Donald Trump is under fire for what critics call cruel cuts to programs that help 2.4 million mostly poor and elderly Americans, with many pointing out that Trump would be able to offset the entire cost of the budget cuts if he just stopped making trips to Mar-a-Lago.
As the Independent reported, calculations show that Trump’s budget calls for significant cuts to four programs — meant to help the homeless, people over the age of 55 who are unemployed, increasing participation in the arts, and giving the poor greater access to higher education — totaling just under $600 million. That comes in just a bit less than the roughly $600 million that taxpayers have picked up in extra travel and security costs for Trump to make his near-weekly visits to Mar-a-Lago when it is in season.
As the report noted, Trump retreated to his West Palm Beach resort shortly after announcing his planned cuts.
“Days after the proposals were announced, Mr. Trump is to return to his lavish Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach this weekend, marking his fifth visit to the resort during the short period he’s been serving the White House,” the report noted.
Donald Trump’s travel and vacation expenses have come under sharp focus over the first two years of his presidency, especially after Trump made repeated promises on the 2016 campaign trail that he would not have time for golfing or going on vacations. Instead, since taking office, Trump has golfed and taken weekend getaways at a rate much higher than any of his predecessors, and at rising costs to taxpayers.
Those costs came under the microscope this week when Trump bragged about donating his $400,000 salary, including a $100,000 check he cut to the Department of Homeland Security. In announcing the donation, Trump took a swipe at media for not giving him enough credit.
“While the press doesn’t like writing about it, nor do I need them to, I donate my yearly Presidential salary of $400,000.00 to different agencies throughout the year, this to Homeland Security,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “If I didn’t do it there would be hell to pay from the FAKE NEWS MEDIA!”
”Donald Trump could reverse his recently announced cuts to arts, poor and elderly services if he cut his trips to Mar-a-Lago and lived permanently in White House instead, figures indicate.”
But he won't. https://t.co/KzlByfIIi1
— Lucas Diercouff (@LucasDiercouff) March 20, 2019
As critics noted, the check amounted to roughly 0.01 percent of the costs that taxpayers have picked up just for Trump’s golfing trips alone. A report from the Government Accountability Office found that Trump’s golf trips cost a total of $3.4 million each, making the total for all of his golf excursions close to $91 million.