Let’s look in On Obamaworld, particularly the world of Mr. Obama’s honesty, thrift and working habits. Remember: It’s his world; we just live in it. The Free Beacon reports:
The White House is refusing to confirm whether President Barack Obama followed up on his pledge to take a five percent pay cut due to sequestration last year.
Obama promised last April to take a 5 percent pay cut in ‘solidarity” with federal employees who were furloughed as a result of the automatic budget cuts, known as the sequester. The cut was meant to equate to the level of spending cuts imposed on nondefense federal agencies.
Yeah, Man! Solidarity with the masses! Power to the people; right on!
The president has decided that to share in the sacrifice being made by public servants across the federal government that are affected by the sequester, he will contribute a portion of his salary back to the Treasury,’ a White House official said at the time.
According to his tax returns, Obama is still receiving the presidential salary of $400,000 per year. Last year, he earned $394,796 in wages from the Defense Financing and Accounting Service (DFAS-CIVPAY), which handles the salaries for civilian members of the Defense Department.
Oh. Well there must be some mistake. Surely the White House will explain this apparent discrepancy. Barack Obama, like the Vulcans he emulates, does not lie!
…at the time of Obama’s promise, the White House official said Obama would ‘write a check to the government’ each month, according to the New York Times, beginning last April.
The official also promised that the president would take the cut for the entire year, amounting to roughly $20,000.
The White House would not respond to numerous requests submitted by the Washington Free Beacon to the White House press office to confirm that Obama did, in fact, write checks to the Treasury.
When reached by phone, a White House spokesperson said, ‘I don’t have that information.
Well, OK. There must be some miscommunication. Maybe the teleprompter malfunctioned. To paraphrase the song, “he works hard for the money; he works hard for it, Honey…” Or maybe Mr. Obama needs the 20 grand for golf balls. We don’t hear anything about his extraordinary golf skills, so I suspect he whiffs a few into the weeds and waters. Being president is hard, you know. He needs the down time, and he’s been ”down” with golfing more than 175 times during his presidency thus far. The Washington Times explains:
President Obama’s trips this year to the golfing playgrounds of Palm Springs and Key Largo cost taxpayers nearly $3 million for flight expenses alone, according to Air Force records.
The activist group Judicial Watch said the trips in February and March cost $2,952,278 for flight expenses of Air Force One.
Mr. Obama combined his trip to Palm Springs with an event to highlight California’s severe drought. Critics noted he spent the rest of the weekend golfing on exclusive courses in the desert that use about 1 million gallons of water per day to keep them green.
During March 7-9, the First Family spent Spring Break at the exclusive Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Fla., where members must have a minimum net worth of $35 million to join. Other expenses of that trip have not been made public.
Yeah, well so what? Can’t a man take a little vacation once in awhile? I mean, there’s a lot of pressure in his job, what with releasing terrorists and deep- sixing years of IRS e-mails, and inflaming the Middle East and all!
It is clear that the Obamas continually abuse the perks of the president’s office at taxpayer expense,’ said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. ‘And it is particularly interesting that Obama has chosen to take not one but two luxury vacations back-to-back while inveighing against ‘income equality.’ President Obama’s waste of the hard-earned tax dollars of working Americans on unnecessary luxury travel is an abuse of office.’
According to records obtained by Judicial Watch, through Freedom of Information Act requests and lawsuits, the Obamas and Vice President Joseph R. Biden and wife Jill have spent more than $40 million taxpayer dollars on trips since 2009.
Go here to see a list of all of Mr. Obama’s golfing down time.
But surely the sheer scope of the work Mr. Obama is doing on our behalf justifies such expenditures and time away from the office. You know: “He works hard for the money; he works…” Yeah. Not so much.
Back in July of 2012, I wrote about Mr. Obama’s grueling work schedule. As you review that article, keep in mind he is working just as hard to this day, giving lectures about global warming while the Middle East is on fire after he doused it with gasoline and lit the match. It was number 24 in the “Why Barack Obama Must Be Defeated” series.
Categories: Living the high life on the public dime, setting new standards for slackers everywhere, providing new hope and change to the accomplishment-challenged. They really do think we’re stupid. They really do think they’re smarter than everyone else.
