Michelle Obama's Vacation Budget Could Feed a Family of Four for 57 Years


michelle obama sasha obamaMichelle Obama usually manages to steer clear of controversy. But her expensive trip to southern Spain last week -- with daughter Sasha and several family friends -- is really pissing people off.

Though the First Lady covered her own personal vacation expenses (hotel room, shopping, sightseeing, matching mother-daughter sundresses, etc.), critics are irate over the public cost of her security, support staff, and Air Force Two flight there and back. In fact, some members of the media are estimating that Mrs. Obama's vacation will end up costing taxpayers a staggering $250,000!

Can you think of a better way to spend a quarter of a million dollars?

Most would agree that Mrs. Obama should be able to take a lavish European vacation with family and friends if she chooses and can afford it. Rather, it's the exorbitant cost to taxpayers -- who are already facing tough economic times and soaring rates of unemployment -- as well as the fact that her trip did not have an official agenda that's ruffling the feathers of critics and supporters alike.

A quarter of a million dollars can go a long, long way. Here are a few ideas for how that money could have been better spent:

  • Food banks serving folks hit hard financially by the BP oil spill estimate that they can feed a family of four one meal for only $1. So, let's do the math: Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars would buy 250,000 meals -- which is enough to feed a family of four three meals a day for 57 years.
  • The approaching hurricane season reminds us that disaster relief ain't cheap; but $250,000 can make a dent in costs. According to the American Red Cross, this hefty chunk of change could cover the cost for 166 families to receive all of the Red Cross emergency services -- including five nights in a shelter with meals, bulk distribution, and client casework.
  • Here's an issue that's near and dear to Mrs. Obama's heart: school lunch. According to nutrition experts, it would cost about $5 to serve one child a healthy school lunch. In other words, the cost of a Spanish vacation is worth 50,000 wholesome meals for kids.

Do you think Michelle Obama's vacation to Spain was too extravagant?


Image via Getty

barack obama, in the news, politics


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popco... popcornlover

Where does a meal for a family of four cost only $1?!

Truel... Truelove77

People are easily pissed off now a days

MomIWant MomIWant

I agree with Truelove77, people ARE easily angered this year.  While the taxpayer cost is staggering, it is still cheaper than the $600,000 congress spent on on water!

Chica... ChicagoKate

No, because she can't help it that they need the staff protection.  What should she do, not go on vacation for the next 3 (or maybe 7!) years?

lovin... lovinangels

Of course you know I agree,  I think if a trip doesn't have anything to do with us, why should we pay for it? And yeah, if that means no vacations for the next three years, so be it. I can't afford to go on vacation...at all, much less to another country! but I have to pay for the rich and elite to do it? No, I don't think so.

KatieP. KatieP.

so members of the media estimating the trip at 250,000 makes me laugh and reminds me of the Jon Stewart sketch were he goes thro clips of reporters talking about the Clinton wedding and the estimates where very varied. How much would it cost for the taxpayers to protect them at home? And she did pay for everything else so why not just reimburse whatever the diffference was? It would shut everyone up.

cafemama cafemama

This is so silly. She's a public person, but this is a private trip. A first lady gets security wherever she goes. She went to Spain with a close, longtime friend whose husband recently died. The friend picked the location. I feel like some folks expect that Michelle should give up her personal life, but she deserves to take a trip with her best friend.

Jenny... JennyErikson

Katie- the cost to fly them over there was near $150,000 alone for the round trip. As for vacationioning, who can afford it these days? I can't. I'm too busy paying for the Obama's vacation. Geez.

Mandi... Mandi1215

Maybe 8 years ago this wouldn't have been an issue, BUT in our economic situation this seems a bit extreme to me. 

nonmember avatar Carolin

I don't know about you all, but I would prefer to be undisturbed by security in my vacation any time. She and her family have to be protected because of the vital role they play in the US and their services for the state. So yes, its totally okay to pay that forced supervision by taxes. Bonne voyage!

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