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by
Rick Moran

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June 22, 2013 - 7:46 am

I’m sure Senegal is a lovely country. So, too, South Africa and Tanzania. I’m sure the people are the salt of the earth and the governments will be friendly and will treat our president very nicely.

But, c’mon. Do we really have to spend 10 times more than the White House spent on President Obama’s Israel trip so that he can be greeted by adoring crowds in Africa?

The Hill:

“First of all we don’t have the exact figure of costs. Frankly we don’t form or control those numbers,” Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said in a conference call with reporters previewing the trip. “The security requirements which make up the bulk of the costs are determined by Secret Service and they don’t publicly release breakdowns of the costs of the trips but again, this is something that is determined not by White House planning.”

Discussion focused on the cost of Obama’s trip to South Africa, Senegal, and Tanzania after The Washington Post reported that the trip would cost $100 million.

Rhodes stressed the Secret Service, and not the White House, determines the security precautions necessary for presidential travel.

“And, as The Washington Post story indicated, that’s been the case for no matter who’s president,” Rhodes said. “The costs for these types of trips as well as any president trips are based on those determinations.”

Obama’s trip will also require moving almost 60 vehicles, dozens of Secret Service agents and military planes to Africa, the Post also reported.

A week earlier, Rhodes also defended the price of the trip.

“Frankly, there will be a great bang for our buck for being in Africa, because when you travel to regions like Africa that don’t get a lot of presidential attention, you can have very long-standing and long-running impact from the visit,” Rhodes said.

No one is denying the good that comes from a visit by the president of the United States to small, unimportant countries that few Americans have ever heard of, and fewer know much about. It’s not an insult to those countries to call them “unimportant.” Nobody hangs on their every word at the UN, nor do pronouncements from their government make headlines anywhere but in their own countries. And while there’s no doubt that South Africa is an important regional country, Tanzania and Senegal are much less so.

Is it worth $100 million to impress those countries with the majesty and weight of a visit by a US president?

Even more basic a question; if the Secret Service feels it needs a small army to protect the president, doesn’t that in and of itself argue against Obama making the trip in the first place? If it’s that dangerous, why take a chance?

Despite Rhodes’ claim of getting a lot of “bang for our buck,” the return on this huge investment of taxpayer dollars will be niggardly. How many people in Tanzania or Senegal can afford anything that the US manufactures? This, about Senegal, is from the CIA World Factbook:

The economy continues to suffer from unreliable power supply, which has led to public protests and high unemployment and has prompted migrants to flee Senegal in search of better job opportunities in Europe.

And how about this from the same source on Tanzania:

Tanzania is one of the world”s poorest economies in terms of per capita income, however, it has achieved high overall growth rates based on gold production and tourism. Tanzania has largely completed its transition to a liberalized market economy, though the government retains a presence in sectors such as telecommunications, banking, energy, and mining. The economy depends on agriculture, which accounts for more than one-quarter of GDP, provides 85% of exports, and employs about 80% of the work force.

It doesn’t sound like either of those countries is going to be importing much of anything from the US anytime soon.

The only “bang” we’re getting for our buck is this exploding cigar of a junket being taken by Obama and his family.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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All Comments   (9)
All Comments   (9)
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Seriously, you think those countries unimportant. this really show your degree of ignorance.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perhaps the esteem in which sub-Saharan Africans hold his predecessor annoys him. Perhaps he wants a new adoration to subsume the old.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I doubt that the volume of trade between the nations has much to do with Obama's trip to Africa. If Obama's travels to foreign nations had a lot to do with trade, Obama would have made several, lengthy trips to Canada during his Presidency. We are, after all, still among America's largest trading partners. Obama has made exactly two trips to Canada. On the first trip, he stayed for only an hour and never even left the Ottawa Airport; he met the Prime Minister, the Governor-General and the Leader of the Opposition at the airport, then left again. The second trip lasted three days; that was the 2010 G8 Summit.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Brasilians took to the streets after reports of the huge costs involved in hosting the Soccer WorldChampionship. They wanted to leave a message to the government, get your priorities right in a country with poverty, poor schools, crime, corruption. I think that $100 million for this African holiday for Barry and family is an even better reason for decent, taxpaying Americans to take to the streets. The spending is outrageous.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
“Frankly, there will be a great bang for our buck for being in Africa, because when you travel to regions like Africa that don’t get a lot of presidential attention, you can have very long-standing and long-running impact from the visit,” Rhodes said.

Critical thinking is so 2007. They don’t get a lot of presidential attention because there is no bang for the buck. There is no bang for the buck because most of the countries in Africa skipped down the merry path of Socialism in their post-colonial governments and found abject poverty as the end result. So let’s send our President who is no doubt a student of history to this misguided region. Nothing could make more sense.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
don't forget the narcissism factor automatically doubles the cost of his trips
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
They're buying cheap stuff from China, which is actually moving whole families there which make business communities. Now that's a real investment. Can you imagine an enclave of Americans doing that? They'd say no way, my wife will leave me.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
If he is planning to make any speeches, I hope it's a cloudy day (so he can see the prompter).

I hope I'm still alive when he leaves office and the books start being written about President Asterisk. Got on the primary ballot through fraud in 2008, bused in supporters to caucuses, used the power of the government to target political opponents for years. Voter fraud in both elections through ACORN in 2008 and via co-conspirator Holder's blocking cleaning up of the voting rolls in most states. When he and the angry missus don't have an unlimited checkbook and the power to intimidate opponents, how is he going to handle the "new normal"? Likely not well.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hang the cost. It's important for Obama to tour these Third-world non-entities because they're the only remaining countries in the world where the citizens are likely to show this loser any respect. One hundred million taxpayer dollars to stroke Obama's ego.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
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