For some time I’ve been informally keeping track of the serially vacationing Barack Obama. I knew he and his family were frequently taking lavish vacations on the public dime, often in multiple jets—sometimes even providing a separate jet for Bo, the Presidential doggie–on the rare occasions when Mr. Obama was not golfing. I knew Mr. Obama was legendary for a light workload at the White House (usually starting work no earlier than 0930 and quitting for the day no later than 1600) and for never being on time—a trait he shares with Bill Clinton (perhaps it’s something in Democrat genes?). But until I decided to get serious about researching these things, I had no idea how little the American people are getting for their money in their chief executive.
Actually, I shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, Mr. Obama has apparently never held an 8-5 job, a job where he was expected to be on time and produce actual work on a daily basis. Often touting his time as a “community organizer,” Mr. Obama admitted in his two (?!) “memoirs” that he could not tell friends what he actually did as a community organizer.
Here’s a listing of Mr. Obama’s official schedule from the first week of January, 2012. Keep in mind that this was the beginning of Mr. Obama’s third year in office; his working patterns were already well established.
Monday, January 2, 2012
No official Schedule
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
7:15 am The First Family arrives at Andrews Air Force Base
7:30 am The First Family arrives at the White House
11:30 am The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
12:00 pm The President meets with senior advisors
12:30 pm The President and the Vice President meet for lunch [a four hour lunch; they must have been famished]
4:30 pm The President and the Vice President meet with Secretary of Defense Panetta
8:15 pm The President participates in a video teleconference with Iowa Caucus attendees
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
9:30 am The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
10:05 am The President departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews
10:20 am The President departs Joint Base Andrews en route Cleveland, OH
11:35 am The President arrives Cleveland, OH
12:05 pm The President participates in a discussion with a family at a private residence
1:15 pm The President delivers remarks on the economy
2:35 pm The President departs Cleveland, OH en route Joint Base Andrews
3:50 pm The President arrives Joint Base Andrews
4:05 pm The President arrives the White House
Thursday, January 5, 2012
10:00 am The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
10:50 am The President delivers remarks on the Defense Strategic Review [apparently another long lunch]
3:30 pm The President and the Vice President meet with Secretary Geithner
Friday, January 6, 2012
9:50 am The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
11:40 am The President visits staff and delivers brief remarks at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
12:15 pm The President has lunch with winners of a campaign contest
Notice that on the four days of that week when he apparently did some small amount of work—as in actually having something to do from time to time on his official schedule–nothing began earlier than 0930. Notice too that he appears to knock off for the day at around 1600, and on Friday, apparently right after lunch [one can only hope he can work while chewing; he doesn’t appear to do it at any other time].
But this is only one example from one source—OK, the source is actually the White House, but still—so perhaps I’m not being fair.
After all in April, 2012, Mr. Obama said:
When we travel, we’ve got to travel through Secret Service and Air Force One, that’s not my choice,’ the president added. ‘I think most folks understand how hard I work and how hard this administration is working on behalf of the American people.’
Obviously, Mr. Obama thinks he’s working hard, and he thinks most folks think he’s working hard on their behalf (or he’s just lying and doesn’t care what we think). Just to be fair, let’s examine another source: Citizen 5408.
According to the White House, the President doesn’t work all that much. During the month of May, which included 21 working days, President Obama claims he worked about 92 hours (91.95 to be exact). That’s according to the White House schedule, posted on the whitehouse.gov Website. That equates to an exhausting 4.4 hours per day. Excluding his grueling G8 summit travels during the week of May 23 (when he was forced to endure eight hour work days!), Mr. Obama worked an average of 3.25 hours per day when at the White House in May.
Indeed, the President’s schedule is so thin, the White House Communications team sees it necessary to include the Vice President’s meetings, when he subs for the President for padding. For example, on May 3rd and May 17th, Vice President Biden held working breakfast meetings at 7:45 am with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in the President’s stead…
So desperate are they for something to count, the Communications team also list Press Secretary Jay Carney’s daily briefings as if they were among the President’s activities.
