In an article published today by USA Today, the Director of the Secret Service Randolph Ailes admitted that more than 1,000 agents have already reach their annual salary and overtime limits. This is due entirely to Donald Trump’s frequent travels to his personal resorts and the large number of family members who receive Secret Service protection by law. This includes protection for his children who go overseas to conduct family business. Recently, the Secret Service paid approximately $100,000 in hotel costs alone when accompanying Eric Trump on a business trip to Uruguay.
According to Ailes, “Under Trump, 42 people have protection, a number that includes 18 members of his family. That’s up from 31 during the Obama administration. ” In addition, they are required to provide protection to Trump when he visits his numerous personal properties up and down the east coast. So far this year, that includes seven trip to Mar-A-Lago, five trips to his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., and one return trip to Trump Tower. Readers may recall that the Secret Service was also required to provide round-the-clock protection to First Lady Melania Trump and her son Barron until June when they remained in New York following the inauguration.
Each trip to Mar-A-Lago costs the Secret Service an estimated $3 million dollars per trip. Multiply that by seven and the total cost in just eight months is $27 million dollars. Trump has also profited to the tune of $60,000 alone for the cost of golf carts he charges the men and women tasked with laying down their lives to protect his. He charges the Secret Service rental fees for golf carts so they can protect him. Unbelievable!
Let’s put this in some perspective. Previous presidents certainly took vacations, but always either to their personal homes (Reagan and both Bushes) or to Hawaii (Obama). These locations were easier to secure because, unlike the money-making properties of Donald Trump, they were not open to the public. In addition, the United States taxpayers provide a Presidential get-away retreat at Camp David in Maryland, which comes complete with golf course. There was no reason Trump could not have gone there during the recent White House renovations.
Whereas previous presidents, George W. Bush comes readily to mind, postponed their Christmas vacations until after December 25th, remaining in the White House so that their Secret Service agents could spend the holiday with their families, Trump & Co. travelled to Mar-A-Lago for the holiday. Don’t expect his heart to grow three sizes on that day on future Christmas vacations.
This is not just taxpayer dollars that are being wasted. This is taxpayer dollars going directly to line the pockets of the President of the United States – Donald J. Trump. This is your money and my money. Former Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen once made the statement back in the 70s “A million here and a million there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.”
The fine men and women serving in our Secret Service deserve better than this. They deserve respect and consideration from the man and his family they are putting their lives on the line for. They have earned it.
A demoralized, overworked, and underpaid Secret Service is not in the best interests of the country. And if Donald Trump had any sense at all, he would realize that it is certainly not in the best interests of him and his family.