When Donald Trump told stony faces in Puerto Rico that their crisis had thrown the US budget out of whack this week, researchers in San Francisco got to thinking: What if the President’s travel budget for personal trips to places like his Mar-a-Lago resort were used to send cargo ships to help that US territory instead?
Researchers at the online documents company FormSwift figured initially that the budget for Mr Trump's travel to places like Mar-a-Lago would pay for a few ships to make it there. But, they were way off: A full 128 cargo ships could financed to bring supplies over with the amount of cash the US government spends on Mr Trump's working vacations to his private resorts.
“We were surprised by how many trips you could actually do,” Jackson Hille, the content marketer at the company, told The Independent. “I think we were thinking that maybe it would be two, because it just seems like the shipping and logistics were actually a huge issue. We thought, maybe this is two or three trips, and the fact that it came out to the final figure — we were shocked.”
Mr Trump and the first family have reportedly racked up a huge bill for travel since the President took office earlier this year. So far, they’ve cost the US an unprecedented $32 million for trips to exclusive properties owned by Mr Trump, Mar-a-Lago in particular, according to estimates.
That budget itself could pay for 128 cargo ships, while travel costs associated with other members of the first family could pay for another two ships.
In the days following Maria devastated the island, domestic vessels carrying relief to Puerto Rico were able to move 9,500 containers of goods to the ports on the island, according to Newsweek. One large vessel can carry close to 18,000 tonnes of cargo from Florida to Puerto Rico.
FormSwift estimated that a fully loaded cargo ship travelling from Florida to Puerto Rico would cost an estimated $249,899.
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