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 working 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 Service- 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 hit federally mandated salary and overtime caps, inspiring the service’s director, Randolph ” Tex ” Alles, to ask lawmakers to raise the combined wage and overtime cap from $160,000 to $187,000 per year so the agency can get through Trump’s first term. Optimistically, such reports constructs no mention of a second.

Even if the measure passes, 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 Service agents are willing to guard Trump- who is rumored to treat them like maids- and his brood for free, relevant agencies is headed for some serious staffing issues.

The reasons for this intense level of spending include the president’s big household, frequent trip-ups and numerous residences. The number of people under Secret Service 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 nearly $100,000 just for hotel rooms “. I hope they at 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 spend 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 chairwoman so he could become as rich as he’s always bragging about being.( No term yet on whether Trump’s hotels gave the people tasked with keeping their boss alive a break on the cost .)

This is the same hardworking public servant who once blamed Barack Obama for golfing when he 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 narrative. In a statement released Monday, he acknowledged relevant agencies was having fiscal problems but said the Trump family’s globetrotting lifestyle was not to blame … or at the least not exclusively to blamed.

” This issue is not a matter 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 needs one long, endless vacation to get away from the stress of everything there is? Are all those public rallies a cry for help? Or does our 45 th president simply 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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