Loving to Fly

| March 25, 2013 | 35 Comments

Apparently the former SECDEF wasn’t the only one regularly flying home most weekends.  It seems as if our VP loves flying on government aircraft, too.

The VP has an official residence in DC.  He also owns a home in Wilmington, DE – about 110 miles away.

As a Senator, he apparently took the train from DC to Wilmington on weekends.  Once he became VP, according to Biden the Secret Service put the kibosh on that for security reasons.

However, as VP most weekends he’s still been going home. He’s a member of a rather exclusive club in Wilmington, and likes to golf there.  And since it’s his home, presumably he likes the area too.

So he’s been flying home.  He’s generally been using Air Force Two to fly to Wilmington.

Air Force Two is a modified Boeing 757.  It has an operating cost of around $8,800 per hour.  Add to that operating cost whatever it costs to get him to/from Andrews AFB to catch his flight and to/from his home in Wilmington, DE, of course.  Plus crew salaries, and travel expenses if they stay for the weekend.  Plus the travel expenses for his protection detail – as well as additional salaries for same whenever his family doesn’t come with him.

Ya know, if it were me I think I’d just drive.  Seems to me that would be possible for the VP, too – even if he might have to wait until after rush hour to leave.  By the time he gets from his Naval Observatory residence to Andrews, catches his flight, flies to Wilmington, gets off, and then goes home, I’m guessing he burns at least an hour – if not closer to an hour and a half.  At off-peak hours, it’s only about a 2-hour drive.  And I’ll guarantee someone else will be doing the driving, too.

And if the Secret Service nixed that (which is entirely possible due to security concerns if being done on a regular basis), I think I’d either just stay in DC most weekends – or at least see if Marine 2 might be available to take me vice Air Force Two.  Even a VH-3D has to be less expensive to operate than a 757.

But we should feel sorry for our poor Mr. VP.  According to recent remarks Biden made to the National Association of Attorneys General, sequestration is going to force him to go back to using the train.

Which brings a question to mind:  if it’s OK for you to resume using the train due to sequestration, Mr. VP – then why in the hell haven’t you been using it all along?

Category: "Your Tax Dollars At Work", Barack Obama/Joe Biden, Economy

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  1. George V says:

    When the VP or prez come to town on a campaign stop all the highways and cross-streets are closed between the airport and speech venue by the security people. It can tie up traffic for hours. But, inconvenience for the public doesn’t seem to stop these guys.

    Maybe the veep should just suck it up and pretend he’s, oh, on an overseas deployment but with better food, maybe? He could pretend to be on a ship and not leave the office building for weeks at a time!!! Or at least be like one of the schlubs in the private sector working a remote location who gets to fly home on the company dime every three months?

  2. Old Tanker says:

    Crew salaries? How would you like to be the crew members that have to work every weekend….

    Hell, he could at least take a helicopter to save a few bucks….

  3. defendUSA says:

    Gee, Hondo…You know common sense has no place in Washington!! After all, they’ve got 1 billion in the budget for more land grabbing, now, don’t they? I mean, uh, you know, because they have to spend it where it makes the least sense and take it from the tax base and the potential that it could EARN money…
    Silly me. They must be doing that to build the King a palace!!

  4. NR Pax says:

    The solution is easy: We have a private tunnel built from D.C. to Delaware that a train can use. Not only can the VP travel by his prefered method, lots of people get jobs. Win/Win for everyone!

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    Or he could just walk. Get some oxygen into that dormant organ he has for a brain.

    Come on, you guys. Joe the Drunk Uncle Veep has to have a hobby. The only difference between him and a stud horse in the teasing stall is that he’s a horse’s ass.

    Eventually the teaser stud gets to actually do something besides sniff and snort.

  6. SJ says:

    Come on. Many of us have lived in Govt Quarters and know they suck. I mean, Bite-Me’s DC quarters have to suck. Just like that dump Camp David that His Excellency hates to have to go to instead of Hawaii. /sarc

  7. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    The problem with everyone who has money or power is that they are convinced they are above the rest of us.

    To some degree they are, I understand the security concerns of keeping a VP safe. I certainly don’t want Biden to get shot at because he drives home every weekend. He’s an idiot but he’s our VP and deserves the protection and consideration that office affords. But it is interesting to note that of all the things they choose to cut in sequestration, aid to veterans and white house tours figure prominently but the excess expenditures for travel do not. Biden coming out and suggesting a helicopter ride is as secure and less expensive would help credibility but it’s clear this administration lacks credibility on a number of issues so I should expect this to be no different.

    It speaks volumes as to what and who is considered important by the white house and its current occupants.

  8. DaveO says:

    Biden took the train from/to Wilmington, Delaware almost every day of his career as a Senator. He provided funding – your dollars – to Amtrak even though it lost sh*t-tons of money. Your money, taken for decades, for Biden’s personal transportation.

    Biden is charging rent to the Secret Service. Biden does not give to charity, and if he pays taxes, he takes every loophole he and his buddies wrote into law.

    Why is his taking AF-2 somehow different, an exception now?

  9. Twist says:

    DaveO, The Clintons also charge the SS for rent.

  10. SJ says:

    My thinking is that it is one thing to do it as a Senator when he must create the illusion that he cares about constituents and may not have a house in the DC area but now he has been given damned nice digs that any of us would probably never leave if we didn’t have to. But, alas, he and Dear Leader are milking it for all they can and the media snores away.

  11. Medic09 says:

    To put George V’s comment into other words: these people are public SERVANTS. If anything, they should expect to make a few ‘sacrifices’ for the PRIVILEGE of SERVING the public. Instead, they live like privileged royalty, and tolerate few inconveniences.

  12. UpNorth says:

    Come on, folks. It’s not like Joey Bite-Me took off to Europe and dropped a million dollars on a two night stay, just on the hotels…..Wait, what? Never mind.

  13. Hondo says:

    UpNorth: check back here tomorrow. (smile)

  14. David says:

    echoing George V – when Al Gore visited Las Cruces in the ’90s, the Secret Service closed I-10 all the way to El Paso International Airport for several hours – that is the ONLY major E-W artery there and the only possible alternative route is US54, a two-lane labeled the most dangerous road in NM. If Biden drove home every weekend, you could expect I95 to be closed the whole route.

  15. martinjmpr says:

    Something else to consider: Assuming that Biden does not live at the Wilmington airport (a safe assumption, I think ;) ) how does he get from the airport to his home?

    I guess probably another armored limousine or Suburban, with the usual lead and chase cars, police escorts, etc? Anybody know? Just curious because it would seem to me that these vehicles either have to be stored at the airport and guarded 24/7 (to make sure someone doesn’t cut the brake lines or put a bomb in the trunk) or they have to be driven in from DC.

    Or, if not driven from DC, then presumably there has to be a duplicate fleet of armored limos/suburbans which have to be maintained and guarded at a secure location (VPs home or maybe Dover AFB), also at taxpayer expense.

  16. SJ says:

    In other news, Brietbart says the Obama girls are suffering spring break at Atlantis. Kids of peasants stay at home.
    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/03/25/Exclusive-Sasha-Malia-Obama-vacation-in-Bahamas-Atlantis

  17. Twist says:

    @16, must be nice for them to send their kids abroad for spring break on our money while my kids sit at home because I can’t afford it and have to actualy keep doing my job. On the bright side we taking the kids up to Tippecanoe Battleground this upcoming weekend. I have “corrupted” my kids to be both Colts fans and history buffs.

  18. Twist says:

    I meant we are taking up to Tippecanoe

  19. Joe says:

    Boy, you guys are embarrasing yourselves with your pettiness.

  20. ComancheDoc says:

    Yeah fiscal responsibility is so petty these days…

  21. Poetrooper says:

    I think martinjumper@15 is right: Joe Blowdown has to have a vehicle caravan to get from the airport to his house anyway so why not just make the drive on I-95? That’s a two-hour drive when Joe would be relatively incommunicado and not embarrassing his country.

    And shutting down freeways for politicians is pure B.S. more of the excessive overreaction by government that we see everyday. I passed a minor fender-bender the other day and there were three fire trucks, an ambulance and five police cars. All that turnout for a minor accident in our little town of 6500 folks. I was looking around for the SWAT team and their armored vehicle. And we wonder why there is so much government waste?

    Also, Hondo, I think you’re wrong about Joe waiting for the Friday afternoon traffic to clear. I think he should leave earlier, like maybe mid-afternoon Tuesday. The less time this clown spends in Washington the safer we are as a nation.

