Air Obama: Taxpayers Spent $98 Million to Fly President

Watchdog says new total tax bill for Obamas' personal travel approached nine digits

by Jim Stinson | Updated 29 Dec 2016 at 6:56 PM

Taxpayers paid almost $97 million to fly President Obama and his family to vacations, official business, and even a political fundraising trip to San Diego, according to a government watchdog.

Judicial Watch said on Thursday that it obtained documents from both the Secret Service and the U.S. Air Force relating to the outgoing president’s travel expenses.

“The Obamas’ notorious abuse of presidential travel perks wasted military resources and stressed the Secret Service.”

Adding those documents’ figures to past totals, Judicial Watch said the total tax bill for Air Force One and other flights and trips amount to $96,938,882.51 over the last eight years.

The Judicial Watch report indicates an Earth Day trip alone cost taxpayers more than $1 million. And Michelle Obama’s ski trip to Aspen cost taxpayers almost $223,000. A trip by President Obama to Cuba and Argentina exceeded $7 million in costs.

The report contains detailed information about many flights and trips, including:

  • Secret Service records reveal that President Obama’s April 22, 2015, travel to give a global warming speech in the Florida Everglades on Earth Day cost taxpayers $145,752.36, which brings the total cost of the trip to at least $1,012,367.76.
  • The Secret Service records for Obama's October 2015 fundraising travel to San Diego reveal expenses totaling $180,187.09. Including the U.S. Air Force expenses, the total cost of Obama's San Diego trip was at least $2,181,655.99.
  • Michelle Obama's February 2016 ski trip to Aspen with her daughters cost taxpayers a total of $222,875.58. The Secret Service expenses were $165,806.78.
  • Judicial Watch obtained records from the U.S. Air Force and the Secret Service revealing that President Obama's trip to Cuba and Argentina in March 2016 cost taxpayers $7,146,015.18 in Secret Service and Air Force travel expenses.
  • Judicial Watch recently obtained Air Force records which reveal that the Obama's August 2016 vacation to Martha's Vineyard cost taxpayers $450,295 in flight expenses alone.
  • Judicial Watch also recently obtained records from the Air Force showing that in July 2016 taxpayers paid $360,236 for Hillary Clinton to accompany Obama on Air Force One for a campaign trip to North Carolina.

"The Obamas' notorious abuse of presidential travel perks wasted military resources and stressed the Secret Service," said Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president, in a statement. "Judicial Watch estimates that the final costs of Obama's unnecessary vacation and political travel will well exceed $100 million. President-Elect Trump can immediately save taxpayers money by reforming presidential travel."

  1. government spending
  2. Michelle Obama
  3. Obama Travel
  4. Obama Vacations
  5. President Obama
  6. Secret Service
  7. Tax Dollars
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