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Passing the buck means shirking your responsibility. Harry Truman had a sign on his desk stating “The buck stops here.” He understood that with the great honor of being president comes the great responsibility to make decisions for the good of the American people.
Donald Trump has made a mockery of that notion. He declared in a March news conference, “I don’t take responsibility at all,” when asked about a failure of his administration. And he doesn’t. But Trump does believe “The buck should stop here.” Of course, he is talking about money.
To that end the president signed a tax bill that gave corporations and the richest people in America including himself, a tax break worth trillions. Billionaires now pay taxes at a lower rate that the working class. He gave you and me a small tax break that expires and did nothing to help the economy. After the coronavirus hit, he signed the CARES act giving the 43,000 wealthiest taxpayers $1.7 million each in tax breaks and gave you and me $1,200 at most.
Trump looks for every possible way to use the presidency to line his pockets. One of his properties, the hotel in the Old Post Office building in Washington, earned his company $47 million in one year alone, much of it from companies and countries trying to get favorable deals from the administration.
Trump frequently leaves Washington to go to other Trump properties, taking along staff and Secret Service. In just five months in 2017, the Secret Service was charged $250,000 by Trump properties. We taxpayers are on the hook for those bills — money that goes directly into Trump pockets. (Previous presidents haven’t charged the Secret Service for accommodations on their personal properties.)
Foreign governments have donated public land, approved permits, eased environmental regulations, and built roads for Trump branded developments. Since his inauguration, the Chinese government has granted him 39 plus trademarks, some of which had been previously denied. Drug cartels have laundered money through his Panama development. Russian oligarchs have likely done the same at other sites. That money, legal or not, lands in his pockets.
Obscene amounts of money have been funneled to the Trump dynasty. It’s time to stop that money train and get back to the Truman idea of The Buck Stops Here. Our president, who doesn’t even understand that idea, needs to go.
The writers are residents of Rappahannock County.