With Michelle Obama in China and the President set to take a trip to Belgium on Tuesday, there has been a lot of press about their trips and their associated costs. Some facts to consider:
- With 31 trips for a total of 119 days abroad, President Obama has now traveled more than any other president, although Bush 43 and Clinton also set records before him.
- Air Force One Costs over $228,000 per hour to fly.
- The President sometimes travels with a 900-person, 45-car, 2 Air-Force Ones, 3-cargo plane entourage
- The 13-hour visit in South Africa for Mandela's funeral cost an estimated $11 million (including 127 hotel rooms and not including the flight).
- Annual costs for supporting the White House exceed $1.4 billion.
By way of comparison, travel expenses for the royal family of Great Britain was less than $9 million in 2012 and the cost to maintain them for the year was $55 million. Bonus: The properties owned by the royals generate north of $200 million in rent, so when you include that figure, England actually makes money on the Queen.
Even on the first lady's current "non-political" trip to China, there's news about excessive spending: Michelle is staying at the Westin, in an $8,400 per night suite, a hotel deemed unsuitable for Vice President Biden's trip to Beijing last year — because of its nightly price tag.
So while the President proposes that we cut our mobile phone service in order to afford his Affordable Care Act, he is setting records on our collective dimes. That's not Conservative or Liberal, that's just a fact.