President Obama was off to
Rio this weekend on Air Force One with family, extended family, presidential entourage, and all the regal trappings of office, for the first leg of a five day Latin American excursion to , Brazil , and Chile . The White House is calling the trip a “mission to build job-creating opportunities for the El Salvador and to address regional security concerns.” United States
On St. Patrick's Day, the president announced he’ll stop at
next May, where he hopes to find the birthplace of his great-great-great-great-great grandfather, while on his state visit to the Ireland . United Kingdom
Some critic’s question why the president would go off on foreign trips like these with the
crisis unfolding badly and the North African political situation escalating higher, but I don’t see that as the problem. He can make presidential decisions anywhere; and that being so, I say: much the better then to just stay home. Japan
The crisis facing Americans right now is how to stop unnecessary spending and reduce the $14 trillion in debt, but few Americans seem to mind that the frequency of these international happy tours is costing us a fortune.
Heads of state just love to travel the globe to hob-knob with each other while flaunting their power and prestige. They do it because they can. It’s one of the institutionalized perks of high office these days, even during a serious debt crisis, and money is clearly no object in the case of American Presidents. Everything is first class. No expense is spared.
For security reasons, they don’t just take Air Force One, an enormous B-747 jumbo jet-liner, but two Air Force One’s; an identical presidential jumbo jet follows close behind, as well as military cargo planes hauling along tons of baggage and equipment, including the presidential limousine, helicopter, and motor fleet.
According to Fox News, President Obama has spent more days abroad in his first two years than any other president. At that rate, he’ll eclipse Bill Clinton’s record of 233 days abroad over the course of 55 trips during his two terms in office; and George W. Bush’s 215 days and 49 trips. All that, while the cost of maintaining and operating Air Force One, just that one airplane alone, is well north of $180,000 per hour.
If the politicians want to go looking for job-creating opportunities in exotic foreign locations, I say: let them use Skype.