#1 Most Expensive First Lady In American History
06-27-2011, 06:00 PM
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
Mrs. Obama’s South Africa Trip Cost Taxpayers Over $800,000
First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to South Africa and Botswana last week cost taxpayers well over half a million dollars, possibly in the range of $700,000 or $800,000, according to an analysis by White House Dossier.
Many of the trip’s expenses cannot be obtained with specificity, including the cost of local transportation for the first lady, Secret Service protection, the care and feeding of staffers, and pre-trip advance work done by administration officials in South Africa.
But it is possible to estimate some of these costs and put a price tag on one of the major expenses – her transportation to and from southern Africa and her trips between cities there.
While the goals of her journey – “youth leadership, education, health and wellness” in southern Africa, according to the White House – are laudable, many may question whether such an expensive outreach overseas by the president’s wife is worthwhile given the threat of the ballooning federal debt to the economy.
This is particularly true given that the trip, while featuring many official events, also included tourist components such as visits to historical landmarks and museums, a nonworking chance to meet Nelson Mandela that Mrs. Obama described as “surreal,” and a safari. Mrs. Obama also brought along her mother, her daughters and two of their cousins – the children of her brother Craig Robinson.
In a conversation last week with a South African online newspaper, U.S. Embassy Spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau made clear that the trip was partially a personal pilgrimage for the first lady.
“She’s coming on this trip to talk about women’s development and youth development, and South Africa is a leader in that, not only on the continent but globally,” said Trudeau. “A visit to South Africa is important for them as a family. She’ll be visiting many Struggle-era landmarks, including the Apartheid Museum (and) the Hector Pieterson Memorial.”
Based on the plane’s tail number and a description of it in a press pool report, it’s clear Mrs. Obama flew over and back on a C-32, a specially configured military version of the Boeing 757 that also ferries the vice president on occasion and is sometimes known as “Air Force Two.”
According to publicly available Defense Department figures, DOD charges other federal agencies $12,723 an hour to cover expenses for the use of a C-32. Based on the distance traveled and the flight speed of the plane, this adds up to about $430,000 for use of the aircraft alone.
06-27-2011, 07:06 PM
They're taking vacations on the taxpayers' dime. What was the reason for taking the mother and cousins? That's really a reach.
I'm sure it was a thrill for her to meet Nelson Mendela, but why should we pay for it? They must really be afraid that he'll be a one term president, as they're cramming in a whole lot of travel into this first term.
" To the world you are just one more person, but to a rescued pet, you are the world."
"A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!"
06-27-2011, 07:52 PM
Did the Bush's take nearly this many pleasure trips in 8 years?Deplorably Proud To Be An American
06-27-2011, 09:56 PM
- Join Date
- Sep 2008
- South Florida
Obama and his family are acting like rap stars, taxpayer money=BLING. President BALLER Obama.
06-27-2011, 10:00 PM
If she had to she'd be happy with a mess of fat cakes and a bottle of ripple.Pffffffffffffffffffffff! Buh Bye Big Ears
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
06-27-2011, 10:11 PM
- Join Date
- May 2010
I know its crazy to think about, but Michelle Obama is popular overseas. There's a lot of people in South Africa (and there is a small threat of civil war once Mandela dies), its worth the coin to make the USA look like it cares.
06-27-2011, 10:27 PM
fat cakes and fries in Botswana even as she attempts to control every bite we eat here in America. Communism works great as long as it applies to you and not to those who advocate it.
Wake up."The efforts of the government alone will never be enough. In the end the people must choose and the people must help themselves" ~ JFK; from his famous inauguration speech (What Democrats sounded like before today's neo-Liberals hijacked that party)
06-28-2011, 11:43 AMI feel that once a black fella has referred to white foks as "honky paleface devil white-trash cracker redneck Caspers," he's abdicated the right to get upset about the "N" word. But that's just me. -- Jim Goad
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