Oct 29th, 2016
Obama golf weekend with Tiger cost $3.6 million
Taxpayers not best pleased!
Words: John Dean Photography: Getty Images
A golf weekend with Tiger Woods in 2013 was fun for President Obama, but left US tax payers with a whopping great bill.
The Government Accountability Office has reported that the departments of Defense and Homeland Security spent more than $3.6 million in travel costs and other expenses for President Obama’s weekend with Tiger and other golf partners at an exclusive resort in Florida.
The audit said the costs included operation of Air Force One, at about $200,000 per hour of flight, plus a virtual squadron of “supporting aircraft and U.S. Coast Guard small boats,” as well as per diem and other travel expenses for an unspecified number of Pentagon and Homeland Security personnel required to support the president’s golf weekend.
The military transport aircraft needed for the golfing weekend included a $200 million C-17 Globemaster and the C-5 Super Galaxy, which departed from various U.S. Air Force bases and arrived at Joint Base Andrews or Marine Corps Base Quantico “to transport Secret Service personnel and vehicles and Marine Corps personnel and helicopters to support the trip before returning to their air bases of origin,” the report said.
President Obama’s four-day excursion required six additional military transport planes flying eight missions with at least 22 total flight legs, involving 14 commercial airports and Air Force bases ranging from Joint Base McGuire in New Jersey to Dyess Air Force Base in Texas.
The Pentagon spent at least $2.8 million, and the Homeland Security Department spent another $767,000, which included about $180,000 for the Secret Service.
The long President’s Day weekend began with Obama traveling from Washington to Chicago on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, to give a speech.
From Chicago, Obama flew on Air Force One to the airport in West Palm Beach, Florida and was driven about an hour to coastal Palm City, location of the gated and luxurious Floridian Yacht and Golf Club.
There he played golf with Tiger and reportedly got lessons from Butch Harmon.
The Coast Guard spent about $586,000 to provide support for the president’s trip.
“Specifically, this trip included the use of the RB-S boat and HH-65 Dolphin helicopter [a MedEvac-capable search and rescue helicopter] to provide support in waterways,” the GAO said.
The performance audit, which took about 20 months to complete, was requested by Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican.
Mr. Barrasso noted that the golf outing took place as the administration and Congress were imposing automatic spending caps.
“At a time when the government was tightening its belt to prepare for sequestration, President Obama had such little disregard for the taxpayer that he spent millions of dollars to play golf with Tiger Woods,” Mr. Barrasso said.
“This arrogance is par for the course for the Obama administration.”
President Obama has played more than 300 rounds of golf during his presidency.