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President Obama is vacationing in Hawaii, the state where he was born and spent his childhood. According to Anita Kumar of McClatchy News, this annual trip cost taxpayers $3.5 million and the total cost of the first family’s travel comes to $85 million, possibly $90 million when further records are released. All told, except for the current Hawaii trip, President Obama has taken 28 vacations spanning all or part of 217 days. Critics are surely right that the president abuses the Secret Service, Air Force, and of course taxpayers with unnecessary travel. He does have a regal, autocratic style, and his 1995 book Dreams from My Father, most likely written by David Axelrod, said his father lived according to principles that promised “a higher form of power.” To cost out the president, however, taxpayers should note some other figures.
By the time Obama leaves office, the national debt will approach $20 trillion, nearly double the $10.6 trillion when he took office in 2009. By some calculations, the president has added more to the debt than 41 U.S. presidents from George Washington through George H.W. Bush combined. The current president has added entitlements such as Obamacare, a new misery index, and created new federal agencies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The president is shrink-wrapped in statist superstition, which holds that there is always money for everything, regardless of need, record of performance, or how much spending burdens generations not yet born.
Even with the fathomless debt of $20 trillion, President Obama makes no effort to trim his extravagant travel expenses, which approach $100 million for his two terms. Taxpayers should not be surprised, but they might take a cue from Mose Allison, who passed away in November. Many politicians’ minds are on vacation, and their mouths working overtime.