Headlines about the extravagance of President Trump and his adult children are nothing new. In February 2017, news broke that Eric Trump’s business trip to Uruguay cost taxpayers $100,000 in hotel bills for government personnel. Despite the negative press, in March of 2017 The Aspen Times reported that a ski trip for Donald Trump’s children required 100 secret service agents for his children and their families. The Trump family’s Aspen vacation cost taxpayers at least $330,000, according to CBS News. Although adult children of the president may decline Secret Service protection, the Trump kids choose to bring agents with them on frequent, elaborate trips across the world, racking up thousands of dollars on the taxpayers’ dime.
This is not normal. In May 2017, Congress allocated an additional $120 million for the Secret Service to handle the cost of protecting the President’s family. In August of 2017, over 1,000 agents still hit federal salary and overtime allowance caps, which were supposed to last another four months. This dilemma came as a result of Trump’s large, world-traveling family. The out-of-control spending didn’t stop there: In February 2018, Trump’s 2019 budget proposed an additional $2.2 billion in funding to hire 450 new agents and staff into the overworked Secret Service.
Given that Trump’s children could decline Secret Service protection, and that they are the cited reason for the family’s increased protection costs, where else could that $2.2 billion be spent? Here are just a few spots in the President’s budget where it could go:
Housing and Urban Development
Trump’s FY 2019 budget cut $6.8 billion from HUD, including the $1.9 billion for repairs to reduce lead paint and other health hazards in public housing.
Trump’s budget includes a 25% cut to the State Department that completely eliminates the $1.6 billion McGovern-Dole international food aid program. With the State Department at its weakest in years and kids starving, Trump’s priorities are elsewhere.
Just half of the amount allocated to the Secret Service would cover the $1.1 billion cut to the Labor Department, which decreases funding for the National Dislocated Worker Grants that support laborers who lose jobs in closures or natural disasters. Labor will also spend nearly $320 million less on programs to train and employ people who dropped out of high school.
Trump’s budget will cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), better known as “food stamps” by $17 billion in 2019, while 13 million children go hungry in the United States.
Donald Trump’s travel as president is excessive and costly, but the burden on the Secret Service comes with a hefty price tag for taxpayers. Where would you rather see your tax dollars go?
By placing unqualified relatives in some of the nation’s most important positions, Donald Trump has put our country in danger and allowed his family and friends to profit off the White House, showing us the dangers of nepotism.