President Donald Trump will spend his St. Patrick’s Day weekend at Mar-a-Lago, his fourth such trip since he took office less than two months ago.
This trip will also make it his seventh visit to a Trump-branded establishment since his Jan. 20 inauguration — all trips that can cost the public a pretty penny.
Trump’s travels to the so-called “Winter White House” have already cost roughly $16 million in tax dollars, according to Quartz, quickly surpassing the $12 million per year on vacation that former President Barack Obama was heavily criticized for. The beefed up security to protect Trump during such trips costs about $3.3 million a pop, as compared to the much cheaper retreat of Camp David that many former presidents used.
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Also Melania Trump’s decision to stay in New York City is also costing the country, as ESSENCE previously reported: “Her detail is reportedly costing taxpayers upwards of $400,000 a day. If she remains at Trump Tower, it will cost nearly $148 million dollars a year.”
Trump’s weekend sojourns are especially galling to some following the deep cuts to social programs that will mostly affect the poor if his administration’s proposed budget is ratified. Melania’s security detail in a year, for example, will cost more than the funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
Key Republicans, however, have criticized the bill and stated that they will not vote on the current budget as it stands.
But the optics of the luxury of Mar-a-Lago against the backdrop of cuts that affect the poor maybe something the president will want to rethink.