President Donald Trump on Thursday hosted a self-indulgent White House event in which he mostly bragged about himself before graciously offering a carefully vetted cadre of visitors the chance to tell him how much his abhorrent tax cuts had helped them.
But for anyone actually paying attention to the stories many of Trump’s guests told, they only served as a brutal reminder that there are a lot of Americans who are totally financially screwed, even if they are thrilled at one-time handouts from an administration that opposes the changes that would actually help their lives.
There was John, a 21-year-old plumbing apprentice and father of two from Las Vegas, NV:
Me and my wife just recently had a son, Wrigley, born in January. He spent a week in the NIC-U. As the doctor bills started to come in, me and my wife were worrying on how we were going to pay for these doctor bills. And then our company, Universal Plumbing, came to us and gave all the employees thousand dollar tax cuts. And with those we were able to pay our doctors’ bills.
John is correct that medical bills can be an unfathomably huge burden. Trump, of course, has made it his personal mission to take health coverage away from people. A thousand dollars is a tremendous relief when your child’s health is on the line. Then again, so is not worrying about how you’re going to pay for medical care in the first place.
Then there was Brandon, a sales associate:
Due to a recent bonus I received, my wife Andrea, who is a public school educator, is now able to stay home this summer with our two kids, instead of getting a job.
That any public school teacher should feel forced to work a second job is a national embarrassment (and part of the reason teachers across the country have begun flexing their collective muscles and striking). And Trump has actively worked to slash Department of Education budgets, shunt students away from traditional public schools and generally debase the educational profession as a whole by turning schools into erstwhile military bases.
So nice job, Mr. President. Your pat-on-the-back event sure looks more and more like a doctor putting a Band Aid on a bullet hole and giving himself a high five for the effort.