Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Who Pays for Obama's Vacations? And Other Whining About Obama Vacations

Update Jan. 5, 2013: False reports about Obama's vacation time, expenses and Air Force 1 travel abound on the internet, with a wide range of tales. My personal favorite is the one in which Bo gets his own plane. I mean, what kind of idiot would believe that?
The latest from CBS's Mark Knoller, who keeps track of presidential vacation days.
Since assuming office in January 2009, President Obama has taken all or part of 83 vacation days, according to CBS News White House correspondent, Mark Knoller. At that rate, Mr. Obama will be on par to take about 168 vacation days during his eight-year tenure.


Here's how Mr. Obama stacks up against more recent Presidents, if he keeps pace with 168 vacation days over eight years. President George W. Bush took all or part of 297 days at his Texas ranch. Bill Clinton took 174 days at Martha's Vineyard and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Ronald Reagan vacationed 349 days at his California ranch over eight years. Hawaii News Now

Update Dec. 22, 2012: Well, it's that time of year again. Rumors abound about how much money taxpayers spend on Obama's vacation and gullible people who want to believe the worst spread the gossip. Things to know: 1) Obama is never really on vacation. 2) The Obamas pay for personal expenses, food, lodging... 3) Bo doesn't fly in his own plane 4) Obama deserves family time 5) Factcheck on Obama's AF1 travels 6) Factcheck on Obama's vacation days - hint, he doesn't take more than any other president.
For more info on presidential travel, see this report.

Update June 18, 2012: Ann Romney gets a little ahead of herself, talking about how she and Mitt will vacation as president and first lady, and goes on to say that the Obamas take a lot of overseas vacations. What? Apparently, Ann Romney, who lives in a bubble, is counting G20 and other presidential business as vacations or she's spending too much time at Fox News. FLOTUS made a trip to Spain with the girls, but that's the only overseas vaca I know of.

Update Aug. 18, 2011. It's that time of year, the time to knock Obama for taking a vacation--as if he could really do that. Once again, it's CBS's annual vacation day report: Obama has taken 61 days so far, Reagan took 121 at the same point in time, Bush, 200. WATCH

Every Obama vacation it's the same thing, a bunch of self-righteous fools run their mouths all over the internet saying that Obama's vacations are taxpayer funded and that Obama goes on a lot of vacations. Wrong on both.
I've noticed that our worthless media outlets haven't made any attempts at reporting on the presidential travel policy. There's just a lot of misinformation out there from people trying to manipulate other people (and blatant racism--just read the comments on Michelle's trip to Spain at FoxNation. It seems a black first lady isn't allowed quite the same freedom as a white first lady. Never has there been so much fuss over a first lady's vacation. Yes, Laura Bush vacationed with an entourage as well).
Here is what I found out:
As far as Michelle Obama's four-day Spain vacation--the Obamas pay for it because it's a private trip. From the White House press briefing:
Q Okay, one last thing real quick. Just to get it on the record, the First Lady’s trip to Spain with Sasha, what portion of that is paid by taxpayers and what portion by --

MR. GIBBS: I would point you over to the First Lady’s office. It’s a private trip and is being paid for that way.
If you want a full breakdown on presidential, first lady and vice presidential travel policy, check out this report:
For security and other reasons, the President, Vice President, and First Lady use military aircraft when they travel.1 The White House generally categorizes the trips as fulfilling either official or political functions. Often, a trip involves both official and political, or unofficial, activities. When a trip is for an official function, the government pays all costs, including per diem (food and lodging), car rentals, and other incidental expenses. When a trip is for political or unofficial purposes, those involved must pay for their own food and lodging and other related expenses, and they must also reimburse the government with the equivalent of the airfare that they would have paid had they used a commercial airline. When a trip involves both official and political activities, a formula determines the amount to be reimbursed for that part of the trip involving political activities. Whether a trip is for official or political purposes, the Air Force pays all operational and other costs incurred by the use of the aircraft. While the travel policies of specific Administrations concerning the reimbursement of expenses for unofficial travel generally are not publicly available, it appears that policy guidelines developed by the Reagan White House have served as a basis for the travel policies of subsequent Administrations.
Also, Obama DESERVES vacation time. He has perhaps the toughest job in the world. As President he's always on the job, day and night, and no vacation is ever a real vacation, the kind that he can take in obscurity and without worry of pirate attacks or whatever.
Obama also has a family to preserve. He's human.
Not everyone in America gets to take a vacation, but is that the President's fault? Does that mean he shouldn't take a vacation.
People who can't take a vacation need to look at their own spending habits. After all, the recession can also be blamed on American lust for material goodies. In the lead up to the recession, people bought homes they couldn't afford, used their houses like ATM machines and were busy keeping up with the Joneses, who were wealthier than they. Wall Street took advantage of that greed to meet OUR demand.
People ought to stop blaming Obama for everything and take a look at themselves. Obama is the president, not Superman. I'm rambling. 
Then there's always the whining about Obama's choice of vacation locations, as if Maine is too luxurious. It's funny, Americans aspire to be wealthy, but hate those who are wealthy.
Then there's always the burning question every single time Obama goes on vacation: Should Obama go on vacation now? As if there is ever a good time to go on vacation if you're the president.
I would understand if Obama was a lame president. But he is perhaps one of the most productive ever.
People who whine about Obama's vacations are being idiotic and petty.
I am happy that Obama is taking vacation time and spending time with his family, shooting hoops, golfing and doing whatever it takes to do be of sound mind and body.

In the first year and a half, Bush took 96 vacation days, Obama, 36: