Trump’s endless Mar-a-Lago travel is transgressing the bank. Here’s a solution for him | Jamie Peck

The president has traveled almost every weekend on running vacations. If the demands of the job are too much for him, he neednt stay in office

Back in March, Donald Trump released a budget blueprint that proposed to eliminate some 62 federal agencies and programs- and cripple more of them- by slashing their budgets to far below their actual operating costs. Now he’s threatening to bankrupt yet one more federal agency: the Secret Service.

According to a report from USA Today, the Secret services- which is tasked with keeping the president and his family safe- is on course to spend its entire annual budget by September. That’s an overage of about 25%.

More than 1,000 agents have already reached federally mandated salary and overtime caps, inspiring the service’s director, Randolph ” Tex ” Alles, to ask lawmakers to create the combined wage and overtime cap from $160,000 to $187,000 per year so the agency can get through Trump’s first word. Optimistically, the report makes no mention of a second.

Even if the measure pass, about 130 agents might not get paid in full for hours they’ve already ran, which is a problem.” We cannot expect the Secret Service to be able to recruit and keep the best of the best if they are not being paid for these increases[ in overtime hours ],” stated Jennifer Werner, a spokesperson for the Maryland congressman Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House oversight and government reform committee.

Unless Secret services agents were ready to guard Trump- who is rumored to treat them like servants- and his brood for free, the agency is headed for some serious staffing issues.

The reasons for this intense level of spending include the president’s large household, frequent trip-ups and numerous residences. The number of people under Secret services protection increased from 31 under Obama to 42 under Trump, and his grown children often crisscross the world opening new Trump hotels and vacationing in luxurious and expensive places.

Eric Trump’s 2017 business travel to Uruguay” expense the Secret Service virtually $100,000 just for hotel rooms “. I hope they at the least came with a complimentary breakfast buffet.

Since taking office, Trump himself has traveled almost every weekend on” working vacations” to properties he owns in New Jersey, Virginia, and Florida, most of which have “golf club” in their names. The Secret Service has already expend about $60,000 this year on golf cart rentals alone.

Much of this cash presumably goes to Trump’s own businesses, giving credence to critics who theorize he only ran for president so he could become as rich as he’s always bragging about being.( No word yet on whether Trump’s hotels gave the people tasked with maintaining their boss alive a violate on the cost .)

This is the same hardworking public servant who once criticized Barack Obama for golfing where reference is should have been killing terrorists with his bare hands, or something.( And by “once”, I mean 27 times .)

” I wouldn’t leave the White House ,” Trump opined on the campaign trail.” You know, Obama always leaves the White House. Think of it, you’re elected president, you’re in the White House, why would you want to leave? With hundreds and hundreds of securities[ sic] … and he could do it from, like, Washington .” Why indeed?

Alles did some injury control in the wake of the USA Today story. In a statement released Monday, he acknowledged the agency was having fiscal problems but said the Trump family’s globetrotting lifestyle was not to blamed … or at least not solely to blame.

” This issue is not one that can be attributed to the current administration’s protection requirements alone, but rather has been an ongoing issue for nearly a decade due to an overall increase in operational tempo ,” he said. Oh, OK.

Are all those trip-ups to Mar-a-Lago evidence that our chairman just requires one long, endless holiday to get away from the stress of it all? Are all those public rallies a cry for help? Or does our 45 th chairman only not understand the connection between his weekend activities and the federal budget deficit?

Probably the latter, but just in case: there’s a better way out of this, my friend, and it rhymes with “design”.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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