Claim: $2,840,896.80 to Fly President Obama to Paris COP21

Green Pass

Nobody seems to mind, if a “Green” clocks up a lot of air miles.

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to Judicial Watch, analysis of government documents obtained via a FOIA lawsuit against Homeland Security show that flying President Obama’s party to attend Paris COP21 ran up $2,840,896.80 in air transport bills – bring President Obama’s total travel costs to date to $83 million.

Obama Travel Cost Taxpayers over $83 million to Date

(Washington DC)—Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained records from the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of the Air Force detailing the costs of Obama’s trip to attend the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference. Secret Service charges for Obama and his staff to attend the Conference cost taxpayers $1,324,171.60. Flight expenses cost $2,840,896.80, bringing the total expenditure for the conference to at least $4,165,068.40. To date, Obama’s known travel expenses total $83,795,502.33.

Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for these documents on January 6, 2016. The records were released in response to a FOIA lawsuit filed on May 6, 2016, (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (No. 1:16-cv-00863)).

“Obama’s Paris junket is another example of wasteful and unnecessary presidential travel that abuses the taxpayers, the military, and the U.S. Secret Service,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.


All this for a Presidential signature on a ridiculous document, which has been carefully defined as not being a treaty, to try to avoid the need for ratification by the US Congress or Senate, and therefore has no legal impact whatsoever on the conduct of US affairs.

From the State Department Government Website;

QUESTION: Hey, it’s Chris Frates with CNN. Thank you guys for doing this call. Two questions. It has been said that the emissions were not made legally binding because that would have made this a treaty and it wouldn’t have gotten through the Senate. So I wanted to ask you about that. And then the follow-up question is: Does this need any kind of congressional approval or not?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Thanks for the question. So we pursued from the – well, for quite a while. I don’t remember exactly when the proposal that we started to follow was first announced. But New Zealand had the idea of what is, in effect, a hybrid kind of legal form where a number of elements would be legally binding, including essentially the whole accountability system, the requirement to put in targets or ratchet them to be – to report on them and be reviewed on them, and various rules for counting emissions and so forth would be legally binding, but the targets themselves would not be. So that was the basic structure of the – of what I’m referring to as the hybrid that New Zealand put forward.

And we thought that that made sense for reasons of broad participation in this agreement, certainly including the United States but by no means only the United States. There are many countries – the most vocal outside of us probably India – but the reality is there would be many developing countries who would balk at having to do legally binding targets for themselves. They might be perfectly happy to ask for legally binding targets from developed countries, but we were not going to go back into a Kyoto structure of binding target commitments for developed countries but not for developing. We’re past that. That’s the backwards-looking world. It didn’t work. That’s not where we were going. So the notion of the targets not being binding was really a fundamental part of our approach from early on, and obviously something quite useful for us as well.

In terms of congressional approval, this agreement does not require submission to the Senate because of the way it is structured. The targets are not binding; the elements that are binding are consistent with already approved previous agreements. So it would not be – I mean, I don’t want to speak in a definitive way, but it’s certainly not – I would just say that it’s not required. What actions are taken or not taken is a separate question, but it’s not required.

Read more:

97 thoughts on “Claim: $2,840,896.80 to Fly President Obama to Paris COP21

  1. $84 million in travel expenses…meh, yawn. Start complaining when we start talking about real money, a few billion here, a few billion there… $84 million is pocket change when compared to the total US budget. Was it wasted, sure. Is it a meaningful amount, No.

    • It is significant when it is the travel cost to go sign away many billions more in annual contributions through UN governance with a poor track record of accountability. This is in addition to bad science (modeling) and non existent fact checking.

    • I would be more concerned with the hypocrisy. A good chunk of that $3 million went to a lot of fossil fuels for something that could have taken a few pennies of electricity to sign electronically.
      However, SMC’s right. $84 million is not a significant expense for our government, Obama made no claims that he would dramatically slash the budget, and his travel hasn’t been ludicrously out of proportion to his responsibilities, so I’m not seeing how it is a big point.

      • … A good chunk of that $[8]3 million went to a lot of fossil fuels …

        Ben of Houston
        To rehabilitate his tarnished reputation for veracity:
        Give him a bicycle — with bamboo tires and a tofu seat and (just to be a decent citizen) a helmet made from a coconut. For overseas (necessary) trips: a 40-foot (hey, why not be generous) sailboat made out of busted windmill parts (there are a LOT of them — could build an ocean liner or two!) and sails made out of the kevlar protective clothing of U.S. steelworkers which they do not need after 8 years of industry-choking energy policies.

