The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

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.

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