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JuanDenver
07-07-2009, 09:54 AM
Certainly, the accountants in the mainstream liberal press will be all over this story for weeks on end like they were about palins wardrobe.




White House Wont Reveal How Much Michelle Obamas European Vacation Cost Taxpayers
Monday, July 06, 2009
By Fred Lucas, Staff Writer




First lady Michelle Obama makes remarks after touring the Unity Health Care Upper Cordozo Health Center in Washington, Monday, June 29, 2009. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)(CNSNews.com) America may be in the midst of a deep recession, and the nation may be facing unprecedented deficit spending and debt, but the White House will not reveal the cost to taxpayers of the European vacation that first lady Michelle Obama and the presidents two daughters, Malia and Sasha, took last month.

Travel by an American first lady typically includes the military passenger jet that carries her and the children, Secret Service personnel to provide security, and a separate cargo plane to haul official vehicles.

First Lady Michelle Obamas tour of Paris with her children included a convoy of 20 vehicles, according to news reports. She also moved by motorcade through London.

The full cost of such a trip would also include the expense of meals and lodging for Secret Service agents and possibly other staff.

In response to inquiries from CNSNews.com last week about the cost to taxpayers of the first ladys European vacation, the White House did not provide a figure.

Like previous administrations, the first lady will follow all the rules and regulations that are related to reimbursement for personal travel, Michelle Obamas press secretary Katie McCormick Lelyveld told CNSNews.com in a written response.

CNSNews.com inquiries to the White House on the cost of the trip were made by both phone and e-mail on June 30, July 1, July 2 and July 3.

Though White House rules for vacations, or unofficial travel, requires reimbursing the government the equivalent to the cost of what a commercial flight would have been, such a reimbursement would amount to only a fraction of the total cost of the first ladys European trip.

For example, it would not include the cost of the security detail and the cargo plane that had to be deployed. Moreover, the cost of a commercial airline ticket is substantially less than the cost of operating a military passenger jet.

The Secret Service does not reveal its costs for protecting the first family.

We do not discuss the cost of protection,? Secret Service spokesman Malcolm Wiley told CNSNews.com. We will not be discussing the cost of any protection during travel or anything dealing with the cost of those we are mandated to protect.

In late November 2008, after reports that executives of the financially troubled auto companies had been using private jets, then-President-Elect Obama said, "I thought maybe they're a little tone-deaf to what's happening in America right now."

The first lady and her daughters visited Paris and London in June, just shortly after Malia, who just turned 11, and Sasha, eight, had finished their first semester at Sidwell Friends School. They arrived in Paris on June 5 and returned to Washington on June 11, according to various media reports.

The Paris leg of the trip was filled with sightseeing, according to news accounts. They arrived on June 5 and visited the Eiffel Tower.

Part of this leg of the trip could arguably be considered official business, because Michelle Obama joined President Obama when he spoke at the ceremony honoring the 65th anniversary of the Normandy invasion, but the Associated Press at the time referred to the rest of the first ladys sojourn in Paris as a private trip.

Mrs. Obama and the girls met up with the president in Paris, on the last leg of his six-day tour of four Middle Eastern and European countries,? reported AP. Obama left Paris for Washington, D.C., on Sunday morning, leaving his wife and children to enjoy the French capital on their own.

Apart from the D-Day commemorations, Mrs. Obama's Paris visit was a private one, closed to the press. Photographers and camera crews caught images of her and the girls visiting the city's must-see monuments, including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Pompidou Center modern art museum and Notre Dame cathedral, the AP reported.

A Congressional Research Service (CRS) report from April 2007 provides guidelines for estimating what the first ladys passenger flights alone cost in public money. That would not include the cost of the cargo flight, the Secret Service personnel or the cost for meals and lodging of the agents.

The report cited White House Military Office estimates from fiscal year 1998 that said the first ladys passenger plane costs between $2,958 per hour to operate, while the Air Force estimates it to cost about to $10,789 per hour.

