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The Costs Of Obama’s Weekend Trip(s)

We are usually pretty tolerant of expenditures by any President to travel like a world leader — but why is there such little talk about Mr. Obama having his Valentines date in Chicago?

U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One in Washington enroute to Chicago to spend the President’s Day holiday weekend with his family at their home there February 13, 2009.

After knocking the CEO’s for their private jets and their taxpayer paid Las Vegas trip plans, and saying "the party is over" — Mr. Obama went to Illinois on Thursday.

Fair enough. But he was back at the White House that night, to argue for the stimulus package.

He then left again on Friday to go to back to Illinois. And he will presumably return to Washington on Tuesday, after the long weekend.

We won’t even get into the irreversible damage that the expended carbon from so much to-ing and fro-ing will do to Mother Earth.

We just wonder how much it is costing you and me, the US taxpayer.

Luckily that guardian of the US Treasury, Henry Waxman, did ask for a study on the costs of Presidential travel back in March of 2006.

(He was trying to get President Bush to reimburse the government for using AF1 for campaigning.)

Here are some excerpts from that Congressional Report (a pdf file):


MARCH 2006


… This report assumes that flight operating costs are $56,518 per hour for Air Force One . These figures are based on the per-hour cost figures cited by GAO for fiscal year 2000, adjusted for inflation.

According to the Congressional Research Service, the President’s domestic travel also involves the use of accompanying cargo planes.

This report assumes one cargo plane accompanies the President on each trip at an operating cost per hour of $6,960. This figure is based on the per-hour cost cited by GAO for fiscal year 2000 for the C-17 cargo plane, adjusted for inflation…

The President flies on a VC-25. General Accounting Office, Presidential Travel: DOD Airlift Cost for White House Foreign Travel, Appendix I, at 10-11 (Aug. 2000) (GAO/NSIAD-00-209).

The VC-25 plane has a speed of 630 miles per hour. Air Force, Fact Sheet on VC-25 – Air Force One (online at http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=131)…

According to the Air Force, the C-17 flies at 450 knots, which converts to 518 miles per hour. Air Force, Fact Sheet on C-17 (online at: http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.aspfsID=86)…

The flight time for presidential travel to campaign-related events was calculated by dividing the total miles traveled by the President by the cruising speed of Air Force I.

Distances were determined using two Internet-based distance calculators:
http://www.indo.com/cgi-bin/dist and http://www.mapcrow.info/.

According to the first distance calculator above, it is 598 miles (962 km) (519 nautical miles) from Washington, DC to Chicago, Illinois.

Mr. Obama’s two trips back and forth from DC to Chicago add up to 2392 miles – as the crow flies.

Which, if our calculations are correct, amounts to at least 3.8 hours flying time for Air Force One. And 4.6 hours of flying time for the accompanying cargo plane.

(For the sake of simplicity, we will assume that both planes were going at their full speed, which they probably were not. And we will not count the time in service on the ground before and after each flight.)

Using these very conservative figures, Air Force One cost $214,768 and the cargo plane cost $32,140. For a grand total of $246,908 for Mr. Obama’s two round trips.

But of course that is just for Mr. Obama’s air transportation. And it doesn’t even cover all of that.

For, as is the custom, Mr. Obama took the helicopter, Marine One, back and forth to Andrews AFB. (And he is usually accompanying by two other helicopters on the short trip.)

However, we are frankly too lazy to try to calculate all of the costs involved.

But just thinking back to Mr. Obama chiding these CEO’s about the use of their private jets, when he is spending (at least) a quarter of a million dollars to hop back and forth and back to Chicago strikes us as a bit irresponsible.

And didn’t Mr. Obama himself tell us that we are in a new age of personal responsibility?

(Thanks to Scott Baker of Breitbart TV’s B-Cast for getting us thinking about this.)

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, February 14th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

25 Responses to “The Costs Of Obama’s Weekend Trip(s)”

  1. CGardner says:

    But wait, SG. I thought Michelle and the kids always travelled on a separate flight from Obama. Does Air Force Two get a decoy flight too?

  2. proreason says:

    If the Moron counted the free stuff he has been given by his Puppet Masters for the last 20 years, he would owe millions in taxes.

    When it’s all said and done, he will have cost the taxpayers hundreds of millions on personal graft alone.

    But it’s all worthwhile to have someone in charge who can make free houses appear with the snap of his wavy fingers.

    And anyway, the serfs don’t have a right to complain. He won. America lost.

  3. catie says:

    Is MIL at the White House this weekend by herself. I didn’t see her deplaning w/Obambi, the Belle and the two punishments.
    He was out at Camp David for one evening only last weekend and how much did that cost? Oh well, in typical fashion of the liberal elites-we do as they say, not as they do.

  4. Mr Michael says:

    Remember when President Obama went to the Democrat House Member’s retreat… the Reps all went on a train to show their ‘responsibility’ and such… and O came down in Air Force One. First thing he told them was to thank them for giving him an excuse to fly in Air Force One… he chuckled as he told them how nice it was.

    Me, I thought it was a pretty discordant note, politically… especially in a televised speech. (It’s the one that interrupted O’Reilly Factor, if you want to look it up… it’s in his opening remarks.) However, nobody has mentioned it. Maybe I’m the only one who noticed. :shrug:

    • RenaVA says:

      Hey they want us little peons to save energy buy more expensive energy efficient cars so that they elitists in our new socialist government have enough gas and resources to go jet setting whenever they want. The new government doesn’t want to hear from citizens nor do they want citizens to know what they are doing. They want to keep us in the dark and dumb to what they plan to do.

