Letters to the editor March 13, 2017
Trump costs to go to Mar-a-Lago exorbitant
HOWARD - Republicans are very serious about reducing the cost of government. Government agencies have been told that their budgets will be cut, some drastically. They are supposed to do the best they can with what money is allotted to them.
Every time President Donald Trump goes to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida for the weekend, it costs the taxpayers $3 million. Why? Because many people and services are involved — the presidential helicopter, Air Force One, military services, police departments at both ends, and the Coast Guard.
Camp David, Md., a short distance from Washington, D.C., sits vacant. It costs $8 million a year for maintenance, and it is very securely located within a national park. To get there, the president would use the military helicopter only; no Air Force One, no extra police, no Coast Guard. But Trump thinks it is too rustic for him; he would be bored after 30 minutes.
It seems that what is required of the government agencies is not the same for Trump. He has already spent in travel expenses what it costs to maintain Camp David for the year. He doesn’t get it that if Congress has to cut down on expenses, he should also. Go to Camp David once in a while.
Trump has already said that he will not accept a salary as president. If he feels that he has to go to Florida so often, let him pay the cost. After all, he has stated many times that he is a billionaire.
GREEN BAY - Lost in the sensational headlines coming from the White House, Gov. Scott Walker unveiled his proposed state budget for the next two years.
For many people in Wisconsin, the biennial budgets under Walker and his administration have come to symbolize the death of the “Wisconsin Idea.” In the early 20th century, the Wisconsin Idea came to represent the commitment of government to protect people from predatory wealth. On a deeper level, we devoted ourselves to the “search for truth” in education, public service and in our government. Wisconsin became the gold standard in providing a life of dignity and opportunity to working class families. We created transcendent workers’ rights, an exceptional university system, and fundamentally changed the way we thinks about government.
Yet the last seven years have seen the Wisconsin Idea fade away. Gone are the economic opportunities and protections for working class. Stripped away by bills like Act 10 and the subsequent budgets under Walker. Gone is the commitment to future generations with the removal of protections on our shared resources and educational institutions. Gone is Wisconsin’s place as a leader.
Adlai Stevenson once said, “The role of government is not to stumble along like a drunkard in the dark, but to light its way by the best torches of knowledge and understanding it can find.” The key to Wisconsin’s future lies in returning to our roots. By reinvesting in the Wisconsin Idea, we can be a shining example of fair governance once again.
ALLOUEZ - With his usual bellicose bluster, Donald Trump denounced the 2010 nuclear START Treaty — and displaying his typical policy ignorance, had to ask an aide to explain the acronym. His announced intent — to kick-start a renewed nuclear arms race with “Vlady,” his newest best friend, and China, a key trade partner. The U.S. nuclear arsenal already contains 4,500 warheads, enough retaliatory strike capability to blow the lid off global warming and cook all life on earth.
Trump boasts he will shipshape the nation’s finances — magically — while draining our coffers in an insane, unsustainable, budget-busting nuclear arms race that’s not winnable — by anyone. Seems a tad contradictory, even for Trump.
Given the opportunity, I’d ask GOP congressional leaders what they intend to do with this guy. Their party nominated and elected him — and their party must figure out how to control him. Trump is a very dangerous man, recklessly making policy on the fly. He is irrational, paranoid and unpredictable. Trump is toxic to the stability and security of our country. In 2016, he flippantly threatened to use nuclear weapons against terrorists in Europe, and in 2015 boastfully declared: “I love war.” (Just not actually fighting in one.) There would be no recovery from nuclear war, yet Trump treats the unfathomable as just another real estate hustle.
Words matter — and the whole world’s listening. But is Trump? Unlikely, but check his Twitter feed.
Tick-tock tick-tock — that’s the beat of the impeachment clock.