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Aster's avatar

What's your take on Obama's trip to India?

Asked by Aster (19974points) November 3rd, 2010

What will he and his guests accomplish in India? Is this too much spending at this time for the US?

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34 Answers

BarnacleBill's avatar

I suspect that the planes and equipment that are being used are on the US payrole whether or not they are sitting on the ground or being used. Likewise, the people in them are being paid regardless of where they are. While the stated mission is for economic reasons, there’s probably much more to it than is covered in the newspaper article, given the location of India.

Given that our previous president could not read a world map correctly when he first took office, and rarely left the country, I think getting out and acknowledging the rest of the world is something that our leadership needs to do.

It certainly does not cost anywhere as much money as the war George Bush started with Iraq.

tedd's avatar

I’m actually all for it. I’m sure the hardcore righties will jump on him and say he’s wasting our money and not doing his job… But India is an emerging global power, what better to do than build strong relations with one of the friendlier-to-us nations in that part of the world?

The massive entourage is probably just to ensure his safety. Like him or not he is our president and we don’t need him getting assassinated by extremists or something. And unfortunately that area of the world is kind of known for them.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I agree with @BarnacleBill about the cost related to the planes, equipment, and people operating those things. I’m sure a good bit of it is added security because of those bombs that were found last week (or the week before).

I think it’s great for him to get out there and visit other nations and speak with other people. I hope it will help build our relationships.

kevbo's avatar

@BarnacleBill, I’m no Bush apologist, but he visited India in 2006.

Aster's avatar

It does make sense for the President to be making the trip. The problem I have is not with the trip itself, it is the size of the entourage. How is anyone to take the President seriously when he says that he wants to focus on fiscal responsibility when he takes 3000 personnel, on 40 aircraft, booking 500 rooms?

skfinkel's avatar

The people Obama will take are not simply fanning him, but I am sure working on all different levels to make this trip work.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Aster It’s to help ensure his safety. There have been terrorist attacks there in the past (remember the attack in 2008 that killed almost 200 people?). So I can understand it. Those people are going to be getting paid wether they go with him or they are stateside doing something else. As for booking all the rooms, it’s also for protection. Also, his stop in India is part of a 10 day trip to Asia, so that equipment and those people accompanying him will be used for more than just 3 days in India.

BarnacleBill's avatar

@Kevbo, I know. But that was second term. His sense of globalism improved somewhat after he started the war. That trip was about the the India-Pakistan relationship. It was too big of a request not to go in person.

tedd's avatar

@Aster Another thing to keep in mind is that he’s probably bringing lots of people who will have other diplomatic talks with lower level goverment members from India. I suspect the idea is we want to show India we are very excited/interested/serious about being closer with them.

Aster's avatar

250 secret service agents 200 representatives from other U.S. departments 150 National Security Advisors 50 White House political _aides__ 15 dog sniffer teams 5 personal __chefs__ 2 Boeing 747–200’s 2 motorcades of 20 armored vehicles 1 chartered jumbo jet 1 Sikorsky Sea King helicopter 1 Black Hawk helicopter 1 limousine

So much for small government and not spending taxpayer money. lolol

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Aster Would you rather we didn’t travel anywhere to try to build foreign relationships?

Aster's avatar

@Seaofclouds Of course not! I’d like for him to stop talking about reducing spending, though.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Aster The way I see it – however much his bodyguards and dogs cost…is not even in the same ballpark as the money we wasted on the war.

ducky_dnl's avatar

It is pointless. He should be focusing on America.

tedd's avatar

@Aster I refuse to read that article based on the fact it is written by Karl Rove, who is the biggest snake oil salesmen and evil person, possibly on the face of the planet.

Aster's avatar

From the day Mr. Obama took office last year to the end of the current fiscal year, according to the Office of Management and Budget, the debt held by the public will grow by $3.3 trillion. In 20 months, Mr. Obama will add as much debt as Mr. Bush ran up in eight years.
Mr. Obama’s spending plan approved by Congress last February calls for doubling the national debt in five years and nearly tripling it in 10.

bob_'s avatar

I think it’s good that he travels. Having strong relationships with other countries is vital to the United States.

The costs don’t even amount to peanuts. The government spends more money on paper clips. To attack the trip based on that is thoroughly naive.

Aster's avatar

paper clips?
I thought he went to India in ‘06? No?

tedd's avatar

@Aster I’m sorry to say your information is incorrect. The fiscal year that Obama and Bush shared (our fiscal years end in october and presidents will overlap their last and first one with the predecessor and follower) was 1.2 TRILLION dollars in deficit when Bush handed it to Obama. Even after Obama passed the stimulus, bailed out the auto makers, upped our troops in Afghanistan, etc, etc… the final deficit for that fiscal year was…. 1.5 trillion dollars. Who added more there?

And I’m not even sure what number you’re trying to point out with the 3.3 trillion. Our national debt today is just shy of 14 trillion dollars (about 7 trillion of it incurred under Reagan btw). You want to accuse Obama of wasting money, at least he has a reason. Our economy is in the tank, and like Cainsian economics or not, they say the way out is to spend (it worked for FDR after all). What excuse does Bush have? His tax cuts, both of his wars… totally paid for by the deficit. Those checks he sent out to us might as well have been in Chinese currency, because thats who paid for them.

