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 maintaining the president and his family safe- is on course to expend 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 salary and overtime cap from $160,000 to $187,000 per year so the agency can get through Trump’s first term. Optimistically, such reports attains no mention of a second.

Even if the measure pass, about 130 agents might not get paid in full for hours they’ve already worked, which is a problem.” We cannot expect the Secret Service to be able to recruit and keep the best of best available 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, the agency is headed for some serious staffing issues.

The reasons for this intense level of spending include the president’s large family, 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 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 spent about $60,000 this year on golf cart rentals alone.

Much of this money presumably goes to Trump’s own businesses, lending credence to critics who theorize he only ran for chairperson so he could become as rich as he’s always boasting about being.( No term yet on whether Trump’s hotels gave the people tasked with maintaining their boss alive a transgres on the cost .)

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

” 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 admitted relevant agencies was having fiscal problems but said the Trump family’s globetrotting lifestyle was not to blame … or at the least not solely to blame.

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

Are all those journeys to Mar-a-Lago evidence that our chairwoman only 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 chairwoman only not understand the connection between his weekend activities and the federal budget deficit?

Probably the latter, but merely 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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