Since then, nothing has changed, despite a presidential executive order about avoiding unnecessary federal travel costs. In this video, hapless White House spokesman Jay Carney, a former "journalist," lamely tries to justify the First Lady separately flying to Hawaii on a taxpayer-funded military jet on the family "annual holiday trip" instead of waiting for the president to join her on the same plane.
According to the Hawaii Reporter, "Mrs. Obama’s early flight to Hawaii costs about $63,000 (White House Dossier), but add security and personnel for a total of about $100,000," while the the total cost of the family trip is at least $4 million.
The Daily Mail asks: "With thousands of families struggling to raise funds for Christmas, you would think the Obamas might manage a little thriftiness."
On the subject of vacations, Keith Koffler of the aforementioned White House Dossier blog wrote the following back in August:
First Lady Michelle Obama over the last year has spent a total of 42 days on vacation, or a little more than one out of every nine days, according to a White House Dossier analysis of her travel.
Her vacations, the cost of which are mostly borne by taxpayers, include trips to Panama City, Fla., Martha’s Vineyard, Hawaii, South Africa, Latin America, Vail, Colo., and her visit this week to her brother in Corvallis, Ore.
The total does not include a nine day sojourn in Martha’s Vineyard that the Obamas will enjoy this month. Nor does it include a trip she made to Ireland and Great Britain in May, which I’m counting as official travel...
Mrs. Obama’s extensive vacation travel comes while many America citizens find themselves out of work or having trouble making ends meet as the economic recovery stalls.
Taxpayers pick up most of the cost of transporting the first lady and her extensive entourage – including Secret Service and her staff – to her various destinations. While she may in some cases pay some of the tab for her personal expenses and travel, the amount is dwarfed by the overall cost to the public.