Donald Trump is that guy—the guy who treats the company credit card like it’s his personal mint and who buys the most expensive item on the menu because he knows someone else is picking up the bill. And who is paying for Trump’s extravagance? You are.
Over the last five weekends, the president has visited his luxury resort four times – each trip costs American taxpayers about $3 million – and as of last night, Trump had spent 31% of his presidency at Mar-a-Lago. He’s now played golf eight times since taking office six weeks ago.
Despite being president on 9/11 and starting the two longest-running wars in American history, George W. Bush found time to break the record for the amount of vacation time taken by a president. Even so, Republican mythology insists that President Obama was a golf-obsessed loafer whose jaunts around the world cost taxpayers a fortune. In truth, Obama was never close to matching the lazy days of W and both of them were nose-to-the-grindstone compared to Trump.
Told that Donald Trump is actually spending more on travel and enjoying more downtime, conservatives were incredulous. The facts “can’t possibly be right,” one said. “That absolutely can’t be right.”
Oh, it’s right. And it’s one of the clearest signs of just how blatantly Donald Trump is willing to lie not just to America, but specifically to the people who supported him.
Here’s Trump during the campaign.
In October 2014, Trump whined via Twitter, “We pay for Obama’s travel so he can fundraise millions so Democrats can run on lies. Then we pay for his golf.” A year later, as a presidential candidate, Trump declared that if he were in office, he’d dispense with breaks. “I’d want to stay in the White House and work my ass off,” he told voters.
It was four months from the time he took office until Barack Obama played his first weekend game of golf. Four months, in fact, before he took his first day of vacation. Donald Trump didn’t make it even two weeks before he left town and violated his promise.
Why would Republicans be so convinced that Obama was constantly playing golf? Well …
At the current rate, while Trump is spending your money to cover his amazing laziness, he’ll easily set a record. George W. Bush finished off with 65 vacation trips totaling 407 days off. That’s three times as much as Barack Obama, but Bush still only spent 14 percent of his presidency snoozing, brush clearing, and learning to paint feet. Trump is set to easily eclipse Bush’s eight year total in his first term—assuming he completes a term.