More narcissism from the Big Baby: Trump-signed stimulus checks

April 21, 2020 • 9:30 am

We don’t yet know what the pandemic “stimulus checks” issued by the U.S. government will look like, but we know that they’re going to be from the United States Treasury, that they’ll be for $1200 for people making less than $75,000 a year, and that they’ll be signed by Trump. The signature of a U.S. President on a Treasury check is a first in U.S. history, but of course Trump wants people to know that they’re from him, not from the government.

At any rate, CNN published a mockup of the checks, but a mockup that came from a U.S. Secret Service press release about scams related to the checks.  (The AARP has a post on the checks’ “security features”.)

Since the checks are signed by an official of the Treasury Department, there’s no reason for Trump’s name to be on them, as previous refunds or checks from the government lacked Presidents’ names. We all know why it’s there.

Direct deposits of checks to people’s accounts have been and are being made (the IRS has to have your bank info), but it may be a lot longer until anybody sees one of these paper checks. They will be collectors items in the future, remembering the country’s worst President and the baleful times he helped create, but you have to turn them in to get the dosh.

So, this is what they may look like:


51 thoughts on “More narcissism from the Big Baby: Trump-signed stimulus checks

  1. In this case, is it more ‘it’ll get me re-elected’ than narcissism? (Not that the two are unrelated.)

  2. We’ll be getting a check, supposedly to be mailed this Friday, even though I submitted my direct deposit information the first day the system was available.

    re: having to turn it in to collect — my bank has ‘mobile deposit’, I take a picture of the check with my phone and deposit electronically. Once I’m certain it’s been cleared properly I can do with it as I may, which in this case will be to burn it.

      1. A bit repetitive from me I think, but as the book author said to the critic:

        I’m sitting in the smallest room of the house.

        In front of me is your review.

        Soon it will be behind me,

    1. It’s a piece of history (we are ill-fated to be witnessing history: The worst President in US history and the world’s worst pandemic since 1918). I guess I’d keep it. Make a color copy and burn that for FB! 🙂

  3. Checks will likely be delayed (link goes to Newsweek) because Trump wanted his name on them. I’m sure recipients will be glad for this, when many can’t pay their bills on time. Who cares about late fees when you can get to look at that big beautiful Trump name?

  4. At yesterday’s coronavirus task-force variety show in the White House press-briefing room, Trump claimed that state governors’ shift from requesting additional ventilators to requesting increased testing kits was a politically motivated attack to make him look bad personally.

    Now, that there is some weapons-grade paranoia and narcissism.

    1. Since he’s such a colossal armpit, any coverage of him ends up making him look bad personally. So pretty much everyone in the media, right or left, has ended up on the end of that accusation.

      You put a camera on him and he’s going to say or do something destructive. That’s the way it works with him. .

      He’s the kind of person you absolutely stay the hell away from if you have half a brain and you want to have a successful career – a chaotic swirl of chutzpah-powered, Jedi-level bluffing and con-artistry, reeling from fuck up to fuck up like a spinning top. Rick Wilson was right, everything he touches dies, with the exception of himself unfortunately.

  5. Honestly I don’t think the name really matters, as when Bush did something similar everyone knew exactly what it was about, even without Bush’s name on it. Those who would be swayed to vote for Trump because of the check would be swayed regardless of whether his name is on it or not.

    I would love for the press to take him to task over this claim of his that he never requested his name be put on it, though:

    “Mr. President, if you didn’t request this, then someone in your administration has the authority to put The President of the United States’ name on checks without your express consent or approval. Could you tell us please, who in your administration has that authority?”

    1. It’s a sure tell that Trump is lying when he claims no knowledge of something. When Trump has no actual knowledge of a topic, he invariably tries to bullshit his way through. It’s only when he knows an answer would make him look bad that Trump suddenly claims to know nothing of the matter.

