We've heard it time and time again — on President Trump's Twitter feed, from right-wing correspondents, and the decidedly gray area where those two worlds meet. "Can you believe that, with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf," Trump tweeted in 2014. The idea that former President Obama spent too much time on the golf course (and expended far too many resources on travel altogether) has pervaded conservative media for years. But really, how much were Obama's travel costs compared to Trump's? During his frequent trips to Mar-a-Lago, the new president has been spending a good deal of time on the golf course and racking up travel expenses.
According to a report from the International Business Times, the discrepancy between the two presidents is staggering. In his first year alone, Trump is on track to spend more money on travel than Obama did during his entire eight-year tenure as president.
A graphic shared widely on Reddit last week, which compiled data gathered from The Washington Post, set the two presidents' very different spending habits side-by-side. Trump's first month alone illustrates a hefty price tag — he has spent nearly $10 million in travel during his first 30 days as president, while Obama spent $12 million per year.
If Trump's cost of travel stays consistent throughout his entire presidency, he is set to outpace Obama by a long shot. If he stays in office for one term, his travel costs could reach $480 million. A second term could see that price tag skyrocketing to $960 million. In comparison, Obama's travel cost hit a mere $97 million throughout his eight years in the White House.
A large chunk of this cost can be accredited to Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, or the "Winter White House" as he has lovingly dubbed it. During his two months in office, Trump has so far spent five weekends at the getaway, playing golf with world leaders and hosting parties. Due to high security costs, each trip costs an estimated $3 million. Taxpayers have therefore had to foot the bill for $15 million in Trump's travel fees.
The hypocrisy in Trump's criticism of Obama is, of course, unsurprising. But the sheer difference in the numbers is definitely a little more alarming from a taxpayer perspective.
But if Trump's "Make America Great Again" plan somehow included making America spend again, then he'll be the wild success he has always promised.