Remember this? Obama scolded corporate executives: "You can't get corporate jets. You can't go take a trip to Las Vegas, or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers' dime."
But apparently it's none of our business how much it cost for Obama to move a massive military and security operation to New York for an evening so he could take his wife Michelle out to dinner and a show last Saturday. After bumbling along in his usual style, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Monday refused to answer the question of cost (video)and no one in the "news" media thought enough about it to press the point.
So much for Obama's promise to bring transparency and openness to government.
Joseph Curl, writing at the Washington Times reminds us that even a short trip by the President means a big carbon footprint and a big bill to the taxpayer. The trip involved:
- Marine One and two look alike decoys from the White House to Andrews Air Force Base. Dozens, possibly a hundred staff for planning, radar, mechanical etc.
- Three Gulfstream Executive jets for the trip from Andrews to JFK Airport in New York. One Gulfstream for the Obama's and two more for staff and the press. Dozens of Air Force staff for mechanical, planning, piloting etc.
- A fleet of limos and vans and more helicopters all airlifted to New York on military cargo planes. Dozens more staff involved in the operation and planning.
- Secret Service on the ground in New York for days, possibly a week to review every location and prepare a movement plan. Dozens on duty Saturday night including sharp shooters, and undercover agents.
- Military communications staff to set up and man a command post.
- Overtime for hundreds of policemen along the route and at each location the Obama's visited.
Marine One sits in the background as President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama make their way to board Air Force One before departing John F. Kennedy International Airport May 30, 2009 in New York City.
Next time Obama lectures the American people about the need to sacrifice, yell back at the TV: YOU FIRST!