If you have been following my twitter feed since yesterday you’ve seen me talk about Barack Obama’s trip to Edison, NJ that is scheduled for tomorrow. As I mentioned right here on the blog yesterday, the venue he’s visiting is just 1.3 miles from where I live.
Here is the place on Google Street View. The building is the first one on the right.
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What it led me to wonder is, how much does a trip like this cost the tax payers? Now, anyone who knows me, reads this blog regularly or follows me on twitter knows that I am far from one of those ridiculous right wing fanatic who claims that Obama should never leave Washington for anything. But how much does a trip like this cost the tax payers?
According to 2002 article for the Washington Post by Mike Allen “taxpayers pay the full $57,000-an-hour cost of flying Air Force One regardless of the trip’s purpose.” According to NBC4 in Columbus, Ohio that number has jumped to $69,000 per hour in 2010. That same article mentions that the costs of the Secret Service amount to $45,000 per day. Earlier today I drove by the venue that President Obama is going to be at tomorrow and saw new security cameras set up everywhere. The Burger King across the street saw part of its parking lot covered by a tent (for the press pool?). Verizon trucks were doing work around the building and across the street. The intersection I mentioned yesterday has new “traffic cams”.
Friends of mine in Edison received automated phone calls warning of road closures in and around the area tomorrow.
The store he will be speaking from will be closed to the public until 3 PM. Obviously they don’t need to be compensated because the boost they will get from the “Obama effect”. I’m sure a lot of people will make their way there over the next few weeks and months just because Obama has been there. But what about the pizzeria across the street that will lose business because of the street being closed all day? Do they get reimbursed in some fashion? I doubt it, but can’t seem to find anything on it online. What about the Burger King across the street? Is taxpayer money going to a company that big? If you find articles, videos or anything else on it please send them my way. I’d be interested to know.
Is this event meeting going to be aired on the White House website? For a couple of thousand Dollars shouldn’t he at least be doing a larger public event giving more people the opportunity to see the President in person?
Edit: Just found this article addressing concerns of nearby businesses.
By the way, you can follow tweets related to Obama’s trip to Edison below.
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