Billionaire Trump Refuses Presidential Pay, Exotic Vacations on Taxpayer’s Dime

One major difference that many in the electorate will never know about President-elect Donald Trump is presidential vacations during his tenure. In a 60 Minutes segment Sunday night, correspondent Lesley Stahl asked the billionaire real estate mogul about his $400,000 presidential salary.
Trump looked straight at Stahl with a face of determination and said he wouldn’t be taking it. He said he’ll take “a dollar a year.” That in itself is a huge u-turn from President Obama’s eight years in the White House and the hundreds of millions taxpayers paid for his vacations at Christmas time in Hawaii. That should also include Michelle Obama’s many trips abroad on the government dole that included civilians such as their two daughters, her mother, multiple friends and groups, etc.
Michelle’s party vacations disguised as “official government business,” because the trips would entail brief encounters with leaders of their various stops. That includes Africa, Spain and parts beyond. Hundreds of millions for the Michelle staff, secret service, the jet fuel, preparations, on and on our dime.

As Trump commented to Stahl, “Well, I’ve never commented on this, but the answer is no. I think I have to by law take $1, so I’ll take $1 a year. I don’t even know what it is. Do you know what the salary is?” he asked the host. “Four hundred thousand dollars you’re giving up,” Stahl answered. His reply, “No, I’m not going to take the salary. I’m not taking it.”

Billionaire Trump refuses to take Presidential pay, exotic vacations on taxpayer's dime.
Billionaire Trump refuses to take Presidential pay, exotic vacations on taxpayer’s dime.

Furthermore, President-elect Trump has also pledged not to take long vacations. “There’s just so much to be done,” Trump told Stahl. “So I don’t think we’ll be very big on vacations, no.”

A sidebar; the presidential salary isn’t something that can simply be turned down. He has to accept it and be taxed for it. One can assume this man will give it to charity. But he will still pay taxes on it since it is considered income by the IRS.

Trump in his own way, is instilling honesty and integrity for the American people to see clearly. He will not take advantage of the office for all the perks provided, which are many. He will forego big vacations, something that the right has excoriated President Obama for during his tenure. Liberals always replied that it was no different from Bush who also played golf and went on vacations. Not even in the same magnitude of Obama’s use of his office perks far beyond golf games.

Camp David in Maryland was designed to be a place of rest for the president and his family. A location close to Washington specifically built to entertain world leaders and relax them from the stress of Washington, DC.

Look for the President-elect to utilize government facilities that are already prepared for such visits and a long way from multi-million dollar vacations to Hawaii, Martha’s Vineyard and Aspen.

Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. He has written more than 3500 national political and foreign affairs columns. His BS in journalism from the University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.


Dwight has 30-years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. His first book, “Redistribution of Common Sense – Selective Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014,” was published in July, 2014. “The Game Changer – America’s Most Stunning Presidential Election in History,” was published in April 2017.


Dwight is a native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.