If there is one thing we know about President Donald Trump and his family, they live a lavish lifestyle. Something that I had not considered about this wealthy man becoming our president is the amount of money it would cost for him to maintain his standard of living alongside the protection he now requires.
Let’s start with Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York. According to The Guardian, Trump Tower alone currently costs $500,000 a day to protect, and this number could rise to as much as $183 million annually. That’s just one tower, and utterly ridiculous. It took $35 million to protect Trump Tower between the election and the inauguration. To compare, look at Obama. It cost a mere 2.2 million dollars to watch his home during the same time period. Seem ridiculous yet?
Enough about Trump Tower; let’s talk about his sons. Eric and Donald Jr. have been quite the travelers recently, costing the government a ton now that they require Secret Service protection. The pair recently traveled to Dubai to open up a Trump Golf Course, racking up Secret Service hotel bills of $16,000. Eric went to Uruguay recently, spending $100,000 in taxpayer money for Secret Service hotel bills alone. The Trump sons are using exuberant amounts of taxpayers’ money on these trips to open Trump-branded golf courses and resorts, now that they need the Secret Service. The Guardian estimates that taxpayers will have to pay hundreds of millions over the next four years to cover the cost of this luxurious lifestyle and that is obscene, unprofessional and unacceptable.
On a different note, let’s talk about trips to Florida. Donald Trump owns an estate and club, Mar-a-Lago, which has gotten quite a bit of attention. The President travelled to Mar-a-Lago three consecutive weekends this past month, despite slamming Obama for playing golf and saying that he himself would be too busy to leave the White House. This is hypocritical considering how much golf Trump played in his first 32 days as President. While White House Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed that Trump was all business at the estate, professional golfer Rory McIlroy played 18 holes with the President.
Palm Beach officials say it costs $60,000 a day in police overtime to protect President Trump at the estate. His visits also hurt local businesses. The small airport in the area shuts down for Air Force One, causing the airport to lose business, in addition to another losing $40,000 dollars in contracts, according to The Guardian.
Even if he is doing business at Mar-a-Lago, this could be, and should be, conducted at the White House. Mar-a-Lago is a club, and offers an unfair advantage to people rich enough to afford a membership, because now they can buy quality time at the same resort as President Trump. To join Mar-a-Lago, one has to drop $200,000, and then pay $14,000 a year to stay a member. That gets you access to the pool, the tennis courts and the president of the United States of America. That is appalling.
Camp David is a mere helicopter ride away from the White House, which would save the thousands Trump spends to fly Air Force One all the way to Florida every weekend. We, as a country, are in debt. Trump is spending extreme amounts of money on unnecessary traveling and should be focussing on foreign affairs, immigration and the other issues plaguing the United States since his taking office. Trump should not be wasting time at his vacation house.
It is clear that Trump does not want to give up his exceedingly lavish lifestyle just to be President nor is he willing to stop dipping into taxpayer money to continue to travel. The same goes for his family, whom we did not elect or choose to protect. Over Obama’s two terms, it cost $97 million to protect him on trips and vacations. The Guardian estimated that Trump costs eight times more, potentially reaching one billion dollars. Donald Trump has been privileged with access to the White House. Too bad he is spending our money to avoid using it.
Annie Cohen is a College freshman from New Orleans, Louisiana.