When the President of The United States travels, he travels on military aircraft. The security necessary for the POTUS mandates technologically sophisticated transportation. And that’s expensive. Yet a new analysis of that expense has some fuming.
When Obama flew to Florida to play golf with Tiger Woods back in 2013, the very short trip may have cost as much as $3.6 million dollars–an expense that was paid for by the tax payers of The United States of America.
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Why was the trip so expensive? To begin with, an analysis of the expenses begins with the operation of Air Force One. Then there are the salaries of U.S. government officials and military personnel who travel with the president. Add to that the commercial air fare and rental cars for the Defense Department and Homeland Security personnel who have to accompany such a trip.
The trip, on February 15, 2013, began at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. Obama then flew to Chicago for a speech. From Chicago, the team flew to Palm Beach, Florida.
The side-trip was said to be a vacation for the president. He played golf at the Grand Floridian resort with Tiger Woods before flying back to Maryland.
Outrage over just how much such personal vacations cost grew after a review was ordered by Wyoming senator John Barrasso.
When asked for comment about the expenditure, the White House was characteristically vague. “The President of the United States must be ready to travel anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice, and the President flies on military aircraft on all trips, regardless of the type of travel.”
“The Department of Defense has been providing military aircraft to safely and securely transport the President since 1962, when President John F. Kennedy became the first President to fly in a jet built specifically for the use of the President.”
While the investigation didn’t turn up anything out of the ordinary, and such trips are common for all presidents–as the statement rightly points out–it hasn’t helped quell the outrage over the cost of such recreation.
Watch this, though, and see what the press actually seized on. It isn’t the cost.