      • $84 million is not significant? Well, it’s a hell of a lot more than what I have paid to the federal government in taxes in my lifetime! So why do I have to pay to support this waste then?

    • $84 million is pocket change
      million here, million there, pretty soon you are 19 trillion in debt.
      That really is the problem. Governments playing with someone else’s money, in a world with an unlimited number of “good causes”. As quick as you can fix one, someone will invent two more. Pretty soon everyone is climbing aboard the bandwagon.
      Eventually the money runs out and Rome falls.

      • “Eventually the money runs out and Rome falls.”
        You can’t run out of money with a Fiat Currency… Not as long as you have an operating printing press, that is.

      • Agreed, that’s why government deficits are difficult to contain. You have to track down all the line items, unless you plan to shut down the whole department. And the example President Obama is setting can’t be doing any good.

      • The value depends on psychology. As long as everyone believes it has value, they’ll keep printing.

      • The money won’t ‘run out’. It will simply become as worthless as the Confederate Dollar, or the Weimar Republic’s Bundesmark via Zimbabwean-style hyperinflation.
        In 1935 one Troy ounce of gold was priced at $35. Today (7/27/2016) it is $1,333.50. That is 3710% inflation in 80 years, an *AVERAGE* of 47% inflation (read ‘devaluation’) per year.
        One Troy ounce of gold is still exactly one Troy ounce of gold. It’s the money that is becoming worthless. Unless your T-bills are earning at least 47%, you are being robbed. When the US’ creditors figure out that they will never get back the *value* they have loaned us, the US’ credit will be shot, and the country’s economy will collapse.

      • Meh, even the value of gold is a psychological construct. Gold is believed to have value, therefore it has value. The only thing that has been accomplished by coming off the gold standard is to transfer the perceived value of gold to a fiat currency. It is the perception of value that gives a currency, whether gold or paper or something else, worth.

      • tadchem,
        I wonder if you’ve heard of compound interest.
        $35 to $1335 [say] in 80 years.
        An increase of about 38.2 times.
        [God – I hate Win10 calculator!]
        1.047 to the power 80 equals 39.4 – so about 4.75 per year.
        Hardly Zimbabwean.
        Although I can remember Healey’s 27% inflation in the UK.
        Auto – yes – I’m an experientially gifted old codger . . . .

      • The value of money is determined by the supply in circulation in relation to the total value of capital goods.
        The only way psychology plays a part is when people decide that paper money has no value, in which case it’s value drops to zero.
        It doesn’t matter how much you believe that you should be able to buy a gallon of milk with a single dollar, if your grocer doesn’t agree.

      • MarkW at 2:52 pm:
        “The value of money is determined by the supply in circulation in relation to the total value of capital goods.”
        Exactly. SMC’s in error. They can run those printing presses as fast as they want but if the supply of goods and services can’t keep up (and, in the end, they will never be able to) then the prices for those goods and services are going to be bidded up – every time. The purchasing power of that money will fall. Reality will trump psychology. I think SMC is mistaking inflation for a bank run: totally different animal.

      • “That is 3710% inflation in 80 years, an *AVERAGE* of 47% inflation (read ‘devaluation’) per year.”
        It is an annual inflation rate of 4.7% p.a.
        Compounded for 80 years it is a factor of 40. $35*40=$1400.
        Minimum wage was about $1 per day. Now it is about $10 per hr, 90 times as much. But that is not an entirely fair comparison. Average USA family income in 1935 was $474 p.a. In 2015 it was $53,657. That is the median.
        So the price of gold went up 40 fold and incomes went up 113 fold. For a day’s work you can buy 2.8 times as much gold. Even the poorly paid can buy twice as much. That is deflation: more for less. To be it’s ‘real value’ gold should cost $3738 per oz at the moment.

    • Eric
      Surely you have got too many noughts in the cost, a mistake echoed in the original document.
      With the number of figures shown it is in billions but everyone means millions

    • I recall the standard reply by the left when the right was explaining some weapon system costing $83M, was: “that money could have bought xx number of new schools!”, or new books, or computers, or whatever. So how many schools did Obama’s travel prevent being built?

    • This is a very complicated case, Walter. You know, a lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-you’s.

    • Costs of flying Air Force One are rather misleading. The primary event cost is for fuel. The crew and such are full time employees (Air Force pilots) whether they fly or not. It is not a matter of going out and hiring new people when the President wants to fly… The same people plan and fix food service.

