On Obama’s Trip to India

Obama’s India trip generated a lot of attention when the Press Trust of India newspaper reported the trip would cost $200 million per day. I am surprised at how many people took that at face value without saying, “BS!”

even these people didn’t provide their own analysis.

I posted on Phil Greenspun’s blog part of my estimate:

800 rooms x $200 per night = $160,000 per day
500 security people * $1000 per day ($250k/250 work days/yr) = $500,000 per day
meals for 800 people * 100 per day = $80,000
fuel = $50,000 per day
misc. logistics = $25,000 per day
total = $815,000 per day.

‘Hail’ responded that the trip was 10 days which means $8.15 Million dollars.

According to “Airline Operations and Scheduling” by Bazargan, the cost for a 747-400 flying from Washington DC to New Delhi would be about $250K. With 2 747s getting there and back, transportatation costs are in excess of $1,000,000.

add another $200K for pre-trip logisitcs. You are talking $9.4, let’s round up and call it $10 Million, throw in another $10 mil for military stuff and it’s an order of magnitude less for the entire trip than the supposed one day figure. One thing is for sure, it certainly generated a lot of publicity for The Press Trust of India!

I love when people don’t report a cost for “security”, for example when Vietor said, “Due to security concerns, we are unable to outline details associated with security procedures and costs…” The reason people don’t provide even a ballpark figure for costs, is because they don’t want the taxpayers to know. If the White House released figures that said the security detail cost $9 Million or $11 million, how will that affect the President’s security? It won’t.

A trip to India as head of state can be justified, and the cost written off as the cost of doing business. A weekend jaunt to New York which probably cost between $100,000 and $200,000 in direct costs, or millions spent on cross-country fundraising trips for Democratic Party candidates whom never got reimbursed the taxpayer, probably cannot.
The indirect costs, where people are delayed or can’t work because of the no-fly zone, were pretty high in India, but it that doesn’t really matter for US citizens. However, those indirect costs on intra-country trips do add up….If only taxpayers knew how much the trip to India cost, they could extrapolate the costs for those flights to Washington State for the Senate race.


Nostalgia for cars that were obsolete 20 years ago

One thing I love about Zagreb is it reminds me of Western Europe 20 years ago. Many of the cars, especially in the western residential areas, are from that time period: Renault 4s, Yugos, even Lada Rivas.

Quantitative Easing Explained

My Dad sent me this. Nice video explaining the FED.

very good (and sobering) article about the troops in Afghanistan

The Last Patrol by Brian Mockenhaupt. ┬ácourtesy of Phil Greenspun’s blog

If you don’t like my parking, stay off the sidewalk!

Don't like my parking, stay off the sidewalk!

Parking in Zagreb

Nobody in Croatia thinks it’s odd to park your car on the sidewalk.