Records obtained by The National Taxpayers Union Foundation show that the President’s 5 day trip to Africa cost upwards of $5 million in flight time alone.
The records indicate that Obama clocked up only 29 hours of flight time since last Thursday, as he traveled to Kenya and Ethiopia. However, Air Force One costs $206,337 per flight hour to operate, so the total cost for the Africa trip is thought to be $5,983,773.
When the costs of Obama’s entourage are added, it is believed that the trip will cost US taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, at the very least.
Obama was accompanied by 20 Members of Congress and additional members of the Executive branch on the trip. The costs of their upkeep is unknown.
“While flight costs can be estimated, the rest of the expenses associated with travel, including security, lodging, food, and more, not just for the President and Air Force One, but additional staff and airplanes, remains opaque.” NTUF Policy Analyst Michael Tasselmyer said.
The Washington Times notes that two years ago the Obamas visited sub-Saharan Africa, on a trip where the Secret Service’s hotel costs came to $136,255 per day, totalling $953,788. The entire trip eventually cost taxpayers between $60 million and $100 million.
As part of a presidential travel study dubbed “Still Up in the Air,” The NTUF found that the President has spent 161 days abroad during his time in office, with 41 international jaunts under his belt.
“NTUF found the President has traveled internationally as much as any U.S. President through July of the seventh year in office – equaling former President Clinton with 41 trips. Though, Obama has tended toward shorter stays, falling shy of Clinton’s 178 days spent overseas,” a press release noted.
NTUF also noted that Presidential vacations are taxpayer funded, and considered to be official travel.
Last month, US taxpayers forked out over $120,000 to cover Michelle Obama’s sightseeing trip to Venice, Italy.
The Obamas are very much used to exploiting their positions to host lavish gatherings and take luxury holidays. Last year independent government watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information lawsuit against the U.S. Secret Service to obtain details of the cost of such opulent getaways taken by Obama at the tax payer’s expense.
The group found that the Obamas racked up nearly $16 million on the Africa vacation, coupled with a Christmas vacation to Honolulu. An earlier finding in February, revealed that the Obama family’s vacation to Martha’s Vineyard in August 2013 hit taxpayers with an approximate $1.1 million bill for flying expenses.
A year ago, figures indicated that the Obamas have spent $44,351,777.12 in taxpayer cash on travel expenses, accruing over 30 vacations since the president took office in 2009.
Obama spent much of his recent time in Africa criticising the continent’s leaders, and saying they need to evolve. On Tuesday Obama lectured African leaders about not knowing when to step down and allow fledgling democracies to flourish. He also claimed that if he attempted to run for a third term in the US, he would win.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.