Center for American Progress Action

CAP Action Memo: Trump Travels to New Jersey for Working Vacations and Golf, but Sticks Taxpayers With the Bill
Press Release

CAP Action Memo: Trump Travels to New Jersey for Working Vacations and Golf, but Sticks Taxpayers With the Bill

Washington, D.C. — Today, President Donald Trump will travel to Wildwood, New Jersey, to headline an event at the Wildwoods Convention Center. He will be joined by Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), who recently switched his political affiliation to Republican, declaring his “undying support” for the president despite telling a constituent just three weeks earlier: “I haven’t voted for him, I didn’t support him, I will not vote for him.”

President Trump’s visit to the Jersey Shore comes as criticism builds across the country regarding Trump’s repeated refusal to reimburse taxpayers in cities such as Mesa, Arizona; Erie, Pennsylvania; and Green Bay, Wisconsin, among others, for event security. Trump’s history of skipping out on the bills prompted Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron to announce that he will pass the cost of President Trump’s expenses to the local Republican Party so that New Jersey taxpayers won’t bear the brunt of paying for Trump’s activities. This follows a long history of criticism that goes all the way back to Trump’s private life as a developer in New Jersey during the 1980s, when he faced allegations of not paying contractors millions of dollars in his construction projects.

President Trump’s visits to his luxury properties, such as the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, have raised ethical concerns from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), as the president has often used his properties for “working vacations” or to allegedly conduct government business. As president, Trump has visited his Bedminster resort no fewer than 90 times, which, according to the GAO, has likely cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

While the costs of his trips to Bedminster remain undisclosed to date, the GAO has reported that just four trips to President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, cost American taxpayers approximately $13.6 million. According to reports, Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is attempting to block all efforts to disclose the costs of President Trump’s travels to his private properties until after November of this year.

While Trump travels to New Jersey for working vacations and golf, taxpayers will be left stuck with the bill. Here are four facts on the Trump administration’s policy record in New Jersey:

Health care 

Promise: “Those with pre-existing conditions will always get the quality coverage they need.” Donald Trump, September 24, 2016

Reality: The Trump administration has launched an all-out attack on our health care by trying to repeal and sabotage the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If the Trump administration is successful: 

  • 3.8 million New Jerseyans with preexisting conditions will lose protections under ACA repeal.
  • 595,000 New Jerseyans will lose their health coverage under ACA repeal.


Promise: “I keep my promises. And I keep my promises to your industry, and I keep my promises to the workers of this country.” Donald Trump, July 26, 2018

Reality: Donald Trump promised to pass a bipartisan, multitrillion dollar infrastructure plan to revitalize critical needs in states such as New Jersey. Instead, his tirades and administrations ineffectiveness have blocked any infrastructure deal.

  • Despite being the third-busiest transit system in the country, NJ Transit currently runs on infrastructure mostly built before 1940.
  • The average age of New Jersey’s bridges is 51 years—eight years more than the national average and one year more than the expected lifespan of a bridge. 
  • 38 percent, or 2,544, of New Jersey bridges are classified as deficient, obsolete, or in critical condition.
  • 32.2 percent, or 178, of New Jersey’s dams require immediate or emergency repairs.
  • 42 percent of the New Jersey state highway system is labeled “deficient,” costing motorists $11.8 billion annually in damages.
  • The Trump administration blocked the U.S. Department of Transportation from funding the vital Gateway tunnel between New York and New Jersey, holding thousands of commuters hostage to political bickering.


Promise: “We will cut taxes for all working- and middle-class households in America.” Donald Trump, October 15, 2016 

Reality: President Trump said he would veto an increase in the federal minimum wage, which would have given a raise to nearly 40 million people nationwide. In reality: 

  • 154,000 New Jersey workers were denied a pay increase, resulting in $336 million in lost wages for workers. 

The Trump administration has also taken away safeguards that ensure that workers are paid overtime, protect retirees from exploitative financial advisers, and ensure that people pay less at the gas pump. In New Jersey, this has resulted in the following: 


Promise: “We have a tax plan that’s totally finalized. I think it will be terrific … [I]t will be the largest tax cut in the history of our country.” — Donald Trump, September 24, 2017

Reality: Most of the Trump administration’s $2 trillion tax cut goes to corporations and the rich. Many New Jersey families are getting stuck with the bill.

  • 476,210 New Jersey families paid more in taxes last year due to the Trump administration’s tax bill.
  • The average annual tax cut for the wealthiest 1 percent of New Jerseyans was $30,440while the bottom 80 percent of New Jerseyans saw just a small fraction of that.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Freedom Alexander Murphy at [email protected] or 202-796-9712.