The obvious cruelty throughout Trump's smash-the-state budget shocked and awed America this week, but right after the thief-in-chief proposed to destroy an array of relatively low-cost federal programs that feed poor rural school children and keep grandmothers from freezing to death, he did something really extraordinary.
He flew to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. On our goddamn dime.
Politico estimates that his trip to the 'Southern White House' (gag) costs about $3 million each weekend. And he keeps going, weekend after weekend. He's conducting business there. Whose? His own, his family's, our America's? Who knows. Maybe the spies who have it locked down, because right now it looks like foreign espionage paradise.
The Washington Post breaks it down:
If that $3 million estimate is true, he could have funded the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness — budgeted at $4 million in 2016 — for three years if he’d just stayed in the White House.
Others noted the cost of protecting first lady Melania Trump and the Trumps’ young son, Barron, at Trump Tower. Shortly after the election, a CNN Money report indicated that protecting Trump’s family in New York cost $1 million a day. If they instead joined him at the White House, of course, that cost would essentially be eliminated.
Combined, these costs could make Trump’s presidency awfully expensive, particularly in light of that proposed budget.
Trump’s first multimillion-dollar trip to Mar-a-Lago was a mere two weeks after taking power. The man is not shy about jet-setting, despite the fact that he and the GOP gleefully bashed Barack Obama for trips away during his presidency.
“The habitual vacationer, @BarackObama, is now in Hawaii. This vacation is costing taxpayers $4 milion +++ while there is 20% unemployment,” Trump wrote on Twitter in December 2011 (when the unemployment rate was actually 8.5 percent).
“President @BarackObama's vacation is costing taxpayers millions of dollars——Unbelievable!” Trump opined again on Twitter a few days later.
That July, he took aim at the first lady: “With 15% US real unemployment and a 16T debt, @Michelle Obama's luxurious Aspen vacation - her 16th - cost us over $1M.” (The unemployment rate at the time was actually 8.2 percent.)
But now, as Trump is setting off on his own working vacation to his “winter White House,” he is getting a taste of his own medicine.
Judicial Watch, the conservative nonprofit that tracked Obama’s travel, told POLITICO that it plans to file a Freedom of Information Act request on Monday for a full accounting of Trump’s travel costs for the weekend getaway.
“I hope he reflects on the costs of doing that and sees if there’s any savings to be achieved,” said Tom Fitton, president of the group. “He should check out Camp David and see if he can make better use of that.”
[via @thegarance. Photo, top: U.S. President-elect Donald Trump talks to members of the media at Mar-a-Lago. Reuters.]