The Obama trip to India may cost a lot but may be worth it


Whatever the actual Obama trip to India cost is, despite wild claims, it is the President doing his job. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Ranting and raving has commenced concerning the Obama trip to India. The President of the United States fulfills a dual role in government, being both head of state and government. Granted, presidential visits overseas incur considerable bills for transportation and security, but there are benefits that may outweigh them. For instance, the trade relationship the U.S. has with China might not exist without that visit from Richard Nixon.

Controversy of Obama trip to India cost

The political climate in the United States shows deep concern about government expenditures. The Obama trip to India cost was reported to run at $200 million per day, according to CBS, which Sen. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) was quick to take as gospel. However, there isn’t any corroborating evidence for that figure, and the entire Taj Mahal Hotel hasn’t been blocked off, either. Any presidential trip costs a lot. Flying Air Force One costs $100,000 per hour. Then there are security details, food and lodging for the president, entourage and support staff. That said, there is something about the trip that isn’t being discussed.

It is the president’s job

In the American system of government, the president is head of the government as chief executive, and has the symbolic role as head of state. A trip to India to meet with Manmohan Singh could pay off in the long run. The reaction to both the visit and also Obama backing India for a seat on the U.N. Security Council has been very positive there, according to the New York Times. Were it not for Richard Nixon’s past China venture, the United States would not enjoy a lucrative trade relationship with China. That trip had considerable costs as well.

Trade relationships can be the payoff

India is a large player in the world economy, and avoiding the development of lasting ties would be folly. The president has a dual role, of both the head of the government and key diplomat. The Obama India trip is merely him fulfilling his duties.



New York Times

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