Behind the Headlines Video
According to the latest economic data (here, here, here, & here) the U.S. may be slipping back into recession. Officially, the recession has been over three years. The White House announced in June 2009 that America is in full-recovery.
Most Americans know otherwise.
One impact of our troubled economy is that this summer people took vacations near home or couldn't afford to take one. 8.6 million Americans who want full-time employment are working only part-time, according to government figures.
Search data provided by Google suggests most Americans made do with visiting local attractions with paintball, camping, beaches, golf and going out for ice cream as five of the top six destinations.
Not everyone is staying close to home. According to White House sources, the Obama family spends about $10 million in taxpayer money each year on vacation travel.
Documents for the London Olympics trip aren't yet available. But we do have records obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request for last year's $430,000 safari trip to South Africa.
Michelle Obama brought along her mother, niece, nephew, and personal make-up and hair stylists. Her then-10 year and 12-year old daughters were officially listed as "senior staff" possibly to avoid required travel reimbursement to the U.S. Treasury.
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