If you take the link to the quoted article, you’ll see that, once again, I’ve taken the word of an unreliable, highly partisan source for Mr. Obama’s schedule: The White House.
But what about vacations? Mr. Obama and his family seem to take an awful lot of vacations, and not just weekends at the family cabin in the woods or a ranch on the rangeland of Texas, but lengthy vacations at some of the most exclusive and expensive haunts of the wealthy and well known. But doggone it, Mr. Obama is entitled! He works darned hard for the American people. In fact, he works so hard he can multi-task and is constantly on the lookout for vacation spots even when doing the people’s business:
Just the other day President Obama got defensive when he was asked about the many vacations he and his family take while so many Americans are struggling financially. My what a short memory he has. During a panel discussion moderated by Chris ‘Tingles’ Matthews in Colombia over the weekend he said that when he goes to these summits, ‘part of my job is to scout out where I may want to bring Michelle back later for vacation. So we’ll make sure to come back sometime in the near future.’ He wasn’t even kidding when he said it.
I’ve recently completed David Limbaugh’s The Great Destroyer: Barack Obama’s War On the Republic. I recommend it as a fine source for those who do not, on a daily basis, keep up with Mr. Obama’s tireless work to establish a Marxist utopia within the geographic boundaries of the American nation. I’ll provide a sampling of Mr. Obama’s work and play habits from that book, which includes some 71 pages of notes.
Golf: Mr. Obama seldom lets a job as trivial as the Presidency get between him and the well-manicured greens:
This is a man who played golf eight times in the first eleven weeks of the Gulf oil spill. The aloof, tone-deaf White House staff praised this indolence, with Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton declaring that Obama’s golf outings do ‘us all good as American citizens. I don’t think that there’s a person in this country that doesn’t think that their president ought to have a little time to clear his mind.’
A little time? During his first seventeen months in office, Obama played golf thirty-nine times. In other words, he played almost every weekend that it was warm enough to play in Washington or whichever exotic location he happened to be in at the time. By October 2010, Obama had played 52 rounds of golf.
While the Left relentlessly ridiculed President George W. Bush for ignoring his job responsibilities in favor of golf, they have barely mentioned Obama’s trips to the links. Yet Obama played more golf in less than two years in office than Bush did during his entire eight years. Whereas the press depicted Bush as derelict in his duties, Obama was making judicious use of his downtime to refuel and equip himself to utilize the brain that Joe Biden said was too big for his [Obama’s] skull. Nor was Bush credited for ultimately foregoing golf in order to show respect for the families of wounded and fallen soldiers. Obama, by contrast, rarely lets a tragedy get between him and the course. (p. 382)
Taxpayer-Funded Junkets: But surely the Obamas, heralds of the most transparent and above-board administration in history, would never engage in crass junketing like lesser politicians!
At a time when congressional Democrats refused to fund visits of Republican congressmen to tour the Gulf oil spill, Obama dispatched Michelle to the scene, though she had no official position and no authority to do anything in connection with the disaster. When she arrived—after stopping in Kansas City to speak to the NAACP about Americans’ eating habits and racial problems—she donned her hat as Gulf tour director saying, ‘There are still thousands of miles of beaches not touched by the spill. There are still opportunities to experience these beautiful beaches.’ (pp. 382-383)
And true to her word, Mr. and Mrs. Obama quickly took advantage of beautiful beaches:
A few days later, the Obamas jetted to the plush Mount Desert Island, which has been described as ‘a coastal haven in Maine for old-money Republicans’ and ‘the summer playground for the Astors, the Rockefellers and the Morgans,’ to see the sights and eat lobster. According to the local paper, the Obamas flew their dog to Maine separately in a small jet [emphasis mine]. (p. 383)
Hmmm. Maine… Isn’t that a bit north of the Gulf?
Pricey Vacations: How much is all of this costing the taxpayer? More than one might imagine in their wildest dreams.
