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From Taxpayer Treasure Hunt - Obama's Costs & Presidential Spending

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About Taxpayer Treasure Hunt

Our aim is to help ordinary citizens follow the United States federal budget. As a taxpayer, you fund the budget – you should know how your money is being spent.
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To get the ball rolling, we are giving away a free tee shirt to those who make legitimate and substantial contributions to our hunt for White House expenses! As soon as you have posted, the administrators will review your entry and then send you an email asking you to select your free tee shirt. This offer applies to posting of new content, but not to posting articles to the In the News section.

Phase One: The Total Cost of the Whole White House

As the federal government´s activities varied and broad, the first section of the Federal Budget we are focusing on is the Total Cost of the Whole White House. This is a tiny portion of the federal budget, but it's an important symbolic starting point. In a democracy, accountability should include everyone – even the president.

This includes 23 different categories:
(These categories are based on the research of the Bush White House by long time White house administrator and scholar Bradley Patterson. Read more about his work)

This site is not about ideology – various contributors may favor or oppose individual government programs.

We are about facts and numbers; where dollars are actually going.

The US government and others provide excellent general information at a high level about government spending, but we're going to go in to much more detail. (For big picture information or general overviews, visit the government sites at and

Think of this wiki as a treasure hunt; it's our treasure, and we're on the hunt to find out how it's actually being used.

Most Recent Treasure Finds

Expense Amount Date Modified
White House Redecoration $100,000 each term$100,000 each term October 30, 2010 October 30, 2010
Special Missions (including WHCA) (2009) $154,693,000$154,693,000 April 19, 2010 April 19, 2010
Special Missions (including WHCA) (2010) $149,120,000$149,120,000 April 19, 2010 April 19, 2010
Total Commission of the White House Fellowships Cost (2010) $542,058$542,058 April 18, 2010April 18, 2010
VC-25 (Air Force One) depot maintenance induction (2011 estimated) $44,300,000$44,300,000 April 18, 2010April 18, 2010
Cost of Detailees (2008) $227,436$227,436 April 14, 2010April 14, 2010
Cancellation of Marine One Procurement $85,000,000$85,000,000 April 12, 2010April 12, 2010
Flowers $252,000$252,000 April 12, 2010April 12, 2010
Obama's Valentine's weekend trip $246,908$246,908 April 12, 2010 April 12, 2010
Total 2010 Budget for the President's Unanticipated Needs $1,000,000$1,000,000 April 12, 2010April 12, 2010
View more recent treasure finds

In the news

  • -Which State Sends Most Taxes To DC? Hint: It's Not A State
    April 18, 2017
    As Tax Day approaches, show some love for the good people who live in the nation's capital. Read More at HostedAp
  • -Mar-a-Lago: The Price Of Trump's 'Winter White House'
    April 11, 2017
    When President Trump flies in to Palm Beach County, Jorge Gonzalez stays firmly on the ground. Read More at BBC
  • -Comment: Brace Yourself, Taxpayers: Trump's Plutocracy Doesn't Come Cheap
    March 28, 2017
    How many Americans does it take to keep President Trump and his family in the lifestyle to which they are accustomed? Read More at MSN
  • -Palm Beach Mayor Says They May Have To Raise Taxes For President Trump's Mar-a-Lago Visits
    March 21, 2017
    President Donald J. Trump waves as he walks across the South Lawn towards the White House on March 5, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump is returning Read More at Fortune
  • -Trump Family Trips Cost Taxpayers $11.3M In One Month - Almost As Much As Obama's Cost In One Year
    February 21, 2017
    Donald Trump, with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, his wife, Melania Trump, and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, in Mar-a-Lago Read More at Independent
  • -Eric Trump's Business Trip To Uruguay Cost Taxpayers $97,830 In Hotel Bills
    February 7, 2017
    Eric Trump and members of his entourage walk outside La Huella, a beachfront restaurant, during a private business trip in early January to Punta Read More at Washington Post
  • -Trump Aide Says He Won't Release Tax Returns, Claiming Most People Don't Care
    January 24, 2017
    President Donald Trump speaks during a White House senior staff swearing in ceremony at the White House on Sunday Read More at NPR
  • -Obama Family Spits in Face of Taxpayers
    March 31, 2016
    The Obama family has a long history of spending taxpayer money as if it was just play money, which, of course, to them, it is. Most recently the Read More at White House Dossier
  • -Why doesn't everyone do this?
    March 31, 2016
    Los Angeles international airport, better known as LAX, has taken the radical, and excellent, step of putting their expenses online so taxpayers Read More at Wall Street Journal
  • -New Jersey Hides Christie's Expenses
    March 14, 2016
    The New Jersey government is refusing to release info on how over half a million dollars was spent by the governor's office and charged on Amex. Read More at New Jersey Spotlight
  • View older news
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Hunt Down These Expenses!

You can use some of the links on our Resources page to help you.

Recommended Resource

  • Much of our initial research has been based on 'The Cost of the Whole White House' chapter from the book To Serve The President: Continuity and Innovation in the White House Staff. This chapter contains critical research on the Bush White House by long time White House administrator and scholar Bradley Patterson