As he has done six times since taking office, President Obama and his family will travel to Hawaii for the seventh time for his family’s 16-day Christmas vacation. And with that trip, his family’s personal travel during his time in office will top $70 million.
The president of Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton, compiled the recent study and said that, “The Obamas are treating Air Force One like an Uber ride. President Obama seems oblivious to the burden he is placing on Americans with his continuous vacations, getaways and political junkets at taxpayer expense.”
Judicial Watch is a conservative watchdog that keeps track of government expenditures and filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the United States Department of the Air Force in order to obtain the travel costs of the Obamas’ personal trips.
In 2015 alone, the estimated bill for the Obamas’ family holidays is about $11.6 million, including Mrs. Obama’s ski trip to Aspen and President Obama’s golf trips to California and Florida.
In early summer, Obama took Air Force One to Palm Springs, California at a flying time of 10.6 hours. The cost of flying Air Force One is $206,337 per hour. That equates to a total round trip cost of over $2 million. During that trip to California, Obama played a round of golf with Larry Ellison, the Oracle billionaire. Also during that trip, Obama gave a speech to the United States Conference of Mayors and did some fundraising.
One month later, Obama, his daughters and some of their friends traveled to New York City where they saw the Broadway musical, Hamilton. That round trip cost was about $310,000.
Only three days later, Obama again traveled to New York City, this time to appear on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart – his seventh appearance on the show. Obama also reportedly spoke at a Democratic fundraiser.
Since his inauguration in 2009, Obama has taken 23 holidays – a total of 177 days.