Whether liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, we can all agree that there is a systemic problem in Washington, especially concerning its money management skills. For instance, when faced with large, important tasks, most people burn the night oil to get the job done. Also, when the budget gets tight and the debtors start calling, folks have a tendency to spend less. But not Washington, and especially not Presidents.
Presidential vacations are always a point of contention. For the party whose President is in power, it’s always an embarrassing subject. For the party whose political opponent is the President, vacations are a headline talking point. For this past Holiday season, reporters and pundits alike are ripping Barack Obama for his Hawaiian retreat. WhiteHouseDossier.com reports:
In a move that is rich in irony, President Obama agreed Tuesday night to sign an emergency deficit reduction bill that does almost nothing to rein in spending and then jetted out to Hawaii to resume his vacation at an extra cost of more than $3 million to taxpayers.
The price tag is in addition to more than $4 million that is already being spent on the Obamas’ Hawaii idyll, bringing the total cost of the excursion to well over $7 million.
While this is definitely sending the wrong message to the American people about the President’s attitude on federal spending and the urgency of the government’s fiscal problems, Obama has taken a fraction of the vacation time that his predecessor had:
Upon completion of the Hawaii trip, Obama will have spent 76 days on vacation in his first term, based on data gathered by both The Washington Post and The Week.
By comparison, his predecessor George W. Bush spent 180 days at both the Crawford, Texas ranch dubbed “The Western White House,” and Camp David during his first term, while Bill Clinton spent just 28 days on vacation in the same span of time, CBS News reports. [News92FM.com]
Republicans love to dub Barack Obama as the ‘vacationer-in-chief’, but truth be told, Republican Presidents are the worst offenders in this respect. The numbers don’t lie: In recent times, Democrat Presidents don’t spend much time on vacation (not even in comparison to the everyday American worker). However, it is worth noting that ‘W’ often met with foreign leaders and worked from his ranch in Crawford, TX on some of his ‘vacation’ days.
It’s impossible to know if Barack Obama is still ‘working’ while on vacation like his predecessor did from his home ranch. But for the current president, Republicans can certainly gripe about the timing for his Hawaiian getaway as the US is in a very unique position, historically speaking. If Obama had just waited a month or so, perhaps it wouldn’t make him look like he’s casting off the deep concerns of everyday Americans to hang ten in the Pacific.
It may be constructive for Congress to make a new law, saying that all Presidents only get 2 weeks a year …ya, know… just like the rest of us. Perhaps then, this won’t be an issue for Democrats or Republicans, but a matter of common sense and rational thinking.