A flight from Washington to Paris would be seven hours and 30 minutes, according to Air Routing International, a company that guides corporate flight planners. A flight from Paris to London would be 40 minutes, and a flight from London to Washington would be seven hours and nine minutes.

If these flight hours are multiplied with the cost per hour estimates in the CRS report, the air travel cost would range from $22,185 to $80,917 for the trip from Washington to Paris. From Paris to London, it would range from $1,952.88 to $7,120.

The return trip from London to Washington would range from $20,706 to $75,523. The varying estimates are based on whether the White House Military Office estimates are used or the higher U.S. Air Force estimates are used.

Combined, the first ladys air travel cost would have been $44,843.28, under the White House estimate or $163,560.50, under the Air Force estimate, but these estimates are for fiscal year 1998 dollars.

Adjusted for inflation to 2009 dollars, the cost to taxpayers of the Washington-to-Paris-to-London-to-Washington air travel would have ranged from $58,834.02 to $214,591.38, according to the inflation estimates by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Costs associated with these trips, however, generally involve much more than the operational costs of the specific passenger aircraft, the CRS report says. When the president travels abroad, several passenger and cargo aircraft accompany Air Force One. When the vice president or first lady make such a trip, a single cargo aircraft accompanies either of them.

Rules distinguish official and unofficial travel by the first family and administration officials. Official business would include the president meeting with foreign leaders, while unofficial business would include the president traveling to campaign for a candidate of his party or a first family vacation.

The travel polices of specific administrations concerning the reimbursement of expenses for unofficial travel generally are not publicly available, the CRS report said.

However, the Reagan administration established written guidelines in 1982 to determine when the president, vice president, and any assistants accompanying them on military aircraft travel at government expense and when they, or political organizations on whose behalf they travel, are to reimburse the government with the equivalent of the airfare that they would have had to pay had they traveled on commercial airlines, the report added.

The cost of commercial first class airline tickets for one adult and two children from Washington to Paris, Paris to London and London to Washington would total up to $21,989, according to a July 3 search on Airfare.com, an online ticket ordering site.

Not go unnoticed

In a June 7 NBC News report about the first lady?s tour of Paris, reporter Stephanie Gosk remarked, A 20-car convoy does not go unnoticed at the Eiffel Tower, speeding past the Champs-Elysees or pulling up to the Pompidou Museum where todays tour began.

The president returned to Washington the day after he reportedly had a romantic dinner with the first lady at a French bistro. The president had lamb, the first lady had beef.

On Monday, June 8, Michelle Obama and the children made an unannounced visit to London.

Michelle and the girls had stayed on in Paris after Barack returned to the U.S. at the end of this trip to Europe, Londons The Mirror newspaper reported in the June 9 edition. ?But after flying into the Stansted airport in the morning in one of the president?s official jets, it was straight to London.

There the first lady met with her British counterpart, Sarah Brown, wife of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The prime ministers office confirmed the visit to the Associated Press.

In London, Michelle, Sasha and Malia Obama saw the famous clock tower at the House of Parliament and a live performance of ?The Lion King? musical. Then Sasha celebrated her eighth birthday on the set of the upcoming Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows movie.

Actor Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter, and Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling reportedly met with the Obama family.
http://www.cnsnews.com/public/conten...x?RsrcID=50528

SGMD1
07-07-2009, 10:07 AM
The White House has never revealed travel expenses, why would they start now.

They didn't do it for Reagan to his Santa Barbara ranch, Bush1 to his Kennebunkport estate, Clinton to Martha's Vineyard, or Bush2's 480 days (+ an additional 470 to Camp David) to Crawford, Texas.

u mad?

otisthebat
07-07-2009, 10:18 AM
The White House has never revealed travel expenses, why would they start now.

They didn't do it for Reagan to his Santa Barbara ranch, Bush1 to his Kennebunkport estate, Clinton to Martha's Vineyard, or Bush2's 480 days (+ an additional 470 to Camp David) to Crawford, Texas.

u mad?

obama campaigned on government transparency. so far its been about as transparent as a brick wall.

also those numbers for bush are wrong. ANY day that he spent out of the whitehouse were counted as vacation. even if he was conducting government business. also, the president is NEVER on vacation.

