Michelle Obama and her family (absent the president) are heading to China for a taxpayer-funded vacation. While fist-bumping in the worker's paradise, she will likely be taking the "Let's Move" message into the Chinese schools.
The First Lady should champion her initiatives abroad. In the content of a sluggish economy where money lost to the government is an opportunity lost to create sustainable jobs, however, the White House's priorites are growing questionable, and undeniably costly.
According to Judicial Watch, it cost more than $11 million for the president and his wife to travel to Africa to attend Nelson Mandela's funeral in December of last year. According to the New York Daily News, the Obamas were only in Africa for 'less than 13 hours.'
But that trip was nothing compared to a 2013 visit the Obamas made to the Dark Continent, which reportedly cost tax payer more than $100 million.
On the 2013 trip, some of the reported expenditures include the stationing of a Navy aircraft carrier off the coast of Africa equipped with a fully staffed medical trauma center, military cargo planes to fly a fleet of 56 support vehicles to transport the Obamas - complete with 14 limousines and three trucks carrying bulletproof glass to cover the windows of the hotels where the Obamas were to stay - and fighter jets that flew in shifts to provide coverage over the president's airspace for the entire trip.
A Navy aircraft carrier, 14 limos, and three trucks carrying bulletproof glass just for a junket? By all means protect the president, but this appears to be lavish and unnecessary. We are talking serious money - tens of millions of dollars. Here are a few more big ticket items that Judicial Watch was able to uncover in the course of its investigation:
- For vacations to Hawaii, Martha's Vinyard, and President Obama's appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the flight expenses came to $7,396,531 alone.
- For Obama to attend a Democratic fundraiser with Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, the taxpayer expense was $2 million just for security.
Just for context, the White House is taking the "Let's Move" message to a place where the communist Chinese government has forced labor camps, a massive surveilance state, widespread censorship, devastating environmental pollution, and egregious human rights atrocities - to tell children to eat brussel sprouts.
Maybe the White House should stay away from reinforcing the propaganda of the Chinese government and focus on taking better care of our tax money.