For the price of President Donald Trump’s golf trips, a number of social, cultural and wildlife programs facing cuts under the president’s proposed budget plan could be saved.
In the 67 days since Trump took office, he’s spent a full three weeks away from the White House at one of the luxury properties owned by the Trump Organization. At least 12 of those days have been spent on the golf course. In fact, Trump is on pace to play twice as much golf as Barack Obama.
While day trips to Trump’s Virginia golf course and his Washington-based Trump International Hotel likely aren’t breaking the bank, Politico estimates Trump’s weekend jaunts to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida could be costing taxpayers upwards of $3 million per trip.
He’s headed to his “Winter White House,” as he calls the Florida estate, for five long weekends already in his presidency, which has cost at least $15 million by Politico’s estimates.
Politico came up with cost of the trips based on an expense report from a similar trip then-President Obama made in 2013. The trip, which included a stop in Palm Beach, cost $3.6 million, $3.2 million was spent on the cost of operating Air Force One.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has been quick to point out not every visit to a Trump golf course means golfing. Sometimes, he said, the president holds meetings.
Critics are calling out Trump for his vacation spending as education, economic development and arts programs are on the chopping block based on the president’s proposed budget.
The cost of security for first lady Melania Trump and the couple’s 10-year-old son, Barron, as they finish out the school year at Trump Tower in New York is also a source of concern for critics, costing taxpayers upwards of $135,000 per day.
Any of these 10 programs could be saved for the cost of President Trump’s trips so far to his Mar-a-Lago resort:
1. U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness — $4 million
This independent agency coordinates federal efforts to reduce homelessness.
2. International Education programs — $7 million
This line item funds a variety of exchange programs, migrant schools and special education services abroad.
3. National Wildlife Refuge fund — $13.2 million
This is a revenue-sharing fund that makes payments to counties where wildlife refuges are located from fees the Fish and Wildlife Service receives.
4. National Heritage Areas — $20 million
The state-and-federal partnerships preserve natural, historic, scenic, and cultural resources.
5. Occupational Safety and Health Administration training grants — $11 million
It funds initiatives that promote safety in the workplace.
6. The East-West Center — $16 million
Chartered by Congress as the Center for Cultural and Technical Interchange Between East and West, the Honolulu-based nonprofit has a mission of strengthening relations among Pacific Rim countries.
7. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board — $11 million
The agency, created by the Clean Air Act of 1990, investigates chemical accidents.
8. Denali Commission — $14 million
A state and federal economic development agency works on projects in Alaska.
9. Northern Border Regional Commission — $7 million
This regional economic development agency serves parts of Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.
10. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars — $11 million
This program provides scholarships and fellowships in social sciences and humanities.