President Obama’s golf hobby cost taxpayers almost $3 million for just two trips this year – and that’s only counting the costs of Air Force One.
According Air Force records obtained by Judicial Watch, Obama’s golf trips to Palm Springs, Calif., in February and Key Largo, Fla., in March racked up $2.9 million in flight costs.
The two golf forays and other vacations by the first family and Vice President Joe Biden and his family have eaten up about $40 million in taxpayer spending since they took office in 2009, Judicial Watch reported.
Again, that’s just the flight time.
Such presidential (and vice presidential) travels always involve “far more money … spent on accommodations, communications, rooms and cars for staff, security and U.S. Secret Service protection, Navy and Coast Guard ships offshore and the prepositioning of cars and helicopters,” as the Washington Examiner notes.
Those costs are generally not made public.
What makes the expense all the more galling is the rank hypocrisy behind them. The president’s trip to California, for instance, was billed by the White House as a way to draw attention to the drought hanging over the Golden State.
Yet, as Judicial Watch notes, Obama’s schedule notes that he spent only four hours over three days at drought-related events. He spent most of the remainder of the time golfing in the Coachella Valley, where golf courses use about a quarter of the water pumped from the region’s aquifer, according to Time magazine.
The March golf trip to Palm Springs, Judicial Watch notes, was to the Ocean Reef Club, where members “must have a net worth of $35 million to join.”
The vacation followed the president’s State of the Union address where he deplored income inequality.
In a stateent, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton called Obama’s vacations and golf trips “luxury travel” that abuses the office.
“It is clear that the Obamas continually abuse the perks of the president’s office at taxpayer expense,” he said. “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.”
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