Hearing $200,000,000 a day for the trip that President Obama took to Mumbai, India I did some more checking. I am certainly not an Obama fan but in all fairness I tried to look into it to see if it was possible for this to be the real amount.
I learned that the $200 million per day figure came from the news agency Press Trust of India. This figure might be true or it might be made up.
I heard that about 3,000 people including government officials, Secret Service agents and press will be in the entourage. Even though the press supposedly pays their expense I bet a little or even a lot of it is still paid by the government.
To get ready for one of these trips for Obama or any other President is quite involved. Prior to a trip like this our U.S. security agencies, ships, helicopters and security equipment needs to be in place.
In an Oct. 7, 2009, article for McClatchy Newspapers a reporter by the name of Steven Thomma did a bit of research trying to estimate the costs of these trips and this is what he discovered:
“The costs of the trips — borne by taxpayers — are difficult to measure, but they’re expensive. When (the president) uses the familiar blue-and-white reconfigured 747 as Air Force One, it costs $100,219 an hour to operate, according to the Air Force. And that’s just HIS plane.”
“There also are cargo planes, used to fly in armored limousines, helicopters, staff and other equipment, as well as the Secret Service. A single Air Force C-17 cargo jet, for example, costs $6,960 an hour, according to the Congressional Research Service.”
“A total of 77 other aircraft were used on one multi-country trip to Asia by former President Bill Clinton in 2000, according to the Air Force Times, including 14 C-17 Globemasters, 12 C-5 Galaxys, three C-141 Starlifters and two C-130 Hercules. ABC News at the time estimated the cost of that entire trip at $50 million.”
In another article it stated, “Presidential travel to foreign destinations requires planning, coordination, and logistical and personnel support,” the report stated. “The estimated incremental costs of President Clinton’s trips to Africa, Chile, and China were at least $42.8 million, $10.5 million, and $18.8 million, respectively. The largest of these costs consisted of operating expenses of the president’s aircraft and other military passenger and cargo aircraft; travel expenses, including lodging for the travelers; and telecommunications, vehicle, and other equipment rentals and procurement in the countries visited.”
Both Press Trust of India and the Times of India reported that two US Air Force Jumbos and four helicopters landed ahead of the president’s visit. They also reported that Obama will be protected by a fleet of 34 warships, including an aircraft carrier.
The Times of India also reported the following:
“Obama is expected to fly by a helicopter — Marine One — from the city airport to the Indian Navy’s helibase INS Shikra at Colaba in south Mumbai.”
“From there, he will drive down in a Lincoln Continental — the Presidential limousine — to the nearby the Taj Hotel.”
“Two jets, armed with advanced communication and security systems, and a fleet of over 40 cars will be part of Obama’s convoy.”
“Around 800 rooms have been booked for the President and his entourage in Taj Hotel and Hyatt.”
“The President will have a security ring of American elite Secret Service, which are tasked to guard the President, along with National Security Guards (NSG) and personnel from central paramilitary forces and local police in Mumbai and Delhi.”
“Similar arrangements will be in place in Delhi, with the Air Force One to be kept in all readiness throughout Obama’s stay here from Sunday afternoon to Tuesday morning.”
As I read all of that it sounded to me like we are spending way too much money and non-needed expense but if it really is I do not know. The White House disputes the $200 million dollar a day figure but whatever the cost for a trip like this really cost we need to ask – are trips like this really that necessary for our president regardless of who he is or what party he or someday she is a member of? It makes me wonder should Presidents stay home?
Thanks grandpa for helping me research this article.