‘133 DAYS ABROAD’
Ah, the well-traveled White House. The National Taxpayers Union Foundation has done all the math and figured out that President Obama’s recent eight-day journey through Asia cost the public $8.7 million just to keep Air Force One aloft. The magnificent albeit pricey aircraft was airborne for a total of 38 hours at $228,288 an hour in operating costs.
The organization already has proclaimed Mr. Obama to be the most traveled president ever. All told, the president has now spent 133 days abroad on 34 total trips since he took office.
“Presidential travel entails substantial planning, logistical support, security provisions, and therefore presents significant costs for taxpayers,” says Michael Tasselmyer, the foundation’s policy analyst.
“The $8.7 million price tag of operating Air Force One offers perspective on what some of those costs can be, even though the full extent of the fiscal impact remains unclear. Given that diplomacy is a vital part of the chief executive’s duties, this is only the latest reminder that taxpayers would benefit from greater transparency and disclosure of travel expenditures no matter who occupies the White House,” Mr. Tasselmyer adds.