By doing some research, I was able to locate estimates for 2017 as follows:
One Year Estimate
Each weekend at Mar-a-Lago, only including Secret Service and room costs (x 5 to date)
Air Force One costs for each trip to Mar-a-Lago (x 5 to date)
One day protecting Melania and Barron Trump at Trump Tower, NY
Security costs at Trump Tower (paid by City of New York) up to inauguration
Cost to Palm Beach County for security at Mar-a-Lago per day
Secret Service protection of Trump children and grandchildren
The Washington Post has estimated an annual travel and extra security expense of $526 million for this year. I trust their number over mine. What we do not know is how much of that is being delivered straight to the Trump Organization for rooms rented at Trump Tower, Mar-a-Lago, and Trump owned golf courses. Then, of course, there are the nations and businesses who are booking Washington DC's Trump-owned hotel, Trump Tower and Mar-a-Lago to curry favor with the president.
Compare the above to the total bill for President Obama's travel over eight years at $97 million or about $12 million per year.
To give the abuse of the federal piggy bank some perspective, using the half-billion estimate from the Washington Post, here's what that amount could buy instead (most of which were slashed in the president's slapped together budget proposal):
- SNAP food assistance for 350,000 children.
- Three and a half years of National Endowment for the Arts funding.
- A full year of school lunches for 1,500,000 poor children.
- Fully fund the USDA's program for ensuring safe drinking water in rural communities. With change left over.
- Four months of Head Start programs in all 50 states.
It's time for Congress to demand answers from the Treasury Department:
- How much has the Federal Government spent that went directly to Trump Organization owned properties (like Mar-a-Lago and Trump Tower) since Inauguration?
- How much has the Goverment spent on Trump branded merchandise?
- How much has the Secret Service spent to protect the president and his family that was paid directly to Trump-owned businesses?
- How much has the president, his family members, or his business been reimbursed for claimed expenses from the Federal Treasury?
So long as it continues to defend this man, the GOP must stop calling itself "the party of personal responsibility" or "the party of fiscal restraint".