Taxpayers Will Now Pay for More of Obama's Colorado Fundraising Trip
As President Obama once again hits the fundraising trail, even amid a humanitarian crisis on our southern border, taxpayers are now being told that they will have to fund even more of his mostly partisan political trip through Colorado.
The White House announced several late additions to Obama's schedule during his Colorado fundraising swing, but these additions changed the trip from a strictly political trip to one of "government business." These additions also changed the funding for the trip from a privately funded one to one funded more by taxpayers.
One of the late additions to the schedule is a speech in Denver's Cheesman Park.
The second addition is a bit more dubious and has been labeled as "government business." The White House added another one of Obama's "days in the life" events, where he visits someone who wrote a letter to him.
The addition of these two events, says Brandon Rittiman, subtly alters the trip. It suddenly makes the Denver trip more of "a mix of 'political' and 'official' business."
Obama already indulged one of these new "days in the life" events meant to push his agenda when he visited a woman in Minnesota at the end of June during another fundraising trip through The Gopher State.
But the rules governing how these trips are paid for aren't new to Obama. Since a president is required to travel via the military, when political trips are paid for by a campaign or a national party, the costs are calculated using commercial airfare costs, not the far more expensive costs incurred by the military.
The formula is as follows:
Time spent in official meetings, receptions, etc. + Time spent in political meetings, receptions, rallies = Total activity time.
Time spent in official activity ÷ Total activity time = Percentage of trip that is official.
Time spent in political activity ÷ Total activity time = Percentage of trip that is political.
Difficult to understand or not, one thing is sure: if President Obama adds more "public business" to his schedule, the taxpayer foots more of the bill.
In the end, Obama might risk charges of hypocrisy, however, if he continues to use these "days in the life" meetings as cover for fundraising trips so that he can charge more of his travel expenses to the taxpayer.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.