How do you digest this?

@marie2052 (3697)
United States
December 27, 2011 5:31pm CST
My husband who has been in the Air Force for 23 1/2 years did nothing but work on planes. Now that he is retired from the Air Force he works as a contract worker. Someone was talking about Air Force One (Presidents plane) and someone from the flight field come over to see the guys and they got to talking about how much it cost to fly Air Force One. Well today my husband came home with the direct answer. It takes $198,000.00 to run an hour. Does he deserve a vacation? There have been those that says he works very hard and yes he deserves every vacation he has taken. I agree while everyone takes a vacation a year (A VACATION) there are thousands of Americans that cannot afford a vaction. My husband and I were never able to take any kind of vacation like a cruise (if you follow my discussions) til we paid off our house payment (750.00 month), and got rid of child support ($1,000.00 a month for one child). We still go as cheaply as we can. We tallied up our 7 day cruise to Mexico from Port Canaveral. We drove there, so one tank of gas, we had our car stay in the secured parking @ 105.00 for the 7 days, our cruise cost 1,298.00 for both of us, and our gratuity was 11.50 a day per person so total was $161.00 for the trip. We did one excursion in Belize that cost 65.00 each and the rest of the time we enjoyed our balcony and all the ships free entertainment and all the buffets you could eat for free. Our grand total was $1,694.00 not including two tanks of gas to get us there and back home. We did this on our own paid cash, saved to do our cruise. We did not bother any neighbors to ask for a handout for money to pay for our cruise because we thought we deserved one. So how does the American people keep saying when its in black and white that 40,000,000.00 is viable to pay for all these luxurious trips. I know all Presidents took trips. Have been told off for that too. But if you REALLY go back in recent history wives went WITH their husbands on the SAME Plane. Since the First Lady is always traveling before or after him, how much is she costing taxpayers? yes they pay for their private area, house, condo whatever, but all secret service, all the airplanes for them, the planes to move the limosene, and there has been once when I read they even had a private plane for the dog. What part of the Americans are missing out understanding how much this couple is costing the taxpayers? I shake my head to know I can have what I call a luxurious vacation for under 2,000.00 and its astronomical for government to take a vacation (Pelosi is headline today too @ 10,000 a day also) $34,000.00 taxpayers pay for for her security. I hope Americans know who the taxpayers are ITS US!
4 people like this
6 responses
@matersfish (6311)
• United States
28 Dec 11
Our Presidents have lived like kings for a long time now. And this isn't just a swipe at Obama. Bush and Clinton and Bush before him and probably going on down the line a ways - they've all spent far too much money on their own sense of luxury. It seems like each new President we've had spends more; their wives hire more aides and travel more; their security detail increases; the amount of vacations taken increases; the number of parties they throw and the amount of food they buy increases; the tab just just keeps running. And not only for the POTUS, but for damn near every politician. Pelosi is a private jet-addicted princess. They're all living the high life. This is why I've stayed out of the politics section as of late. I just get too angry even typing about this nonsense! Every single time I turn it over on the news, it's two parties arguing back and forth. One party, claiming they're for the "everyman" and "middle class" wants to keep spending and taxing and spending and taxing. The other party claims to want it to stop, but they don't really want it to stop. They just want to spend on their own projects and not the other party's. It's all such a hoax on the American people. Sure, we only have a few million government employees on the taxpayers' dime. But that's not the half of it. 1: The government we have now spends exponentially more every day. 2: We're also footing the bill for every retiree out there, so our children will be on the hook for millions upon millions of government salary and pension packages. And that's only government. It's going to be the same with every public sector career. The numbers of people needing money is going to increase. And let's not even get into SS. With politicians spending more and wanting to tax more to solve it, and salaries-for-life packages all coming down the pike, the taxpayer is on the hook in a big way and gets puck-all in return (ohhh! $13 extra of MY MONEY on MY PAYCHECK? Thank you, my king; you're SOOOO gracious!). So it makes me sick to even discuss politics. It's all such a joke. People want to tug at your heart strings for one issue, blame the previous politician for another, and kick the can on down the line for yet another - there is ZERO responsibility in zealots, and politics in today's age is zealotry. My vacation last year was 3 days off on my sofa. I felt more like Al Bundy than a ritzy President. And I'll be damned if that guy's better than I am just because half the country got all wee-wee'd up when he spoke. Barack Obama - the most useless Senator in American history. President! Only in America! They all work for us. But that's not how they see it - R or D or I or anything else. They present themselves as our betters. And I'm sick of it.
