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.

Weekend Edition
July 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Atwood
Peace or Armageddon: Take Your Pick
Paul Street
No Liberal Rallies Yet for the Children of Yemen
Nick Pemberton
The Bipartisan War on Central and South American Women
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Are You Putin Me On?
Andrew Levine
Sovereignty: What Is It Good For? 
Brian Cloughley
The Trump/NATO Debacle and the Profit Motive
David Rosen
Trump’s Supreme Pick Escalates America’s War on Sex 
Melvin Goodman
Montenegro and the “Manchurian Candidate”
Salvador   Rangel
“These Are Not Our Kids”: The Racial Capitalism of Caging Children at the Border
Matthew Stevenson
Going Home Again to Trump’s America
Louis Proyect
Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders and the Dilemmas of the Left
Patrick Cockburn
Iraqi Protests: “Bad Government, Bad Roads, Bad Weather, Bad People”
Robert Fantina
Has It Really Come to This?
Russell Mokhiber
Kristin Lawless on the Corporate Takeover of the American Kitchen
John W. Whitehead
It’s All Fake: Reality TV That Masquerades as American Politics
Patrick Bobilin
In Your Period Piece, I Would be the Help
Ramzy Baroud
The Massacre of Inn Din: How Rohingya Are Lynched and Held Responsible
Robert Fisk
How Weapons Made in Bosnia Fueled Syria’s Bleak Civil War
Gary Leupp
Trump’s Helsinki Press Conference and Public Disgrace
Josh Hoxie
Our Missing $10 Trillion
Martha Rosenberg
Pharma “Screening” Is a Ploy to Seize More Patients
Basav Sen
Brett Kavanaugh Would be a Disaster for the Climate
David Lau
The Origins of Local AFT 4400: a Profile of Julie Olsen Edwards
Rohullah Naderi
The Elusive Pursuit of Peace by Afghanistan
Binoy Kampmark
Shaking Establishments: The Ocasio-Cortez Effect
John Laforge
18 Protesters Cut Into German Air Base to Protest US Nuclear Weapons Deployment
Christopher Brauchli
Trump and the Swedish Question
Chia-Chia Wang
Local Police Shouldn’t Collaborate With ICE
Paul Lyons
YouTube’s Content ID – A Case Study
Jill Richardson
Soon You Won’t be Able to Use Food Stamps at Farmers’ Markets, But That’s Not the Half of It
Kevin MacKay
Climate Change is Proving Worse Than We Imagined, So Why Aren’t We Confronting its Root Cause?
Thomas Knapp
Elections: More than Half of Americans Believe Fairy Tales are Real
Ralph Nader
Warner Slack—Doctor for the People Forever
Lee Ballinger
Soccer, Baseball and Immigration
Louis Yako
Celebrating the Wounds of Exile with Poetry
Ron Jacobs
Working Class Fiction—Not Just Surplus Value
Perry Hoberman
You Can’t Vote Out Fascism… You Have to Drive It From Power!
Robert Koehler
Guns and Racism, on the Rocks
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir: Implementation with Integrity and Will to Resolve
Justin Anderson
Elon Musk vs. the Media
Graham Peebles
A Time of Hope for Ethiopia
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Homophobia in the Service of Anti-Trumpism is Still Homophobic (Even When it’s the New York Times)
Martin Billheimer
Childhood, Ferocious Sleep
David Yearsley
The Glories of the Grammophone
Tom Clark
Gameplanning the Patriotic Retributive Attack on Montenegro
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail