This is Mark Steyn in his weekly Orange County Register Column:
The cost to taxpayers of flying one man, his wife, two daughters and a dog to Hawaii is estimated at $3,639,622. For purposes of comparison, the total bill for flying the entire Royal Family (Queen, princes, dukes, the works) around the world for a year is £4.7 million – or about enough for two Obama vacations.
According to the USAF, in 2010 Air Force One cost American taxpayers $181,757 per flight hour. According to the Royal Canadian Air Force, in 2011 the CC-150 Polaris military transport that flew William and Kate from Vancouver to Los Angeles cost Her Majesty's Canadian subjects $15,505 per hour – or about 8/100ths of the cost.
As the Daily Mail in London reported, "High Fliers: Prince William and his wife Kate spend an incredible £52,000 on the one-way flight from L.A. to London for themselves and their seven-strong entourage." Incredible! For £52,000, you couldn't take the president from Washington to a state visit to an ice cream parlor in a Maryland suburb. Obama flew Air Force One from Washington to Williamsburg, Va., requiring a wide-bodied transatlantic jet that holds 500 people to ferry him a distance of a little over 100 miles. And, unlike their British and Canadian counterparts, the American media are entirely at ease with it.
Read the whole thing.