Originally Posted by jlarsen
No, the reason the story spread is that people have no perspective when it comes to the number of digits in a value with a dollar sign in front of it.
If I'd said that it cost $54 billion each time that Bush traveled from the WH to Crawford, there would be enough ding bats in the left to make a federal case over my unsubstantiated claim. Too many people can't grasp the fact that a large number of zeros doesn't necessarily make a number outrageous, and don't know how to put things in perspective, compare them to similar situations, adjust for inflation, check where claims are coming from to even see if sources are valid, etc.
The trip is likely not costing more than $6 million a day, though we probably won't know for sure until it is over. And even though that number sounds large, it is not out of line with what Clinton (for sure) and likely Bush (though I'd like to see some numbers on a similar Bush trip) spent on their travel (adjusted for inflation of course).
It is a lot of money, but what makes the claim (not the trip) outrageous is that it is likely inflated by over 3,000 percent from the actual cost, AND right wing pundits and reporters who should have known better than to tout unsubstantiated rumor as fact, took an estimate made in an Indian newspaper, in an unsourced quote, and ran with it as if it had been published on the WH website. That's what is outrageous.
Your claim of $6 million per day rests on the assumption Obama's travel posse is in fact comparable to Clinton's and that the cost total for the "comparable" trip is accurate. Funniest thing Obama scheduled his trip to coincide with a "festival of lights" celebration so why should we expect he'd limit the guest list with such a reward to give? This is the same guy who thought nothing of jetting off to a Broadway show for date night at taxpayer expense. It's likely the $6 million per day doesn't include all the costs to the taxpayer as I outlined in an earlier comment.
The business about claims of multibillion dollar trips to Crawford being accepted as credible by an unthinking public is a straw man. No such claim was ever made nor were people objecting to the cost of the President traveling to his own ranch in the US.
Oh no, Progryssves and the media would never, ever publicize unsubstantiated rumors like "it's Bristol's baby" or "she had an affair with guy they owned a cabin with". Oh wait.