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Some believe that Donald Trump is well on his way to surpassing former President Barack Obama’s eight-year travel spending amount. It’s only been 80 days since Trump took office and his trip to his private club in Florida cost an estimated $20 million.
So why are so many slightly raising their eyebrows at this lucrative spending? Well if you recall, back during the Obama presidency, Trump openly criticized President Obama for the money he cost American taxpayers for every trip he took.
Yet when a president decides to go on a trip, he can’t just book a flight and be on his way. There’s the cost of secret service and other security measures that, in their entirety, can’t be completely estimated. A 2016 Government Accountability Office report on a four-day Florida trip President Obama took back in 2013 estimated that the cost of security was about $3.6 million.
It would seem that President Trump has spent a total of 21 days, including six weekends, at his private Palm Beach club, Mar-A-Lago. It’s been estimated that the total amount for all these trips rounds off to about $21.6 million.
However, when it comes to presidential trips, President Obama spent slightly under $97 million throughout his 8 years in the White House. His trips included personal vacations to Aspen for skiing and the Obama family vacation to Martha’s Vineyard. But there were also work trips like when he visited the Everglades National Park for Earth Day.
Before taking office, Trump was quite the critic of President Obama’s vacations. He often took to Twitter to express his disapproval for the vacation trips Obama took to his home state Hawaii.
One of his Tweets featured an inaccurate unemployment figure when Trump said, “The habitual vacationer, @BarackObama, is now in Hawaii. This vacation is costing taxpayers $4 million +++ while there is 20% unemployment.”
He also later Tweeted, “President @BarackObama’s vacation is costing taxpayers millions of dollars—Unbelievable!”
It’s believed that if Trump’s spending habits continue on their current pace, the new president will surpass President Obama’s within the next few months. Which is in question since Trump has recently said that the federal government should cut down their own spending by $54 billion. This cut deals out low blows to the State Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Environmental Protection as well as lot of other departments that will receive big cuts.
However, as the weather in that region begins to escalate in the upcoming month, it’s expected that President Trump will stop his Palm Beach vacations. Although it will be too hot to vacation in Florida, many others think that the president’s next move will be to Trump Tower in New York City. In his penthouse apartment there his wife and first lady Melania Trump has been residing since the beginning of 2017 with their son. The other vacation destination that is suspected for the president is Bedminster Township, New Jersey where his private Trump National Golf Club is.
Yet despite his criticism of President Obama’s vacations, the Trump family is proving to be a bit costly when it comes to security protection. Not only does he frequent travels rack up cash but it costs an estimated $127,000 to $146,000 per day to protect the first lady as she resides in New York without the president.
The secret service is in a bit of a strain as well when it comes to extending their protection to the first family. Many have been pulled from their investigations across the country in order to put on two-week rotations to protect Trump and the entire first family.
John Kelly who is the Homeland Security Secretary says that Homeland Security plans to ask Trump for more funding for his protection. Kelly said, “We need a larger Secret Service because we need to get some of these people a little bit of time at home with their families.”