Priscilla Tulkoff, Vero Beach
Letter: Would prohibition on president leaving D.C. area code satisfy you?
Ed Rogers' April 17 letter continues criticizing Malia Obama's school trip to Mexico, insisting the school sent Malia and classmates to an unsafe destination (resulting in an abusive use of Secret Service personnel).
Are there no safe Mexican cities and resorts? Don't cruise lines and tour companies continue going there? Surely the destination-locale was vetted by parents, school, Secret Service.
Could there have been a better destination? Yes, maybe a U.S. historical site, but the Secret Service would still accompany Obama's children where they go.
Rogers' new complaint is President Barack Obama's 2011 Christmas trip to Hawaii, his birthplace. Cost? $4 million, "while we are being told to conserve energy and what cars to buy," bleats Rogers.
Obama never told citizens "what car to buy" (nor is he going to enact a law that we must eat broccoli).
Rogers ignores reasons the Hawaiian trip was costly:
First, Obama stayed in Washington past his scheduled departure to Hawaii in effort to get Congress to pass payroll tax cuts and unemployment extensions. Not knowing how long this would take — the family went on ahead.
Second, the Hawaii trip wasn't just for vacation. It coincided with the president hosting the Asian-Pacific Summit meeting with Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The two also also discussed the Keystone XL pipeline (which I support).
The Obamas funded their personal accommodations. If Rogers feels presidents should be prohibited from traveling outside Washington, D.C., when conducting official business with world leaders and organizations, and if he wishes to prohibit presidents vacationing in any of their personal home states, then he should direct his next letter to his representatives in Congress to enact said law.
Feel free to vent about the General Services Administration expenditures debacle, but refrain from blaming Obama. The GSA has been out of control for decades.