#AceNewsReport – WASHINGTON:June.16:When Daniel Craig returns as Agent 007 James Bond this fall, he will be appearing in one of the most expensive spy films ever made. SPECTRE, like many Bond films before it, includes a high-speed ski chase.
Fortunately, the American taxpayer wasn’t forced to pony up for the elaborate production’s ski escapade costs. (I’m sure the producers of any movie would happily have accepted the financial support.) Unfortunately, however, the taxpayers were forced to pay, and pay through the nose, for Michelle Obama’s ski weekend escapade in pricey, trendy Aspen, Colorado, this past February.
This is what we learned in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request we made to the U.S. Air Force on February 18, 2015. We asked for:
Any and all records concerning mission taskings relevant to First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to Aspen, Colorado.
Any and all records concerning transportation costs.
Any and all passenger manifests for the trip.
The records we obtained from the U.S. Air Force tell us that the First Lady’s trip cost us all a pretty penny.
According to the newly released records, the transportation costs for the four-day trip to Aspen were based on a flight cost of $7,712 an hour for the First Lady, her daughters, and support personnel in the Gulfstream aircraft (as opposed to the $700 that the average American can spend for a roundtrip flight all the way to Europe and back). Not included were the attendant costs for U.S. Secret Service personnel, accommodations, meals, rental cars, lift tickets for skiing at Buttermilk, and related expenses. The $57,068.80 tab Mrs. Obama and her daughters ran up in travel expenses alone for their weekend trip is more than 14 times what the average American of four spends for an entire week-long vacation.
It has been apparent to us for some time now that the Obamas abuse taxpayer money with unnecessarily luxurious vacations and travel. How many times did the Obama family travel to Aspen prior to the presidency? Misusing the perks of presidency to travel to luxury hot-spots is an abuse that must end. If Congress is looking to save tax dollars, they might consider trimming the platinum travel budgets of this and future presidents.
Apparently, the ski trip was intended to be low-key, and it may have stayed under the radar had it not been for the Obama’s motorcade having been forced to stop for a two-car collision ahead of them, which closed the road for 40 minutes. Though the Obamas had been allowed to “sneak through while they waited on tow trucks,” according to Aspen Police Chief Brian Olsen, the presence of the First Lady was noticed. The Obama family reportedly stayed at the home of Jim and Paula Crown, a Chicago couple who have been major campaign contributors to President Obama throughout his political career.
Barack and Michelle Obama and other members of their family have traveled more during his presidency than any other first couple, including extensive and costly trips to Spain, Africa, South America, and China, accompanied by staff and often by friends.
Including the Aspen trip, government records indicate that the beyond-first-class travel of the Obamas and Vice President Joe Biden have cost the American people well over $56 million.
The Obamas have trained Vice President Biden well on how to use tax dollars for personal and political use. Air Force records we received in response to a September 19, 2014, FOIA show that Biden’s September 3, 2014, trip to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in New Hampshire cost taxpayers $17,025 in transportation expenses. Biden was in New Hampshire to campaign for Democratic Senate and House candidates.
We had asked for:
1) Any and all records concerning mission taskings of Vice President Biden’s September 3, 2014 trip to New Hampshire;
2) Any and all records concerning transportation costs for Vice President Biden’s September 3, 2014 trip to New Hampshire; and
3) Any and all passenger manifests (DD-2131) for Vice President Biden’s September 3, 2014 trip to New Hampshire.
Biden’s cost included three hours of flight time at $5,675 an hour, which does not include Secret Service expenses or costs incurred by local law enforcement in New Hampshire. While the Obama administration claimed Biden was in New Hampshire to celebrate shipyard workers, it’s clear that he was in campaign mode. London’s Daily Mail reported that Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Rep. Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire, along with Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud of Maine, all joined Biden at the shipyard.
And tax dollars are sacrificed on the altar of Mr. Biden’s political ambition.
CNN Politics reported, “The vice president, who’s mulling a 2016 presidential bid, made his remarks at the Portsmouth Naval Yard in a speech about the economy. He was accompanied on stage by U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat who’s running for re-election this year.” The dirty little not-so-secret is that candidates, campaigns, and political parties pay nearly nothing for the political use of Air Force One (or Air Force Two).
The Obama family and Biden mistake the Air Force for Uber. The scam of presidents and vice presidents using tax dollars to subsidize candidates running for office must end. Did Shaheen reimburse taxpayers for a reasonable portion of the costs Biden to campaign for her? Our military has been decimated and is under strain. Biden might want to consider this when he next considers using Air Force Two for a trip to New Hampshire or Iowa as he runs for the presidency.
Your JW has been on top of these taxpayer-funded junkets for some time now. See the previous year together with all reports here: