For decades, Donald Trump has been obsessed with putting his name on buildings. Now, he’s literally stopping the presses so that the IRS can put his name on the stimulus checks being mailed to Americans in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The signature of the President of the United States is not required on such checks and the addition of Trump’s will be unprecedented—and harmful.
Trump’s newest display of his malignant narcissism is more than just some boast at a campaign rally that can be laughed off. This man-child’s last-minute insistence on adding his signature to these checks will almost certainly delay essential funds from reaching millions of Americans who desperately need them. This is because engineers, working from home, will need to reprogram and test the computer software, according to the Washington Post. To add insult to injury, these new government efforts could also mean added expenses charged to the U.S. taxpayer.
A signature is necessary for any check to be valid. However, an official with the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Fiscal Services is the one who must sign these stimulus checks, a practice that also avoids any appearance of partisanship. Although these checks will carry the proper signature, they will now also include Trump’s name in the memo below the words “Economic Impact Payment.” Only people who receive stimulus funding through direct deposit will be spared the insulting sight of His Majesty’s signature on their money.
This all comes after Trump played dumb following rumors that he was interested in adding his signature to the stimulus checks. At an April 3 White House briefing, Trump told reporters, “Me sign? No. There’s millions of checks. I’m going to sign them? No.” He then falsely referred to the relief as a “Trump administration initiative” only to again repeat, “But do I want to sign them? No.”
This is not the first time Trump has selfishly interfered with the flow of aid to people in need. Last year, Trump’s secretive and illegal withholding of congressionally authorized funds to Ukraine to serve his own political interests threatened that country’s military efforts and placed millions of lives at risk. Although Trump was impeached for it, the GOP-controlled Senate would not convict their cult leader. It is now up to the American voter to ensure that Trump can add his name to the only place it belongs: the label of his orange prison jumpsuit.