2 people like this
• United States
27 Dec 11
Growing up my family & I never went on vacation. Not once that I can remember. We couldn't afford it. I went on my first vacation when I was 35 years old after my husband & I had been married for a year. We couldn't afford to go on a honeymoon after we got married so when our 1st year anniversary came around we went on a cruise celebrating both. We saved every dime we had though to afford this vacation. When I think about all the money that is spent not only on the President & his family, but all the other things some of which we know about & some of which we don't. I think of all the homeless people we could help. We could set up job training programs so that they could eventually earn a living on their own, build more descent shelters so that they wouldn't rather sleep on the street but in a clean shelter instead, start programs to help these young kids who join gangs just to stay safe in their neighborhoods.... I could go on & on but I think you see what I'm talking about. All this money is wasted on extravagant trips & separate planes. It's just a big fat waste of money & resources that could be put to better use. Unfortunately this is one fight that the American people will never win. It's been going on for years & it will continue to do so.
2 people like this
@MaryLynn321 (2680)
• United States
29 Dec 11
That is way to expensive for just taking a vacation. I am sure that they fly in separate airplanes because of the children. If something happened to Air Force one, then his family would be safe. Do we really know whether or not he pays for the airplane as well? I had heard at one time that he paid for his own trips. Not sure if that is true or not. If the people are paying for this it is more than ridiculous what we have to pay for. And for the economy the way it is and needing to cut back on spending, he needs to cut back as well. Plus I think it is ridiculous that the cost of just using the plane is so much. It is way out of line. There is no reason to have to pay the secret service, etc., so much money. Ridiculous to say the least.
@marie2052 (3697)
• United States
8 Jan 12
Supposedly if they are going on a trip (pleasure) other than going for conferences etc, they are to pay for their own trips. However I read a lot into the politics and then I go curiously looking into other avenues. They pay for their vacation, but WE the PEOPLE pay for his security, Air Force One,all the gas, then all the other planes it takes to bring over his precious limosene, his security, and I know once they even put the dog in its own private plane. Once they get where they are going they have extra security just for being in the state/town. So we pay for all that and the security housing, food, etc. Air Force 2 is not supposed to be used for any pleasure trips. It is supposed to be grounded (according to Air Force rules) while the President and his family fly and need assistance if something should go wrong with Air Force One. I just heard the missus is already getting a pleasure trip to the Riviera started in planning. From what I have heard and read she is the one that is the jet set traveler and enjoying all the coo.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Jan 12
I had heard that too, that they pay for their own vacations. To me if they want to go on vacation then they need to pay for the security, etc. Why should we pay for the housing, food, etc. It's not our vacation. They choose to go on vacation, then pay for it just like anyone else would have to. They both were lawyers I am sure they can afford it. Off topic. My son-in-law (before they got married) use to be in the Airforce. He had clearance to fuel AirForce 1.
• United States
28 Dec 11
You should be fortunate you're husband is 1 fully retired from the military and 2 able to get contract work. That puts you way better off than most of the country, even a lot of prior military can't get a 40 hour a week job that adds up to what he still gets in retirement. Hopefully now that you're out of having to pay so many bills you can invest a good portion of you're income wisely. Heck if you sucked it up for a little bit you could both have plenty to retire and vacation on after a few years at most. Not bad since your husband might be 50 by then and a lot of people are still working at 70 just to make ends meat. As for Air Force One and other extravagant costs. You have to realize the extreme amount and cost of security for a current and even ex president. I'm sure our security budget just for figure heads like Obama is in the billions annually if not closer to a trillion. It probably costs Obama about $30,000 a hole of golf just in security. It's probably a little over done. Maybe they should just make a retired politician island and reduce the security costs. It's not like they've ever interacted with the public on a normal basis in the last 10+ years anyways. Just consider what it takes for a President to go give a simple graduation speech. 3 or more weeks prior to the trip the SS comes out and surveys the area, they then work with local police and LE departments to create a secure area. They begin securing the area weeks before his arrival. They further secure the airport in which he arrives, often obstruct traffic on publicly funded roads. Then anywhere he goes he has the biggest escort known to man that goes with him. You're looking at $2,000-$5,000+ per person involved for a month of work and planning for him to make a 1 day appearance. Plus all the extra security costs. So, when he goes to make his little graduation speech at some university you're looking at probably 100+ people somehow involved in planning. Then probably close to 300 for actually security that day. So just that day alone probably costs $50,000+ in manpower for security. Plus the cost of transportation etc. It probably ballparks around $2 million for the president to give a 30 minute speech. Not counting the security still at the white house when he's gone. On the up side this does employ a lot of Americans with decent wages. The down side is that in a time of financial crisis a lot of this could probably be done far more efficiently. We could probably save a few million a trip and let him do a few things through electronic communications. Businesses have been having e-conferences for years to save money. If we could cut back on the cost of unnecessary trips for politicians it could quickly add up to billions of savings every year, and that's significant money even in government terms. What good is technology if we can't use it where we actually need it to solve problems. We can watch every football game of the season in real time but we can't stream a broadcast of the president making a graduation speech to some students on a big screen to save a few million tax dollars and time that he might better spend doing his job. Now I'm actually curious as to what the average daily cost of a president is.
