2016 has been a historic year, one for the books my friends. The Cubbies, my Cubbies, have won the World Series and America has elected a brash (some may say demagogic) businessman turned reality star into the White House. As I write this article I could have sworn I saw a pack of pigs flying out my 23rd floor window in downtown Chicago. However, America (or rather the Electoral College) has spoken and Mr. Trump is our president-elect, like it or not, so let’s kindly move on.
In his first major interview, the Donald has commented on 60 Minutes that he will forgo the annual salary of the office which sits at a healthy (though to Mr. Trump this is a few minute’s pay) $400k a year and will only accept the by law minimum which he believes is $1. I must say, this is a bit refreshing and though will only amount to a savings to the government of nearly $1.6 million, it’s the thought that counts.
Speaking of the thought, I have a better idea for our new president-elect Trump. Instead of an empty, though no doubt good-intentioned, gesture, perhaps take it to another level. My challenge to Mr. Trump is to take that $399,999 he is entitled to as our Commander-in-Chief and donate it to a veterans or service member-centered charity.
Considering president-elect Trump has had his share of controversies, specifically as it relates to his claim he would give $6 million to veteran organizations, going further to say he would donate $1 million of his own money to these organizations. He eventually did but it appears only after he was called on the carpet by the Washington Post, but let’s not open old wounds, so to speak.
Starting a new charitable giving slate, donating his presidential salary to veteran and service-member-centered organizations would go a long way to wipe it clean and produce some much-needed goodwill for the president-elect. Starting once he is inaugurated, President Trump could choose a new organization each year, benefiting up to eight different organizations over the course of his max term potential as president. Just an idea, but it seems to me that it would have a much more effective impact on these men and women who have served our nation than it would on the bottom line of the US budget, considering the size of our shortfall, an estimated $544 billion-with-a-B. The 4-year savings of nearly $1.6 million just seems less likely to make an impact but could be powerfully felt by these organizations. I have listed four worthwhile organizations below as examples for president-elect Trump’s first term as president. Mr. President, go one step further and start your presidency with a giant leap in the right direction for our veterans and military communities.
Featured image courtesy of the National Review.