|You! Thank You! for Paying in these times of austerity for you|
Last month President Donald Trump unveiled his new budget plan. Unsurprisingly, it consists of an incredible number of funding cuts. Most notably, the plan will slash the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by a third and the Department of Education’s by more than 13 percent.
Trump’s contentious budget also included a wish list of other programs he would like to wholly defund. As Care2 has reported, this would include Meals on Wheels, a program that feeds almost 2.5 million Americans who would otherwise be unable to access nutritious food.
The National Endowment for the Arts and The National Endowment for Humanities, crucial programs that sponsor art and culture across the country, are in Trump’s crosshairs too. Similarly, public broadcasters NPR and PBS may also be getting the ax.
As Trump pushes for these draconian budget cuts, he has somehow found it necessary to utilize millions of taxpayer dollars to fund his frequent trips to Mar-a-Lago, his private golf resort located in Florida.
These trips typically cost around $3.6 million per jaunt. And this comes not only from his personal travel expenses, but also the extensive security detail that must follow Trump each time.
While that might not sound so bad on its own, since taking office, Trump has spent seven of 14 weekends in Mar-a-Lago – culminating in $25 million spent so he can hit the green.
This is particularly ironic as Trump, among his many criticisms of President Obama, tweeted that the then-president was spending too much time on the golf course, rather than taking care of important White House business:
One might wonder whether Trump could make better use of both his time and taxpayer dollars. Well, wonder no more — a clever new website dedicated to monitoring Trump’s Mar-a-Lago trips calculates how the associated costs could be applied to other programs.
For example, with the $25 million spent to send the president to the golf course, Meals on Wheels could cover the costs of 9,000 recipients for a whole year. As far as school lunches go — another program Trump and Republicans have expressed a desire to dismantle — 61,000 students could be fed for a year.
Federal homeless aid, which is headed to Trump’s budget chopping block, could be funded for six years. Pell Grants, intended for low-income college students, could be covered for 7,000 recipients.
To see a handful of other comparisons, take a look at IsTrumpAtMarALago.org.
Republicans often tout themselves as the party of fiscal responsibility — a supposed justification for the drastic budget slimming. However, when the leader of their party so flippantly burns through millions of taxpayer dollars to merely go on vacation, there are only two reasons available: startling cognitive dissonance or gross hypocrisy.
Either way, this use of taxpayer dollars is appalling and, frankly, offensive behavior from a president who is pushing aggressively for American citizens to embrace austerity. Perhaps Trump should lead by example.