Thanks to Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act requests, Americans now know that the Obama family spent a whopping $96.9 million on travel at taxpayer expense.[i]
These expenses far exceed the President’s $100,000 annual travel expense authorization codified in 3 U.S. Code, Chapter 2, Section 103.[ii] Section 105 of this Federal code also limits the number of staff the President can have and staff member’s maximum salaries. Presumably, Secret Service staff for the President and his family should be counted among that number.
Here are some details of the Obama’s unnecessary political and vacation expenses:
Barack Obama’s April 2015 Earth Day trip to give a global warming speech in the Florida Everglades cost taxpayers $1 million. (This travel was not “necessary” to govern our country and was ten times the President’s annual travel budget.)
Barack Obama’s October 2015 fundraising travel to San Diego cost $2.1 million. (Again, this was not official government business. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) should reimburse the Treasury for those expenses.)
Michelle Obama’s February 2016 ski trip to Aspen with their daughters cost $222,875. (That’s more than most of our houses are worth and more than half the President’s $400,000 annual salary, as defined in 3 USC 2 §102! There is no authorization for vacation travel expenses for the President’s family! Why did taxpayers pay for their vacation?)
Barack Obama’s trips to Cuba and Argentina in March 2016 cost $7.1 million. (Did the President forget that he has a $100,000 travel budget? Did he invest even $100,000 in travel to improve relationships with our ALLIES? Has Obama ever heard of using the telephone to conduct international business, in lieu of costly travel? Apparently only when it’s convenient to use the phone to circumvent Congress, like when he was arranging $400 million ransom payments to fund Iran’s terrorism and development of nuclear weapons.[iii] )
Michelle Obama’s June 2016 trip to Morocco, Spain and Liberia with their daughters cost $450,000 in flight expenses alone. (This expense again exceeded the President’s annual salary. Would they have taken this vacation if it wasn’t taxpayer funded?)
The Obama family’s travel to Martha’s Vineyard for an August 2016 vacation cost $450,295 in flight expenses alone. (Again… an expense greater than the President’s annual salary… courtesy of our wallets.)
A Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama Air Force One campaign trip to North Carolina in July 2016 cost taxpayers $360,236. (The DNC should reimburse the Treasury for that expense too.)
It’s time for the “royal family” to exit the White House and the next occupants to refrain from such conduct. The Obama’s should reimburse the Treasury for all of the above travel expenses that exceeded the President’s annual travel authorization or were totally unauthorized. The DNC should reimburse the Treasury for all campaign-related travel expenses.
Citizens should, through the courts if necessary, insist that the President adhere to the budget for Presidential travel and limits on staff hiring. Congress should establish fiscally responsible guidelines for Secret Service protection and military-supported travel for the President and his family. Taxpayers should not be funding the President’s vacation travel or political campaign trips! A good start would be a thorough review of 3 USC Chapter 2: Office and Compensation of President.