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Cost Of Obamas Trip Dwarfed By Bushs' African Spending Spree


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http://www.politicususa.com/2013/06/14/cost-obamas-trip-dwarfed-george-laura-bushs-year-africa-spending-spree.html

 

 

 

 

As conservatives rage about the cost of Obama’s Africa trip, it is important to remember that George and Laura Bush made a combined 7 trips to Africa all on the taxpayers’ dime.

 

We’ve played this game before, but anytime the nation’s first black president spends more than a dollar, the right wing freaks out about Barack Obama “wasting taxpayer dollars.” Back in 2011, the right claimed that First Lady Obama’s Africa trip would cost taxpayers millions, but even if you use numbers that the White House disagrees with ($424,000), they weren’t even close.

 

This time the right has whipped up the fake outrage over a leaked document showing that President Obama’s upcoming Africa trip could cost $60-$100 million. What these same people don’t tell is that George and Laura Bush loved to go to Africa on the taxpayers’ dime…a lot.

 

During Bush’s second term alone, Laura Bush made five “goodwill” trips to Africa. President Bush made the trip twice during his presidency. Here is former First Lady Bush at an event the night before their trip in 2008, “Tomorrow, President Bush and I leave for what will be my fifth trip to Africa since 2001, and his second trip to Africa since 2001. I’ve seen the determination of the people across Africa — and the compassion of the people of the United States of America.”

Wow, that’s a lot of trips to Africa. In 2007, Laura Bush also took her daughters with her, and they went on a safari. You know, the same kind of outing that President Obama just canceled.

 

Not much was going right for George W. Bush. Even before the economy crashed, his legacy was 9/11, the unpopular Iraq invasion, and Hurricane Katrina. Back in 2003, Bush laid the groundwork for making aid to Africa his legacy. One of the areas where Bush drew praise was that he spent billions of taxpayer dollars on aid to Africa. It’s funny how conservatives don’t utter a peep about George W. Bush dishing out more than ten times the amount of taxpayer money on aid than Obama will spend on his trip.

 

Why could the country afford to spend billions of dollars during Bush’s no growth economy, but they can’t afford to spend at least $60 million for the sitting president to travel today?

Giving aid to Africa to combat malaria and AIDS is a very noble cause. It literally saves lives, but 5 goodwill visits to Africa aren’t cheap. Laura Bush wasn’t flying all alone on a commercial flight. Her trips cost the taxpayers a pretty penny.

For some odd reason, the GAO (General Accounting Office) records on the cost of the Bush family’s Africa travels seem to have vanished.

 

The media has contacted the GAO, but no specific numbers have been provided yet. President Clinton’s Africa trip in 1998 cost taxpayers $42.8 million. George W. Bush’s two trips five and ten years later were likely more expensive.

 

The Washington Post story didn’t say that Obama’s trip will cost $100 million, but that the trip could cost $60-100 million, and that the cost was based on similar African trips made in recent years, “Obama’s trip could cost the federal government $60 million to $100 million based on the costs of similar African trips in recent years, according to one person familiar with the journey, who was not authorized to speak for attribution.”

 

President Obama hasn’t made any trips to Africa, except a 22 hour stopover in Ghana in 2009, so it is pretty clear that Secret Service is basing their cost estimate on the cost of the Bush trips. Since George W. Bush made two presidential trips to Africa, it is likely that he spent more money in today’s dollars as President Obama will on his trip.

 

The reality is that presidential trips are expensive. It would be fair to be opposed to all of them, but the hypocrisy of only being outraged when certain presidents travel is unacceptable. George W. Bush appears to have had himself quite a little African spending spree, but apparently cost only matters when Barack Obama is the president who is doing the traveling.

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Idiot - why don't you compare the reason for the trips....

 

George W. Bush’s greatest legacy
By Eugene Robinson,July 26, 2012

This is a moment for all Americans to be proud of the best thing George W. Bush did as president: launching an initiative to combat AIDS in Africa that has saved millions of lives.

All week, more than 20,000 delegates from around the world have been attending the 19th International AIDS Conference here in Washington. They look like any other group of conventioneers, laden with satchels and garlanded with name tags. But some of these men and women would be dead if not for Bush’s foresight and compassion.

Those are not words I frequently use to describe Bush or his presidency. But credit and praise must be given where they are due, and Bush’s accomplishment — the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR — deserves accolades. It is a reminder that the United States can still be both great and good.

When the Bush administration inaugurated the program in 2003, fewer than 50,000 HIV-infected people on the African continent were receiving the antire­troviral drugs that keep the virus in check and halt the progression toward full-blown AIDS. By the time Bush left office, the number had increased to nearly 2 million. Today, the United States is directly supporting antiretroviral treatment for more than 4 million men, women and children worldwide, primarily in Africa.

This is an amazing accomplishment, especially because it wasn’t supposed to be possible.

