J. Trapp: President wasting taxpayers' money

With all the budget cuts that the federal government is making, including cuts to border defense, military defense and air traffic controllers (even closing the White House to tours), yet President Obama is still out there on Air Force One, "campaigning" at $180,000 a trip.

It seems to me he has spent more time on Air Force One than in the Oval Office during his presidency.

The president has been gone from the White House so often, even the First Lady made a slip and referred to herself as a single mom.

Janice Trapp, Madrid Township

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Records show that our current

Records show that our current President has spent less time in the air than his predecessor. Do you really think that it cost that much less for previous Presidents? Sure it was less, thanks to inflation, so, really, what's your point? That it's expensive for the President to travel? Why yes, yes it is.

Campaign related trips are reimbursed by the campaign. And Obama is hardly the first President to travel the country to make speeches in support of his legislative goals. His predecessor did it so often his first year or two (even BEFORE the 911 events) that it made Bill Clinton look like a homebody. Even then media were referring to it as Mr Bush travelling to [destination] to campaign for support for his No Child Left Behind plan or whatever. So, really, what IS your point? That this President is just like the last five in his travel habits? Why yes, yes he is.

So while the facts may be somewhat accurate (though as noted below, the cost is per hour, not per trip), the righteous indignation is misplaced.

AL PELLETIER's picture

Wake up Janice, Dah!

Air Force One has every form of communication that's available from the Oval Office desk, including the launch button.
More of the countries business gets done in the air then was ever done clearing sage brush.

 's picture

Why do Conservatives never get the facts straight

President Obama has been in the White House more than President Bush who like to clean up the sagebrush on his Texas Ranch.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Cheaper than Obama’s golfing

Cheaper than Obama’s golfing trip and family vacation, isn't it. Luckily, the vacations end soon... live it up on the taxpayer’s dime while you can.

 's picture

typical cheap shot

ignore the truth and then make a cheap shot at the President.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

My yardstick is money, not

My yardstick is money, not time. Moreover, what’s not true about the later statement? In 2016, he goes back to Chicago, and the high-living is over.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

They watch too much CNN and

They watch too much CNN and MSNBC?

 's picture

You mean the verifiable news networks

News on Fox news remains normally a joke.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

For those who consider the

For those who consider the truth to be a joke, I suppose that could be considered an adequate assessment.

 's picture


That's $180,000 per hour per trip.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

So, can we conclude that you

So, can we conclude that you are not a supporter of the Campaigner-In-Chief?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

The President and many

The President and many politicians don’t want to give up the good live in my opinion. That is exactly way they want to make any budget cut is painful as possible for Americans.

Now ask yourself, is your government acting in your best ingest? I say NO.
The people can stop this madness by taking the money out of Washington and keeping in their own pockets. After all, who knows how to spend your money best, you or some bureaucrat?

 's picture

Has to be the dumbest remark small government Republicans

ever came up with. Let's see obviously I'm better informed than a bureaucrat on whether to build Boulder dam or the Interstate Highway system, or an Aircraft Carrier. Millions were defrauded by mortgage originators a few years back because they were not informed honesty about the product they were buying nor by their own investigation could they have been. In this the real world of 2013 we need intermediaries with powers sufficient to uncover the true benefits and costs of almost anything. One of the ways we do spend our money best is by fully funding responsible governments at all levels.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Remember, small government

Remember, small government does not mean no government. Just ask yourself if contemporary government is capable of building a hoover dam or interstate highway today. It think that most readers would say government bureaucracy is too bloated to be successful.

Let’s look at a few similar and contemporary public works projects:
1. The big dig.
2. Keystone pipeline.
3. California high-speed rail – a multi-billion dollar train between two points of nowhere.

Readers, please feel free to contribute to this list. So Jonathan, pull your preverbal nose out of governments ass and look at the real world.

Lastly, didn’t Barney Frank enable the entire housing debacle? The liberals wanted a house for everyone. BTW, the Obama administration is enabling the same behavior with his program to back mortgages to high-risk borrowers – Barney Frank all over again..

 's picture

You must be sitting there waiting for a reply

"Just ask yourself if contemporary government is capable of building a hoover dam or interstate highway today." Of course, the Federal Government is. The big dig - a state program using lots of federal money. States are much more easily corrupted as my previous comment pointed out. Now I haven't kept up with it but last I heard its being used.
Keystone Pipeline. For every reason to do it there are a dozen to not do it. I believe its a private project. I think the recent re-routing of the project means that it will be approved. The real issue here is can the industry come up with spill cleanup procedures that works. Given the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which has done irreperable damage to the Gulf and the Arkansas spill which Exxon has failed to cleanup or even to provide the least bit of information about the spill and the fact that years later the Kalamazoo River spill is still not cleaned up, the answer to that question is not likely. No tar sands spill has been successfully cleaned up and no cleanup procedure has been written. Its like the nuclear industry, there is no industry unless the government pays for any accident which as Japan is demonstrating is an open ended committment by taxpayers not responsible for the event. These industries are not self-supporting. They exist only because of government assistance.
Its an embarrassment that the most advanced economy in the world has no high-speed passanger rail service between major cities. The California High Speed Rail Authority has just received approva for a high-speed line from San Fransico to San Jose hardly two points of nowhere. And again this is a State not a Federal program.
Back to Barney Frank. The answer is absolutely no. Those that predicted the debacle in 2006 and earlier and those that analyzed the cause of the housing debacle agreed on the causes: the securitization of mortgages beginning in 2001 by Countywide, the decision by Alan Greenspan and other regulators to not regulate these new financial instruments, then a pattern of fraud and deception by Countrywide and its imitators created a housing bubble which burst in 2007. Fundamental to this series of events was the recruitment by Countrywide of unqualified mortgagees and bribery of the assessors resulting in mortgages which could not be valued freezing the credit industry. All economists agree on this scenerio. Only the Republican Party maintains the myth that Barney Franks had anything to do with it. To believe that argument you have to believe the housing bubble began in 1996 a decade earlier. No one does. You have to also believe that the foreclosure crisis that followed had to impact poor neighborhoods only. In fact it primarily affected middle class neighborhoods and owners who owned multiple houses as investments not poor people owning there first home.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

High-speed Rail from SF to SJ

High-speed Rail from SF to SJ – Amtrak already covers this run and ridership does not cover expenses today. Moreover, you should read how the CHSRA defines high-speed , which is 80mph. Amtrak run archives 60-70mph today. BTW I did live in the Sacramento region once upon a time and used Amtrak to travel to SF and SJ.

Money would be better spent improving the existing rail and rail service between SF and SJ. This recent addition by the CHSRA was due to the public disgust over all the money being spent between two points of nowhere, where the majority of the federal funds are being sent.

Little known to the public is that Las Vegas interests backed the Bakersfield destination. Look on the map and ask yourself why!

 's picture

I'm also reminded

People always complain that government IT projects are disasters. Propaganda. Large commercial and government IT projects fail at equal rates.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Businesses are less averse to

Businesses are less averse to changing something that works. Fortune 500 businesses typically want proof of concept networks that they test drive before purchasing. I’ve seen local and state governments purchase systems without test driving them.


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