Editorial: Protecting first family proves costly
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President Donald Trump continues to make headlines as he works to complete complicated legislation in his first 100 days in office, but his family’s living arrangements are costing U.S. taxpayers more than they bargained for. As a president with approval ratings dropping to a low of 36% and family still living in one of the most populated cities of the country, New York, and not in the White House where the expense of protecting the first family is already set, many who would give the new President a break are getting impatient with the expensive inconvenience of added cost and traffic.
Ever since First Lady Melania Trump announced that she and her son, Barron, will reside in New York, more than 145,000 citizens have put together a petition to “make Melania Trump stay in the White House or pay for the expenses herself.” Once the petition reaches 150,000 signatures, it will be presented to the U.S. Senate, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Unfortunately, Melania is not the only member of the Trump family who the American people are paying to be protected. According to New York Times, taxpayers paid nearly $100,000 to protect Eric Trump while he was on a business trip to Uruguay. Moreover, the Defense Department is looking to rent space in Trump Tower so that they can bring nuclear launch codes along when Trump visits his family in New York. Rent at Trump Tower can cost as much as $1.5 million a year per floor. During Trump’s transition period, New York City did take on most of the costs of protecting the family. However, a portion of these cost does come from the pockets of taxpayers and these funds could be used to make their lives simpler while not spending unnecessary on the already rich. According to Politifact, a spokesperson for New York mayor Bill de Blasio claimed that Melania and Barron Trump ran up a $37 million bill for security from Election Day in November to the inauguration in January; whereas, Chicago spent $2.2 million to protect President Barack Obama’s home in Chicago from election day to his inauguration day. Moreover, a CNN money report showed that more than $1 million was spent on protecting the Trump family in New York City a day. Mayor De Blasio stated that “New York City taxpayers should not be on the hook for 80 percent of the national bill” in order to protect the president and his family.
Since he began running for president, Trump has had the highest cost in protective services in history as the streets around Fifth Avenue, some of the richest real estate and heavily traveled areas of the country, are patrolled by officers and the secret service. Having already experienced incidents with security, one including a White House fence jumper who was on the grounds for more than 16 minutes and managed to reach Trump’s bedroom windows, the security is bound to be enhanced and not lightened and so too will the expense and burden of taxpayers.