1 person likes this
@marie2052 (3697)
• United States
8 Jan 12
My husband will turn 60 he is still working. The position he does is the same he did in the military. When these guys do retire, with the military cutbacks all the time, we will not have enough qualified people for the job position. This has been going on since the give way of the draft. My ex just retired working from Boeing. he worked there 40 years. I worked since I was 15 at 18 went in the Army to be faced with Vietnam and then again Desert Storm. No I did not retire Just dumb enough to be a medical specialist and did what had to be done. Now from everything I did plus raise 5 children I thankfully can say I have given myself spinal desinegration. So that makes me disabled. I got it early and while I do not like not being able to work, I realize if I go out and even got a part time job I would not be able to stand or sit either way for very long. But I worked for my SSD that I never dreamed I would have to take until I reached Social Security age. you are right and I totally agree with all that you said above. However there are a lot of Americans that think the president and govenment pay for their own holidays. They all have security, can uproot jobs while they are somewhere in the world, because they are special, and can bring an area to a halt and make no money while they are around except theirs. I know I have read the president makes 400,000 a year as Commander in Chief. But they say he has triple security to what any other president has. I have always been so curious why he felt he needed more than the average man. Guess we can wonder all we want, still you sometimes would like to know. thanks for your reply
@deebomb (15323)
• United States
28 Dec 11
It really make me sick for him to spend this kind of money when people out here are really hurting. Now he is wanting to raise the debt ceiling again or the government will run out of money this fri. As far as I can see he has done nothing but spend money we don't have. The stimulus that didn't work. A health care that is going to break us even more. Money to green jobs that cost more than they save and companies going belly up.Maybe he isn't as confident as he wants us to believe and wants one more big vacation before time runs out. and as far as Nancy Pelosi loses any credibility as far as I'm concerned. She may be paying for her vacation herself but still looks bad. As if she is flaunting her wealth that she got from insider trading.
@marie2052 (3697)
• United States
8 Jan 12
Pelosi pays for her own vacation, but again not for the jet, gas, security. Thats all the government has access to this.
@Trensue (5256)
• United States
27 Dec 11
Couldn't agree with you more, but it seems like we do nothing about it. I don't understand how come the average person rarely stands up, calls and writes letters. Who has the control? The people with money. And they don't mind how the money is spent.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 11
This is where I think the Occupy Wall Street movement fell flat. For every excess they pointed out on Wall Street--of which there are many!--the overwhelming majority of those folks were all for more government expansion and control, and thus government benefits packages didn't bother them; only private benefits packages got their ire up. Government excess is part of a just nation; business excess is criminal. Yeah. They really had an opportunity to get everyone on board if they were only honest about their criticisms across the board. But, alas, they missed the forest for those pesky trees. It's like the mask stayed on in Scooby Doo. That never happens. But it does with the nonsensical grievances of wagon-riding, self-important American youth. It coulda really been the start of a movement against the few irresponsible people in power. Instead, it become abundantly political and wholly one-sided. Maybe after government screws us all out of a few more trillion, OWS and the tea party will join forces and then others will jump on board and we can all finally hold everyone to account, not just those opposite our worldview.
1 person likes this