And now the Republicans want to continue the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Excluding the FACT that we cant really afford them for the poor and middle class, if you keep the rich ones our debt will be past 20 trillion in less than 5 years. Republicans preach cutting spending and taxes and being fiscally responsible, but there hasn’t been a fiscally responsible Republican in office since Ford. All they do is cut taxes and NOT spending.

mattbrowne's avatar

The growing middle class in India can help create a lot of American jobs. The German chancellor also visited India recently and no one made a big deal out of it. I think it’s the job of our politicians to maintain good international relations and help deepen economic ties.

Self laceration won’t be good for America. When you compare the ROI of the Iraq war with the potential ROI of this trip to India I’d say they differ by at least a factor of 10,000.

And the biggest financial crisis since 1929 was caused by greedy conservative investment bankers who voted Republican demanding free trade with little regulation as possible. Let’s give Obama a break. How can he fix things in two years?

Aster's avatar

He already went to India in ‘06. lol
No issue with HIM going; It’s the entourage.

bob_'s avatar

@Aster He wasn’t the president in 2006.

All presidents travel with an entourage and a motorcade. It’s not like he can simply catch the next Air India flight.

Aster's avatar

Of course. They need an entourage but not half of washington.

bob_'s avatar

@Aster Washington has a population of 600,000. If Obama took about 600 people as you said., he took 0.1% of Washington.

Seriously, though, what’s the problem with it? Those 600 people are not going on a paid vacaton. They have work sessions where they, you know, work. (By the way, when they mention “aides”, they’re not talking about the guys who bring the food and things like that. See here.)

Aster's avatar

What kind of work, exactly, will the entourage do?

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Response moderated (Off-Topic)
tedd's avatar

@Aster I think you’re missing the point here. If you want to open up major relations with one of the burgeoning nations of the world, with nearly 1/6 of the worlds population, and hope to enhance trade relations and enlist their help with world issues like China or terrorism…. Do you send your president and 50 people to ensure his safety…. Or do you send every conceivable diplomat and person who can have anything to do with talking to someone in the Indian government, and give the impression that you are REALLY REALLY interested in going forward with this?

Its like if I’m applying for a job. I could e-mail a resume and a cover letter, thats enough. But won’t they think I’m more interested if I hand write a cover letter, send via first class mail my resume, references, application, cover letter, and then follow up about a week later?

I understand the cost issue… but to me, if it opens up more trade relations with the second most populace nation on the planet, and gives us a better ally in the most unstable region on the planet…. I’m all for it.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
bob_'s avatar

@Aster There are negotiations and talks. See here.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Aster “What kind of work, exactly, will the entourage do?”

Do you even know what diplomats do? They talk with business leaders and try to help negotiate treaties and trade agreements. They also help secure contracts for American companies so they can create more jobs here.

I’m not sure if you noticed, but Republican fiscal policy has created a massive debt and drove our economy into what might have been worse than the great depression, had the Obama administration not done as good of a job as they did (especially with Republican’s trying to obstruct every move they made).

It’s like someone piloting a cruise ship into an iceberg, and then handing the controls over to someone else, who saves the ship from sinking and then the one who fucked everything up then criticizes him for not preventing water damage on the lower levels.

Before getting outraged, did you even bother to look up George Bush’s entourage for comparison?

George Bush’s travel entorage:
150 national security advisors
250 secret service agents
50 whitehouse political aides
15 sniffer dog teams
1 personal chef
4 cooks
200 representatives from other U.S. Deparments

2 identical Boeing 747–200’s and a 3rd chartered jumbo jet
1 Sikorsky Sea King helicopter
1 Black Hawk helicopter
2 identical motorcades each with 20 armored vehicles including limos.

Aster's avatar

Why must we constantly compare him to other presidents? I was asking about Obama’s trip , not about GW anything. I have no pro or con feelings about GW.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Aster “Why must we constantly compare him to other presidents?”

If Obama’s travel entourage is of a similar size to previous presidents then it just might mean that people who know a little more about presidential travel and security than we do may have figured out what’s necessary to keep the president safe, able to nuke the world, and to provide strategies for escaping an ambush in a foreign country in a region where lots of people want to kill him? Not to mention bringing enough people there so that they can get the work done that needs to?

I think a more interesting question is why Obama is under constant bombardment for things that people had no problem with other presidents doing. I didn’t hear any Republicans screaming about the ballooning debt under Bush 1, 2, or Reagan, but now they’re pummeling Obama for the same things they could’ve care less about or even supported only a few short years ago. Deficit spending is actually a good thing when you’re trying to prevent total economic collapse, but in years where it was completely unnecessary, the Republicans managed to spend like never before and still drive the economy off of a cliff. I have no doubt whatsoever that if Obama had inherited a healthy economy, he would have begun to chip away at the national deficits that the Republican’s created.

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