Tuesday, April 11, 2017

CNN: Trump on pace to surpass 8 years of Obama's travel spending in 1 year; commentary by Robert Reich

"President Donald Trump may have spent his weekend at Mar-a-Lago discussing delicate trade policy with Chinese President Xi Jinping and launching a controversial missile attack against Syria. That didn’t stop him from playing golf, though, despite his harsh criticisms of President Barack Obama for spending too much time on the links.

"At the end of his weekend at Mar-a-Lago, Trump joined seven of his friends to play golf at the Trump International Golf Course, according to a report by the Palm Beach Daily News, 'ditching the press corps and sneaking away from Mar-a-Lago early in the day for a light breakfast and round of golf with friends at his Trump International Golf Course. No prime ministers, no presidents, no distinguished foreign visitors. Just a guy from Queens with seven pals hitting a few.' " Salon

Here's what  Robert Reich, Professor of Public Policy at U.C. Berklee, has to say:

Trump's travel to his private club in Florida has cost over $21.6 million in his first 80 days as president. At this rate, in just his first year in office Trump will exceed Barack Obama's travel spending during Obama’s entire eight years.

Trump continuously criticized Obama for costing taxpayers money every time Obama took a trip. "The habitual vacationer, @BarackObama, is now in Hawaii. This vacation is costing taxpayers $4 million +++ while there is 20% unemployment," Trump tweeted in 2011 with an incorrect unemployment figure. Trump later tweeted: "President @BarackObama's vacation is costing taxpayers millions of dollars——Unbelievable!"

It’s not just hypocritical. It's also unnecessary. To date, Trump has spent a total of 21 days at Mar-A-Lago, his private Palm Beach club in Palm Beach, Florida -- more than a quarter of his entire presidency. This doesn’t include travel to his other golf resorts such his private Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.

It’s great for business. He gets free publicity for his resorts. And the Mar-A-Lago membership fee doubled to $200,000 a year when Trump became president.

But what’s wrong with Camp David?

Oh, there’s also the cost of protecting first lady Melania Trump while she stays at the Trump Tower with son Barron, which is almost all the time ($127,000 to $146,000 a day). Plus the cost of protecting daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared. And of protecting sons Eric and Donald, Jr. -- including their almost non-stop travel around the world on Trump Organization business.

We're being fleeced, folks. Trump’s federal budget demands belt-tightening across the federal government, yet Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly says the Department of Homeland Security will ask Congress for additional funding for Trump and his family.
Tell your members of Congress you want them to introduce legislation capping Trump's taxpayer-subsidized travel to no more than twice Obama's.

Trump on pace to surpass 8 years of Obama's travel spending in 1 year

By Dan Merica, CNN