Scrolling Headlines:

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

Minutemen third, Minutewomen finish fifth in Atlantic 10 Championships for UMass track and field -

May 8, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse wins A-10 title for ninth straight season -

May 8, 2017

Dayton takes two from UMass softball in weekend series -

May 8, 2017

Pay for your own round, Mr. President

(Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

There’s been a growing sentiment amongst some over the last five years that the people of the United States would be better off if our government was run like a business. The common glorification of the idealized “businessman-president” makes sense from a certain perspective. Billionaire Mark Cuban put it well a year ago when he said, “As a business person, you have to get things done. Politicians, they’re hated because nothing happens, right? Running a company, either you get it done or you disappear.” That same mindset was used to promote Mitt Romney in 2012, though we ultimately decided to stick with the lawyer-president model.

Businessmen make moves; they get stuff done and yield profits. On a national scale, I suppose those profits would look like GDP growth and those moves might look like excellent trade deals with foreign entities. Fortunately for us, we now have a businessman-president, and he has a history of deal making.

An inseparable part of the businessman ethos is found on the golf course. There is this romantic idea of bringing out a potential partner for your firm out for a round. You hash out a few details of a joint business strategy, and then you nail your first drive. You secure the deal in the golf cart on the way to the green, a big win for the firm and for you. You are on your way to a big promotion and a shiny new car and then, like a cherry on top, you sink the putt.

Our businessman-president happens to own a golf resort, Mar-a-Lago, and he has traveled there for five out of the first eight weekends of his presidency. Politico estimates that each trip costs taxpayers approximately $3 million, while the Washington Post estimates it may be closer to $2 million. Taking the more conservative estimate, that means hardworking taxpayers have already shouldered $10 million in travel costs. President Barack Obama, who was criticized repeatedly by Trump for taking golfing vacations, racked up approximately $97 million in travel costs. In summary, Trump is on pace to match what took Obama eight years in office to accumulate in just a single year.

In his proposed budget, President Trump seeks to eliminate several low-cost agencies, some of which cost taxpayers less in a year than what Mar-a-Lago has cost us in two months. Had Trump stayed in the White House instead of going on golf trips for those five weeks, we could still fund the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness’ annual budget of $4 million. If he takes one more trip, you can add the Chemical Safety Board’s $11 million to the list. That one sounds important, I hope we can manage without it. The list goes on.

My point is not that Trump shouldn’t go golfing. Despite the fact that I find his presence in the White House to be a national embarrassment, I do rather enjoy the idea of the president of the United States taking a dignitary out for a round. It’s a sign of how far we have come as a global civilization. However, businessmen pay for their own rounds. Trump has an extravagant amount of wealth, he should be shouldering the cost and reimbursing the government for the trips.

Dan Riley is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at dpriley@umass.edu.

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