A Change.org petition with almost 250K signatures says “The U.S. taxpayer is paying an exorbitant amount of money to protect the First Lady in Trump Tower, located in New York City,” and demands that she move into the White House or pay back taxpayers.
The petition, which has surged in popularity, garnering over 100K signatures since yesterday, reads:
The U.S. taxpayer is paying an exorbitant amount of money to protect the First Lady in Trump Tower, located in New York City. As to help relieve the national debt, this expense yields no positive results for the nation and should be cut from being funded.
One of the many scandals that have plagued this administration from Day One is Melania Trump’s refusal to live in the White House as First Lady. It is a tradition, yet the former model and plagiarist has remained at Trump Tower.
At this point, we have heard that she may move at the conclusion of the school year in June, or that she may never move in at all. Whether she moves or not, she has already cost taxpayers a bundle of money.
According to the New York City Police Department, taxpayers have to pony up between $127,000 and $146,000 each day for protection. This goes up to $308,000 a day when Donald Trump is in residence at Trump Tower.
Even if Melania moves, she will, like her husband, return to visit, which will reduce but not eliminate the financial burden to New York City taxpayers.
Taxpayers paid an additional $24 million to protect the Trump family between election day and inauguration day and another $3 million each time Trump takes a golfing excursion. There have been twelve of those so far in the first 9 weeks of his presidency and this weekend is sure to add another.
This is not the first petition asking for Melania Trump to leave. One, in January, also cited the expense to New Yorkers of her remaining. Another that same month demanded her deportation. That petition never reached 500 signatures.
Though neither is on the appropriate subcommittee (the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security oversees the Secret Service budget), when it reaches 300K signatures the petition will be delivered with a brief letter to Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Though it will change nothing, the petition is a further sign of just how unpopular the Trump administration and family have managed to make themselves in a very brief period of time.
It also brings further attention to Trump’s hypocrisy on budgetary restraint and complaints he made about President Obama’s vacations while forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for his family’s extravagant lifestyle.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.