Donald Trump claims he wants to reduce government spending, but he seems to be doing little himself to accomplish this goal. What taxpayers may find painfully frustrating is that our government maintains for his personal use, a retreat that is much closer to the White House. A facility that has been used for decades by other chief executives to unwind. But not Trump – he has to make Mar-a-Lago trips every weekend, which cost taxpayers millions and millions in security and transportation fees.
Trump has visited his Mar-a-Lago estate nearly every weekend since taking office in January. A weekend trip for the average American involves a taxi ride to the airport, a flight to a particular destination and another ride to the hotel or resort. In the case of the president, however, such a trip involves a flight to the airport aboard the presidential helicopter, a flight to Florida aboard a Boeing 747 jumbo jet, which was designed to carry more than 400 passengers but in this case only carries the president and his entourage, and a motorcade ride to Mar-a-Lago. The cost for a weekend away from the White House thus costs the taxpayers about $3 million. If he makes the trip every weekend, the cost is around $12 million a month. The president could take the weekend off at much less cost to the taxpayers were he to visit Camp David, which only requires a relatively short helicopter flight.
Despite his own spending, Trump stated in a recent meeting with reporters that the country most do “more with less,” attributing the need for fiscal austerity to another claim that his administration inherited a financial “mess” from President Barack Obama. His desire to reduce government spending has included a proposed 30 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency, which would lower the budget of the protective organization down to about $10 billion. One observer noted that a reduction by the president in his weekly trips to Florida would make such cuts unnecessary.
Trump had previously ridiculed his predecessor for taking golfing trips, but the current resident of the White House seems to be spending plenty of time on the fairway himself. In fact, the president’s aids have even been caught lying about the frequency of such trips. Candidate Trump had promised Americans that, if elected, his quest to “make America great again” would prevent him from spending time on the golf course.
Located in the hills of Maryland about 60 miles northwest of the nation’s capital, Camp David was first used by President Franklin Roosevelt. It was given its present name by President Dwight Eisenhower, in honor of both his father and his grandson. Officially a military installation, Camp David has been used by chief executives for both recreational purposes and for official business. It was there that President Jimmy Carter oversaw negotiations between the leaders of Egypt and Israel, which lead to a peace agreement between the two countries.