Ryan1985
07-07-2009, 10:18 AM
Certainly, the accountants in the mainstream liberal press will be all over this story for weeks on end like they were about palins wardrobe. ...*link*




Quit trolling; Do you honestly care what was spent on that vacation? Or are you just looking at something to bash Obama about? And I believe, correct me if im wrong. The thing about Palins wardrobe was that she was actually keeping the clothes, that came from money donations meant for McCain's campaign. And no, im not an Obama lover; I actually abstained from voting since I liked neither party.

otisthebat
07-07-2009, 10:21 AM
Quit trolling; Do you honestly care what was spent on that vacation? Or are you just looking at something to bash Obama about? And I believe, correct me if im wrong. The thing about Palins wardrobe was that she was actually keeping the clothes, that came from money donations meant for McCain's campaign.

yes, its taxpayer money being spent for the first lady to go on vacation. spending money on useless crap while >10trillion in debt = bad.



And no, im not an Obama lover; I actually abstained from voting since I liked neither party.

you are are a retard.

SGMD1
07-07-2009, 10:23 AM
also those numbers for bush are wrong
no, they're 100% correct. Bush spent nearly a year and a half of his presidency at his Crawford ranch.

otisthebat
07-07-2009, 10:27 AM
no, they're 100% correct. Bush spent nearly a year and a half of his presidency at his Crawford ranch.

still, he wasnt on vacation. also that doesnt excuse oby's wife spending a crap load of money going on vacation.

Ryan1985
07-07-2009, 10:44 AM
yes, its taxpayer money being spent for the first lady to go on vacation. spending money on useless crap while >10trillion in debt = bad.
you are are a retard.


Really? How am I retard? Because I abstained in voting, cause I have no confidence in either person? Thats not retarded.

Other from that, looking at your posts, we seem pretty close ideologically.... jackass.

otisthebat
07-07-2009, 10:46 AM
Really? How am I retard? Because I abstained in voting, cause I have no confidence in either person? Thats not retarded.

Other from that, looking at your posts, we seem pretty close ideologically.... jackass.

there are more than 2 parties. instead of NOT voting, you could have been useful and voted for a 3rd party.

r0gue6
07-07-2009, 10:46 AM
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y12/LeKiwiZombie/thread-retarded-batman.jpg

Ryan1985
07-07-2009, 11:00 AM
there are more than 2 parties. instead of NOT voting, you could have been useful and voted for a 3rd party.

Honestly, I didnt like anyone that I read about. I did not percieve any level of trust from them. They mostly seemed like they would falter under the weight of thier political ties, and special groups they cater to.

IdahoViking
07-07-2009, 11:04 AM
The White House has never revealed travel expenses, why would they start now.

They didn't do it for Reagan to his Santa Barbara ranch, Bush1 to his Kennebunkport estate, Clinton to Martha's Vineyard, or Bush2's 480 days (+ an additional 470 to Camp David) to Crawford, Texas.

u mad?
This administration has vowed transparency though. Just another broken promise from Obama.

ProWrestleFan
07-07-2009, 11:05 AM
It's so stupid to pick this **** apart. Are they supposed to sit in the white house and never go out?

What's next? The Obama's take their kids to McDonalds and the media will be in an uproar when they're saw eating a super sized meal! You know how much extra taxpayer money they spent on those larger fries?!? WTF?!?

Seriously...

IdahoViking
07-07-2009, 11:10 AM
It's so stupid to pick this **** apart. Are they supposed to sit in the white house and never go out?

What's next? The Obama's take their kids to McDonalds and the media will be in an uproar when they're saw eating a super sized meal! You know how much extra taxpayer money they spent on those larger fries?!? WTF?!?

Seriously...I certainly would be objecting if they spent $214,591.38 on these fries!
Afterall, we are the ones paying for them.

Melkor
07-07-2009, 11:16 AM
I certainly would be objecting if they spent $214,591.38 on these fries!
Afterall, we are the ones paying for them.

