BREAKING
Live updates: Almost 200 from Hall County have confirmed COVID-19 cases
Georgia Department of Public Heath data delayed from real time due to documentation, verification process
Full Story
By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Opinion: All Americans should be concerned with wasteful government spending
Trump International Golf Club
A motorcade carrying President Donald Trump arrives at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. - photo by Associated Press

The stock market has been great for those invested in it. Many Americans are on fixed incomes or are working hard to make ends meet.

All should be concerned with wasteful government spending, in our city, county, state and nation. 

Contrary to what President Trump pledged in his campaign, the annual deficit has exploded to $1 trillion and the national debt has increased to $23 trillion. The administration and Congress seem not to care.

Several Trump cabinet members abused spending, are now gone, but other waste continues. One relatively small example of wasteful spending is on travel.

All presidents need and deserve time away from the office. Trump, as a candidate, criticized President Obama for being lazy and spending too much time on the golf courses with friends and said he should be working more. Trump promised to rarely leave the White House, work harder and cut back on wasteful travel.

Here are some data:

Since taking office, Trump has made over 50 visits to his properties, according to a Washington Post article, and has spent almost 250 of his days at his golf courses, according to trumpgolfcount.com.

During his entire eight years, Obama spent a total $96 million on travel, an average of $12 million/year, according to the Post. A lot of money but modest in comparison with other presidents. He golfed on mostly public and military bases.

In just one month in 2017, Trump spent almost $14 million for travel, according to the Intelligencer. With over 24 trips to Mar-A-Lago, at an average cost of $3.4 million, according to an NPR report of a Government Accountability Office document, the cost is more than $80 million so far — but is still a small fraction of the total Trump travel cost.  

Additional local security costs in Florida alone have already approached $14 million, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Travel costs to all golf courses have been estimated at over $125 million as of late 2019, according to trumpgolfcount.com; golf cart rentals alone were about $600,000. Trump added $60 million to his travel budget in 2019.

Extrapolated to eight years, these costs would be in the range of $350 million, over 3½ times that of Obama’s.

Most of these trips are to his own properties, so Trump is further enriching himself with your money.   

Do you know that taxpayers also pay for his sons’ many business trips overseas, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars each?

It’s no wonder then that his administration is fighting public disclosure of his travel expenses.

Quibble with the numbers if you wish, the central message remains: He is a hypocrite and is spending multiple times what Obama did on travel. He has been out of office more hours and days than just about all presidents preceding him. He rarely comes to his office prior to 11 a.m.; he watches TV and sends tweets, rather than read national security briefs.

Is this a good use of your tax dollars?

Michael R Egolf

Dahlonega

Friends to Follow social media