      From his endorsement by David Duke, to Dummkopf Junior’s meeting at Trump Tower with Russians promising dirt on Hillary, to Mike Flynn’s lying interview with FBI agents, to Michael Cohen’s hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels — the examples of Trump’s lying disclaimers of any knowledge could go on and on. The more curt the answer and more quickly Trump seeks to change the subject (“No. Next question”), the more blatant the lie.

    2. In kakistocracies like tRump’s there is no need for the fearless leader to ask for these sorts of things that might make him look bad if he did ask. He has a cadre of groveling underlings all vying to please the fearless leader in the hope of some recognition and a trifle more authority.

  6. Maybe it’s just me, but I have this impression our “Greatest Leader of All Time” never had very high marks in history class. Plus he seems to not have much in the way of sincere consultation regarding his legacy. It may be just me, but fifty years from now I believe folks will look back and wonder, “How the f#%… no -why the..who the-what-the? Hopefully we can learn some things from all those mistakes. “

  7. Perhaps I am being ignorant but this thing seems somewhat poorly thought out.

    The UK government has committed to paying 80% of wages for anybody whose company furloughs them and there is other financial aid available to people who are self employed and small businesses. But it seems to me that a blanket payment of – say – £1,000 would be a bad idea.

    Firstly, it wouldn’t be enough for many people, particularly those most in need of it.

    Secondly, it would be too much for some people like me. My company is still paying me and I have plenty of savings anyway.

    I think it is pandemic theatre.

      1. It definitely does. Plenty of people are getting this pay out even though they are working and earning just as they were before the crisis. I certainly don’t begrudge anyone that on general principle. This government sure as hell owes everyone much more than this paltry sum.

        But from the perspective of using resources for best effect in this crisis? Yeah, it’s stupid and it’s political theater for the reasons you mention. Not enough to matter for those that actually need help and pointless for the many that don’t need it.

    1. Hard to say how poor of a solution it is. More complicated formulas and needs tests would take more time to implement, and getting money a couple months from now doesn’t really help that much. This may be the best way the U.S. government has to get money out fast.

      The US, like the UK, is also reimbursing companies for paying out for sick leave etc. The problem is, small businesses in the U.S. are exempt from the requirement to offer benefits. So a lot of people working for small companies don’t have sick leave or anything like that. And if a business never had a leave system set up, they can’t put people on sick leave even if they wanted to, even if it’s essentially “free” for them in the long run because the Fed will bail them out.


      Here’s a somewhat unrelated note that shows just how badly conservatives have screwed up our public safety net over the last couple of decades (with very likely more than a few Dems being complicit in the process). If you have any sort of IRA, you are disqualified from receiving food stamps. You must literally empty out any retirement account you have before you can receive them. So all those families who “did the right thing” by putting aside money for for retirement but who are now out of a job and in need of that support? Don’t qualify for food stamps. The government line is they have to destroy their own futures before they can get food to make it through this crisis. How messed up is that? And remember, as far back as Bush 20 years ago, conservatives were calling for the government to let people remove their money from Social Security and put it in private IRAs instead. Which would make this problem infinitely worse.

    2. The problem is that means-testing takes time and resources. Just cut checks to everyone and if you’re worried about some undeserving wealthy people getting the money then declare it as an advance on next year’s tax returns and claw it back then.

      The US is definitely doing far, far, FAR too little. It is perverse to waste any time at all worrying about potentially doing too much right now.

      1. This. The danger of doing too little is long term economic shrinkage. Even if some of the “wrong” people are getting checks, this will boost their spending at a point when the economy desperately needs it. The 2008 recession didn’t see enough spending because, first, Obama negotiated with himself to lower the request, and second, Republicans slashed it some more. The recession dragged on longer than it needed to. As a result, deficits (what Republicans pretended to care about) wound up even larger than an aggressive stimulus would cause. Let’s not repeat those mistakes.

    3. Immediate cash in stressed people’s hands. That’s the point. Thankfully, my family will not receive a check. (We already agreed that if we did, we would donate the amount to a local food shelf.)

