Donald Trump is taking millions of dollars from the National Park Service to fund his authoritarian-inspired Fourth of July event in Washington this week.
According to The Washington Post, “The National Park Service is diverting nearly $2.5 million in entrance and recreation fees primarily intended to improve parks across the country to cover costs associated with President Trump’s Independence Day celebration Thursday on the Mall, according to two individuals familiar with the arrangement.”
The report notes that the $2.5 million being taken from the National Park Service is just a portion of the total extra costs taxpayers will be forced to fork over for the president’s partisan Fourth of July event.
More from The Washington Post:
Trump administration officials have consistently refused to say how much taxpayers will have to pay for the expanded celebration on the Mall this year, which the president has dubbed “Salute to America.” The two individuals, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, confirmed the transfer of the Park Service funds Tuesday.
The diversion of the park fees represents just a fraction of the extra costs the government faces as a result the event, which also includes expansive displays of military hardware, flyovers by an array of jets including Air Force One, the deployment of tanks on the Mall and an extended pyrotechnics display. By comparison, according to former Park Service deputy director Denis P. Galvin, the entire Fourth of July celebration on the Mall typically costs the agency about $2 million.
Taxpayers are essentially funding a Trump campaign event
While taxpayers have always been on the hook for Washington D.C.’s Independence Day celebration, it has never been a partisan affair.
By shifting the focus of the holiday from a celebration of America to a celebration of Donald Trump, this president is essentially forcing taxpayers to be campaign donors.
To further drive home the point that the nation’s Independence Day celebration will be a partisan sham, The Washington Post report noted, “The White House is also distributing VIP tickets for Trump’s planned speech at the Lincoln Memorial to Republican donors and political appointees.”
At the end of the day, it’s no surprise that a president who repeatedly uses his office to enrich himself, his family and his business has no problem forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for what is essentially a MAGA rally on steroids.
What is stunning is how blatant all of this is; the administration isn’t even trying to conceal it.
As, Democratic Sen. Tom Udall, who sits on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, said: “We’ve never seen anything like this. No ticketed political event should be paid for with taxpayer dollars.”
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.