President Obama: Let them eat cake

Just yesterday #WhyIsMyPaycheckLowerThisWeek was trending on Twitter for a while.  It’s no secret why that is, the President just signed a bill effectively raising taxes on the “richest” 77% of Americans (basically anyone with a job).  The fact that every working family is feeling the pinch of the economy has not deterred our President as he has still found time to take a $20 million vacation to Hawaii.  A vacation he needed so badly, the bill was signed with the President’s auto pen.

(WHD) — Michelle Obama recently revealed that she and President Obama don’t give Christmas gifts to each other. They merely say, “We’re in Hawaii,” and that’s Christmas gift enough.

But actually the present is from taxpayers, and it’s an expensive one.

The total cost to taxpayers of Obama’s vacations to Hawaii since becoming president is likely in excess of $20 million, and possibly much, much more. During a time of budget deficits that threaten the nation’s security and its future, the Obamas have chosen to  maintain a “family tradition” and vacation halfway around the world instead of finding far cheaper alternatives closer to home.

The $20 million figure is based on estimates of the cost of the four Hawaii vacations the Obamas have taken during Christmastime 2009-2012. According to a detailed breakdown by the Hawaii Reporter, the annual excursions in 2009, 2010, and 2011 cost about $4 million, much of it attributable to the expense of taking Air Force One, at an hour rate of about $180,000, on an eighteen-hour roundtrip journey to Honolulu and back.

But $4 million almost certainly underestimates the true tally, as it does not include many miscellaneous items like the cost of flying advance teams out to Hawaii and separate flights Michelle Obama took in 2010 and 2011, when she left ahead of her husband, who was forced to stay in Washington to finish up work with Congress.

This year, Obama returned from Hawaii to complete a deal on the Fiscal Cliff and then jetted back to Honolulu, where he is now engaged in Part 2 of his vacation. The second roundtrip flight added about $3.24 million to the tab this time, bringing the cost of the 2012-1013 vacation to well over $7 million.


The Obamas get plenty of vacation. They have sojourned every summer in Martha’s Vineyard except for last year, when campaigning and pre-election concern about appearances got in the way. They often take a side trip somewhere else during the year, and Michelle goes skiing annually out West.

Share the sacrifice for thee, but not for me seems to be the President’s mentality as shown by the first family’s vacation and golfing habits.


  1. Partisan swill. Not a word about any other President, all of whom took vacations, many took many more than Obama – . The fact that he goes HOME to Hawaii should not be held against him. And the $180k/hour cost of AF1 was a problem before Obama got in office and no Republican batted an eye then.
    So the story here is that Obama vacations home on standard transportation LESS than other presidents and it’s been twisted into some accusation of wasteful spending. And even that is $20M when we’re in a $15T+ debt. And blaming Obama on the round trip forced by House (Republican) Tea Partiers? That’s really two-faced.

    • Jason

      No president has vacationed like this one while presiding over such dire economic conditions. I don’t begrudge a president a vacation, but he is tactless when it comes to this. Signing tax increases for the majority of working Americans, which will be felt, then jetting off to paradise doesn’t seem to sensitive to me.

      Fyi, he isn’t going HOME to Hawaii, his home is in Chicago. He was born there and grew up there for a time, but he doesn’t go HOME by any stretch of the imagination. Bush actually vacationed at his house in Texas quite often.

  2. Indeed. If this guy cared even just a bit about “everyone sharing the burden”, he wouldn’t be vacationing in this manner. Add to it all the rounds of golf he plays throughout the year. It’s another example of this guy not leading like a leader should. And Jason wants to play the “every other president did it” card. Of course, GW Bush gave up golf while he sent troops to fight overseas, but Obummer gives up nothing. If ever there was a guy who was in it for the perks, it is Obama. He’s a poser and nothing more. Certainly not a president.

  3. I vacation at my house in Texas! It usually involves doing laundry. My last vacation cost my a bottle of Tide.

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