A record 47 million Americans are now on food stamps, but that didn’t stop President Obama and Michelle Obama, who are known to have extravagant taste, from dining at an exclusive restaurant Thursday where memberships cost as much as $500,000.
Vintage Cave, a swanky Honolulu restaurant with 32 seats, is said to have $1 billion worth of art on its walls and stores its wine in an ancient Greek jar known as an amphorae.
The restaurant’s website invites guests to dine in a “cave-like environment” and to “relax, ‘hit reset’ and escape the ordinary.” Guests must purchase a membership: $50,000 to be a “special member” and $500,000 to be a “charter member.”
According to Honolulu Magazine, the total bill for two, with wine, typically approaches $1,000. The Obamas enjoyed a three-hour, multi-course meal.
A 2013 tasting menu included dishes such as vanilla bean macaroon caviar, porridge with king crab and black truffle, and foie gras with banana and macadamia nut.
As WND has reported, this type of indulgence isn’t unusual for the Obamas, who spent nearly $2.2 million in taxpayer funds on lodging security and “entertainment” during their 2013 trip to Africa.
“The Obamas clearly either do not understand the value of a dollar – or understand it all too well when someone else is picking up the tab,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
“Keep in mind that this outrageously lavish excursion came at the very same time that the president was shutting down White House tours and blaming it on the sequester. As one congressional critic noted at the time, the White House could have 1,350 weeks of tours for the cost of the Obama family’s trip to Africa.”
Documents previously obtained by Judicial Watch showed the flight expenses for the family’s African outing totaled more than $8.1 million.
Judicial Watch said Secret Service hotel bills totaled $953,788.18, and even though the Obama family “Tanzania safari” ended up being canceled, Secret Service preparations for the excursion still totaled $11,525.75.
Judicial Watch noted: “According to numerous press accounts, the total cost of the Obama family trip was estimated to have cost between $60 million and $100 million.”
In May 2014, the Washington Examiner reported two golf outings for Obama – to Key Largo, Florida, and to Palm Springs, California – cost a total of $2.9 million.
There also was a report that the White House incurred taxpayer expenses of $7.9 million to fly the Obamas to Northern Ireland for a summit that included an extra $251,000 for Michelle Obama and their two daughters to go sightseeing in Dublin.
The entourage required the use of the “spacious Princess Grace Suite at the five-star Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin.” Among the miscellaneous costs was $114,000 for a “fleet” of vehicles for the sightseeing as well as $3,370 for a using a copier.
WND has reported many such expenses over the years.
There were reports the Obamas spent more than $7 million for just three trips in late 2012 and early 2013, including more than $4 million for a Hawaii vacation at Christmas, more than $2.1 million for a trip to California for Obama to dine with high-dollar fundraiser Jeffrey Katzenberg and appear on the “Tonight” show with Jay Leno and nearly another $1.2 million for an Obama family August vacation to Martha’s Vineyard.
When Michelle Obama and her girls went to China in 2014, along with Michelle Obama’s mother, they stayed in a suite costing $8,350 per night, where a “well-placed hotel staffer” told the London Daily Mail that the staff was “fed up.”
“We can’t wait for this to be over, to tell you the truth,” the member of the concierge staff told the newspaper. “The first lady is gracious, and the girls are lovely.”
But he said Marian Robinson, Michelle Obama’s mother, had been “barking at the staff.”
Exact totals for the Obamas’ travel expenses are impossible to obtain because the government and others decline to release the figures. The White House, for example, notes that security costs for the first family are not going to be released. The Secret Service says its figures are secret.
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