Accuracy in Media

It is said that Nero played a fiddle (lyre) while Rome burned to the ground. President Obama has gone to Martha’s Vineyard to play with the rich and famous while the U.S. economy continues to burn with more and more people losing jobs.

It does not affect him. Our President still has his job and an unlimited expense account.

He particularly likes to travel at taxpayer expense. In 2010, he took 172 Air Force One trips. That is a jet trip almost every other day.

The cost of the specially equipped Presidential jet is estimated at $181,757 per flight, excluding all the costs of the Secret Service, other staff, hotels, logistics, police overtime, etc. That comes out to over $31 million in 2010 just for the flights he took on Air Force One. That does not include the 196 helicopter flights.

Fox News estimated the cost of each trip at $265,000 because a back up ‘dummy’ Boeing 747 and a C17 cargo plane also accompanies the President. That would be over $45 million that taxpayers paid for air fare for the President last year.

Let’s keep in mind that many of these trips include fundraisers for the President’s reelection campaign. Obama always gives a little “official policy speech” when he takes these trips so he does not have to pay for the fundraising trips as required by law.

President Obama also likes to take a lot of vacation time. In his first two and a half years in office, he has played three times as many golf rounds as President Bush did in his entire eight years in office. In President Bush’s eight years as President, he played 24 rounds of golf.  As of June 18, 2011, President Obama had played 73 rounds of golf, three times as much in one third the time

CBS’s Mark Knoller reported from his detailed notes that the President took 65 domestic trips over a 104-day span and six trips to eight countries over 22 days. That does not count his six vacation trips over 32 days. He started this year with an 11 day vacation to Hawaii and is now on Martha’s Vineyard for another 10 days.

President Obama has visited more than 30 foreign countries in the past 30 months, 10 of them twice and one three times. He certainly likes to visit new places and stay out of Washington.

In the meantime, he has promised once again that his focus is on creating jobs. He has said that repeatedly over the past two-and-a-half years that he has been President.

Finally, he says, he is going to present a plan right after Labor Day. His staff has leaked that he plans to create another bureaucratic agency for jobs. We already have one. It is called the Department of Labor.

Perhaps he doesn’t realize that the near doubling of our country’s Federal national debt in his short time in office, along with massive government spending increases, has caused more unemployment and a stagnating economy, as it has virtually every time it has been tried in this country’s history. Presidents Wilson, Hoover, Roosevelt, and Carter all had similar results with their deficit-financing Keynesian economic plans. Where are the politicians who can articulate this?

As President Calvin Coolidge said (as he governed during one of the most prosperous times in our country’s history), “It is probable that a press which maintains an intimate touch with the business currents of a nation, is likely to be more reliable than it would be if it were a stranger to these influences. After all the chief business of the American people is business.”

If President Obama would stop spending the taxpayers’ money on non-productive trips and vacations, huge non-productive government spending increases and new bureaucratic job killing regulations, our economy could recover and expand. We need politicians who can articulate this so that the press and voters understand what must be done to turn around our economy. We also need candidates who can explain and do it!

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