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Is Obama’s ‘Moratorium’ On Travel One Year Ago Forgotten?

President Obama Departs White House
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

As the First Family jets off to Hawaii for a 17 day vacation,  the President seems to have forgotten a proclamation he made just about 13 months ago.

On November 9, 2011, Obama signed Executive Order 13589, promoting, among other things, to ensure ‘efficient government travel’ spending.  From the Order itself:

Sec. 3.  Travel. (a)  Agency travel is important to the effective functioning of Government and certain activities can be performed only by traveling to a different location.  However, to ensure efficient travel spending, agencies are encouraged to devise strategic alternatives to Government travel, including local or technological alternatives, such as teleconferencing and video conferencing.  Agencies should make all appropriate efforts to conduct business and host or sponsor conferences in space controlled by the Federal Government, wherever practicable and cost effective.  Lastly, each agency should review its policies associated with domestic civilian permanent change of duty station travel (relocations), including eligibility rules, to identify ways to reduce costs and ensure appropriate controls are in place.

This is rather ironic, given the extensive Martha’s Vineyard vacation earlier, which involved not one but TWO Presidential jets ferrying the First Family, then Obama, to the Eastern Seaboard  vacation spot.  Apparently Michelle and the kids cannot wait for the budget dilemma to be fixed in D.C. before leaving.   The additional cost of Michelle’s solo trip to the islands is estimated to be at least 100k. Now, that’s a drop in the bucket in governmental terms.  But once again, it is the principle of the situation.  With the country struggling the way it is economically, thousands losing jobs,  the unemployment rate actually higher than the 8.7 recent mark (the dip is due to seasonal, temporary work and people who quit looking),  it is the duty of the President and family to at least attempt to look like they emphathize with Americans; try a little self-sacrifice once in a while.

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