      • “whether they fly or not”
        A train has pretty much the same fuel consumption whether passagers are in it or not. Single level “TGV” (train grande vitesse) is 300 T, about 1 T (1000 kg) per passager.
        Also, the number of train carriages doesn’t change when passagers enter the train. You can’t even add train carriages to a TGV because of its common bogie design (one train carriage has one bogie, and the next one rests on the first, except for the last of course).
        So a passager on a TGV has pretty much no cost at all!

    • Seems a bit pricey to me. Is he flying first class? I have to fly from Brisbane to London a couple of times a year. That is a much longer trip than Washington to Paris, and yet economy class costs me far less than $2,840,896.80. Perhaps he could try booking through Flight Centre.

  2. I see the point. But nobody is surprised. It’s expensive to move a president around. If he doesn’t travel for this, he will travel for something else

    • He need not. Not THAT much.
      And not for gambits bringing such a LOW return on investment.

      • Return on investment?
        He isn’t negotiating world peace, he is pretty much negotiating the next conflict, just like “Europe” (EU actually) is planting the seeds of division and hate among European people.

    • ” If he doesn’t travel for this, he will travel for something else”
      I figure it a bit differently; If he doesn’t waste money on this, he will waste money on something else . . and this flight was not really a big deal in terms of total money he’s wasted thus far . . so the practical question becomes; How much can we save by keeping him up there till January?

      • I disagree. He’s been up there since he’s been elected. Time to bring him back down to Earth.

      • “… up there [on the moon!]” lolololol Answer: nothing. Ol’ “assassination insurance” (coined, I believe, by Ann Coulter) will gleefully grab the rubber stamp aaaaaand …… away go the Democrats! Saving the planet! Yay.

      • If we had cut the cost in half by making it a one-way trip, that would have been good.

        • “making it a one-way trip, that would have been good.”
          … but not for the host country.

  3. That’s a lot of green…backs. This is only meaningful in light of Obama’s agreement with the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming prophecy.

  4. Let’s see whether Clinton talks about climate change during the campaign. It has been quite visible in DNC and out of table in RNC. Trump said today at Fox News that climate change is not a threat.

    • Well, the Dems are all about lowering emissions. So if she is elected, we ought to have the first US president in quite some time who never travels anywhere that cannot be reached by bike or walking. Right?
      If she/they push the carbon tax through, can we put in a requirement that all elected and appointed officials have to personally pay the carbon tax on all their benefits, travel, etc? It is only fair, right?

  5. I am at the point where I wonder if we cannot create some sort of regulation or law that prohibits a sitting president from leaving Washington except in cases of extreme disasters with a predetermined cost and/or death toll. No campaigning, vacationing, dating, time wasting on the public dime. Being president means working or being on call 24/7/365 for four years. I am so sick of grandstanding and preening and backslapping. Not to mention the self-congratulatory tours and meetings with foreign leaders that do not actually do much (if anything). I would also argue that no one in Congress should be leaving the country for “fact finding” vacations. Same for governors. We all know treaties and agreements are really written by the peons. There is no real reason for the big guys to vacation on the public (or lobbyist’s) dime. No more lavish State dinners. No more living at a standard that is so far above that of the average citizen.
    Send ONE big government official to foreign climes for diplomatic “socializing”. Have them fly coach, stay in a budget hotel (pay for your own upgrade), and give a reasonable per diem, not a substantial one. Anyone who worked in the State department who would have had anything to do with the subpar security and response at Benghazi gets the exact same amount of protection the ambassador got. That includes Killary, even if she is elected.
    I bet we would have a more effective, efficient, and less expensive government. We might even have enough money to take care of our own people. I am not an isolationist, but it is not America’s job to save every other country and/or its citizens. It is also not America’s job to fund its leaders’ dream vacations.

    • It is not so much the travel expenses that I object to in the case of UK politicians, but the sickening knowledge , born of experience, that once at the destination they will not leave without promising to donate billions (it is never less and it is never their own money) to whatever cause was the subject of the conference.
      Never mind that the UK is so deeply in debt that it pays 50 or 60 Billion pounds Sterling each year in interest, or that the hospitals and police are being destaffed , the roads turning to cart tracks and public waste removal run down so much that towns and cities are increasingly overrun with rats .
      None of that matters to the likes of Cameron and Clegg if it means that they can look good in front of the world’s press.
      May is not likely to be any different . Her total inability to control immigration numbers suggests that one again simple arithmetic is a skill way beyond the grasp of Britain’s politicians.
      Sorry for the rant , I am sure things are different elsewhere, but I am just so fed up with our current “leaders”.

