Donald Trump is far from the only president to travel frequently, but he may be the first one to do so at great expense after having repeatedly criticized his predecessor for doing the same thing. Trump's trips to Mar-A-Lago cost enough to fund several government agencies, including ones that his budget proposes cutting. Selfishness isn't the only virtue that the trips expose, however. There's also a strong element of hypocrisy coming from both the president and the Republican Party, after both repeatedly criticized President Obama's traveling.
There haven't been any official reports yet, but previous reports of Obama's trips show that each of Trump's trips to his Florida resort cost taxpayers about $3 million. Given that he likes to travel there quite frequently — i.e., half of his weekends as president so far — the costs are adding up quite quickly.
This is especially ironic after Trump released his budget proposal for 2018, which outlined myriad government agencies that would lose significant amounts of funding or be defunded entirely. The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, for example, was one of those agencies — and its funding for a year costs about $4 million. Trump wants to cut back on the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Institutes of Health, but he certainly doesn't want to miss any time in the Florida sun.
Now, I'm not complaining about the president taking trips or going on the occasional vacation. We all need time to recharge, right? I'm also not complaining about the money spent protecting the president. Those Secret Service details aren't mere accessories, and those are dollars well spent.
However, presidents in the past have made various concessions to the American public in order to keep costs down, like having their whole families live with them at the White House or taking trips to government properties like Camp David. Trump, on the other hand, refuses to do either. Melania and Barron Trump's continued residence in New York City is costing taxpayers about $200,000 a day, plus the headache of having to have all that security in the middle of America's biggest city. He promised that he would somehow be working for the people, and not vacationing. He complained about a trip of Michelle Obama's that cost $1 million, and now he's been to Mar-A-Lago five times. Things like this are just a never-ending show of Trump's feeling of entitlement, and they're unlikely to stop any time soon.