Who Pays When the President Travels

Another complaint I ran into from someone who is most likely an Obama hater was a statement suggesting Obama should stay in the White House and not be spending citizen’s tax money out campaigning for Hillary.

Whistle stop campaign train of Teddy Roosevelt. Early 1900s.
Whistle stop campaign train of Teddy Roosevelt. Early 1900s.

Campaign traveling by presidents is a long-established tradition and it stems from the president also being the leader of his political party. It is expected that the Party’s leader will work to get it’s candidates elected into office. This is true of both Democrats and Republicans.

Who pays the bills is not as simple as claiming, it’s the taxpayers. In fact it is the political party or candidate that pays the bills. When Obama flies off to California to do a campaign rally for local Democrats, the Democratic Party is billed for that. There are very complicated cost schedules to arrive at a final bill for a campaign trip. Essentially the only thing that the tax payers do pay for is Secret Service coverage which is a cost that would exist regardless of where the president was.

The president is the head of state, the commander-in-chief, the chief administer of the nation’s laws, and the head of his party. It has always been recognized that a president has the right and the responsibility to make time for all these obligations, as well as play the occasional round of golf.

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