Before PEPFAR, the conventional wisdom was that the drug-treatment regimens that were saving lives in developed countries would not work in Africa. Poor, uneducated people in communities lacking even the most basic infrastructure could not be expected to take the right pill at the right time every day. When the drugs are taken haphazardly, the virus mutates and becomes resistant. Therefore, this reasoning went, trying to administer antiretroviral treatment in poor African countries might actually be worse than doing nothing at all.

The Bush administration rejected these arguments, which turned out to be categorically wrong.

Africans are every bit as diligent about taking their HIV medications as are Americans or other Westerners. While there has been a “modest, contained and not alarming” rise in resistance to one class of drugs, according to a World Health Organization researcher who presented a study at this week’s AIDS conference, scientists no longer envision a nightmare scenario in which drug-resistant strains of the virus run rampant.

According to a survey by the charity Doctors Without Borders, 11 African countries — including some of the hardest-hit by the epidemic — are providing antire­troviral drug treatment to well over half of their citizens infected with HIV. Treatment not only extends the patient’s life but also decreases the likelihood that he or she will pass the virus to an uninfected person. The end of the AIDS epidemic is not yet in sight. But it is no longer unimaginable.

Bush’s initial multibillion-dollar commitment to PEPFAR was not really justifiable on grounds of national security, except perhaps in the broadest possible sense. The administration was motivated instead by altruism. It was the right thing to do.

pixel.gif
So far, the United States has spent about $46 billion through the program. President Obama has been sharply criticized for proposing a cut of nearly 12 percent in PEPFAR funding for the 2013 fiscal year. Administration officials say they are actually just shifting money to complementary programs and that overall HIV/AIDS funding will rise to an all-time high. Advocates for the PEPFAR program argue that any way you look at it, fewer dollars will ultimately mean fewer people receiving lifesaving drugs — and, potentially, more new infections.

The Obama administration has a point when it complains that, at a time when the U.S. economy is struggling, it is only reasonable to expect other wealthy countries to bear more of the cost of providing antiretroviral treatment in Africa. Administration officials also have a point when they note that, under Bush, the biennial international AIDS conference could not even have been held in Washington — because HIV-positive individuals were denied visas to enter the country.Obama ended this discriminatory policy during his first year in office.

But if Africa is gaining ground against AIDS, history will note that it was Bush, more than any other individual, who turned the tide. The man who called himself the Decider will be held accountable for a host of calamitous decisions. But for opening his heart to Africa, he deserves nothing but gratitude and praise.

eugenerobinson@washpost.com

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Idiot - why don't you compare the reason for the trips....

 

George W. Bush’s greatest legacy
By Eugene Robinson,July 26, 2012

This is a moment for all Americans to be proud of the best thing George W. Bush did as president: launching an initiative to combat AIDS in Africa that has saved millions of lives.

All week, more than 20,000 delegates from around the world have been attending the 19th International AIDS Conference here in Washington. They look like any other group of conventioneers, laden with satchels and garlanded with name tags. But some of these men and women would be dead if not for Bush’s foresight and compassion.

Those are not words I frequently use to describe Bush or his presidency. But credit and praise must be given where they are due, and Bush’s accomplishment — the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR — deserves accolades. It is a reminder that the United States can still be both great and good.

When the Bush administration inaugurated the program in 2003, fewer than 50,000 HIV-infected people on the African continent were receiving the antire­troviral drugs that keep the virus in check and halt the progression toward full-blown AIDS. By the time Bush left office, the number had increased to nearly 2 million. Today, the United States is directly supporting antiretroviral treatment for more than 4 million men, women and children worldwide, primarily in Africa.

This is an amazing accomplishment, especially because it wasn’t supposed to be possible.

Before PEPFAR, the conventional wisdom was that the drug-treatment regimens that were saving lives in developed countries would not work in Africa. Poor, uneducated people in communities lacking even the most basic infrastructure could not be expected to take the right pill at the right time every day. When the drugs are taken haphazardly, the virus mutates and becomes resistant. Therefore, this reasoning went, trying to administer antiretroviral treatment in poor African countries might actually be worse than doing nothing at all.

The Bush administration rejected these arguments, which turned out to be categorically wrong.

Africans are every bit as diligent about taking their HIV medications as are Americans or other Westerners. While there has been a “modest, contained and not alarming” rise in resistance to one class of drugs, according to a World Health Organization researcher who presented a study at this week’s AIDS conference, scientists no longer envision a nightmare scenario in which drug-resistant strains of the virus run rampant.

According to a survey by the charity Doctors Without Borders, 11 African countries — including some of the hardest-hit by the epidemic — are providing antire­troviral drug treatment to well over half of their citizens infected with HIV. Treatment not only extends the patient’s life but also decreases the likelihood that he or she will pass the virus to an uninfected person. The end of the AIDS epidemic is not yet in sight. But it is no longer unimaginable.

Bush’s initial multibillion-dollar commitment to PEPFAR was not really justifiable on grounds of national security, except perhaps in the broadest possible sense. The administration was motivated instead by altruism. It was the right thing to do.

pixel.gif
So far, the United States has spent about $46 billion through the program. President Obama has been sharply criticized for proposing a cut of nearly 12 percent in PEPFAR funding for the 2013 fiscal year. Administration officials say they are actually just shifting money to complementary programs and that overall HIV/AIDS funding will rise to an all-time high. Advocates for the PEPFAR program argue that any way you look at it, fewer dollars will ultimately mean fewer people receiving lifesaving drugs — and, potentially, more new infections.

