LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Michelle’s safari boondoggle

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As a taxpayer of a nation whose national debt stands at more than $14 trillion, I would like to know how much money Michelle Obama’s “goodwill tour” - actually, a summer vacation for her, her two daughters, her mother, her niece and her nephew - will cost the U.S. government (“In Chelsea’s and the Bush twins footsteps, the Obama girls travel to Africa,” Web, Communities, June 16).

Mrs. Obama and her entourage likely will fly home from Africa on a Boeing 757, the cost of which is $11,351 per hour of flight. Flying time from Washington to Johannesburg is about 15 hours, and the return trip is about 17 1/2 hours.

Giving the party a little leeway and using the shorter flying time for both trips, the round-trip cost of the journey would be $340,530.

Add to that the cost of Secret Service protection, hotels, meals and the “family safari,” and it amounts to a rather staggering sum.

Mrs. Obama is not an ambassador, nor is she a public servant. Therefore, I resent the fact that the U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill for her family junket. This Africa trip is yet another example of the Obama administration’s fiscal irresponsibility.

CITA W. SULLIVAN

Welcome, Md.

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