Photograph from CNN
I’ve seen this meme going around that you’ve spent $98+ million in vacation/travel in nine months. Oh, the outrage! Wait. Rewind. Let’s do a little fact checking. While I do believe you have spent much too much of our taxpayer dollars on golf trips, I want to be sure about what I choose to believe. After all, people really don’t assume everything they see on Facebook and Twitter is accurate. Some of us still hold on to things like truth and research. Here are a couple of facts and tidbits that I have found—some are from traditional news sources, others were discovered while Snoping.
- “I would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done,” Trump toldThe Hill in 2015. “I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off.” While campaigning for the presidency in 2016, Trump said to the American people: “I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to go play golf.”1
- In point of fact, according to a reportin USA Today, Trump only spent five of his first 26 weekends as president holed up exclusively in the White House. The rest entailed trips to his nearby golf clubs. In early August 2017, CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller toted up how many days Trump had spent away from the White House versus the number of days Obama spent offsite and found that Trump’s total, at all or part of 41 days away from Washington, was nearly twice Obama’s, at all or part of 21 days[…]1
So, whence comes this $98 million dollar figure? Secret Service, military airbases, fuel, food, lodging, logistics, local support, and many other tiny little expenses such as golf carts.
- “Also indicative is a USA Todayreport that in addition to his Mar-a-Lago residencies, as of 21 August Trump had racked up five visits to his private golf club in New Jersey. At these two locations, the Secret Service spent $60,000 on rent for the golf carts needed to protect the president. If that pattern continues, American taxpayers can expect to be dinged for as much as $103,000 per year in golf cart rentals alone.”1
Now it’s time for the math geek in me to emerge. Don’t worry, it’s only a simple estimation: $103,000 for 4 years = $412,000. I would be remiss as a good citizen if I failed to point out that after spending $412,000, the US Government would not even “own” the golf carts.
This is waste beyond comprehension. What could that money buy? I decided to check. And if you are worried about shipping and handling costs, don’t. All of these items are available on Amazon Prime. To make it easier for you, I’ve created a meme.
Mr. President, tens of thousands of people in Puerto Rico were still without power on Christmas (according to a New York Times report). Many are without access to clean water, or even nutritious food. And you are renting golf carts.