Taxpayers should take a hard look at President Obama’s Labor Day 2014 weekend trips for fundraising, personal business, and politicking with sheer anger. His entourage ran up a tab of $1,539,400 in taxpayer-paid transportation expenses.
The incredible bill to taxpayers was obtained through U.S. Air Force records obtained by Judicial Watch in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed the day after Labor Day. Naturally the White House has refuted the claim.
The president began last Labor Day weekend flying to to Westchester, N.Y., on Friday, for his usual fundraisers for the Democratic National Committee that included two stopovers. He was just getting started on the taxpayer’s dime.
After the Westchester stops he took off for Providence, R.I., for, you guessed it, yet another private residence and a fundraiser where entrance cost up to $32,400. It was the president’s ninth fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this year, Judicial Watch noted.
It appears the president is addicted to the attention and less interested in staying put in the White House for official business. The trips to Westchester and Providence cost taxpayers $527,192 for transportation alone. Other considerations were not disclosed which would have driven up the final tab considerably.
Ironically, the Commander in Chief was originally scheduled to fly back to Westchester on Friday night, stay overnight and then return to Washington after attending the wedding of White House chef Sam Kass and MSNBC host Alex Wagner on Saturday.
Those plans were scraped at the last minute so he could return to Washington for undisclosed reasons other than “to sleep in his own bed,” according to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. He then returned to New York.
The tab for these changes amounted to an additional 1.4 hours spent on Air Force One, which added $295,227 more in taxpayer dollars to bring the total cost of the round trip between New York and D.C. to $358,490.
The jet setting president ended his Labor Day fund-raising by flying to Milwaukee, Wis., on Monday, where, you guessed it, he made a campaign speech at Laborfest 2014. This cost taxpayers $653,718.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, “This Labor Day back-and-forth shows President Obama seems to confuse Air Force One with Uber.”
An angry Fitton added, “President Obama abuses not only taxpayers with this unnecessary travel, he strains an already overstretched military and a Secret Service that is in crisis and can’t even guard the front door of the White House. The new Congress could do worse than to reform presidential travel so taxpayers aren’t gouged by candidates and campaigns benefiting from the political use of Air Force One.”
There is little doubt that between the president’s fundraisers and his family’s personal vacations, he will be the most expensive president in history for the taxpaying public. Although his staff refutes such a claim, it appears the president has the travel itch to greet and meet Democratic donors on a regular basis, all legal under his guidelines for “presidential travel.”
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