Judicial Watch: Obama's Golf Outings Cost Taxpayers $3 Million

Wednesday, 30 Apr 2014 01:26 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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President Barack Obama's two golf outings this year cost the taxpayers nearly $3 million in flight expenses alone, Judicial Watch said in a statement, while attacking the president for abusing "the perks" of his office.

The conservative government watchdog group obtained records from the Air Force revealing that the 9.8-hour round-trip journey to Palm Springs, Calif., in February cost $2,066,594 in air travel at $210,877 an hour.

The 4.2-hour round-trip flights to Key Largo in Florida came to a total of $885,683 at the same hourly rate for flying expenses.

"It is clear the Obamas continually abuse the perks of the president's office at taxpayer expense," Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said in the statement.

"It is particularly interesting that Obama has chosen to take not one but two luxury vacations back-to-back while inveighing against 'income equality.' President Obama's waste of the hard-earned tax dollars of working Americans on unnecessary luxury travel is an abuse of office."

Fitton said that although the administration billed the President's Day weekend trip to California as an effort to highlight the state's severe water drought, his official schedule showed that Obama spent just four hours at three drought-related events on the afternoon of  Friday, Feb. 14.

He then spent much of the next three days playing golf at exclusive golf courses in Coachella Valley, Calif., with each course using nearly 1 million gallons of water a day, according to Judicial Watch.

In March, the president and first lady Michelle Obama went on a spring break trip with their two daughters to the exclusive Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, which boasts two championship golf courses.

The costly vacation took place on the heels of Obama's State of the Union Address when he focused on income inequality, added the watchdog group, which obtained the flight costs through the Freedom of Information Act.

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