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Thursday, 23 July 2015 09:31

Taxpayer Dollar$ Support Luxury First Lady

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Perhaps the satirical reference to "modern royalty" is not too far fetched considering Michelle Obama's travel costs footed by taxpayers. Perhaps the satirical reference to "modern royalty" is not too far fetched considering Michelle Obama's travel costs footed by taxpayers.

Since America severed its ties with England and launched the Revolution, our skepticism for lavish spending often borders on contemptuous. We may admire a self-made person who owns lavish homes or jet-sets around the globe but we don't like to see our elected leaders living in the lap of luxury on tax payer dollars. So it should come as no surprise to see an uproar in the media over how much our current Commander-in Chief and his family is spending on travel. It is, to put it mildly, a pretty penny.

One watchdog group -Judicial Watch - long known for keeping track of political spending recently obtained records from the U.S. Air Force, showing that Michelle Obama's 2014 trip to China came with a price tag of $362,252.53 just for air travel alone. The trip was taken with the First Lady's daughters and mother between March 19-26 and was billed by Obama Press releases as an "educational agenda" but details have since emerged that show most of her time abroad was spent in "extended visits to some of the country's most popular tourist sites.".

These figures were gathered by Judicial Watch by filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in June of 2014. The request sought records, including all associated costs, for "mission tasking" for the First Lady's March 2014 trip to China. The record reflects a calculation just for flight time at a rate of $11,092.00 per hour in a C-32A presidential aircraft. $362,523.00 is more than 225 times what an American family spends on the typical week-long vacation. And these costs did not include lodging, personnel (other than the flight crew), meals, ground transportation and "other" expenses. These figures have not yet been provided by the Secret Service, despite the FOIA request.

However, The Daily Mail reported that, "Michelle Obama and her family members are staying in a $8,350 per-night Beijing Presidential Suite; a mere 3,400 square foot suite complete with private steam room and in-room dining for six".

Though "educational agendas" were cited as the main focus of the trip in White House press releases, reported that, "the first lady, daughters Malia and Sasha, and mother Maarian Robinson visited Beijing's Forbidden City and the Summer Palace as well as the Great Wall, the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xi'an and the Chengdu Panda Base."

The Washington Post published a report that underscored the inconsistencies in expressed agendas versus reality. "The trip was by no means perfect. Obama had encouraged students from disadvantaged backgrounds to study abroad, but on her first full day in Beijing she visited a Chinese high school where Americans students said their parents pay $50.000 a year for their tuition and boarding."

Perhaps the greatest irony - or some might say slap in the public's face - is the first lady's call for transparency given the illegal secrecy over travel on the taxpayer's dime.

Obama continues to abuse the public trust and raid public coffers for what many have called "unnecessarily luxurious travel under orders to the Secret Service to keep details from the public. It took Judicial Watch a year just to get the Air Force costs, underscoring that "the most transparent administration in history" knows that its travels, paid for by the public are so extravagant that it ignores open records laws to keep Americans in the dark.

Readers might reflect that this is not the first time Judicial Watch has put these ridiculous extravagances on the record. The combined flight expenses for the Obama's previous Africa-Honolulu trips cost the taxpayers $15,885.585.30.

It doesn't end here: In 2013 Michelle Obama spend $7,921,638.66 just for accommodations during a trip to a G-8 conference in Belfast, Ireland. Obama and her entourage booked 30 rooms at the Shelbourne Hotel. The first lady's room alone was a 1,500 square-foot Princess Grace suite costing $3,500 per night.
So far, the Obama's and Vice President Biden's "Royal Travel" expenses have cost the taxpayers of America over $58 million dollars. Now how's that hope and change - no pun intended - grabbing you?

Read 1741 times Last modified on Friday, 24 July 2015 17:28

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