.
For both trips, she took a C-40C military jet, which operated at $5,312 per hour, racking up an Air Force bill of $40,902.40.
The records also indicated that during his second term, Obama spent more than $7 million in taxpayer money to fly to his hometown of Chicago.
And, unfortunately, his taxpayer-funded trips did not end with his administration.
In fact, post-presidency, Obama has spent nearly $2 million in taxpayer money on travel expenses, according to the Secret Service documents. The details of those trips, however, were redacted due to concerns regarding “privacy” and “law enforcement.”
Judicial Watch had to sue for these records after the Air Force and Secret Service did not respond to its public records requests in time, as required by law.
The organization’s president, Tom Fitton, criticized both government groups for their failure to produce the information.
“It shouldn’t require federal lawsuits to…prod the Secret Service and Air Force to produce information about the costs of presidential travel—whether the travel is necessary or not, it’s a massive amount of money,” he said in a statement about the report. “We will continue to monitor this spending while taxpayers continue to pay the bills for presidential travel.”
Taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill for travel that isn’t necessary to carry out the duties of the presidency. With an insurmountable national debt already burdening future Americans who haven’t even been born, our leaders should be cautious about overspending, especially for personal reasons.
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