    4. My take on the checks, for what it’s worth, is that they should all have been for the same amount, but be taxable income to the recipient. Saves doing any calculation at the government level, thereby speeding sending them out; and cost is the same, give or take.
      As I understand it, the checks are technically a rebate on 2020 taxes, but since it’s only April, the amount is based on your 2019 or 2018 return.

  8. I am not sure about what to think about the design:
    – is the “President Trump” label farted by Liberty? Or
    – is the “President Trump” label born from Liberty?

  9. Frankly I doubt I’ll ever see the money. Our IRS filing is always direct deposit so if we were going to get the money $150,000 or whatever, we would have had it by now.

    1. If you used Turbo Tax or any of several of the other popular tax programs, you may be left out unless you undate your information directly. That happened to me and according to news reports is experienced by millions. In my case, I thought maybe it was because I owed the last two years so I didn’t have to give the IRS my info for a refund so they didn’t have it.

      1. That’s what happened to me — we’ve owed the Feds the last few years so they didn’t have our DD information. Time will tell if the check actually arrives next week.

  10. I have seen no guidance on how people will get this money. I presume that if you filed electronically in 2018 and made less than $75,000 you would get the money automatically. However, what if you didn’t make any money in 2018, such as you were a college or grad student, but now are still in school or otherwise without income? What if you made more than 75,000 last year but lost your job this year? What if you made less than 75,000 last year but make more than that this year and do not want the money? In this last category, anyone with an tax law background know if someone got the 1,200 dollar check but made way more than 75,000 this year and REFUSED to cash it out of principle due to tRump’s name being present would they be liable to pay taxes on that money or pay it back if it was never cashed???

    1. You must have filed a 2018 or 2019 return and make under 75k to be eligible for funds.

      Our gubmint made sure though that if you’re in collection on a debt, the credit card company or the hospital will get your check, not you.

      1. I’m not sure that’s correct. My understanding (which could be wrong) is that the Fed is using IRS tax filing to do the electronic deposits.

        So if you didn’t file 2019 taxes (yet), you may still get a check. But it will be a physical check that comes later in the mail, not a direct deposit that comes within the next week or two.

        1. Rules are basically 75k income limit for individual, 150k for joint filers. Based on line 8b. If you have filed your 2019 taxes, it will be based on that. If you haven’t, it will be based on 2018. If you didn’t file taxes, you must go to the IRS portal to claim your benefits unless you are a social security beneficiary or the receiver of some other kind of government benefit through DD.

          Also important to note that if you have children under 17 living in the home that would be eligible for the extra $500 apiece, the IRS is not guaranteed to have them on your account. If you do not have them recorded on the IRS web site by close of business Wednesday, April 22nd (tomorrow), you won’t get the extra money until you file taxes next year, 2021.

          It’s worth your time to got to and then Get My Payment to sign up if you have not already received your money. You may want to have your line 8b from your 1040 available (adjusted gross income).

  11. The Treasury Department fobbing off Trump’s name on the stimulus checks as some kind of “security feature” — Jim Comey was right; Donald Trump eats people’s (metaphorical) souls one bite at a time.

    There’s barely enough of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s left for Trump to need a toothpick.

  12. So trump insisted that his name be on those checks. What a nice gesture for those of us who have run out of toilet paper… I wonder if the bank will cash the checks afterwards? I mean – after his name is printed on them?

  13. Republican logic

    Obama’s $19 trillion debt: BAD!
    Trump’s $23+ trillion debt: GENIUS!

    Trump’s record high debt aside, where is all this virus bailout money coming from?

    When Trump skips out on his debt (you know he will) the Dems will raise taxes (fiscal responsibility) to pay for it. Then the MAGATs will pretend to blame them. Count on it.

  14. My Dad died last August. He received a check. My brother, sister, and I haven’t received one yet. I wonder: Do you have to die before you receive your check?

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