President Donald Trump has already resurrected birtherism for Kamala Harris. I hope he takes it to the Supreme Court and gets trounced. It’s going to be hard to make the case that someone born in Oakland, California, isn’t a citizen. The only way that could work would be if Trump evidenced that one of her parents was a foreign diplomat and her family was sheltered at the time from U.S. laws by diplomatic immunity.
Right — and I’m not really a U.S. citizen, because my father was a high-ranking visiting dignitary from Proxima Centauri. (Actually, that would explain a lot.)
The funniest thing that happened this week, in my opinion, was Melania and Donald Trump’s requests for mail-in ballots from Palm Beach County, Florida. Excuse me, I meant to say absentee ballots. Because he’ll be too busy golfing to make it to the polls that day, and because she’ll be too busy not caring enough to make the trip.
In an interview with Fox Business News, Trump admitted he doesn’t want the U.S. Postal Service to be able to handle increased demand for mail-in ballots in the general election. So, he doesn’t want other citizens to have the same chance he will certainly have. I’m quite sure that, no matter what — rain, sleet, hail or limited funds — the Postal Service will find a way to deliver the Trumps’ absentee-ballots, even if major Trump donor and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has to hand deliver them himself with a Secret Service escort.
There’s really no reason why the service would be unable to handle all those mail-in ballots. They won’t all be mailed the same day. The amount of mail we’re talking about is less than one day’s worth of junk mail for the entire country, and the Postal Service keeps up with all that. I don’t have a car, yet I get mail twice weekly from GEICO trying to sell me car insurance. I constantly get ads offering me cheap burial plots and ads to sell me life insurance.
Look out for the flip-flop after the election. Up until the election, Trump will keep saying mail-in ballots are too subject to fraud, and he will continue to use DeJoy as his tool to sabotage the Postal Service. Then, if he loses the election, he will claim it was because there were all these mail-in ballots that were for him but weren’t counted because the Postal Service can’t do its job anymore. Thus, the election was invalid, and thus also, it’s clearer than ever that the Postal Service has to be swept away.
Speaking of deceitful ways to undermine the general election, there’s the presidential memorandum deferring payroll taxes.
Presidential memoranda don’t have the force of law. Congress established the payroll tax. That’s why there’s no question: Trump can’t simply cancel the payroll tax. I’m sure he’d like to, because he wants to be able to sabotage Social Security the same way he’s trying to destroy the Postal Service. Instead, he can only postpone collecting the tax. Eventually, unless Congress repeals the tax, all payroll taxes deferred will have to be paid.
In fact, unless Congress acts before the memorandum expires Jan. 1, 2021, the payroll taxes that were deferred will become immediately due. You won’t have one or two years to pay the taxes; they’ll come out of your next paycheck. Which means a very short paycheck. Remember to save up for that hit.
Or, you can believe Trump’s bribe: Trump has actually openly bribed the people of this country to vote for him, saying that if he wins the election, he will see to it the payroll tax deferral will be made permanent.
What a great promise. Re-elect Trump and he’ll do us all the favor of destroying Social Security.
It would be horrifying if it were true. But as always, Trump is lying. He isn’t going to eliminate the payroll tax permanently because he can’t. He’s not Congress. He never can seem to get that. We don’t have a king. This isn’t Athens. He was not elected tyrant in 2016.
The only people who will fall for this bribe are the people who can’t find the point on the horizon where the railroad tracks appear to meet. People who don’t want to pay into Social Security anymore but who, when it goes away, are going to scream the loudest, because they won’t get Social Security checks even though they paid into it all the time until now.
Dr. Wes Browning is a one time math professor who has experienced homelessness several times. He supplied the art for the first cover of Real Change in November of 1994 and has been involved with the organization ever since. This is his weekly column, Adventures in Irony, a dry verbal romp of the absurd. He can be reached at drwes (at) realchangenews (dot) org
Read more in the Aug. 19-25, 2020 issue.