Boondoggle – n.: An unnecessary or wasteful project or activity.
America is broke. 1 of every 4 homes are underwater; 1 of every 8 Americans are on food stamps; unemployment is stuck at an official 9.1%; and our national debt is approaching $14.5 trillion. (For more on America’s indebtedness, see Tony Whitcomb’s blog here.)
But Michelle Obama thinks it’s just dandy to go on an African boondoggle that costs American taxpayers an estimated $800,000. And what was the purpose of the trip? — to promote “youth leadership, education, health and wellness” in southern Africa, according to the White House.
The UK’s Daily Mail reports, June 28, 2011, that according to Whitehousedossier.com, Michelle’s trip to South Africa and Botswana last week could cost as much as $800,000 to taxpayers — those 53% of
Americans suckers who still pay income tax.
This is how the $800,000 break down:
- Michelle’s jet plane, Air Force 2, costs in the region of $12,723 per hour. When the distance travelled and flight speed of the plane are put together, the cost of Air Force 2 for the whole trip could work out to be a cool $430,000.
- A military cargo plane usually goes with the First Lady on foreign trips in order to bring along cars and other large items. The DOD charges other federal agencies $12,723 per hour for the use of a C-32 plane, the same model as the one Michelle was ferried about on during her trip. That could easily add on another $200,000 to the cost.
- Add to the above the cost of local transportation; Secret Service protection; food for Michelle, her mother, her two daughters and two of their cousins, and staff members; and the cost of pre-trip preparations.
Michelle Marie Antoinette would say: “Let them eat cake!”