The Trump family’s travel expenses have been discussed a great deal in recent weeks. The President himself has cost taxpayers over $13.3 million dollars just in trips to Mar-a-Lago, including this past weekend. It costs an additional $500,000 per day to keep Melania and Barron secure in New York; they have chosen to stay in Trump Tower rather than move to Washington, D.C. And Trump’s sons, who travel extensively for business, are an even greater burden on taxpayers.
Since Trump took office, his sons have traveled to the Dominican Republic, the United Arab Emirates, Vancouver, and Uruguay. They receive round-the-clock Secret Service protection as children of the President. However, the details of their trips, including the specific costs, are classified. The best estimates are all that can be relied upon to determine how much has been spent. The Washington Post estimated the hotel costs alone for the Uruguay trip ran up to almost $100,000.
The president of Judicial Watch, a self-described “conservative, non-partisan educational foundation”, says this is all just a cost of doing business with a president who has adult children with a thriving business. Tom Fitton, the president, also states it would not be right to suggest Trump’s sons stop doing business despite the enormous costs.
Judicial Watch claims to be non-partisan, but that is their opinion of themselves. Here is a quote from a press release from December 26, 2016:
“The Obamas’ notorious abuse of presidential travel perks wasted military resources and stressed the Secret Service. Judicial Watch estimates that the final costs of Obama’s unnecessary vacation and political travel will well exceed $100 million,” said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton. “President-elect Trump can immediately save taxpayers money by reforming presidential travel.”
Is President Trump actually saving taxpayers money? Absolutely not. His family is on track to spend in one year what the Obamas and Bidens spent combined in eight.
Nothing used to rile devoted Barack Obama critics like the president’s winter Hawaiian vacation. A watchdog group once calculated that the Aloha state trips cost taxpayers $3.5m a pop – in airfare, security arrangements, communications and medical staff.
The joke, it turns out, is on Trump. Now he is the president – and it appears that he is on track to spend many more millions of taxpayer dollars on trips that might be construed as vacations for him and his family than Obama ever dreamed of. The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward… Mar-a-Lago?
By one sketchy estimate, Trump and his family, in their security and travel demands, have already rung up as much in accounts payable by taxpayers as the Obama and Biden families did in eight years, a figure elsewhere calculated, by the Washington DC-based Judicial Watch, as topping $97m. (Guardian)
Some excuse Trump’s Florida trips, saying he does business while he is there. First, all presidents do business everywhere they go, and secondly, he can do that business at the White House. I do not buy that at all. I am not necessarily against him making these trips, but some consistency from those who complained about Obama for eight years would be nice.