Michelle Obama’s African Getaway Costs Taxpayers $500,000

In January 2009, before the president signed his failed $787 billion stimulus bill into law, Barack Obama lectured America saying,

“Everyone must sacrifice for the greater good… Everyone must have some skin in the game.”

Everyone but Barack and Michelle Obama.

Michelle Obama’s African excursion cost taxpayers more than $500,000.
She took the whole family.

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and her family are welcomed by traditional dancers in Gaborone, Botswana, Friday, June 24, 2011. Pictured from left to right: mother Marian Robinson; Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning Gloria Somolekae; first lady Michelle Obama, nephew Avery Robinson, daughter Sasha Obama; niece Leslie Robinson; daughter Malia Obama. (AP/Charles Dharapak)

White House Dossier reported:

First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to South Africa and Botswana last week cost taxpayers well over half a million dollars, possibly in the range of $700,000 or $800,000, according to an analysis by White House Dossier.

Many of the trip’s expenses cannot be obtained with specificity, including the cost of local transportation for the first lady, Secret Service protection, the care and feeding of staffers, and pre-trip advance work done by administration officials in South Africa.

But it is possible to estimate some of these costs and put a price tag on one of the major expenses – her transportation to and from southern Africa and her trips between cities there.

While the goals of her journey – “youth leadership, education, health and wellness” in southern Africa, according to the White House – are laudable, many may question whether such an expensive outreach overseas by the president’s wife is worthwhile given the threat of the ballooning federal debt to the economy.

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