Michelle Obama's latest junket is a massive taxpayer-funded trip to tour China with her extended family and staff in tow. What do Americans get from the lavish semi-official vacation other than the warm feeling that the U.S. royal family is receiving international exposure? Not much, as it turns out.
The Daily Mail reports:
- The first lady is taking her mother and daughters to three Chinese cities on a ‘people-to-people exchange' trip at taxpayer expense
- Only 2 out of 22 events on her calendar will give reporters the chance to hear her speak and do any real reporting – but without interviewing her
- No reporters are allowed to travel with the first lady on her government aircraft
- The White House is declining to say how much the week-long excursion will cost
- Mrs. Obama will appear for photo-ops and public events that are ‘pooled press' – just one reporter or photographer noting her comings and goings
Even more disturbing is Moochelle's statement that “It's very rare that I have the opportunity to travel outside of the United States.”
By July 3, 2013, Michelle Obama had traveled to Britain, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, Italy, Vatican, Ghana, Denmark, Norway, Haiti, Mexico, Spain, Indonesia, Brazil, Chile, El Salvadore, Ireland, Botswana, South Africa, The Bahamas, Senegal, and Tanzania — a total of 14 trips abroad by mid-2013. Seven of these trips are considered personal travel (which may have included Michelle arriving early or staying later).
In 2013, American taxpayers spent $1.4 billion on “perks” for the Obamas. In contrast, the British taxpayers were hit with a mere $57.8 million to entertain their royal family.
Photo: DonkeyHotey on Flickr