To the Editor:
White House budget director Michael Mulvaney recently said in an interview that: “When you start looking at places that we reduce spending, one of the questions we asked was, ‘Can we really continue to ask a coal miner in West Virginia or a single mom in Detroit to pay for these programs?’ The answer was ‘No.’”
Of course, he was referring to cutting funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. If this is considered the current criteria for what should be curtailed or eliminated from the federal budget, perhaps there are several other items that we should examine.
The weekend trips to Mar-a-Lago by Mr. Trump cost the federal taxpaying public a bit more than $3 million for each outing, according to CBS News. He has made five trips to this resort in the first eight weeks of his presidency.
The Washington Post reports that the cost of just two of these trips would fund the Interagency Council on Homelessness for one year. This is an agency that is currently slated to be defunded. For what has been spent on these trips to date Meals on Wheels could feed 5,967 senior citizens for a year or 114,583 school children through school programs for that same period. Both of these programs are proposed to be cut in the current budget proposal.
The Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office says that they have spent $570,000 to help security measures for Mr. Trump’s visits, plus it costs approximately $60 thousand per day when he is at Mar-a-Lago. The current total is over $1 million of the Sheriff’s Office budget at this time and is growing with each trip. Add to this that every time Airforce One flies into Palm Beach, the airport is required to close down, disrupting not only travel to and from Palm Beach, but those businesses that depend on the airport and the airport travel.
I realize that Presidents must travel and must have security. I do not begrudge them of that. I do begrudge the waste incurred in this travel. If Mr. Trump wishes to play golf (which he seems to do on each trip to Mar-a-Lago), he could go to the Trump International Golf Course which is on the outskirts of Washington, D.C.
To paraphrase Mr. Mulvaney: “… one of the questions we asked was, ‘Can we really continue to ask a coal miner in West Virginia or a single mom in Detroit to pay for these programs?’ The answer was ‘No.’”