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揭秘:米歇尔访华花费

2014-04-01    来源:chinadaily    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

White House Mystery: How Much Michelle Obama's China Trip Cost

据《华尔街日报》报道,你看到美国第一夫人米歇尔·奥巴马在中国打乒乓球的飒爽英姿,听到她侃侃而谈出国留学的重要意义,也看得到她手挽爱女在蜿蜒曲折的长城前合影留念,却无从得知她此行花费几何。

You can see a video of First Lady Michelle Obama playing ping-pong in China, hear her talk about the importance of studying abroad and view a of picture of her huddling with her daughters with the Great Wall Of China snaking into the distance. What you won’t see, however, is a disclosure of how much her week-long trip in China cost.

The White House has a longstanding policy—that stretches back decades—of not commenting on the costs of trips taken by first ladies, vice presidents and presidents.

“We don’t discuss costs,” said Brian Leary, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service in a brief telephone interview. And in a pre-trip briefing for reporters, White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said “As a general matter, we don’t disclose the details associated with the security of either the President or the First Lady. This question comes up on many trips.”

Whenever the president and first lady travel, reporters generally ask about the cost and generally don’t get an answer. The reason given: security. If the White House or Secret Service tells the public how much a trip costs an enterprising person might be able to determine exactly what sort of security protections are used.

The last major report on the costs of presidential travel came in 1999, when the Government Accountability Office tallied up (or at least, tried to) the cost of President Bill Clinton‘s trips to Africa, Chile and China. To arrive at the numbers below, the GAO said it compiled information from the multiple agencies involved in the trip and did some calculations about hourly flight costs for the various military planes and helicopters involved in the trek, among other things.

Here are some interesting facts from that report:

-Mr. Clinton’s weeklong trek in China cost $18 million; his 12-day trip across Africa cost $43 million and his five-day sojourn in Chile cost $10.5 million.

-More than 500 personnel from the departments of Defense, State and Treasury helped support the trip to China.

-For each trip, officials from a variety of agencies travel to the country three times before the president arrives to deal with logistics and map out security plans.

-The bulk of the costs from the trips are for aircraft, such as Air Force One and other military support planes/helicopters.

-The total costs don’t include the expenses of the U.S. Secret Service. Their costs are classified, which means the actual cost of the trip is likely higher since they’re the main force protecting the president.

Steve Ellis, a spokesman for the government watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense, said after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks it has been even harder to find out the costs of presidential travel.

That hasn’t stopped people from trying to estimate the expenses. In 2010, Mr. Obama went to India for several days and the White House had to bat away a report, first published in an Indian newspaper, that the trip was costing $200 million a day.

The White House said that number was wildly exaggerated, but still didn’t provide details about the actual expenses.


Mr. Ellis said it would make sense for the administration to release trip expenses after the president returns. “We’re not saying that the president or the first lady shouldn’t travel,” he said, but taxpayers deserve to know the cost.

In 2010, the public-interest group Judicial Watch caused a stir when it reported that Mrs. Obama’s vacation to Spain cost taxpayers about $450,000. Judicial Watch got the numbers after filing Freedom of Information Act requests with the Air Force and U.S. Secret Service.

About half the costs were related to travel expenses and the first lady (and president and vice president) don’t get to choose how they travel, the Secret Service does. That means if the first lady or president goes somewhere, even if on vacation, they take military aircraft instead of jumping on civilian aircraft. That helps explain why the costs are generally high.

Among the more trivial costs listed in the documents: $57.68 for four bottles of maple syrup and a package of pancake mix purchased by the flight crew.(ChinaDaily)

相关内容
多年来,白宫一直没有公开披露总统,第一夫人及副总统的出访开支。

“我们不谈开支问题,”美国特勤局发言人布莱恩·利里在接受简短电话采访时说。在出访前的吹风会上,白宫副国家安全顾问罗兹说:“通常来讲,我们不会披露总统或第一夫人安全方面的细节。多次出访都会有人提出这个问题。”

每次总统和第一夫人出访时,都会有记者询问开支问题,不过往往也得不到答案。对此,白宫振振有词:为了安全起见。如果白宫和特勤局公开了出访开支,那么别有用心的人可能会从中推测出安保级别。

美国上一次公开总统出访费用还是在1999年,当时政府问责局计算出时任总统克林顿出访非洲,智利和中国的费用。为了得出下列数据,总审计局汇总了参与出访的多个机构的信息,并计算了出访时所搭乘的军机和直升机每小时的飞行成本。

以下是报告中部分有意思的数据:

克林顿访华一周花费1800万美金,12天的非洲之行花费4300万美金,在智利为期5天的访问耗资1050万美金。

美国国防部,国务院和财政部共500多名员工为克林顿访华之旅提供各种支持和服务。

每次总统出访前,政府各部门官员都要前往目的地3次,为的是安排行程并制定安保计划。

大部分开支用于飞机,如“空军一号”及其他军机或直升机。

美国特勤局的开支未包括在内。因为这部分开支属于国家机密,这就意味着总统出访的总开支可能会更高。

政府监督组织“纳税人常识”的发言人埃利斯称,在2001年“9·11”恐怖袭击之后,总统出访开支变得越发难以查得。

即便如此也阻挡不了人们对总统出访开支的估算。奥巴马曾在2010年出访印度数日,一篇最初刊登在印度一家报纸上的报道称,奥巴马此行平均每天花费两亿美元。这令白宫恨不得让这份报道立即消失。

白宫回应称这一数据言过其实,不过还是没有公开费用明细。

埃利斯认为美国政府有必要在总统出访归国后公开费用明细。“我们不是不让总统及第一夫人出访,”他说,“只是作为纳税人我们有权了解这一情况。”

2010年,名叫“司法观察”的公益组织引发了一场轩然大波。起因是“司法观察”报道了米歇尔在西班牙度假期间花了纳税人大概45万美金。该组织根据《信息自由法》向美国空军和特勤局递交申请后得到了这一数据。

约有一半的费用与旅游开支有关。第一夫人(以及总统,副总统)的出行方式不是由他们自己而是由特勤局决定。这表明如果总统或第一夫人出访某地,包括度假,搭乘的是军用飞机而非民用客机。因此,高昂的开支也就不足为奇了。

这其中也包括部分琐碎的开支:由机组人员购买的4瓶枫糖浆和1包薄饼,共计57.68美金。


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