The Obama administration has a point when it complains that, at a time when the U.S. economy is struggling, it is only reasonable to expect other wealthy countries to bear more of the cost of providing antiretroviral treatment in Africa. Administration officials also have a point when they note that, under Bush, the biennial international AIDS conference could not even have been held in Washington — because HIV-positive individuals were denied visas to enter the country.Obama ended this discriminatory policy during his first year in office.

But if Africa is gaining ground against AIDS, history will note that it was Bush, more than any other individual, who turned the tide. The man who called himself the Decider will be held accountable for a host of calamitous decisions. But for opening his heart to Africa, he deserves nothing but gratitude and praise.

eugenerobinson@washpost.com

 

 

 

Skewie is a complete moron joke! One of your more stupid progressive commie on the forum.

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Idiot - why don't you compare the reason for the trips....

George W. Bushs greatest legacy

By Eugene Robinson,July 26, 2012

This is a moment for all Americans to be proud of the best thing George W. Bush did as president: launching an initiative to combat AIDS in Africa that has saved millions of lives.

All week, more than 20,000 delegates from around the world have been attending the 19th International AIDS Conference here in Washington. They look like any other group of conventioneers, laden with satchels and garlanded with name tags. But some of these men and women would be dead if not for Bushs foresight and compassion.

Those are not words I frequently use to describe Bush or his presidency. But credit and praise must be given where they are due, and Bushs accomplishment the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR deserves accolades. It is a reminder that the United States can still be both great and good.

When the Bush administration inaugurated the program in 2003, fewer than 50,000 HIV-infected people on the African continent were receiving the antire­troviral drugs that keep the virus in check and halt the progression toward full-blown AIDS. By the time Bush left office, the number had increased to nearly 2 million. Today, the United States is directly supporting antiretroviral treatment for more than 4 million men, women and children worldwide, primarily in Africa.

 

This is an amazing accomplishment, especially because it wasnt supposed to be possible.

Before PEPFAR, the conventional wisdom was that the drug-treatment regimens that were saving lives in developed countries would not work in Africa. Poor, uneducated people in communities lacking even the most basic infrastructure could not be expected to take the right pill at the right time every day. When the drugs are taken haphazardly, the virus mutates and becomes resistant. Therefore, this reasoning went, trying to administer antiretroviral treatment in poor African countries might actually be worse than doing nothing at all.

The Bush administration rejected these arguments, which turned out to be categorically wrong.

Africans are every bit as diligent about taking their HIV medications as are Americans or other Westerners. While there has been a modest, contained and not alarming rise in resistance to one class of drugs, according to a World Health Organization researcher who presented a study at this weeks AIDS conference, scientists no longer envision a nightmare scenario in which drug-resistant strains of the virus run rampant.

According to a survey by the charity Doctors Without Borders, 11 African countries including some of the hardest-hit by the epidemic are providing antire­troviral drug treatment to well over half of their citizens infected with HIV. Treatment not only extends the patients life but also decreases the likelihood that he or she will pass the virus to an uninfected person. The end of the AIDS epidemic is not yet in sight. But it is no longer unimaginable.

Bushs initial multibillion-dollar commitment to PEPFAR was not really justifiable on grounds of national security, except perhaps in the broadest possible sense. The administration was motivated instead by altruism. It was the right thing to do.

pixel.gif

So far, the United States has spent about $46 billion through the program. President Obama has been sharply criticized for proposing a cut of nearly 12 percent in PEPFAR funding for the 2013 fiscal year. Administration officials say they are actually just shifting money to complementary programs and that overall HIV/AIDS funding will rise to an all-time high. Advocates for the PEPFAR program argue that any way you look at it, fewer dollars will ultimately mean fewer people receiving lifesaving drugs and, potentially, more new infections.

The Obama administration has a point when it complains that, at a time when the U.S. economy is struggling, it is only reasonable to expect other wealthy countries to bear more of the cost of providing antiretroviral treatment in Africa. Administration officials also have a point when they note that, under Bush, the biennial international AIDS conference could not even have been held in Washington because HIV-positive individuals were denied visas to enter the country.Obama ended this discriminatory policy during his first year in office.

But if Africa is gaining ground against AIDS, history will note that it was Bush, more than any other individual, who turned the tide. The man who called himself the Decider will be held accountable for a host of calamitous decisions. But for opening his heart to Africa, he deserves nothing but gratitude and praise.

eugenerobinson@washpost.com

It's one of a short list of actually worthwhile things Bush did....

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It's not like this has never been said before but evidently it needs to be said again.

 

Being better than Bush is not an accomplishment, it's a condition of being a member of the genus "homo."

Stop giving Obama credit for being at least as evolved as a neanderthal.

 

Always a useful reminder. Thank you, RWL.

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