published Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Presidents and vacation time

A frequent criticism of presidents has been that they take too much vacation. Presumably, the critics feel our commanders in chief should spend more time handling the nation's affairs and less time engaging in leisurely pursuits.

Most recently, President Barack Obama has come under fire for his plans -- currently on hold -- for a 17-day vacation to Hawaii.

We must admit that we do not know exactly how much vacation is the "right" amount. But then again, there are much more substantial grounds on which to criticize the president -- his poor handling of the economy, for example.

And here are two quick points to ponder as well:

n First, we have no doubt that the president will be in contact with key members of his administration during his Hawaiian vacation. Certainly he will be able to respond to any emergency that may arise.

n And second, is it really such a bad thing if Obama goes on vacation and therefore does not issue lots of executive orders, nor give repeated speeches in favor of higher taxes and more spending by the federal government, which is already $15 trillion in debt?

Philosopher Henry David Thoreau once declared, "I heartily accept the motto, -- 'That government is best which governs least ... .'"

While we obviously need some government, it would surely be wise for our bloated federal government to govern "less." And it is likely that Obama will do less governing when he is on vacation than when he is in the White House.

For that reason, we can't be too upset over the fact that he may be spending a couple of weeks in Hawaii. And we don't think that is among the more reasonable criticisms of his presidency.

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