We don’t usually opine about national issues unless they have at least a tangential Wisconsin connection, so this post is an unusual one and a rare violation of our prime directive. This is an idea for President Trump re: his promise to forego taking a salary or to donate it to charity.
By law, the president is required to take a salary. Should Trump take a nominal $1 salary? I suggest something different.
Hot Air reported on Sean Spicer’s handling of the question – what is the president doing to fulfill that pledge?
My idea? The president is paid monthly. The White House should give the public a say. They can put up a poll at the start of each month with a list of potential charitable causes (with an open-ended option) and promote voting throughout the month. (the cynical strategist in me sees a nonstop source of positive media).
At the end of the month, the White House sets up a GoFundMe page for the winning organization or cause. President Trump would be the first donor, pitching in what’s left after taxes of his $33,000 monthly salary (that’s $400,000 per year, plus other expense accounts, et cetera). The fundraising campaign would last a month.
Sure, the potential exists for such a system to be hijacked by lefties, but that would (cynical strategist again) likely backfire.
Trump would likely be accused of opportunism and cynicism, but the check presentation photo ops would erase any blowback. Plus, it would highlight the amazing powers of non-governmental entities to fulfill roles government has appropriated for itself in recent decades, a cornerstone of conservative thought about the proper role of government.
The Donald is a billionaire elected by hoards of Americans sick of politics as usual; such a campaign by this president would be uniquely Trump.
Update: After reading the whole Hot Air post, it seems Ed Morrissey and I essentially arrive at the same suggestion, though mine is a little more specific. Credit where credit’s due:
The Trump administration is opting for one news cycle in the Christmas holiday doldrums for its charitable award, when it could have twelve news cycles throughout the year when people are paying more attention and the White House can use the distraction. This is a media-management no-brainer, especially since the media has already shown itself so invested in the story.