With costs mounting daily, Trump’s family seems hellbent on emptying the nation’s treasury.
Forbes contributor Niall McCarthy published an article barely one month into Trump’s presidency, titled: “Trump’s Family Trips Cost Taxpayers Nearly As Much In A Month As Obama’s Cost In A Whole Year.”
According to McCarthy, “Trump’s regular jaunts to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida appear to be costing taxpayers a small fortune. The president’s three trips have probably cost the federal Treasury about $10 million, the Washington Post estimates, based on an October 2016 Government Accountability Office analysis of White House travel.”
McCarthy goes on to cite a recent report by The Washington Post that details the fact that “Trump family’s elaborate lifestyle is a ‘logistical nightmare’ — at taxpayer expense.”
The daunting taxpayer costs incurred by the Trump family include Trump’s weekend jaunts to his oceanfront Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach in Florida, his sons’ recent trip to the United Arab Emirates to attend the grand opening of a Trump-brand golf resort in the “Beverly Hills of Dubai,” and the exorbitant costs associated with providing security for Melania Trump and her son Barron at Trump Tower in Manhattan – their chosen home for the time being.
As The Washington Post reports, on top of all that: “the tiny township of Bedminster, N.J., is preparing for the daunting prospect that the local Trump golf course will serve as a sort of northern White House for as many as 10 weekends a year.”
Barely a month into the Trump presidency, the unusually elaborate lifestyle of America’s new first family is straining the Secret Service and security officials, stirring financial and logistical concerns in several local communities, and costing far beyond what has been typical for past presidents — a price tag that, based on past assessments of presidential travel and security costs, could balloon into the hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of a four-year term.
Democrats have said little about Trump’s expenses so far, but according to a Tuesday report by The Guardian, “New York Senator Chuck Schumer has ramped up pressure on Donald Trump and the federal government to accept the mounting costs of protecting the president, the first family and their extended entourage.”
Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, inserted himself into the debate on Sunday, saying it costs $500,000 per day for nearly 200 police officers to protect Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, which houses the Trump family business headquarters and serves as the home of the first lady, Melania Trump, and the couple’s son, Barron. The senator estimated the cost could rise to as much as $183m annually.
At current estimates, even a four-year Trump administration could be heading for a billion dollars in taxpayer-borne costs – an eight-fold increase of the $97m Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, estimates it cost to protect Barack Obama over the two terms of his administration.
Indeed, as McCarthy writes for Forbes: “By comparison, Barack Obama’s travel expenses averaged just $12.1 million during each year of his presidency. In total, Obama’s eight year travel bill came to $97 million and unbelievably, Donald Trump is on pace to outspend him in less than one year.”
This is particularly relevant in light of past statements by Trump regarding Pres. Obama.
For instance, this is what Trump had to say about Obama in 2012:
President @BarackObama's vacation is costing taxpayers millions of dollars—-Unbelievable!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2012
And speaking of golf, this is what he tweeted in 2014:
Can you believe that,with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf.Worse than Carter
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2014
Politico elaborated on Tuesday reporting that:
Trump regularly assailed President Obama for playing golf, then spent the first weekends of his own presidency doing just that. He attacked Obama for using Air Force One to campaign, and did it over the weekend just a month into the job. He mocked Obama for heading out of Washington at taxpayer expense, but appears to have no qualms about doing so himself.
One month in, Trump is using the presidency to boost his political and personal goals — not breaking laws or ethics rules, experts say, but disputing his past criticisms and vows.
The new president has taken three weekend getaways in the first month of office, spending millions of taxpayer dollars in Secret Service protection and about 25% of his time away from the White House. The Secret Service has also paid for security for expensive business trips for his sons’ business ventures to foreign countries.