The cost of flying Barack Obama in Air Force One has more than tripled since he took office in 2009. This according to a recent report from ABC News which got an estimate from Air Force Major Michelle Lai of the 89th Airlift Wing. The operating cost of Air Force One is around $179,750 dollars per hour. Obama′s trip to Florida today, to talk energy policy and attend fund raisers, cost the U.S. taxpayers some $674,000. In 2009, the cost for operating Air Force 1 was estimated at just $59,000 per hour. In 2008, a report from the House Post Office Subcommittee on Human Resources listed the cost under George W. Bush at just $40,243 per hour. Other recent accounts peg the current cost at over $181,000, not far off the mark confirmed by Major Lai today.
So you may ask why is flying Barack Hussein Obama so much more expensive than flying George W. Bush? The salaries of the pilots, crew and maintenance staff are not included in these costs. The figures quoted are just for ′consumables′ such as fuel, food and booze. So why has the cost jumped 300% since Obama took office and more than 400% since Bush?
Could it be that Obama is flying in style? Gourmet food and plenty of expensive wines and liquor for him and his staff plus guests? George W. Bush was a teetotaler and known for a simple diet. ′Duhbya′ loved his tacos and Tex-Mex chili. Obama, on the other hand, is more prone to eating Kobe steaks, flown in fresh from Japan and enjoys his cocktail hour. He and First Lady Michelle Obama are well known for their expertise in fine wines, often serving some that cost over a $1,000 a bottle.
I suppose I could be crude and blame much of the added cost of Air Force One on keeping it clean and free of pests. It is well documented that after the Obama′s moved in to the White House, the People′s mansion became infested with all manner of pests, including flies, bees and rodents. Obama has almost turned the White House into the house from the Amityville horror, as if Satan himself took residence there. Still, one has to wonder if there will ever be a genuine accounting for the dramatic increase in the operating cost of Air Force 1 since Obama took office? How could it possibly triple in just three years? When will the Federal Election Commission put its foot down on Obama using the pretense of ′the nation′s business′ to travel to fund raisers? Will the American people remember in November?