If the American people could all agree on one thing about the 45th President of the United States, it would likely be summed up in a single descriptive word; unconventional. President Donald Trump has defied convention from the minute he announced his candidacy for President of the United States and he has never stopped.
While some of his unconventional ways are what actually got him into the White House, others are beginning to wear on government officials and American citizens on both sides of the fence. President Trump, for one thing, has an unusual family. He is one of only two US Presidents to have ever been divorced from a wife (President Reagan is the other) and is the only President in US history with multiple ex-wives. He also has a blend of children from all three of his marriage ranging from adult to elementary school. On top of that, the President has 8 grandchildren with another on the way.
This presents a unique problem in terms of security and protection and protecting this unconventional and unusual “First Family” is becoming a growing challenge and expense, one that the American people are not too happy about. It can be tough to grapple with the unbelievable amount of money it costs to keep the whole family secure on any given day. As such, looking specifically at the trips President Trump has made to the Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida can help.
Prior to the weekend of March 18th-19th, 2017, the President had spent a total of 14 days at what he calls the “Winter White House” in Florida. Essentially, he has been there every weekend since taking office. The secret service is the President’s primary security detail anywhere he travels. However, when the President is at the Mar-a-Lago, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office is called upon to provide additional assistance and security for the President.
These extra duties, as of the weekend of March 18th-19th were at over $1 million in overtime hours for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department. This huge additional cost is a burden that the small Sheriff’s Department was not prepared or financially able to bear and could lead in severe budget cuts or tax hikes in the next year. And it has been less than three months since President Trump took office!
The irony of the situation, is of course President Trump himself. A well-known social media presence, Donald Trump repeatedly commented on President Barack Obama’s vacations during his presidency, complaining about how much it cost for President Obama to go on his trips. However, President Trump is already spending far more time outside of the White House than his predecessor. And the estimated costs are astronomical.
Back when President Obama was in office, he spent four days in Florida in 2013. The conservative estimates of cost (omitting salaries for those security personnel involved in the trip) was around $3.6 million or $900,000 a day. Assuming just a bit of inflation between 2013 and 2017, we could conservatively estimate that the total costs for President Trump’s time at the Mar-a-Lago could be $1,000,000 a day, meaning $14 million or more was spent on his trips as of March 17, 2017.
Of course, when the President visits New York City, the costs are even higher. It costs New York City $1 million a day to keep the President secure. This does not even include the costs of security for the First Lady, Melania Trump and their son Barron who both live in New York full-time.
Both the New York City and Palm Beach County governments are looking to the federal government and to President Trump for reimbursement for the unbelievable costs to these government agencies and ultimately to the people of these areas. While neither has received word back or compensation in any form, one can only hope the President wises up and stops costing the taxpayers money that they do not have to give to support his excessive and lavish lifestyle.