*Circa, July, 2010:
Around July, 2010, the Obamas took a total of four vacations in a month’s time: Bar Harbor, Marbella, Florida, and—of course—Martha’s Vineyard, where the family stayed ten days, renting a $20 million estate at an estimated cost of between $35,000 and $50,000 a week. They went on a total of eight vacations by the end of the summer of 20120. (p. 384)
*August, 2010: This trip to Marbella, Spain, a prime holiday spot for the rich and famous, was originally going to be a family trip, but ultimately only Michelle and ‘long-time family friends’-–apparently about 40 friends–went along. The trip required a 68-person security detail, Mrs. Obama’s personal staff, and Air Force Two—a 757—at about $145,000.00 alone for the round trip. The Daily Mail reported the trip would cost taxpayers about $79,000.00 per day. (p. 384)
The granddaddy of all presidential vacations came in October, 2010, when the Obamas, as if operating on the scale of the great kings of Ancient Persia, booked 800 luxury hotel rooms in Mumbai, including 547 rooms and all the banquet halls at the Taj Mahal Hotel, 125 rooms at the Taj President in Cuffe Parade, and between eighty and ninety rooms at the ITC Grand Hyatt. In addition, forty aircraft, including two jets and forty-five cars, six of them armored, were part of Obama’s convoy. It was set to be the biggest trip by any U. S. President in terms of protocol and logistics. Thirty-four U. S. naval ships would be deployed alongside Indian ships to guard the coast outside the hotel. The total cost for Obama’s extravagant trip would be an astounding $200 million—per day. (pp. 384-385)
…Obama took his family and friends to Hawaii again for his Christmas vacation in 2010, in a plush home that rents for $3,500 a night and $75,000 monthly. As usual, the trip incurred enormous costs. Mrs. Obama’s early flight to Hawaii cost $63,000; Obama’s round-trip flight cost some $1 million. Housing for Secret Service and SEALS cost $16,800. There was $134,400 in hotel costs for twenty-four White House staff, surveillance prior to his trip, and travel costs for Secret Service and White House staff traveling in advance. (p. 386)
How much are Mr. Obama and his family and pals actually traveling at taxpayer expense? Let’s ignore the fact that most of his travel is nothing more than campaigning on our dime thinly disguised as the nation’s business and focus only on Obama family vacations. Here’s a list complied by Wake Up America, updated as of March 20, 2012 [yes, there have been many vacations since then]:
– Spring Break 2012, Malia Obama in Mexico with 25 Secret Service agents.- added as update
– President’s Day 2012, Michelle and the first daughters in Aspen, Colorado to ski.
– Christmas 2011, the first family in Hawaii for an extended vacation.
– Summer 2011, in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., for the annual beach break.
– June 2011, the first lady, her mother and daughters traveled to South Africa and Botswana.
– President’s Day 2011, the first lady and first daughters travel to Vail to ski.
– Christmas 2010, in Hawaii.
– August 2010, the first family traveled to Panama City Beach, Fla., for some sun and fun at the beach.
– August 2010, Obama spent the weekend alone in Chicago for his 49th birthday bash.
– August 2010, the first lady and daughter Sasha traveled to Spain for a mother-daughter vacation.
– August 2010, summer vacation again at Martha’s Vineyard.
– July 2010, the first family went to Mount Desert Island, Maine.
– May 2010, the first family had a four-day trip to Chicago.
– March 2010, first lady and daughter spend Spring Break in New York City.
– Christmas 2009, Hawaii again for the annual break.
– August 2009, at Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon for a short vacation.
– August 2009, their first summer vacation as first family at Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.”
But it wasn’t all fun and frolic, no. Even the Obama children—acting as “senior staff”–pulled their share of the load for taxpayers. Wake Up America observed:
The South African trip, where the kids were listed as “senior staff” on the flight manifest was controversial because the “official” purpose of the trip was to encourage young people living in the two growing democracies to become involved in national affairs, but Michelle and company also went to tourist events, such as visits to historical landmarks and museums, plus a nonworking chance to spend time with Nelson Mandela, and the family went on a private safari at a South African game reserve before returning home.
The last Hawaii Christmas vacation was approximately $4 million.
