US President Vacation and Protection Spending – Obama vs Trump

Spending time vacationing always seems to be a hot button issue when it comes to Republicans or Democrats attacking any president who “doesn’t work” or “spends so much money,” perceptively spending lavishly and playing golf while the country has huge unemployment numbers and the country is in need of work.

I noticed that President Trump announced he was going on vacation today, and it reminded me of a few of his tweets about President Obama. I figured I’d dig in a little to see what it really cost us to send Obama on his golf trip with Tiger Woods ($3.6 million dollars) or his wife to Spain with her friends ($467,585), and then compare that to the current President who likes to go down to Florida every weekend at his “Winter” or “Second White House.”

Obama and his family cost taxpayers $85 million dollars over the course of 8 years based on their vacations and trips, averaging $10.6 million dollars per year to taxpayers (

President Trump, after 4 weeks in office has gone on his third vacation which is expected to be costing taxpayers $3.6 million dollars each time (United States Government Accountability Office.) This would total 10.8 million dollars so far during his time in office.

If this trend continued, rounding the current President’s days up to a full month, it would increase Obama’s yearly cost of 10.6 million dollars to the $129.6 million dollars that Trump is on track to spend. This is a 1,222% increase (one-thousand two-hundred and twenty-two percent) of what Obama cost our country in vacations for him and his family.

At this rate if Trump is reelected and serves a full 8 years as Obama did, he would spend a total of $1.037 billion dollars on vacations.

However, after reading the investigation by Judicial Watch, they included his family’s movement without him such as vacations, unlike the current estimation I’m using for Donald Trump. Let’s look into that a little.

We can use estimation that it costs New York 1 million dollars a day for his wife and son to be protected by the Secret Service and New York City police department according to New York City police officials (Business Insider). To keep this about federal cost since the feds are paying half of that cost back right now, at 28 days, that has accumulated an additional 14 million dollars to federal taxpayers.

Let’s leave out the federal protection of his adult children going overseas such as his sons costing $100,000 to promote the Trump brand in Uruguay or the $16,000 in Dubai (Independent) since it’s gets too hard to keep track of these costs accurately in order to estimate the cost this will be for a year, much less a full term.

This brings the low estimate of spending for President Donald Trump’s vacation and family protection after one month in office to $24.6 million dollars- roughly 29% that Obama cost tax payers with overall vacation/family movement over his 8-year term. At this current rate if nothing changes, it would cost federal taxpayers $2.361 BILLION DOLLARS for President trump to vacation and his family to live in New York.  That is a 2778% (two-thousand seven-hundred and seventy-eight percent) per day spending increase.

However, the President did say part of this would not continue for the entirety of his term. Trump announced at his press conference that his family would be moving to the white house at the end of the school year in New York which is June 28th (New York City School Schedule). Although it would bring that number down considerably it would still be an additional 4 months and 10 days of protection cost- or an additional taxpayer cost of $65 million dollars.

If the first family does move at the end of the school year and he decides to never go on a vacation again, the President and his family will have cost federal tax-payers more in 5 months than Obama cost tax-payers in 8 years in protection and vacation logistic fees.

If what the President said is true and he also continues his current behavior, him and his family will cost US citizens $89.6 million dollars in federal taxes over 5 months4.6 million more than it cost us for Obama’s 8 years of vacation and protection.

(Photo credits: ABC News)

4 thoughts on “US President Vacation and Protection Spending – Obama vs Trump

    1. The numbers listed are in costs to the tax payer due to expenses such as Air Force one movement and Security detail. Neither President paid out of pocket for those expenses, including President Trump, which you can see by clicking on the referenced article.

      As far as not taking the salary of a President that is not true, he actually MUST take the salary. As far as donating it to charity, he very well might do so. That being said he does not want to release his taxes so there is no way to prove that either way. Even if he donates it to charity it still costs the American tax payer the same.

      Just to humor the situation: even if you subtract $400,000 from the cost (the Presidential salary) he has or will incur it still does not change the overall percent of increase more than a couple percentage points out of thousands.


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