- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

President Obama’s five-day trip to Africa cost taxpayers more than $5 million in flight time alone for Air Force One, according to a study released Tuesday.

The National Taxpayers Union said Mr. Obama is spending about 29 hours of flight time on the trip that began Thursday, taking him to Kenya and Ethiopia. Operating Air Force One costs $206,337 per flight hour, for a total of $5,983,773.

The total cost of the trip will easily reach into tens of millions of dollars. In the summer of 2013, Mr. Obama took his family on a weeklong trip to sub-Saharan Africa that was estimated to cost taxpayers between $60 million and $100 million.

On that earlier trip, the Secret Service’s hotel costs alone totaled $953,788, or about $136,255 per day.

The president is returning to Washington early Wednesday, after a refueling stop in Germany.

Study author and policy analyst Michael Tasselmyer of the National Taxpayers Union Foundation found that Mr. Obama is now tied for most international trips by a president through July of his seventh year in office.

Mr. Obama now has equaled former President Clinton with 41 trips, although Mr. Clinton stayed abroad longer — 178 days, compared to 161 for Mr. Obama.

President George W. Bush took 38 international trips though the same point of his presidency, staying abroad for 157 days. Ronald Reagan had taken 21 international trips by this point of his presidency, traveling overseas for 101 days.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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