I understand the perks that come with the gig and all that surrounds it, but sometimes you have an “oh pah-leez” point, and this is it:

How much does it cost taxpayers to fly First Lady Michelle Obama, her two daughters and her mother, a niece and a nephew, a hairstylist and makeup artists to South Africa and Botswana to give a few speeches, meet Nelson Mandela, and enjoy a safari on a private game preserve?

Nearly half a million dollars, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) concerning Obama’s June 21-27 journey.

Judicial Watch said the U.S. Air Force provided a C-32 – a Boeing 757 modified by the military for the purpose of flying big-wigs around the world – to fly the First Lady and her entourage to and from Africa, at a cost of $424,142. Another $928.44 was listed as the cost of providing 192 meals for the 21 people who made the trip
[...]
The documents made public by Judicial Watch do not include the total of all costs for the First Lady’s trip, such as expenses for security, transportation on the ground and so forth. For more information, go here.

The best part:

The Obama daughters were listed on the manifest as “senior staff.”

Let me guess — the government must be reimbursed for children’s travel but taxpayers get to eat the cost of “staff.” Am I getting warm?

Actually it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to give the daughters a chance at actually being senior staff in the administration — why not? It’s not like they could screw things up any more than the current staff has.

It would be a lot easier to look the other way at this stuff if it didn’t come from the wife of the president who called on Americans to “sacrifice.” In fairness though, the First Lady did say that “someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more.”

Comments

5 Responses to “The Cost of a FLOTUS Safari with ‘Senior Staff’”

  1. sizemorew on October 6th, 2011 12:46 pm

    Off topic, but good to see you back up and running, Mr. Powers!

    Back on topic, the fact that half a million dollars is just the base cost of expenses doesn't shock me in the least. "Let them eat cake" indeed.

    Also, didn't Obama say that we should look to our children for the direction this country should go in? Maybe he promoted them to senior staff to give Daddy a hand running the country by sharing their vision.

  2. Marshall_Will on October 6th, 2011 12:50 pm

    JFTR, on a recent "we're a little short-handed could ya' help us out b/c we're not Authorized to hire anyone full time" tour at the Guard, I was graciously alloted (1) travel claim for the entire month.

    I'm not complaining, the Base had an Indian Summer to DIE for we just didn't have on our end of the State and… you know how I hate to miss a good volleyball tournament!

    Truth be told, I paid OUT more than I 'made' from the tour. My travel 'allowance' came to less than $200 ( which I should see any WEEK now ) yet I shelled out every bit of a GRAND for gas, hotel and road food. Out of pocket. Granted, no Senior Staff or entourage but FLOTUS' tab would have covered me 2,120 Round trips. Just a thought!

  3. SignPainterGuy on October 6th, 2011 1:56 pm

    Those Indian Summers are a thing of beauty, did anyone send you a digital photo album for your viewing pleasure, since it occurred in another part of the state ?

    Here`s a thought; send an itemized accounting of all your travel expenses to the WH C/O "Newest Senior Staff". I`m sure your reimbursement will be expedited to any "day" now ! ;-)

  4. SignPainterGuy on October 6th, 2011 2:08 pm

    I did a little figuratin` last night on the in-flight meal cost. 21 passengers each ate 9-1/8 meals for $101.50 per meal. How much you wanna bet that wasn`t for cream cheese on rye, celery and bottled water ?

    As the question was asked in WWII, "Was this trip really necessary ?"

  5. Marshall_Will on October 6th, 2011 4:38 pm

    "send an itemized accounting" Too funny!

    The individual I felt the absolute worst for was our trusty paymaster in admin. Matt Damon wants to talk about 'sh!tty jobs'?

    So… that comes to $191 dollars and 39 cents. Try not to spend it all in one place. Uh…? For the older guys, it's part of the fun and a friendly REMINDER why we don't put UP w/ this bs full time!

    For the -young- guys ( it means he/she's going to have to borrow gas money to get home on! ) But FLOTUS supports the troops doncha' know!

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