President Donald Trump is a big fan of his West Palm Beach resort Mar-a-Lago, aka the “Winter White House,” and who can blame him? It’s got a golf course, distinguished club members and some “beautiful” chocolate cake. Plus, being president is a thankless job where at least half of the country is always going to yell at you and call you an idiot. And weekend getaways to Florida start to seem like heaven after reading intel reports that indicate North Korea is trying to provoke the international community with missile tests.
But for a president who hasn’t yet finished his first 100 days in office, President Trump has spent an awful lot of time at Mar-a-Lago. In fact, for seven out of 13 weekends he’s visited the resort while visiting only seven states and zero foreign countries. (Obama had nine states and three foreign country visits, while George W. Bush did 23 and Canada.)
A new website simply titled “Is Trump at Mar-a-Lago?” now lets people track how much time the 45th president is spending down south, and how much those trips are costing the U.S. taxpayers (presidential voyages on Air Force One are never cheap). At present count, the website has the costs for his resort trips at $25 million (one trip to Mar-a-Lago costs taxpayers about $3.6 million, per a Government Accountability Office report).
And it converts those numbers into even more tangible figures such as: 9,000, which it estimates is how many Meals on Wheels recipients could be paid for with that money. Or 7,000, which is the number of Pell Grants that could be covered by the Mar-a-Lago trip money.
The website is run by the Center for American Progress, so it’s not exactly a non-partisan endeavor. And again, every president needs their Hawaii trip or round of clearing brush on a Texas ranch. The world’s a scary place, and being president basically entails having to constantly allay fears and defeat boogeymen. Still, the site is a useful tool for logging President Trump’s hours of resort diplomacy and geopolitical golf. Transparency for any president isn’t a bad thing.
Check out the website here and have fun with its calculator.