In politics there is always an opposition party that criticizes the party in power. When those roles switch it’s always interesting to see if the same critiques still apply. Republicans rightly took issue with President Obama’s frequent and expensive vacations during his two terms. But now, with President Trump in office, they haven’t uttered a word about his even more expensive routine. Flying Air Force One to Mar A Lago every weekend has already cost taxpayers $10 million over his first month as President. If that rate of spending keeps up, President Trump’s travel expenses will exceed President Obama’s within a year.
The fact that Republicans haven’t raised any concerns with this excessively wasteful spending speaks to the biggest problem most people have with politics. Politicians are hypocrites. Just because they criticize the other party for doing something doesn’t mean those same rules will apply to them in the future. Double standards abound in Washington and the fact that President Trump is quickly outpacing President Obama on vacation spending is a perfect example. In addition to the tweet embedded below, Trump criticized President Obama on countless occasions during his Presidential campaign.
President @BarackObama‘s vacation is costing taxpayers millions of dollars—-Unbelievable!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2012
President Obama’s vacation expenses totaled up to $97 million over eight years, and President Trump is estimated to have already cost taxpayers $10 million. That only factors into account the three trips he’s taken to Mar A Lago in Florida and is based on a 2013 estimate. Taking into account inflation, the total could be even higher. Nonetheless, in ten months President Trump will have eclipsed President Obama’s vacation spending. Yet, there’s been no outrage from purported fiscal conservatives who made the same criticisms.
Luckily, there are a few non-partisan organizations that will remain consistent no matter which party is in the White House. Judicial Watch is monitoring President Trump’s travel spending closely and has already pressured the administration to release detailed budgets. If they don’t, the organization will likely file a Freedom Of Information Act request. They filed thousands of FOIA’s under President Obama and thus have the requisite experience needed to get results. Watching the administration’s vacation expenses is worthwhile, as is the other work they’ll have their hands full with under the opaque Trump administration. Principled conservatives, among others, ought to be grateful for their thankless work.