The Most Vacationing President in History

Last week U.S. President George W. Bush surpassed former President Ronald Reagan’s record 335 days of vacation for a sitting president. While Reagan took eight years to set that milestone, Bush has beat it in less than five.

Now there’s a lot of ways we can go with this. You could argue that Bush is taking way too much time off when he should be leading the country. That’s a valid argument, though you launch into all sorts of questions about whether or not he works while he’s on vacation (somebody’s got to read those daily security reports) and how if you faced 9/11 and invaded two countries you’d need some time off.

Instead, I’d like to make two simple points:

1) The average American gets 12 days of vacation per year. Granted the president is no average American, but should he really get five times the vacation of the average citizen?

2) While the average American gets 12 days of vacation per year, they only use 9 of them. We’re too busy working to take a vacation. I’ve got to applaud Bush for taking a vacation and modeling for the rest of the country the importance of time off. He might be over-compensating, but he’s got the right idea.

It’s also worth pointing out that France is the most vacationing country in the world. French workers get an average of 39 vacation days per year. Apparently Bush has more in common with the French than we suspect.

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