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Life's still swell for Mr. President 

I had to laugh—no, guffaw—at Gary Wechter's claim ("500 days of joy and gratitude," June 7) that Donald Trump has "given up the best years of his later life" for us, foregoing "jet-setting across the world, living in luxury, spending time with the 'swells.'"

Perhaps Mr. Wechter believes that U.S. presidents are served prison rations, live in rustic shacks, and socialize with slum residents. And perhaps he has not been paying attention: As of April 2018, Trump has gone to his Mar a Lago resort 17 times, visits that cost millions of taxpayer dollars. He has spent time at his own golf courses 40 times. He is transparently using his office to increase his and his family's riches, having foreign dignitaries stay at his properties, for example, as well as Ivanka Trump's securing of trademarks in China and other foreign countries.

Regarding "swells," is there a position on Earth other than the American presidency in which one is more likely to hang out with world leaders and can command the attention of nearly anyone rich and famous? As to Trump's "energy and savvy," one must wonder at a President who, instead of daily intelligence briefings, receives them a few times a week, insisting that they be only a few pages long or, better yet, orally delivered with graphic illustrations. Trump believes that he does not need to put in much work on background knowledge on an issue, because he makes the right decision "with very little knowledge other than knowledge I [already] had ... because I have a lot of common sense and business ability."

He has not read a single presidential biography. Briefers report that it is difficult to hold his attention. Trump does not seem to be sacrificing much at all. If anything, the presidency is conferring even greater prestige and wealth on him than his prior life. Only now, we are paying for it.

Johanna Rubba

Grover Beach

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