So what did your last vacation cost? …that’s if you could afford a vacation. Well, according to an American Express survey Americans spend on average $1200 per person on vacations. I have to tell you that’s more than my family can afford, but I digress… Now, I expect presidents to spend more on vacation than us lowly citizens; after all they have to travel in a private jet not to mention all of the security that is needed, so I get it.
Let’s take a look at how much some of our previous presidents spent on vacations:
Ronald Reagan liked to go to his ranch and spent most of his vacations there. According to the Los Angeles Times, Reagan spent around $8 million in his first 6 years of the job on vacations, which works out to be about $1.3 a year.
George Bush spent most of his vacation time at his Texas ranch to the tune of around $56,800 per trip. Media Matters reports that he hopped over to Texas 180 times, that cost us taxpayers a little over $10 mil. During his two terms, Bush spent Christmas at the White House so his staff and the “Secret Service could spend the holidays with their families. Conservative Byte
President Obama, not to be out done by past presidents, is on a spare-no-expense vacation to Africa. Well, they did make a small cutback on the itinerary; they cancelled the safari, only because it was going to be too daunting of a task to fill the jungle with snipers to protect him from wild animals.
This little excursion to the Dark Continent is going to set us, the tax payers, back an estimated $100 million. This is the most costly presidential vacation since Bill Clinton’s 50 million dollar, one-time jaunt and it wasn’t to Arkansas.
Now when you and I go on vacation we might rent a car or pack some food to take with us, book a hotel or even, if we are really going all-out, purchase airfare. Well, Obama’s trip requires a tiny bit of preparation too… Just in case anyone needs medical attention while they are tromping through the African desert, a hospital ship is stationed near their resort. Of course they need to get around, so 14 limousines, some aircraft and 56 support vehicles.
Why is this not all over the media? Remember the Sequestration? There is not enough money to keep the White House tours going, workers are being laid off or hours cut, Marines in Afghanistan lose their late night meal, but millions of dollars can be spent so the Obama offspring can be flown by helicopter to visit the Robben Island Museum to learn about Nelson Mandela.
I don’t know about you, but money is tight for my family. We have to consider every purchase we make and decide if it is needed and whether or not we can afford it. It must be nice to be the POTUS and be able to pass off a family vacation as “diplomacy”, all on the dime of someone else.
With the lack of any tangible diplomacy coming from this trip, is it possible that in addition to a great get-a-way for the family, the real reason that the Vacationer-in-Chief is not in the white house, is to avoid addressing all of the troubles and scandals here at home? …I don’t know.
What I do know is that presidents need a vacation just like the rest of us, but couldn’t they have had just as much fun going to Bush Gardens, Disney or even Dolly World?