While not technically within the first hundred days of the Obama presidency, but close enough for government work, on May 30, 2009 Obama and Michelle began the first of their many gold plated vacations on the taxpayer dime. Magnanimously declaring “I am taking my wife to New York City because I promised her during the campaign that I would take her to a Broadway show after it was all finished”, the Obamas boarded a G3 jet to scoot off to New York for a diamond studded celebration.
It would be one thing if the Obama’s were paying for the trip themselves, but Broadway tickets and a Kobe steak meal are insignificant compared to the costs associated with transporting the President of the United States and maintaining his ever present Secret Service detail. At a time the nation was losing 300,000 jobs a month and unemployment was on its way to depression era levels, date night in New York was a far cry from Obama’s Jan 2009 call for shared sacrifice: “Everybody’s going to have to give. Everybody’s going to have to have some skin in the game.”
“Sacrifice for thee but not for me” quickly became the Obama motto as husband and wife proceeded to display a tone deafness not seen since Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette walked the halls of Versailles. Annual family trips to the Hawaiian “Winter White House” and exclusive Martha’s Vineyard summer vacations at properties costing upwards of $50,000 a week have marked Obama’s time in office. In Aug 2011 an impatient Michelle left four hours before her husband on a trip to Martha’s Vineyard sticking taxpayers with the $149,000 bill for her very own and very unnecessary jet plane and motorcade.
Michelle gave the billionaire jet set a run for their money with a $375,000 “private mother-daughter” trip to Spain accompanied by 40 “close” friends and a security detail of 68. She has also enjoyed a one day shopping excursion to Paris, Air Force One ferried ski vacation to Vail with Sasha and Malia and a “personal pilgrimage for the first lady” to South Africa that reportedly cost taxpayers at least $500,000.
The woman who brags that she left a high paying law firm job for a “career in public service” and excoriated the nation’s youth to not “go into corporate America”, spent 42 days on vacation in one 12 month period between 2010 and 2011 alone with an estimated total cost to taxpayers of $10 million. As explained by Jeannie DeAngelis in American Thinker, “barely a couple of months pass before the first lady partakes of on-site international cuisine and global sightseeing.
The gilded life of the Obama clan continues in the White House where they often host star studded gatherings, A-list concerts and a “Hip-Hop BBQ” in honor of Obama’s 50th birthday. They have been serenaded by Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, Paul Simon, Marc Anthony, Herbie Hancock, Martina McBride, Queen Latifah, The Foo Fighters, Faith Hill, and Paul McCartney in what may be the greatest ongoing concert series ever seen on this Earth … just to entertain one man.
Assuming the artists forgo appearance fees, professional equipment still needs to be brought in along with sound engineers, stages, lights, etc. Even a small scale performance for these artists can be very expensive. Add booze, food, security, invitations, social secretaries, wait staff and guests to the tab and the price for one of these events could easily top $100,000. With dozens of events over the past three years, the total cost to taxpayers is easily in the millions of dollars.