Plenty of businessman and woman elect to follow business trips with family vacations - but, the office of the President is not a business! It's not the President's money!
March, 2012, marked the first lady's 16th trip (to Aspen) since entering the White House. There have been very expensive trips:
- Africa, Mexico (Michelle and Malia - 13)
- Spain (Michelle and Sasha - then 9)
- Several trips to Hawaii (at least one cost over $1.5 million and another $4 million), Vail ($2,000 per night hotel suite)
- Grand Canyon
- Asheville, North Carolina
- Martha's Vineyard
- New York city: Barack and Michelle and Michelle and a 'daughter'
- Panama City, Florida
That's just three years' worth!
Malia and Sasha were listed as 'senior staff' on the flight manifest for the South African trip. The 'official' purpose of the trip was to encourage young people to become involved in national affairs, but Michelle and her entourage also visited several tourist venues, historical landmarks and museums, Nelson Mandela, and enjoyed a private safari at a South African game reserve.
In August, 2011, it was reported in the Daily Mail (England) that 'White House sources today claimed that the First Lady has spent $10million of U.S. taxpayers' money on vacations alone in the past year. Branding her 'disgusting' and 'a vacation junkie', they say the 47-year-old mother-of-two has been indulging in five-star hotels, where she splashes out on expensive massages and alcohol.'
Although some of Obama's predecessors took more vacation days, most previous Presidents spent time at their family homes, not galavanting across the nation and globe. And, their families didn't take additional vacations at taxpayer expense.
Looks like the office of the President is becoming quite a boondoggle.
Reported unemployment was 8.1% in February, 2013, and 7.6% in March. However, this rate does not include those who can no longer collect benefits, either because they have stopped looking for work or exhausted available benefits (up to 46 weeks). Actual unemployment is as much as 25.5%.
Don't you think this is getting disgusting?