Over the course of the past eight years, conservatives foamed at the mouth every time President Obama went on vacation. Every right-wing blog posted article after article detailing the amount of time Obama was away from the White House, all with righteous indignation over the amount of money it was costing taxpayers.
One would assume that news of what Trump and his family’s lavish lifestyles are ringing up on the taxpayer dime would find a rebuke from the self-proclaimed fiscally responsible set. Instead, nothing but crickets.
According to Judicial Watch, a conservative website, the Obama family cost taxpayers about 96-million over the course of his full, eight-year term. The previous president spent 219 days on vacation. By contrast, George W Bush piled up 490 days away from the White House.
Trump himself said during the campaign that if was elected, he wouldn’t have time to play golf and would probably never leave the White House
To be fair, a president is never really on vacation, particularly in this technologically advanced day and age. He is always on call, and likely to be working regardless of his physical location.
More than a quarter of his term on vacation already
The current president? While only in office a mere 80 days, Trump has spent 21 days on vacation at his resort in Florida, Mar-a-Lago. According to Judicial Watch, the very same source to put a price tag on the Obama’s vacations, travel and security expenses for Trump and his family have already reached $21.6 million.
Keeping the current pace, Trump will blow past Obama’s eight year 96-million figure in the first year with an estimated cost of $99.1 million. In the unlikely event Trump serves for eight years like Obama did, the total could, conceivably reach close to a cool $1 billion.
Surely the fiscal hawks are outraged
What do the once outraged critics of Obama’s travel expenses think of Trump’s spending? The simply don’t believe it’s true. The basic sentiment is summed up by CPAC attendee Arthur Herestein in a report from Vox:
“I believe that the story exists,” Herstein said. “But the facts in it can’t possibly be right. That absolutely can’t be right. How did Trump spend $10 million in one month and Obama spent $11 million in a year? It defies logic.”
Even when confronted with the numbers from Judicial Watch, again, the same source they believed when it was about the Obamas, they simply stick to their guns and question the accuracy of the numbers.
Still others point to Trump’s pledge to not take a salary as making it all OK. But the presidential salary is just $400,000, or, put another way, not even enough to cover a single weekend at Mar-A-Lago based on the reported numbers.