I’ll be the first to admit that keeping up with all of the controversies and scandals that surround Donald Trump is quite difficult to do. On what seems like a daily basis, there’s a new scandal, or a twist on an existing one, that deserves to be highlighted and understood. So please forgive me for bringing up another fairly important controversy that I don’t think is receiving the attention it deserves: The outrageous amount of tax dollars being spent on Trump’s family and his trips to Mar-a-Lago.
Before getting into the obscene amount of taxpayer money we’ve already spent on Trump, I feel it’s important to point out that during President Obama’s 8 years in office, $97 million was spent on what’s considered “extracurricular activities” (vacations, travel for family, etc.) for himself, his family, Joe Biden, and Biden’s family.
Again, that’s $97 million for eight years — and includes expenses for the Bidens as well.
That figure was calculated by Judicial Watch, a right-wing conservative organization founded by Larry Klayman — a racist birther who actually filed paperwork to have President Obama deported and claimed his response to the Ebola scare was some ploy to kill white people.
So, how does that spending compare to what we’ve spent on Trump?
Well, considering he’s scheduled for his 5th trip as president to his Mar-a-Lago resort this weekend, at a cost of around $3.5 million per trip, that puts the tabs for just those expenses at $17.5 million. Keep in mind that this will be his 5th weekend in Florida out of the 9 he’s been in office. Meaning that Trump’s trips to Florida after just two months in office total about 18 percent of the entirety of Obama’s “extra expenses” he accrued during his 96 months as president.
If Trump keeps up his current pace on his trips to Mar-a-Lago, after 4 years, taxpayers will have spent roughly $420 million (48 total months in office, $17.5 million spent every 2 months = 48/2 = 24 trips x 17.5 million) for him to visit his resort in Florida.
Oh, and apparently Palm Beach, Florida has been hit with around $1 million in costs associated with Trump’s frequent visits, money local residents are currently responsible for as the federal government isn’t reimbursing them.
To guard Trump Tower, where Melania Trump and his youngest son continue to live, it’s costing taxpayers $146k per day.
Being that I’m writing this on March 17th, that means Trump has been in office for 57 days. Taxpayers are already on the hook for $8.3 million that’s already been spent on Trump’s family living in New York since he was sworn into office. That doesn’t even include the money that was spent guarding Trump Tower before he officially took office. That estimate comes in at around $24 million according to the police commissioner.
Another way to look at it is, every single weekend Trump visits Mar-a-Lago, combined with what it costs to guard Trump Tower, that’s $4.5 million charged to taxpayers that week.
While I wanted to mention the total estimates for guarding Trump Tower ($32.3 million and counting), for the rest of my calculations, I’m only going to included the estimated $8.3 million since Trump took office on January 20th. I want to keep it a strict “in office” comparison with what was spent on President Obama while in office.
That being said, combining Trump’s trips to Mar-a-Lago and what it’s costing to have his wife and youngest son in New York City, Trump’s “extras” have already cost taxpayers around $26 million — in 57 days. Keep in mind that total increases by $146k for every day ($1,022,000 per week) that Trump Tower must be guarded.
We’ve spent nearly one-third the amount of taxpayer money for Trump’s “extracurricular activities” during his first 57 days in office as we did for Obama’s 2,920 days as president.
And I’m not even going to get too much into the fact that taxpayers are also paying for security around Trump’s children as his sons fly all over the world on business trips. For an example of how much is being spent, look no further than a report from the Washington Post that put the taxpayer-funded tab for one business trip Eric Trump took to Uruguay at $97,830. Of that, $88,320 was spent on hotel rooms for the Secret Service.
Again, that’s just one trip. Obviously there are going to be many more over the course of the next four years. However, since the costs for these trips will vary, and there’s no concrete numbers out there concerning how many trips have taken place, much less a detailed cost analysis for each, I’m not going to include these expenses. Based on just that one example, obviously, the taxpayer cost to protect Trump’s children traveling around doing private company business is going to be rather substantial.
As it stands now, the per day average for Trump’s “extra expenses” is roughly $456k. If that pace continues (whether or not Melania eventually moves to Washington D.C. would have a drastic impact, though that could very well never happen), over Trump’s 4 years in office (1,460 days), it’s going to cost taxpayers $166 million per year, $665 million in total.
For those who don’t feel like doing the math, that would be nearly 7 times more than taxpayers spent on the Obama administration — in half the amount of time.
I understand that there are more important scandals such as Trump’s Russian ties, his wiretapping lies, Jeff Sessions committing perjury, and his continued refusal to release his tax returns, but this is still a huge deal. Especially when you consider other factors, like Trump’s well-documented history attacking President Obama for golfing or taking vacations, and how the conservative media often fear-mongered about Obama always being on vacation and how much taxpayer money he was wasting.
Party for “fiscal responsibility” my ass.
This is just another glaring example of Donald Trump, Republicans, and their supporters proving what absolute frauds and hypocrites they all are. After years of falsely claiming Barack Obama was always out golfing or on vacation, they remain silent as Trump is on pace to cost taxpayers more money on “extracurricular expenses” in 212 days than we spent during Obama’s entire 2,920 days as president.
*An earlier version used data from a March 4th article from The Guardian that had been debunked concerning the daily expenses to guard Trump Tower. The current calculations are the correct numbers based on actual costs submitted by the New York police commissioner.