Daily Mail editorial: Presidential golf good for the US?

Jeffrey MacMillan | The Washington Post Donald Trump tees off at his renovated Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, in June 2015.

CNN reported this week that President Donald Trump left the White House for a day of golf, his 13th trip to a golf course since he took office.

“The implication of the media’s mild obsession with his trips is that Trump is wasting time playing ... when he should be attending to the duties of his office,” wrote opinion columnist Thomas Knapp of the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism.

“Former President Barack Obama came in for similar criticism from Republicans — including Donald Trump — over the 333 rounds of golf he played as president according to Golf News Net,” Knapp wrote. “That averages 41 outings per year, or one every nine days.”

It seems like every president gets criticized for taking time off, but Knapp thinks that’s not right.

“The opposition ruthlessly criticizes every president’s work — every bill, every executive order, every policy proposal, every public gaffe. The harder the president works, the more they complain. But then that same opposition cries foul when the president stops doing all that bad and stupid stuff and takes a break.”

He adds that many of the critics of presidents’ penchants for golf are members of Congress, who are paid $174,000 per year but are only in session for about 130 days.

In the meantime, if you are an average American who gets weekends, holidays and two weeks of vacation, you are working 240 days a year. “About 80 of those work days aren’t for yourself or your family, but to earn the taxes that Congress and the president blow through like drunken sailors, on stuff more expensive and pointless than greens fees.”

The real question, Knapp concludes, isn’t whether American politicians should be working more or harder. “The question is, how can we get them to work less?”

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