The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.

Western Courier

Trump cancels vacation promises

Jason Adams

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One promise President Donald Trump made on the campaign trail in 2016 was that he would not take as many vacations as his predecessor, arguing that there was just too much work to be done in the White House to be taking vacations anyways. He said all of this in an interview with CBS News in November of last year, after he had already won the election. President Trump was a major critic of former President Barack Obama’s vacations as president, blasting Obama on Twitter about the family’s vacations including Michelle and the kids, stating there was too much to be done and that if he really loved what he did, he wouldn’t have taken so many vacations.

So has Trump been any better in dedication to the Oval Office? Most people, including me, would say absolutely not. The president has made numerous trips to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida — which Trump has dubbed the “Winter White House” on several occasions — where he has played more than a few rounds of golf, including a span of three straight weekends in February alone. Each trip to Mar-a-Lago costs taxpayers an estimated $3 million per trip, according to the Washington Post. Trip number six was planned some point last week, for a grand total of over $18 million so far, according to Forbes and other outlets. Obama spent roughly $12.1 million a year on vacations according to Forbes and The New York Times, much lower than Trump’s three-month spending.

It’s no secret that presidents take vacations. With a stressful job like that, it’s only common sense to take some time off as long as things are quiet. President Ronald Reagan, according to US News, spent well over 300 days vacationing during his eight-year term. Many of those days were spent at his ranch in Santa Barbara, California. President George H. W. Bush headed east to Kennebunkport, Maine. Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama favored the higher end Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts. President George W. Bush was known — and criticized by many left-wing writers — for his days spent vacationing in Crawford, Texas.

The problem with Trump, though, is his hypocrisy toward the issue. After bashing Obama for so long, he is on track to become even worse than Obama and George W. Bush. On top of all this, Melania and Baron, his wife and son, aren’t even living in the White House. They are still living in New York, which requires secret service protection at an estimated $1 million per day, according to CNN Money, which comes from taxpayers. Most presidential families all live in the White House with the president, as families generally stick together. It also works out that if his wife and son were to move into the White House, that extra secret service cost would be almost completely eliminated. If this were to continue for the rest of the year, that would mean $365 million out of taxpayer’s pockets to keep them in New York, or over a billion if Trump lasts for an entire term. Trump would bash the Obama family for all their “unneeded” taxpayer-funded vacations, yet Trump may surpass Obama’s two-term total before the year even ends. This is also after claiming he wouldn’t take too many vacations. It all seems little hypocritical, if you ask me.

There is also the fact that Trump wants to cut many smaller aspects of the national budget, like the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Environment Protection Agency, that he feels aren’t as necessary as an increase in the nation’s military budget. And yet, he is willing to go on all of these expensive vacations. Federal funding for groups and agencies that help people would get cut even though they only cost a couple million (which isn’t that much for the U.S. government), which is the same price as one of Trump’s trips to Mar-a-Lago. There’s nothing wrong about taking a little time off from a stressful job; however, it becomes a problem when it’s excessive and expensive.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Trump cancels vacation promises