Eric has done an astonishing number of just awful things lately, and we’ve become a bit of a self-appointed check on the boy – and we use that word generously – because no one else seems to want to do it. I had always thought of a president’s sons and daughters as being “minor” sons and daughters in need of Secret Service protection, not adults. Of course, that is a bit ridiculous now that I think about it.
Let’s stipulate that an adult son or daughter of the president does need Secret Service protection, not so much for his or her protection, but for ours. It would be exceedingly easy for bad interests to nab a son or daughter and have the entire government fall into disarray to meet the kidnappers’ demands, as any West Wing fan knows.
I still don’t see why special trips – ones that are purely for pleasure, even if a little work is thrown in – are picked up by the United States? Eric likes to visit Trump branded properties, along with the courses they own in Scotland and Ireland, and it is not cheap when he does.
He has another trip scheduled to Scotland this summer, and it isn’t a necessary check-up on the properties that can only be done through a visit. Nope. It is a fundraiser, for the Trump businesses, taking members of the New Bedford Golf Club to Scotland for $6500. In other words, to pump some money out of their members, all while it costs the United States almost as much as the Trumps will make. From Rawstory  which has a nice summary of reporting by Mother Jones:
“Of course,” Choma reports, “an independent tour doesn’t have Eric Trump along for the ride. Whether or not he is worth the premium for club members, it will cost American taxpayers a significant amount.”
He is going as the show horse. Like I said, to pump some extra from people who would pay such an amount just to plant something in the ear of the kid – and we use that word generously – of the parent-president. Every dollar of value that they get, comes out of value paid by the United States. If the Trumps had to factor in his security costs into their own bottom line, they might well determine to not do such lavish sprees. But, what can we say? They have a sucker on the other end, and they’re milking them (us) for all we’re worth.
No one seems sure of what these jaunts cost, but we have some figures that are taken from similar trips:
The Mother Jones reporter notes that in late February, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) “released documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests showing that a two-day trip that Eric Trump took in early January 2019 to visit a Trump-branded property in Uruguay cost US taxpayers more than $80,786 — just for hotel rooms for his Secret Service detail. That doesn’t include costs such as their airfare or pay.”
So let’s put the figure exceedingly generously – as we’ve been throughout – and say it is $100k in costs. That hundred thousand should be factored into the Trump’s bottom line instead of ours. Next time Trump brags about not taking a salary, it would be great to point out that the salary for the president of the U.S. is approximately $500,000, and Eric managed to eat that 20% in one trip, and it wasn’t his only trip.
I don’t mind footing the bill for pure business trips. It is not unreasonable for the first family to continue with their business lives. But when the “business expenses” look more and more like celebrity jaunts around the globe that cost us almost as much as they make, then it is exceedingly difficult to take.
Anyway, Eric, we hope you and your guests have a good time in Scotland. We also hope and trust that since you are having us pay for your protection, you’ll show your gratitude by being open and transparent about those costs, and not increase the rates the Secret Service pays for rooms that would otherwise go unused. Sound like a deal, squirt?
It is the one deal they will not make, being totally above board, and reducing costs to the government. We haven’t seen it done yet. But that’s another column, run along now bud.
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