AUGUST 20, 2010
President Obama’s frantic fundraising spree to help Democrats win midterm elections cost U.S. taxpayers millions of dollars and the carbon emissions spewed by the cross-country travel in a customized Boeing 747 undoubtedly contributed to global warming.
In the last few days alone, the commander-in-chief has visited
All this costs big bucks and Americans are picking up the tab. One analyst quoted in a national news report estimates that the three-day, 8,000-mile tour cost taxpayers about $2 million. That includes a conservative estimate of $75,000 an hour to ferry the president around in Air Force One, an additional $25,000 for a back-up airplane and $8,000 for a cargo plane that carries the presidential limousine and other vehicles. Throw in another half a million dollars for secret service.
Additionally, the massive jaunt—coined a fossil fuel-burning odyssey—left a substantial carbon footprint despite the administration’s very public global warming/carbon reduction campaign. It was just a few months ago that the White House reiterated the president’s commitment to reducing the dangerous pollution that causes global warming by passing climate legislation that cuts down on pollutants that contribute to the “destabilizing effects” of climate change.
Now back to money matters. Under a decades-old rule, the Air Force pays all costs for these sorts of political trips but the government must be reimbursed for food, lodging and other expenses during political stops. In those cases the administration simply pairs daily “official events” with political ones so that taxpayers can foot the bill.
No such pairing was scheduled this week in
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