  22. Poetrooper says:

    @19 Joe. Petty? And you’re not critical of our federal government using a 757 to fly a pol 100 miles? It’s morons like you and the see-no-Democrat-evil media who allow these abuses to continue. The inability of you and your kind to see when you’re getting screwed royally as taxpayers is what encourages these jerks to act like royalty.

  23. Joe says:

    When realize the importance of hisjob, and calculate the value of his time, the cost of flying a jet seems pretty trivial.

  24. SJ says:

    His job is only to be an insurance policy for Dear Leader and attend funerals. And I ask again: is the VP’s govt quarters that bad that he can’t spend some weekends there?

  25. Hondo says:

    Joe: importance of his job? Perhaps you should read up on how John Nance Gardner, FDR’s first VP, characterized the job of VP. He didn’t exactly find the job of VP all that important or worthwhile. The polite version is that it was the ultimate “make work” job.

    Now, Joe – let’s do some math.

    4 yrs 2 mo, 52 weekends per year, goes home 80% of the time = 172 trips

    Flight time per trip: 1 1/2 hrs (figure 15 min ground operations each end + 15 min flight time x 2)

    172 x 1.5 x $8,800 = $2,280,960

    However, these costs are probably much lower than reality, as the $8,800 per hour figure listed in the article is doubtless low by at least 100%.

    GAO estimated Air Force Two’s operating costs (it’s a Boeing 757, and it’s military model designation is C-32) at $14,552 in 2006. CPI alone inflation since then would raise the cost by 15%, to an hourly cost of $16,735 per hour.

    However, jet fuel cost seems to have averaged about $1.85/gallon in 2006; for the last 2 years, it’s averaged around $3/gallon. In case you hadn’t noticed: a 757 uses quite a bit of jet fuel. So I’d guess the actual cost today is likely closer to $18,000 per flight hour or more.

    At $18,000 per flight hour, that works out to

    172 x 1.5 x $18,000 = $4,644,000

    Yeah, most of that seems like coin that should NOT have been spent. Tell him to ask the POTUS if he can borrow Marine One – I’m sure it’s way cheaper. Or maybe he should have been taking the train all along, since he claims he’ll have to start doing that again due to sequestration anyway.

    And riddle me this, Joe: if his time and job are as valuable as you claim, why is he going 110+ miles out of town to play golf (or whatever) nearly every damn weekend? Shouldn’t he be staying in DC doing some of that valuable, important work of his?

  26. Twist says:

    I bet Joe didn’t find it petty when Cheney was VP. Please tell us how you defended Bush/Cheney with your fellow Liberals about their travel expenses.

  27. Joe says:

    I didn’t even begrudge Darth Cheney his travel expenses.

  28. Joe says:

    172 x 1.5 x $18,000 = $4,644,000 = necesary overhead

  29. Jonn Lilyea says:

    Yeah, because when Delaware needs some pointless blather, they want it RIGHT NOW, not after an hour-and-a-half hour drive.

  30. USMCE8Ret says:

    @28 – Eat a dick.

  31. Twist says:

    I will repeat; Please tell us how you defended Bush/Cheney with your fellow Liberals about their travel expenses.

  32. Jonn Lilyea says:

    And they need a plane to carry all of Biden’s high-tech equipment; his Etcha-Sketch and his Winnie-the-Pooh coloring books as well as his 32-color box of crayons.

  33. Ex-PH2 says:

    32 colors? I had no idea he could actually figure out how to use that many. I thought they kept down at the 8-color level.

  34. Hondo says:

    Joe: horsedung. At least $4,000,000 of that was wasted public money. He’s a freaking public servant – not royalty.

    As far as I know, Biden’s family lives with him in DC. He’s traveling back to Wilmington on the weekends merely for personal pleasure. He’s not going home to see his family or to conduct official business. If he can’t find some way to do that without spending $1.15 million of public money a year doing it, he shouldn’t be going.

    Further, the man claims he’ll have to go back to taking the train due to sequestration. First class round-trip tickets from DC to Wilmington are less than $200. If that’s suddenly OK due to “sequestration” – why in the hell hasn’t he been doing that all along?

  35. Hondo says:

    Jonn – hell, by the time the VP (1) takes his limo from the Naval Observatory to Andrews, (2) gets on AF 2, (3) flies to Wilmington, (4) lands, and (5) gets in his limo and drives wherever he’s going – you’re probably talking at least an hour if not an hour and a half anyway.

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