Politics - News Analysis

Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Resort Charged American Taxpayers $3 for a Glass of Water, (THREE DOLLARS!)

The Washington Post’s David Farenthold specializes in writing about the bogus ways in which President Donald Trump funnels money back to himself. And let me tell you, Farenthold excels at this. In a story Tuesday he lists the line items that comprise the $2.5 million (that we know of) that the government has paid the Trump Organization during Trump’s years as president.

The most notable example has to be the time when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe paid Trump a visit at Mar-a-Lago. The two leaders met briefly and sat on a couch in the resort’s central living room. Abe and Trump shook hands for the press and discussed their hopes for an upcoming summit.

“There was no food served. No private room to rent,” Farenthold writes. “Seemingly nothing to charge for.”

“But Mar-a-Lago still sent the government a bill.”

“Bilateral meeting,” the bill stated. “Water.”

That water was $3.00 each, plus service charges.

Slate writer Ben Mathis-Lilley also did some digging of his own and found out some interesting facts via Google:

  • The price of a glass of tap water? Less than one cent.
  • Price of labor involved: About 50 cents, “assuming it took someone earning $20 per hour one minute to fill the glass and walk it over to the table and someone else earning the same wage about 30 seconds to wash and dry it.”
  • Costs of utilities. Mathis-Lilley crunched a few more numbers and calculated that if the luxurious living room was about the same size as the typical home in Florida and use this estimate of the average monthly utility bill in this state and then assume that this event lasted an hour or so, the amount Abe and Trump would be charged per glass of water to cover the use of the room would be about 32 cents.

So what does all this mean? A whopping markup of 400 percent. That’s what it means. I’m going to wrap this up with Mathis-Lilley’s final paragraph because he sums up the situation very well.

“While the competition for such a distinction — given Trump’s record of fraudulent charities, fraudulent businesses and government graft — is stiff, Slate would like to propose that, going forward, this be considered the iconic and canonical example of Donald Trump corruption.”

What an excellent way to frame the situation!

meet the author

Megan has lived in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida and she currently lives in Central America. Living in these places has informed her writing on politics, science, and history. She is currently owned by 15 cats and 3 dogs and regularly owns Trump supporters when she has the opportunity.

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