That's the very simple point Obumhuggers try to ignore...

YARDGORILLA
07-07-2009, 11:16 AM
obama campaigned on government transparency. so far its been about as transparent as a brick wall.

also those numbers for bush are wrong. ANY day that he spent out of the whitehouse were counted as vacation. even if he was conducting government business. also, the president is NEVER on vacation.

Holding Obama down on anything he says or does is like handcuffing a one-armed man.

SGMD1
07-07-2009, 11:39 AM
the Reagan administration established written guidelines in 1982 to determine when the president, vice president, and any assistants accompanying them on military aircraft travel at government expense and when they, or political organizations on whose behalf they travel, are to reimburse the government with the equivalent of the airfare that they would have had to pay had they traveled on commercial airlines, the report added.

The cost of commercial first class airline tickets for one adult and two children from Washington to Paris, Paris to London and London to Washington would total up to $21,989

They reimburse the government for the price of equivalent first class travel on a commercial airline.

You kool-aid Limbaugh nuthuggers are reaching here. Give it up and save some face at least.

SaviorSix
07-07-2009, 11:49 AM
Liberals can totally take apart and dissect Sarah Palin, who is not even close to the Executive Branch any more

But any legit scruitny of Obamessiah results in some of the posts above.

George Carlinian
07-07-2009, 11:57 AM
If he's going to be transparent about this aspect of government (which isn't really possible because of all the costs of secret service, ect are not able to calculate and release) he should also release dubyas wasted years in texass, avoiding duty, like when he was in the military, and like all the private business practices he 'ventured' into. lets also look at Clinton, Reagan, and of course, Bush Sr. Everything in perspective.

I think this would distract the media and critics from what is important now. Besides, he's in Europe on a DIPLOMATIC MISSION, not VACATION.

Z3p9y_OEAdc

A biblical proverb: "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth overflows"

fcb1012
07-07-2009, 11:59 AM
They reimburse the government for the price of equivalent first class travel on a commercial airline.

You kool-aid Limbaugh nuthuggers are reaching here. Give it up and save some face at least.

Troll, I have read many topics today and at least 1 post in each thread you have mentioned 'kool-aid' drinkers. This is very very ironic that you say this. And I don't think I can handle anymore trolling from you, and thankfully their is a such thing as an ignore function.


Liberals can totally take apart and dissect Sarah Palin, who is not even close to the Executive Branch any more

But any legit scruitny of Obamessiah results in some of the posts above.

Agree

nutsy54
07-07-2009, 02:15 PM
The White House has never revealed travel expenses, why would they start now.Because President Obama said so.


MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
SUBJECT: Transparency and Open Government

My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/TransparencyandOpenGovernment/


Changing the way Washington does business

Just as important as changing what Washington does is to change how it does it. We cannot begin to tackle the challenges we face in the short term to revive our economy and in the long term to put us on the path to growth without restoring fiscal responsibility and accountability to Government.http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/fiscal/

You referenced a lot of former administrations. Did you forget the Obama administration is supposed to be about "Change!"...?

nutsy54
07-07-2009, 02:17 PM
I actually abstained from voting since I liked neither party.Candidates from more than two parties were on the ballot. Perhaps if less people had "abstained", we'd have a different selection in the White House today.

nutsy54
07-07-2009, 02:20 PM
no, they're 100% correct. Bush spent nearly a year and a half of his presidency at his Crawford ranch.(a) How does that in any way apply to a thread about secrecy in the Obama administration?

(b) When the hell are people going to stop pretending that any modern President is ever on "vacation"? He can and will do exactly the same job, whether in the Oval Office, Camp David, aboard Air Force One, "vacationing" in Crawford or Martha's Vineyard, or visiting an overseas capitol.

(c) How does that in any way apply to a thread about secrecy in the Obama administration - allegedly the most transparent and fiscally responsible in history? He tells everyone else to shoulder the burden of his massive debt, then hides the true cost of his own lifestyle.