Public Fumes As Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Trips Cost More Than Meals On Wheels

In a budget titled “America First: Blueprint To Make America Great Again,But,” Donald Trump proposed gutting funding to programs that reduce homelessness and feed the elderly and children. Donald Trump then booked his Mar-a-Lago trip for this weekend, a trip that would cost taxpayers millions federally, and hundreds of thousands municipally, per visit, in Palm Beach. The public is not happy.

Meanwhile, an old Vanity Fair photo shoot of Melania Trump eating “diamond pasta” and drinking “diamond smoothies” is making the rounds in light of increased costs to American taxpayers by the Trump family.

The Independent reports that the most recent budget proposed by the Trump Administration includes cuts to programs that fund the arts, homelessness projects, access to higher education for the less fortunate, and agencies such as Meals on Wheels.

The National Endowment for the Arts receives $152 million a year, the US Interagency Council for Homelessness receives $4 million a year, the Senior Community Service Employment Program receives $434 million a year, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars receives $11 million a year. All of these are on the chopping block to either gut completely or in part.

The Department of Health and Human Services is also targeted for a slash of 17.2 percent of federal funding, and this is the department that funds Meals on Wheels. The total of all of these funding cuts is over $600 million dollars.

To keep Melania Trump housed in Trump Tower as opposed to the White House costs American taxpayers $500 thousand dollars daily, up to over $180 million a year if she stays there all year. Donald Trump spent the first 11 of his first 33 days in office at his Palm Beach, Florida, Mar-a-Lago resort, reports CBS News. He is there again this weekend.

The White House will not release the costs of those triHowever,estimating how much it cost President Obama to attend Florida visits during his terms, each visit reportedly costs taxpayers approximately $3 million dollars. With four visits already under his belt, Donald Trump has already cost taxpayers $12 million. This weekend’s visit is his fifth.

These costs are only the costs to get Donald Trump there, and do not include the municipal costs encountered by Palm Beach when the president is in town. It is estimated that if Donald Trump continues Mar-a-Lago visits at this pace, and is in office for four years, those costs will amount to over $600 million dollars, the same amount he is cutting for the elderly, children, homeless, and people that need access to higher education.

The Twitter protests against the president that said he was going to “Drain the Swamp” and remove the rich from the White House have begun.

This weekend’s visit for Donald Trump to Mar-a-Lago is going to cost more than previous reports CBS. This weekend Donald Trump is hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping, which will add an additional $3 million in security costs. That the president even uses Mar-a-Lago for White House business, and calls Mar-a-Lago the “Winter White House” also infuriates the public, who believe he is desecrating the respect for the actual White House, and also compromising the national security of the nation.

In February, a guest at Mar-a-Lago snapped a photo of the official that carries the nuclear football. This is not something that is to be seen by the general public. The resort guest then posted a photo of the nuclear football to his Facebook page, and then took it down after a public outcry.

Multiple means are implemented to secure Mar-a-Lago for Donald Trump and the Administration when they visit, but no building could ever be as secure as the actual White House. Further, each method used to secure Mar-a-Lago costs taxpayers money.

Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort has Secret Service detail on the grounds and surrounding the grounds every time he visits. The United States Coast Guard also must secure the waters surrounding the property. For President Obama, these costs were estimated around $800 thousand. These expenses do not include the municipal costs to Palm Beach for each visit.

The operation of Air Force One for each visit is extensive and comes out of the taxpayer’s pockets. CBS reports that Air Force One costs $180,000 hourly to operate. Each trip to Florida, one way, costs more than $700,000.

Donald Trump was highly critical of President Obama for his vacation costs and time. But Donald Trump has already, in 50 days, spent what President Obama did in one year.

The municipal costs are significant as well, with businesses in Palm Beach, or wherever Donald Trump travels, losing business whenever he arrives. At Lantana Airport in Palm Beach County, airspace is restricted when Donald Trump goes to Mar-a-Lago, and it costs the airport $30,000 in lost business every time.

Donald Trump Mar a Lago Motorcade
[Image by Alex Brandon/AP Images]

Time Money reports that on top of those economic burdens, the city of Palm Beach is out $1 million dollars every time Donald Trump goes to Mar-a-Lago. Between preparing for municipal security and motorcades, and re-configuring an entire city for a presidential visit, Palm Beach is becoming financially strapped as a result of Trump’s fifth visit in 50 days. Dave Kerner, county commissioner for Palm Beach’s third district has a solution: let Mar-a-Lago eat the costs.

“We’re very honored to have the president here, but at the same time, his travel here is such high frequency he’s not visiting Palm Beach County – he’s governing from it. Whatever our priorities are, the taxpayers didn’t pay this money to us to protect the president. I just want to see that their taxpayer dollars are being used for what they’re for.”

Kerner says Mar-a-Lago should be turned into a municipal service benefit unit, meaning the county could then force the resort to pay for Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago costs.

The Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office spends $570,000 each time Donald Trump arrives in town. Local police are added to security detail, to the tune of $60,000 a day.

While local businesses, law enforcement, and transportation means are losing money when Donald Trump visits Mar-a-Lago, Trump is making money. His membership fees for the exclusive resort increased from $100,000 to $200,000, by 100 percent, after he took the oath of office.

Donald Trump Mar A Lago Costs
[Image by Susan Walsh/AP Images]

All of this is in direct contrast to a 2015 statement by Donald Trump where he said, “I would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done. I would not be a president who took vacations.”

These exorbitant costs are hitting taxpayers financially and emotionally. Many do not want to pay for it. And many do not want to hear about the president atteding a fancy resort on their dime with $200,000 membership fees, in the same week that he guts critical programs like Meals on Wheels.

But Trump’s budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, said Meals on Wheels was getting cut because it was “just not showing any results.” The scientific data does not support this statement. Meals on Wheels issued a statement after the cuts saying this.

“We serve more than 2.4 million seniors from 60 to 100+ years old each year. They are primarily older than 60 and because of physical limitations or financial reasons, have difficulty shopping for or preparing meals for themselves. While we don’t know the exact impact yet, cuts of any kind to these highly successful and leveraged programs would be a devastating blow to our ability to provide much needed care for millions of vulnerable seniors in America, which in turn saves billions of dollars in reduced health care expenses.”

The Washington Post reports on a 2013 literature review that reports a home delivery meal system “significantly improves” diet, quality of life, nutritional risk among seniors. It also reduces loneliness and increases socialization.

And Meals on Wheels is cheaper than nursing homes, by millions. The literature review reported on by the Post shows that the costs for one month of a nursing home stay in a standard care facility (not upgraded) costs the same amount as providing Meals on Wheels to one participant for seven years, five days a week.

Each meal provided by Meals on Wheels costs $7.15 USD. One of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago trips costs $3.5 million. That amount for one visit, forked over by taxpayers, could feed almost half a million seniors that desperately need Meals on Wheels, or send approximately 800 needy children to college for four years.

[Feature Image by Andrew Harnik/AP Images]