I'm sure you have heard the expression "tighten your belt" which is used during times of financial or economic crises. It simply means to cut down on your spending. This entails making sacrifices and giving up certain things in order to deal with the financial problem. The expression is believed to have originated during the Depression, when people had to literally tighten their belts due to losing weight, which was the result of having much less money to spend. Whether or not this accurate, the imagery that the expression offers makes the meaning quite clear.
Cutting spending is something that is all too familiar to most families these days as we find ourselves in one of the worst economic times since the Depression. Our government claims to be working to cut spending as well yet one would find it hard to believe that they are serious about the matter. President Obama claims he is all for cutting unnecessary spending as well and even stated that "Washington needs to tighten their belts just as families across America are doing". He also stated that "old habits and stale thinking would not solve the problem", that "it was time to change the way we do business in Washington", and that "we must have a new sense of responsibility for every dollar spent, taking an all hands on deck approach to reform government". You can watch the whole speech which was from April 2009, here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAawr9Lo7dg.
As you may know Obama is set to go to Hawaii again this year for his vacation, which will cost taxpayers at least $4 million. According to the Air Force it cost $181,757 per flight hour to operate Air Force One and it is a nine hour flight from Washington to Hawaii and then back for a total of 18 hours of flight time which alone will cost a whopping $3,271,626. On top of that an Air Force cargo plane is needed to transport Presidential limos and other essentials, staff and security personnel are sent on separate flights, plus the cost of their per diem and lodging. Oh and Michele and the kids didn't want to wait so they left early which cost an extra $100,000. You can see more of the cost here http://www.hawaiireporter.com/with-more-vacation-days-and-separate-travel-price-....
Yes I know that other Presidents have taken vacations and I know someone will say this "Bush took a lot of vacations", yes he did and the White House wants to be sure that you know that other First ladies have traveled separately as press secretary Jay Carney stated "As previous first ladies have done, they'll travel on military aircraft and as previous first ladies have done, they'll travel separately from the President".
So yes, the Obama's are not doing anything past Presidents did not, Bush did it, Clinton did it, etc., but remember Obama himself said it was time to "tighten our belts" and "it was time to change the way we do business in Washington and to cut unnecessary spending" I guess Obama didn't mean that any of those statements applied to him and his family. Yet Obama claims to be in touch with the "working class" people. Sorry but I don't know any "working class" people that get to take lavish vacations to Hawaii every year. Yes he is the President but isn't a good leader supposed to lead by example? What happened to tightening our belts, Mr. President?