Day 16: Donald Trump Profits on Every Presidential Vacation

It’s not uncommon for presidents to go on vacation. The job is 24/7/365. Some time to unwind is critical, especially since on every vacation the president is still working and expected to be ready to respond to big picture issues.

But presidential vacations can be expensive. While the president is required to pay for his and his family’s lodging, food and incidentals, the taxpayers pick up the tag for ancillary costs.

As the Washington Post noted, the additional costs can be numerous:

The biggest additional expense is the use of Air Force One and the support aircraft needed to haul all the equipment and ground transportation the president needs. The Congressional Research Service estimated that the cost of operating Air Force One is nearly $180,000 per hour. Ultimately, a presidential vacation can cost taxpayers an additional $1 million or considerably more than if the president had just stayed put in the White House.

Barack Obama was lambasted by the right for vacation days and expense, though his predecessors were gone far more often than he was. The total taxpayer expense for Obama’s vacations was as high as $85 million. But to put that in perspective, Donald Trump’s Thanksgiving trip home to Florida cost taxpayers $7 million for just a few days.

Trump is currently at his Florida home at Mar-a-Lago. The trip is expected to cost taxpayers another $3 million, while his wife’s security total continues to skyrocket.

Trump has been critical about presidential vacations and their cost in the past.

The biggest problem with Trump’s vacations is an unprecedented one: Trump will profit off virtually every single vacation that he or his family takes.

When Trump stays at Mar-a-Lago, Secret Service and other staff members need to be very close by. This means that they will be staying at the high-end resort too. Since they are not staying there for free— they will be paying full rate — Mar-a-Lago is collecting a substantial windfall every time the president takes a vacation there.

Who owns Mar-a-Lago? Donald Trump, of course.

So who is profiting every time Donald Trump goes on vacation? Donald Trump, of course.

If Trump goes anywhere in the world and stays at his properties — and remember, he brags about owning premier properties worldwide — Secret Service and staff will be forced to stay there as well. That will enable Donald Trump to profit even more.

It’s unlikely that Trump will stay at any property without his name on it, whenever possible. So it’s not only possible, but entirely probable, that Donald Trump properties — and in turn, Donald Trump— will collect tens of millions of dollars in profits merely from the president going on vacation.

The same goes when Trump’s children travel. Eric Trump recently took a two-day trip to Uruguay which cost taxpayers nearly $100,000. (The first family is afforded Secret Service protection as well.) The nature of the trip? Drumming up more business for the Trump Organization.

Every time anyone in the first family travels and stays at a Trump property, Donald Trump profits at the taxpayers’ expense.

Meanwhile, many on the right are ecstatic that Trump is foregoing his $400,000 annual salary.

It looks like he’ll be supplementing his income just fine.

16 days in, 1446 to go


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