FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Trump’s Security Tab: A Good Case for Separation of Church and State

Palm Beach County, Florida Commissioner Dave Kerner wants to tax a resort. Nothing unusual about that — politicians love to mug tourists in the name of “economic development” — except that the resort in question is Mar-a-Lago, US president Donald Trump’s private club and preferred getaway spot when he tires of the White House.

Kerner complains that Trump’s visits cost the county government $60,000 a day in police overtime and other expenses and wants to turn the resort into a “special taxing district” to claw back that money.

Business owners at the local airport have complaints as well. The Secret Service shuts them down whenever Trump’s in the neighborhood, costing them thousands. A new tax doesn’t address those complaints. What’s really needed is some good old-fashioned separation of church and state.

Every time a president goes anywhere, a giant, expensive, purpose-built security apparatus goes with him. And when he gets there, entire city governments drop whatever they’re doing to shut down the streets and ensure that the Divine Presence remains undisturbed by the presence and activities of mere mortals.

The national media issues breathless breaking news reports, followed by endless updates, whenever some idiot climbs over the White House fence and profanes the sacred grass of the North Lawn with the soles of his unconsecrated shoes.

Treating presidents and former presidents as God-Kings at taxpayer expense violates the First Amendment’s establishment clause. It’s ceremonial observance of an official state religion, a religion the Libertarian Party’s Statement of Principles calls “The Cult of The Omnipotent State.”

In theory, the president is just a mere citizen, the guy we elected to do a particular job.

Why should he be entitled to any more personal security at taxpayer expense than you or me?

Why should the highways that we all pay for be closed to us whenever he happens to want to barge through with his motorcade?

Why should people with plans to fly — commercially or privately — be held up for hours or days just because that plane landing over there happens to be Air Force One?

No reason at all, unless you’re of a religious bent.

Instead of enacting a new tax on Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach County’s government should inform Donald Trump that there will be no special police accommodations for his presence, and tell the Secret Service that attempts to shut down the airport will earn them free accommodations at the county’s correctional facility.

More articles by:

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail