In answer to a question back in February as to his rationale for doing something or other, Prez Obama simply said, “We won.” No one begrudges the Anointed One the same perks in office that other presidents and their families have enjoyed, but there ought to be a line drawn somewhere, if not to concern inordinate costs of the perks, at least to not flaunt the trivial use of government properties and personnel at this time, especially, when unemployment is intensifying and people are hurting financially worse than at any time in recent memory.
The cost of operating Air Force One is $40,243 per hour of flight. Presumably, the cost of operating Air Force Two is the same, both being 747s. In the current presidency, the two planes have become “His” and “Hers.” Of course, the ancillary expenses – secret service; special vehicles; personal gofers, for instance, add to the cost of trips everywhere for Barack Obama and wife Michele. All these things have to be delivered at or ahead of time for any prez/prez-wife foray, involving the use of other planes at tens of thousands of dollars per hour. For instance, for their recent “date” in the Big Apple, the Obamas needed three smaller planes – THREE – plus all the extra people invading New York well ahead of time to guarantee their privacy/safety/convenience/whatever.
Earlier this year, Air Force One did a fly-around of New York City in a picture-taking operation. No warning was given to even the mayor, much less the department of safety, so the bejesus was scared out of the populace by the plane flying quite near the ground and the buildings. Shades of 9/11! That was a costly excursion that apparently meant nothing, and the perpetrator in the White House effected the usual resignation. Has anyone seen the results of all the picture-taking that required at least three hours or so at better than 40 thou an hour? It’s only money. AND...does anyone believe that this trip would have been taken without the express consent/direction of Obamessiah? Only money!
So...the prez and wife flew off to the G-20 summit back in April. The prez did the participation and he and wife did some show-ups here-and-there, whereupon the prez flew home on Air Force One (His), leaving wife and daughters to shop for a few days in Paris, complete with the usual retinue of cars, secret service agents, gofers, special vehicles – the whole nine yards. Then wife and daughters flew home on Air Force Two (Hers), presumably, the whole nine yards probably costing at least a couple million big ones. Just the cost of one plane, assuming about 16 hours round-trip (counting ground time), was some $644,000. So, that’s just the cost of transportation for the First Lady to visit the stores in Paris.
So...what’s new? Well, the prez and wife, presumably using both Air Force One (His) and Air Force Two (Hers), were/are off to Copenhagen. They just couldn’t go on the same plane because...well, who knows why? Counting ground time, the round-trip should take about 20 hours (4,000 miles) – or $805,000 worth just for transportation for one plane to Copenhagen and back. Since Chicago Mayor Daly and his retinue of solicitors (Chicago biggies) also chartered a plane to Copenhagen (even OPRAH [gasp] flew in) to plump for the 2016 Olympic games, there was actually no need for either Obama to make the scene (notice that Veep Biden was not important enough to stand-in in Copenhagen for the prez, who will simply walk away Thursday from the generals and others trying to solve the Afghanistan puzzle). Copenhagen is by far more important.
Figure in all the ancillary expenses connected to these boondoggles (mini-vacations) and Obama, who is off on most any day to make a speech somewhere that requires Air Force One to be up and running, and the phrase “We won” just about says it all. While his cap-and-trade (Senator Kerry has just renamed it “pollution reduction” to fool the rubes) and health-care legislation languish in Congress, Obama spends huge amounts of time just flying around. Okay...he uses the phone on the plane to twist the arms of those he needs to do his bidding, but somehow it just ain’t the same old politics. Disappointing!