Jet-Setting President Costing Taxpayers Millions


President Barack Obama is surpassed in his penchant for hopping on Air Force One for a bit of globetrotting fun only by President George H.W. Bush. And the current chief executive has racked up at least $24 million in travel expenses this year alone, according to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation.

According to the NTUF “Up in the Air” study of Presidential travel:

  • President Obama was the second-most traveled President of all time for a single term, spending 95 days on 25 trips.
  • In 2009, President Obama traveled more in his first year than any other President. Obama spent 41 days traveling to 21 different countries.
  • The most updated figure on the cost per hour of operating Air Force One is $179,750, but this is just a tiny fraction of a President’s foreign travel plan, which includes back-up aircraft, aerial tankers, motor transport, security and diplomatic personnel, accommodations, and advance teams.
  • In 2013, the President has made 4 international trips already, to the Middle East, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Africa — with at least 2 more trips planned to Moscow and Southeast Asia.
  • President Obama has spent less time at his destinations than any President since Johnson, at an average of 3.8 days.
  • Presidential entourages have grown quite large in the modern era! President Obama was accompanied by more than 500 staff (including security) during his 2009 trip to London. At least 200 security agents alone will be involved in the President’s current Africa trip.
  • The First Lady has also been actively traveling, making trips to Ireland, Africa, Western Europe, and Copenhagen. When flying solo Michelle Obama would likely use a C-40B or C with a cost per flight hour of $19,755-$26,936, or a larger C-32 passenger jet, which has a cost per flight hour of $42,936.

The taxpayer advocacy group notes that the President did manage to cut back on his jet-setting near the end of his first term, as he shifted focus to the “most expensive” Presidential campaign in history.

At a time when American taxpayers are asked to shell out more money to the government and American bureaucracy is more prolific than ever before in its failings to balance the books, NTUF suggests that the citizenry should have more information about the reason for each Presidential excursion.

“The frequency and growing cost of Presidential travel call for more transparency, when it does not directly compromise security,” said NTUF researcher Michael Tasselmyer. “As it stands now, taxpayers are shelling out untold millions with little opportunity for oversight. No matter who is in office, Americans should have the facts they need to have a rational conversation on the merits and affordability of a Chief Executive’s journeys.”

The President’s most recent trip, to Africa, cost taxpayers $6,654,345 in Air Force One bills alone, according to reports. Some estimates indicate that the overall taxpayer cost of the trip could be as high as $100 million.

Personal Liberty

Sam Rolley

Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After covering community news and politics, Rolley took a position at Personal Liberty Media Group where could better hone his focus on his true passions: national politics and liberty issues. In his daily columns and reports, Rolley works to help readers understand which lies are perpetuated by the mainstream media and to stay on top of issues ignored by more conventional media outlets.

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  • justaskin

    And what exactly has he achieved by doing that? Anybody? Maybe he should just run down the runway and flap his ears?

  • Debbie Hogan Tate

    Get rid of this POS! He just wants to take us broke, lie to us and cover it up while he sleeps with the Muslims!

  • stluyjuy

    Worse than worthless, expensive!!!!!

  • TexasOlTimer

    This number appears to take in only ‘trips’ which I gather are to other countries. He makes almost daily trips around the country making speeches. How many of those does he make and what is the total of all of his trips no matter the reason?

  • Vigilant

    This is called “diversion.” Like foreign aid, travel costs are so small in relation to the overall budget that they are less than a drop in the bucket.

    The large ticket items, such as interest on the national debt and domestic welfare spending, are the items upon which you should settle your focus. Concentrating on the miniscule is similar to the emotion-based liberal decision making process..

    • Vis Fac

      Have you ever looked at any service contract such as cable or cell phone where you have a set fee for services but find the bottom line cost is much higher? Take notice of all the “minuscule” additions to your bill. Nobody addresses these costs however these “minuscule” additions add up very quickly, not to mention often increase rapidly. The Government uses you/us to pay for these “minuscule” charges as well as other wishes it deems necessary. If we didn’t have these “extra expenses” our bill would be easier to handle or paid off sooner.

    • Robert Zraick

      I agree that the amounts are insignificant when taken in consideration of the bloated spending addiction this government has, but they do show and reflect an attitude or a psychology which is rather sick.

  • FreedomFighter

    If you add up all the money this president has wasted on his trips, stimulus and corporate favoritism (like Tax Free GE) we as Americans could have made every single poor person on food stamps a millionaire thus ending poverty and hunger in our lifetimes. Of course it didn’t go that way and now we have nothing to show for the spending except more debt.
    Laus DeoSempe FI

  • ramblinman1

    The diversion is people thinking that it is ‘miniscule’ to think small when the country is already broke. If one dollar is a drop in the bucket, then I think we should work to fill that bucket by cutting out any program that would save that dollar. I was born during the depression which continued until World War II. The war factories created jobs and taxes that we do not have now. The present recession/depression that we are now in is going to be the downfall of our government if something isn’t done to control spending.

  • Doc Sarvis

    If he was not traveling then we would have an article about he is sitting around doing nothing.
    An active President goes and gets things done. These are not vacations; and by the way, he has had far less vacation time than most modern Presidents.

    • Vis Fac

      OK besides pledging $7 Billion of TAXPAYERS money to FOREIGN interests. Subverting OUR constitution SPYING on US Citizens, Selling Guns to Drug Dealers, Leaving US Diplomats abroad to fend for themselves, hunt down his “hit list” enemies using drones, Sic the IRS on political opponents, raise axes on EVERYONE (bet you didn’t see that coming) and let’s not forget quadrupling the national debt, killing jobs and further weakening our economy; the Patient Affordable Health Care Bill (ODUMBO Death Care) as well as instead of allowing the patriot act expire (as promised) but instead, EXPANDED its intrusive abuse on US citizens. Yes he’s been active all right. The nation cannot survive any more of this kind of activity. If a white Republican had been complicit in any one of these he would have been impeached, however ODUMBO is Not white and not a Republican therefore due to political correctness these rules are not applicable. Hypocrisy at its best:

      • Bonnie Boyles

        You told it like it is. Best post on here.

    • ridge runner

      The dumb bastard is always sitting around doing nothing, except when he is rug scrubbing or abusing his favorite dog. He has never worked an honest day for some honest pay, but lived and fhd off on everyone’s else dollar. He didn’t even write his supposedly books. He had the American domestic anarckist Billy Ayers write them for him. The muslim marxist in the WH spends more time, more money, than the last 2 Presidents put together. Also his main hide outspends the last 4 First Ladies.

  • Robbie

    Interesting to read that the first lady traveled to “Ireland… Western Europe, and Copenhagen”. Guess what? Ireland and Copenhagen ARE in Western Europe!

  • Dave

    I guess all of you were up in arms when Reagan and Bush 2 took WAY more time off during their times in the White House and wasted far more of our money. The lavish parties the Reagan’s threw were stuff of royalty.
    Of course when the worst president in the last 150 years George W. Bush diverted a US Aircraft Carrier so he could land on it and tell us “Mission Accomplished”…. all of the conservatives were up in arms over that complete waste of spending… oh wait… they were busy patting themselves on the back over the perceived victory in Iraq. I hope the conservatives still feel giving Iran a stronger hand in the region and the oil contracts to China was worth killing hundreds of thousands of people and 3T dollars.
    But the Iraq war, we had money for. This is a nonsense article and more conservatives grasping at straws when there are much more important issues to be concerned with.
    What a bunch of knuckleheads.

  • smilee

    This has been going on for many administrations in the past for both parties this is a silly article that serves no purpose. These are the perks of the job and have been for a long time now. Why not focus on something useful!!