As the US marches ever closer to the ‘fiscal cliff’, Washington is faced with the very real obligation of cutting back and tightening the belt on the budget. Republicans are eyeing Washington’s spending habits, while Democrats are concerned with raising taxes.
And in the middle of the fed’s financial crisis you have President Obama. His mainstream media face time suggests that he’s leading the galant charge to liberate America from the impending fiscal terrors; but, as the US finally makes the trip over the edge, the President will be in beautiful, sunny Hawaii, soaking in a 20-day, $4 million dollar vacation …oceans away from the problems that the rest of us are facing. The Hawaii Reporter writes about the warning that the local residents received, preceding the President’s arrival:
The report delivered to residents living along the ocean and canal that surrounds the multi-million dollar homes at Kailuana Place where the President stays, informed them of restrictions that will be implemented for 20 days beginning December 17 and running through January 6.
In a matter of weeks, Kailua residents will see the familiar street barricades fronted by U.S. Secret Service agents and Navy Seals and the U.S. Coast Guard stationed in canal and ocean waters.
Perhaps the most ironic part about the President’s trip is that it will run the State of Hawaii and the American taxpayer up to $4 million in bills… during a crisis that was caused by too much government spending.
Both parties agree that Washington is blowing too much money: that is certainly not under debate. Interestingly enough, Republicans seek to cut entitlements, but Democrats are hoping to slash military spending. Yet, the Hawaii Reporter article indicates that the President will be spending almost a half-million dollars (or more) on C-17 military aircraft transports for limos, a Navy SEAL mobile security detail, and the list goes on:
The cost for USAF C-17 cargo aircraft that transports the Presidential limos, helicopters and other support equipment to Hawaii has never been disclosed in the years the President has traveled to Hawaii. However, the flight time between Andrews Air Force Base and Hawaii is at about 21.5 hours roundtrip, with estimated operating cost of $12,000 per hour. (Source: GAO report, updated by C-17 crew member). The United States Marine Corps provides a presidential helicopter, along with pilots and support crews for the test flights, which travel on another C-17 flight. That is $258,000, not including costs for the 4 to 6 member crew’s per diem and hotel.
The article continues…
The rentals are fronted by the ocean and backed by a canal. So, the taxpayers must cover the costs for housing U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Coast Guard and Navy Seals in beach front and canal front homes around where the President stays.
Last year, that added up to about $200 per bedroom per day, or $21,600 per average home for a nearly three week period, with special forces renting at least 7 homes. Security arrives ahead of the President costing taxpayers about $176,400 for the length of the visit.
For a President that hopes to cut military spending along with his Democrat colleagues in Washington, he sure seems to see no harm in blowing a half-million on setting up a temporary military base in a ritzy Hawaiian setting. Barack Obama’s leading-from-behind strategy during the headaches of the ‘fiscal cliff’ crisis has given the term, ‘Hawaii retreat’, a whole new meaning.