At the tail end of today’s White House press briefing, Fox News Channel’s Ed Henry went there — again. Yes, for the gazillionth time, a Fox News goon attacked the presidential family for — SHOCK-HORROR! — going on vacation. You know the deal: the lazy and shiftless Obama’s and their second-fewest number of vacation days of any president in the last 40 years is obviously a crime against the Constitution and the American taxpayer.
According to Tommy Christopher, Henry asked press secretary Jay Carney, “The First Lady stayed behind in Hawaii, and the White House said that was an early birthday present from the President. Does that mean he’s paying for the flight back, or are the taxpayers paying for it?“
Ah hell. YES! The answer is yes! As with all previous presidents and their family vacations, they’re all flown by a government aircraft because of — doy! — national security. Not a single other president or First Lady has ever reimbursed the total cost of operating Air Force One or other government vehicles. However, the first family reimburses the government for the cost of first class tickets corresponding to the number of family-members and guests. This is standard across all administrations, especially during campaigns. But paying the $180,000 per hour that it costs to operate Air Force One would be utterly ridiculous.
Naturally, that’s not the point of the question. Fox News, whether via a reporter or screeching opinion host, wants people to believe President Obama is a lazy spendthrift bilking taxpayers to the tune of a $16 trillion debt — not recognizing that only Bill Clinton has taken less vacation time and that the federal budget deficit has been cut in half and falling.
Why? Dog-whistles, of course. And it’ll continue long after January 20, 2017.
(Adding… Yes, I know. The headline could easily have been, “Fox News Continues to Blow.”)