WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama flies Air Force One when he leaves town. So does Candidate Barack Obama.
Either way, taxpayers are on the hook for a hefty amount.
The latest Pentagon calculations show that the souped-up Boeing 747 that typically serves as Air Force One costs $179,750 an hour to operate.
No matter what the reason for the president's trip, there are all sorts of other necessary big expenses anytime he moves around the country: advance teams, cargo planes, armored cars, Secret Service protection, communications and medical staff and more.
Presidents always are quick to stress that they reimburse the government for the costs of their political travel.
While that's true, they do so under rules that still leave taxpayers paying most of the tab.
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