But perhaps I’m being unfair. Sure, all of this costs a huge amount of money, but it can’t be that much—at least not compared to Mr. Obama’s deficits and hopenchange for much more deficit spending—and surely Mr. Obama isn’t vacationing more than past presidents—right? Let’s return to Limbaugh’s book to find out:
The U.S. Military estimates that it costs $181,757 per hour to operate Air Force One [keep in mind that AF One is always escorted by multiple, armed fighter jets, which are not exactly cheap to fly either, and I’m certain the President’s plane is also under constant surveillance by one or more AWACS-type [theater radar command, surveillance and control aircraft) which are also a bit pricey to operate]. These costs and accompanying expenses have been amplified for President Obama, who spent more days abroad in his first two years than any other president.
‘It’s astonishing,’ said the study’s [by the National Taxpayer’s Union Foundation] author, Demian Brady. ‘It’s far higher than any other…the figure that’s been reported on. It’s very surprising, and of course it’s just a fraction of the overall cost involved with presidential travel.’ While the administration disputed some of the cost estimates for his Mumbai trip and others, it would not reveal the actual accounting, as if the public had no right to know.
According to Byron York of the Washington Examiner, Obama, as of the beginning of 2011, had spent some 339 of his 712 days in office—almost 48 percent—outside Washington. Yet Obama’s alter ego, presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett, claimed on Meet The Press that Obama’s ‘biggest regret’ was that the economic crisis had forced him to ‘spend almost every waking hour in Washington focusing very hard on solving that crisis,’ and had prevented him from traveling around to meet everyday Americans. Jarrett quoted Obama as saying, ‘I really want to figure out a way where I can spend more time outside of Washington listening and learning and engaging the American people.’
But if Obama is not seeing enough of Americans, they are certainly seeing plenty of him; in his 712 days in office, York noted, he had only failed to make a public appearance or statement of some sort on forty-five of them. And all of these figures, mind you, were established before Obama was to kick his presidential re-election campaign into gear. (pp. 385-386)
So Mr. Obama wants to travel around to meet everyday Americans! That must be why he’s vacationing in Hawaii, Martha’s Vineyard, Mumbai, Mount Desert Island and similar spots just brimming with everyday Americans.
No one begrudges the president a bit of vacation time. It is Mr. Obama, not the American people, who is engaging in class warfare. I don’t envy his ability to fly around the world on a moment’s notice at my expense. But I do expect him to actually put in eight-hour days now and again, and perhaps, even to actually stop by the office now and again. Instead of blaming George Bush for everything that has ever gone wrong in world history, Mr. Obama might emulate his example of early rising, going to bed late, and working more than eight hours a day doing the nation’s business.
It’s not terribly hard to see why Mr. Obama has accomplished so little, and why he has had so little contact with the Congress, even with members of his own party: he’s just not around, and when he is, he isn’t actually working.
And we elected him president.
UPDATE: 07-10-12, 0100 CST: Mr. Obama has now played 100 rounds of golf in his 3.5 years in office. Go here for a list and information on some of the courses Mr. Obama has frequented during his time as duffer-in-chief.
O6-22-14, The Present: Barack Obama became president on the strength of a “career” as a community organizer, a man who whipped up racial and political grievances, and by keeping people at each other’s throats, draining the public treasury for the enrichment and pleasure of himself and his cronies. Some presidents learn, grow and change in office. Mr. Obama is still a community organizer, just on a much grander, and far more destructive, scale.
Mrs. Manor and I don’t do vacations. We travel, perhaps once a year, to visit family, and these days to assist in dealing with elderly parents. And when we travel, we spend money we really don’t have and shouldn’t be withdrawing from our meager savings.
The Obamas and others are wealthy. Fine. I don’t begrudge anyone an honestly earned dollar. The fact that some people are fabulously wealthy is absolutely necessary if all are to have the opportunity to become so. I do begrudge the Obamas bilking the taxpayer for a thousand lifetimes of unimaginably luxurious vacations while they can legally–if not honestly–do so. And I do begrudge Barack Obama for rarely, if ever, doing an honest day’s work.
Competent adults spend a great deal of time trying to teach their children habits of thrift, industry, integrity and hard work because they know those habits are essential not only to individual success in life, but to a functioning society.
Barack Obama surely has the trappings of a successful life, but under his “leadership,” we are anything but a functioning society.