Allen B. West

Watchdog group calls this Obama behavior ‘unusual abuse’

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I’m not going to assess or analyze this story at all – I’ll let you decide. I just find it interesting it’s happening when so many American middle-income families can’t afford a vacation and are struggling to make ends meet.

As reported by the Washington Examiner, “In what a taxpayer watchdog group called “an unusual abuse,” President Obama’s decision over Labor Day to fly home from New York to sleep in his own bed instead of overnighting and then attending the New York wedding of his chef cost Americans $295,227. It was just one expensive leg of a Labor Day work and fun trip with an overall price tag of $1,539,402.10 in flight expenses alone — not including security costs, food, housing or those associated with his staff. The financial details were provided to Judicial Watch by the Air Force.”

There were two lessons I learned in my twenty-two years of service in the US Army — lead by example and service above self (Officers always ate last, and if food ran out, that was your sacrifice to ensure the needs of your soldiers were met). Leaders are there to serve, not to be served, which is a leadership model that defines a unit’s command atmosphere — and its resulting standard of performance. It also defines the policies and relationship of a leader to those her or she has been chosen to lead.

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Tom Fitton, head of the DC-based watchdog group Judicial Watch has been charting presidential travel costs for years, and said Congress should look into Obama’s use of Air Force One for fun and fundraising. “The new Congress could do worse than to reform presidential travel so taxpayers aren’t gouged by candidates and campaigns benefitting from the political use of Air Force One,” he said.

America is in a truly dire fiscal situation and hard working American taxpayers are feeling the brunt of the federal government’s fiscal irresponsibility. I agree with Tom Fitton — it is indeed time for Congress to review what is “official travel” and what is charged to taxpayers.

What are your thoughts on travel for elected representatives?
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