      God help us all!!

  5. jrmcdonald says:

    It’s not a crime if done by democrats…

  6. Weasel says:

    In the end , it’s all the GOPs fault! If only they had given The One the bipartisan support the media is demanding, he wouldn’t have had to come back to DC before returning to Chicago. Blaming the GOP, BusHitler, Haliburton and/or Cheney is always an acceptable excuse for the liberals. Besides, I’m sure there are a few billion dollars of carbon offsets hidden in the porkulus bill to cover stuff like this…

  7. thetimeisright says:

    obama is a pompous prick. Who is just like al sharpton. It has to be all black or we will attack. They are just plain ol criminals

  8. canary says:

    There are two Air Force 1’s; exactly the same. What concerns me more, is the security that ollah Obama has, and his desire to destroy our 2nd amendment, the right to bear arms. Kind of like Osie Rosie Ahya O’donnel, who’s children’s body guards with guns at schools. It angers me, when Obama’s early life and schooling was muslim, yet he is now considered President of the U.S. and is against citizens 2nd amendment rights. I don’t believe he really understands this countries roots. Patrick Henry said it best. Patrick Henry also grew up, schooling and learning at home on the family farm. He fought for civil liberties and against slavery too. But, he also pushed for us to fight the British, and never to lose our right to bear arms.

  9. brad says:

    It reminds me of Al Gore’s flights around the world fighting global warming, and flying to get his peace prize.
    Also, the time when Pelosi et. al. drove 2 blocks in their separate SUVs for a global warming conference.

    I have no idea why liberals don’t call out their own members…..

  10. VMAN says:

    Whatever this idiot does the MSM ignores. I would like to see more libs on this site but they run like little girls when you shoot down their specious arguments. I looked at a site called Democratic Underground the other day and it was a bit bone chilling. Maybe we need to take the fight to them. To sum things up they want to silence all of us once and for all. Now I know that we all think their rhetoric is a bit shrill but I don’t believe that their is one person here that would silence them completely (well maybe some of them). Honest debate is good but these people are not honest.

    • 1sttofight says:

      The first time you post something that exposes their lies, you will be banned. Been there done that long time ago. Same goes for huff&puff or any of the other lib sites.

    • catie says:

      1sttofight is exactly right. Good luck trying to have a reasonable conversation with those folks. When I registered for Huff Po I began my first post with “I’m looking forward to interesting and respectful conversations with you all”. I was told to “F-off” multiple times and was summarily banned. Same thing for DU. These people don’t want conversation they want to hear their echo chamber. I came over from the Get Drunk site and we had one on character there calling herself Miss Carter. She was a typical liberal though, she couldn’t back up anything she said, she thought the Messiah was God, she went on to tell us of all the “goodies” she got from the federal government but of course started off with “I thought about voting for McCain but something just came up”. When confronted with “what just came up”, she couldn’t answer and then told us all we were mean-especially me. I never cursed at her or anything like that, I just asked her to back up her statements which she couldn’t do.
      We are always willing to have open and honest debate, it is they who for the most part refuse to do so.

  11. nascarnation says:

    It would be interesting to know what is really going on behind the scenes with the Chicago trips. I suspect we will eventually find out.

  12. Colonel1961 says:

    SG: a good rule of thumb for Presidential travel, including support staff, security retinue, et al., is $400k – 600k per diem for US travel, varying by location, need for helicopters, etc., and $800k – $1.2M per diem for international travel with the same caveats.

    Methinks Second City trips are on the low end of the US travel spectrum, i.e., a bargain!

  13. RightWinger says:

    At Lil’ Barry’s rate of spending, starting with his coronation inauguration party, then the 3rd world abortion slush fund, the porkulous package and slapping on his little 3 day trip, plus the upcoming bailouts, I figure we should be out of money by June, 2009.

    By then the printing presses will have melted down from printing non-stop, maximum speed for 24/7.

  14. BigOil says:

    Spending 250K taxpayers dollars to ship Barry off to Chicago has probably been the best money spent since The One ascended to the throne. It bought us 3 days where Obama is not in Washington destroying our country.

  15. RenaVA says:


    Hey this is his new ride and he can’t seem to get enough of it. Well, at the expense of the American taxpayer. Hey, why not go joy riding in his hoopdee. So how much of a carbon print is his joy riding making in the air. Alot more than the cars that the Big 3 are producing today.

    Democrats, you got hate the whole lot of hypocrits.


  16. Barefootbob says:

    I believe not one but two identical Presidential planes make every trip, in addition to the Cargo planes carrying the Marine One helicopter support, and the ground transportation of limo’s and support vehicles. I would really like to know what the true cost of a Presidential domestic trip cost you and me. I do not deny the President some of these perks in normal times but give me a break…HE is telling us we all have to alter our ways of doing things for the good of the nation…How about leading by example Mr President. Did you really need to fly the entourage to Ohio today to swear in 25 police officers, or is this Political Grandstanding? Who footed the bill for his pre-inauguration vacation to Hawaii? I was always told in business to watch the pennies and the dollars would take care of themselves. I think that would be sound advice for our government.

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