Trump’s Golfing Has Cost Taxpayers 296 Years Of Presidential Salary

Just after election day in 2016, Donald Trump stated in a 60 Minutes interview with Lesley Stahl he planned on refusing the $400,000 presidential salary.

He claimed he didn’t even know what the salary is, and conceded, if he had to, to accept only one dollar.

The Constitution requires the president receive an emolument.

Three years into his presidency, Trump has donated his quarterly earnings to various government department projects.

Although not exactly eschewing his emolument, he’s not keeping it.

On the surface, this appears uncharacteristically altruistic for a man known for a lifetime of grift and hustle.

But where Donald Trump goes, greed follows.

Trump has spent just about every weekend of his presidency at one of his myriad golf courses, mostly at his Palm Beach, Fla. Mar-a-Lago resort.

16 of the past 19 presidents have indulged in the idyllic past time that is the game of golf, and, yes, American taxpayers footed their bills for transportation, Secret Service protection, and lodging.

Yet no president has ever played as much golf as Trump.

And no president before has ever owned a golf course.

That means when Trump ventures to one of his links, American taxpayers aren’t just on the hook for the typical financial headaches to house Secret Secret agents, secure property, and maintain sophisticated communication.

It means all that cost is flowing straight into Trump’s bank account.

What does that have to do with Trump’s apparent selfless salary donations?

All those golf outings have cost taxpayers 296 years of presidential salary.

As PoliticusUSA recently reported:

“The Huffington Post keeps tabs on Trump’s golfing expenditures and noted the weekend before Christmas that Trump has now exceeded ‘$118 million on his 26th visit to Mar-a-Lago, his for-profit resort in Palm Beach, Florida, with a Saturday visit to his course in neighboring West Palm Beach.’

“All of his golfing is being funded by us, the taxpayers. And of course, in addition, he’s funneling our money to his own businesses.”

HuffPost adds:

“Of that $118.3 million, at least several million has gone into Trump’s own cash registers, as Secret Service agents, White House staff and other administration officials stay and eat at his hotels and golf courses. The exact amount going into Trump’s pocket cannot be determined because the White House refuses to reveal how many Trump aides have been staying at his properties when he visits them and the administration will not turn over receipts for the charges incurred.”

Each trip to Mar-a-Lago costs the American taxpayer about $3.4 million; each trip to Trump’s Bedminster, NJ resort costs $1.1 million.

HuffPost explained:

“Trump insists on playing golf at his own courses—primarily in Bedminster, New Jersey, and Florida—during which he greets and spends time with paying club members whose dues continue to enrich him. Trump has also visited his courses in Los Angeles; Doral, Florida; Turnberry, Scotland; and Doonbeg, Ireland—all on the taxpayer dime.”

The predictable Republican response is, “What about Obama?”

Well…what about him?

At this point in his presidency, Barack Obama had logged 88 days of golf.

As of last week, Trump was on day 227.

Barack Obama played on military courses, reducing the security and financial concerns.

Again, quoting HuffPost:

“Just three years into his presidency, Trump’s travel and security expenses for his golf hobby exceed an estimate of eight years worth of expenses incurred by Obama’s family travel by millions of dollars.”

Last year the following meme circulated around prominent Republican websites like the Gateway Pundit, the Right Scoop, and the Social News Daily, asserting that in the summer of 2018, Trump donated his entire $400,000 annual salary to the Department of the Interior to be used for rebuilding military cemeteries:

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This is impossible seeing as Trump donated his quarterly salary to different government projects.

What is possible is the smoke-and-mirrors scheme Trump is perpetrating on the American people every day he remains in office.

He is the only president to be actively profiting from being in office.

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