A brand new web site is taking a dig at President Donald Trump’s frequent, pricey journeys to his Mar-a-Lago resort and suggesting how the cash is likely to be higher spent.
The positioning IsTrumpAtMarALago.org, launched on Friday by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, tracks what number of weekends Trump has spent there and what the estimated price has been for taxpayers. As of Monday morning, he had gone to the resort seven out of his 13 weekends as president, costing taxpayers an estimated $25 million.
IsTrumpAtMarALago.org additionally gives an inventory of packages that might have used that cash, particularly citing these going through Trump-proposed cuts, reminiscent of public school funding and aid for the homeless.
“It’s supremely hypocritical of Donald Trump to spend hundreds of thousands of presidency at Mar-a-Lago whereas crusading to chop important packages reminiscent of Meals on Wheels,” CAP Motion spokeswoman Morgan Finkelstein mentioned in a press release. “Our tracker will present context and maintain Trump accountable for his out-of-control spending at taxpayers’ expense.”
To calculate prices, the web site estimates Trump’s resort visits at round $three.6 million per journey, pointing to an unidentified Authorities Accountability Workplace report. The GAO report generally cited for that estimate checked out a 2013 Palm Seashore, Florida, go to by President Barack Obama and, as The Washington Put up has identified, costs can be complicated to estimate.
The web site provides to a mounting refrain of criticism round Trump’s visits to Mar-a-Lago. Some have focused on the costs for these journeys, whereas others have famous the need for improved security measures on the resort.
Many individuals have additionally famous the irony of Trump heading to golf clubs so often ― 12 instances within the first 9 weeks of his presidency ― after he repeatedly criticized Obama throughout his time in workplace.
With the cash spent on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago visits, the location calculates the federal government may have funded a 12 months’s value of meals for 9,000 Meals on Wheels recipients, six years of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, or 7,000 Pell grants to assist low-income college students pay for school, amongst different choices.
Whereas CAP Motion mentioned in its launch that the location particularly lists “packages that Trump desires to chop,” it glosses over some nuances of these budget proposals. As an illustration, the location says Pell grants “have been on Trump’s chopping block.” In reality, the president’s proposed price range would continue to fund Pell grants on the identical degree. Nonetheless, so as to take action, it could pull $3.9 billion from the program’s surplus, which advocates had hoped could be preserved as a cushion or used to strengthen or develop the grants, in line with Inside Increased Ed.
Equally, the location says the president “desires to slash” Meals on Wheels funding. However the block grants focused in Trump’s price range aren’t the main source of federal funding for that program. It’s unclear how a lot Meals on Wheels funding would really be affected by the proposed price range, though Trump’s price range director did seem to criticize this system to reporters, citing it for example of efforts that “sound good” but “don’t work.”
To this point the tweeter-in-chief has not publicly responded to the web site’s criticism.