Judicial Watch has been the one organization that’s been reporting on the crazy expensive trips the Obamas have taken since day one.
Barack Obama has been savaged by a top spending campaigner for taking the First Family on an eighth consecutive Christmas vacation to Hawaii, at huge expense to the American taxpayer.
The President was accused of treating Air Force One, which costs $206,000/hour to run, ‘like an Uber ride’ ahead of his next jaunt to his home state.
Fly-time alone will set taxpayers back somewhere in the region of $3.5 million as Obama, the First Lady, Sasha and Malia and their two dogs jet off for around two weeks.
They have traditionally rented a luxury villa in the upscale Kailua area on Oahu, the main island, and head out for hikes, rounds of golf and restaurant meals with their friends.
Tom Fitton, the head of the Judicial Watch pressure group, said Obama’s holiday habit proves that he is out of touch – and has to stop. He told AL.com: ‘The Obamas’ travel is out of control. They are treating the Air Force One like an Uber ride.
‘And President Obama seems oblivious to the burden he is placing on Americans with his continuous vacations, getaways, and political junkets at taxpayer expense.’
During the trips, the Obamas are accompanied by a substantial Secret Service detail, who costs thousands of dollars a day to accommodate in the idyllic vacation spot.
Local police also work overtime and an ambulance trails the Presidential party at all times in case of disaster – all of which will push the total further into the millions.
Although some expenses – including the rent – are paid for privately, the emergency personnel and daily expenses of Obama’s security detail are all publicly-funded.
Exact figures for the trip – outside of Air Force One – are hard to obtain. According to a Watchdog.com report on the 2014 trip, there is also an Air Force cargo plane to bring Obama’s helicopter and limo, which costs more than $150,000 to get to Hawaii and back.
A second plane brings a Marine Corps contingent at similar cost.
The Honolulu Police Department also spends in the region of $275,000 a year in overtime for its officers, while the ambulance from the local Emergency Management Services costs $15,890 to keep on call.
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Secret Service agents – of whom there are said to be ‘dozens’ each year – are reportedly housed at a cost of around $200 per person per night, while material for other security measures would also be met from White House funds.
It is not yet clear precisely where the Obamas will stay, though they have traditionally favored somewhere near Kailua.
During their year-end trips to the Hawaiian islands the Obamas typically lounge around their rental home, venturing out only on occasion for shaved ice and dinner with their friends.
Since 2013, the Obama family have gone on scenic Christmas hikes, tried out snorkeling in Hanauma Bay and dined at the gourmet Alan Wong’s Restaurant.
President Obama generally spends his time on the golf course or working out at a local Marine Corps base.
He and the First Lady usually make a special trip to the base to to wish the troops stationed there a Merry Christmas and to thank them for their service.
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed there are temporary flight restrictions in the area from December 19 to January 4.
An islander also told Honolulu TV station KHON2 he had seen Secret Service in the area and had been given a flyer about security in Kailua Bay.
The Hawaii trips are not the only examples of extravagance which have been seized on by critics.
In March it emerged that the White House dropped at least $1million flying the President and the First Lady to Los Angeles and back on two separate planes inside a single day so they could be on TV.
Barack Obama sat down with Jimmy Kimmel to appear on his NBC show, while Michelle grabbed the change to be interviewed by Ellen DeGeneres.
Despite the two shows being filmed just miles apart, the White House insisted the journeys were ‘not in sync’ so required separate planes.
As well as the Christmas vacation, the Obamas typically take a summer retreat to Martha’s Vineyard off the Massachusetts coast, allowing the President to tot up some more hours on the golf course.
Read more: UK Daily Mail