      • In the US, financing the debt is either 1st or 2nd largest single budget item.
        If the economy ever manages to limp back into a semblance of normalcy and interest rates return to their historic averages of 4 to 5%, the deficit is going to explode. Interest rates bumping along close to zero hide a multitude of sins.

      • Mark – so right.
        However, the only hope governments have is inflation.
        Inflate your way out of debt.
        Auto – no economist, merely observant!
        [No economist, only prescient – but the Great Panjandrums [for whom Brexit meant the sky falling on June 25] will wish to arrange (somehow) inflation, to pay down Government debt!].

  6. Who cares about the money – how much CO2 did they emit in the process? Did they buy carbon credits to offset their “pollution”?

    • The carbon “credits” are produced using fossil fuels. They are paid by commercial activities that use fossil fuel.

  7. Oh, and could we get a picture of a real airplane?

    • Here ya go, Engineer Jim! 🙂
      F/A-18 Super Hornet

      Models E and F cost around $57 million. Much better buy for the money.
      And how much could $83 million have done to give our veterans decent medical care?
      How much help could have been given to our wounded warriors for $83 million?
      How much would it have cost to have allowed our forces in the region to go rescue Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi……
      instead of telling them all to “stand down”
      while he and his companions and their brave would-be rescuers were slaughtered by savages of “my Musl1m faith?”
      What a WASTE.

      • Thank you, Ms Moore. Now that is a real airplane. And I’m pleased to say that a small portion of my pension comes from the F/A-18 Program.

      • You’re welcome, my pleasure, Mr. Engineer. And — COOL! Thank you for your part in making that wonderful emitter of “the sound of freedom” happen. Janice

  8. Seems to me they’re really low balling this price tag.
    Only two jets were used: Air Force One and a C-32A? One C-32A to ferry the ‘Beast’ (the prez’s limo that weighs as much as a tank) and Marine One? And, what about the fighter escort for Air Force One or potential midair refueling for the escort? Or, the alleged decoy Air Force One? Or, the helicopter ride from the WH to the runway?
    And, only $10,820 in overtime civil servant pay? C’mon. Or, only $679 for cell phone usage?
    Or, what about only $624 in “miscellaneous” (their scare quotes, not mine) expenses? Certainly Parisian prostitutes are more expensive than that.

    • The C-32A is the military version of the 757. It would not be used to ferry the ‘Beast’. C-17’s are typically used to ferry cargo such as the ‘Beast’.

      • Bingo! The prez doesn’t go anywhere without C-17 transport planes hauling his helicopters and ground transportation vehicles… these planes weren’t listed in the costs.

  9. SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: “In terms of congressional approval, this agreement does not require submission to the Senate because of the way it is structured. The targets are not binding; the elements that are binding are consistent with already approved previous agreements. So it would not be – I mean, I don’t want to speak in a definitive way, but it’s certainly not – I would just say that it’s not required. What actions are taken or not taken is a separate question, but it’s not required.”
    I would like to nominate this official for the Fred Astaire Tap Dance Award.

  10. The language used by the bureaucrats reminds me of this:

    Gracie: That’s when the truck hit him.
    George: The truck. What truck?
    Gracie: The truck that didn’t have its lights lit.
    George: Why didn’t the truck have it’s lights lit?
    Gracie: Because…he had…
    George: Hold it. Hold It! HOLD IT! Did the guy in the truck have his pants on backwards or did Willy have his pants on backwards?
    Gracie: Oh, George, you’re trying to confuse me.
    George: I’M confusing YOU!?
    Gracie: Willy had his pants on backwards.
    George: Oh. But the fellow in the truck; why didn’t he have his lights lit?
    Gracie: He didn’t have to. It was daytime.


    • lolol — CommieBob, good one. 🙂
      And the Discussion sections in the numerous slimate (<– I accidentally typed that! and left it!! Ha!) "science" studies we've been honored with reading remind me of this c. 1940's joke:
      {At a party with their new, "cultured," snobby, friends, low-knowledge Agnes and Harry Eager, to impress them, chime in when the topic turns to classical music…..}
      Ms. Snob: Oh, yes, we have season tickets to the symphony. Last week, they played Mendelssohn. Simply divine. Perhaps, y —
      Agnes: Oh, did you say Mendelssohn? I know him.
      Mr. Snob: (cough) Pardon? I am sure that he is dead.
      Agnes: No, no, I saw him just yesterday — on the number 8 bus, to the beach.
      {On the way home…}
      Harry: Did you have to make yourself look like a fool?
      Agnes: Waddya mean?!
      Harry: You know the number 8 doesn't go to the beach!

