Realtors are promoting the Secret Service at Trump Tower as a “new amenity” for buyers
After the election, Donald Trump turned his home in Manhattan into his transition team HQ. That means getting around the area near Trump Tower has become a total nightmare. As has getting into the actual building itself, which is important to the very wealthy people who live there. The building managers worried that all the mishegas would force residents out or stop new people from buying, so Trump Tower decided to call Secret Service an “amenity,” like having a pool, or a gym, or laundry in the building (I’m sure most Trump Tower residents have in-unit washers and dryers, but you know what I mean).
Seriously, when it comes to New York City real estate, they will sell anything. According to Politico, New York real estate agency Douglas Elliman sent out an email just after the election selling a $2.1 million condo in the shiny tower with the subject line, “Fifth Avenue Buyers Interested in Secret Service Protection?” Another flyer read from two brokers read, “The New Aminity [sic] – The United States Secret Service, The Best Value in the Most Secure Building in Manhattan.”
Sure, it probably is. But what these 1 percenters might be missing is that the Secret Service isn’t an “amenity” — it’s paid for by regular Americans’ tax dollars. It’s kind of like when fancy makeup companies give you free samples after you spend $200 on a tub of moisturizer. It’s not really free, it just makes you feel better about not having disposable income for the rest of the month.
It’s not Trump himself advertising his security detail, but as a businessman, I’m sure it makes him feel better about his decision to spend just four days a week in the White House and commute back to Manhattan to sleep in his own bed, which means wasting more money that isn’t his. Melania and Barron are sticking around New York for a while, and they’ll have Secret Service too, so Manhattan real estate brokers can keep those flyers coming and Americans can just pretend that it’s not absolutely ludicrous that the president will travel to and from Manhattan while in office.
It’s one thing for now — it’s his home. Fine, whatever. But afterwards?
According to CNN, it’s going to cost New York a total of $1 million every day for this “amenity.” Some of it’s Secret Service (paid for by the federal government) and some if it’s extra New York City Police officers and their overtime pay, cars, the rerouting of traffic, and everything else that goes into protecting a president-elect and, eventually, the president.
Just in case any Trump voters think they’re sticking it to us city folk who didn’t vote for him, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has already asked the feds for a reimbursement of $35 million. This is normal — like when the United Nations comes to town or President Obama goes to see Hamilton, the city gets reimbursed by the government for providing the NYPD and other security measures.
This extended stay, and the fact that no one really knows how long Trump will remain in town, is totally unprecedented. And very expensive. But, hey, no one said making America great was going to be cheap.