      … “Further study of these respiculated sputtles will tell us more about just how much human CO2 is altering the climate of the earth,” said Dr. A. Dunderhead. References …

  11. $2,000,000 To send Obama to Paris. If it was a one way ticket it would have been worth it.

    • France isn’t a dump. Even nuclear waste can come to be separated at La Hague but must go back.

  12. It is with great difficulty I draw a distinction between the office of the President, and the current odious inhabitant thereof. Therefore, in the legitimate pursuit of his policies, however wrongheaded, I can’t make any complaints about his expenditures, except as they may grossly exceed those of his predecessors on similar expeditions. If the numbers of hangers on, sycophants and toadies that tagged along are similar for similar purpose as those of past presidents, I’d give the Idiot-in-Chief a pass on this one. There, you can’t say I don’t support my President. 😉

    • I hope one day people could invent a technology to debate remotely, removing the need to travel thousand of miles in fragile boats.

  13. I think Obama has been a terrible President, but I have no issue with these expenses. If you consider that any President is in the cross-hairs of large numbers of terrorists, these costs (assuming they include security costs) are not unreasonable.

  14. Hmm… $84 million sounds like YTD FY2016, not the entire amount spent on travel over the 7+ years he’s been in office.

  15. Your green plane has many misfeatures beyond the obvious reactors-in-the-wings thing.
    It is very unbalanced: the wings should be in the middle of the plane, to have the center of mass between the wings.
    It has no winglets which would make it fuel inefficient (if its reactors could spin at all).
    It seems to lack a central reservoir and wouldn’t have much fuel capacity (if it could use fuel at all).

    • simple-touriste,
      “Your green plane has many misfeatures…”
      I believe some functionalism was sacrificed . . for the sake of realism ; )

  16. If I was President for 8 years, and I’d never had a jet jockey fly me to the pass-out/ puke stage in an F-15, I’d be mighty disappointed 🙂
    In fact it would be the only reason I’d take the job.

    • (smile)
      Well, he tried. Kept dialing that number they gave him… “Uh…. uh….. Navy?” ….. “Yeah, ….uh…………………………………… I need a …. uh…. a Navy corpseman to, uh, to take me for a ride.” ….. “No corpse is going to take me for a ride???!!!????!!!!!!!” {throw fit, go in TV and say the military is stupid and “the police acted stupidly”}. Dial–dial–dial–…. “Uh…. Navy?” ….. “CAN — YOU — GET — ME — A — CORPSEMAN — TO …..” ….. “What? …. Oh. Well. I’ll call when he’s back from underground. …. When do you think he’ll be in?…..”

    • No. Actually, B. Hussein prefers to play cute little jokes on the residents of lower Manhattan…. by having Airforce One do a flyby (giggle).


  17. Joke…the security cost of his trip, and the “receiving” nations…..probably more like $600M maybe more. This is airplane cost only. Sheesh Don’t build your own cheap ass false flag

    • There is also the negative economic impact of pack of state leaders, with all their security, coming to your neighborhood.

  18. The reality is that the federal government is having to borrow the money to pay for the President’s travel. Which such a huge national debt I estimate that he money the federal government is borrowing today will end up costing the tax payers more than 12 times the money borrowed to pay off the loan over the next 170 years. One needs to understand that one needs to pay off the old debt before they can even begin to pay off any new debt. While paying off the old debt the federal govern still has to pay interest on any new debt.

    • I can be argued that the debt cannot be repaid hence anyone who is helping the government financially in any way, including by lending money, is committing a crime of abusive support.

  19. Slightly off topic, can anyone tell me (as this is about big spenders )
    The founding fathers wrote the Constitution with the clause stating that a President can only serve 2 terms.
    If the Clinton’s are married ? ( a great girl that, which lets her man do whatever in the oval office, ) What is the legal standing of the marriage vows , and what was the intention of the 2 x clause ?

    • No term limit appears in the original Constitution. It is a result of the adoption of the 22nd amendment in 1951. It was a reaction to Franklin Roosevelt’s election to four terms. Bill’s previous terms have no effect on Hillary’s eligibility (more’s the pity).

  20. Actually, I don’t mind spending millions in taxpayer dollars to send our president overseas.
    The only problem is, he keeps finding his way back! Ba-da-bump!

  21. That’s 83 million that could have been better spent.
    Almost as sickening as what Hillary and her “charity” did to the Haitian earthquake victims.

  22. Many would have willingly paid double for that junket if the flight were only one-way rather than round-trip.

Comments are closed.