One wonders why the CARES Act, meant to combat the coronavirus and bolster the economy, should also benefit the rich.
Snopes, a fact-checking service, says: “Provisions in the CARES Act changed a 2017 tax law in a way that will largely benefit Americans who earn $1 million or more annually, according to a nonpartisan congressional body. Per calculations using that body’s data, those wealthy Americans each could reap a tax benefit of $1.7 million on average with the change.”
Why would the CARES Act have anything at all to do with taxes, and if it did, why would it be to benefit millionaires? Well, Trump gives a deeper understanding of how that could take place. The Trump I am speaking about is Mary Trump, Donald’s niece. In her new book, “Too Much and Never Enough,” she gives an understanding of how the Trump family has historically worked. It gives us further insight into her Uncle Donald, and why he acts as he does.
The title summarizes it: Too much and never enough – too much money, for one thing.
In brief, Donald’s father, Fred Trump, was driven to accumulate money. He was driven to build more and more houses, so he could make more and more money. This mindset doesn’t work: “The more money I have, the more respect I will have. The higher my net worth, the higher my self-worth.” Accumulating money is the booby prize for being insecure, for not having enough self-esteem. Too much money and never enough self-esteem.
The book tells a lot about how Donald was brought up. Neither of Donald’s parents showed much love for Donald or his four siblings. Affection had to be “purchased” by winning the approval of Fred. The way to win approval was to imitate him, which is what Donald did and still does.
Although this is an oversimplification, to me it is the essential story that describes why the drive to have far more money than one needs is a drive that can never be achieved. It can never satisfy one’s lack of self-approval, self-worth.
If parents don’t show their children that they are loved, it is difficult for children to develop a sense of self-worth. That is, it is difficult for them to actually love and respect themselves. This love wasn’t very present in neither Fred’s nor Donald’s childhood.
The excessive pursuit of money is fool’s gold. If you don’t have a sense of self-worth, a sense of your own value and values, no amount of money or power can give it to you.
As a country, we have gradually built an empire on sand, based on financial wealth over commonwealth. When we have clarity about our deepest values, we become clear that commonwealth is the society we want to create and live in. That starts with us as individuals understanding our own values. What are your fundamental values in life?
Here is a self-test, a short cut, to understanding your fundamental values: What do you want your tombstone or your epitaph to say? How about: “He accumulated $2.3 billion”? Is that good enough?
I suspect virtually no one would be crass enough to put a dollar figure on their tombstone, yet how many of us haven’t really crystalized our own fundamental values?
Why don’t you give it a try right now? Get a pen and paper, or your computer, and write down what you would like to have said about you when you are gone. Why let other people decide your epitaph, your values, for you after you pass? Take possession of your own life by declaring your own worth, your own values, right now. This will give you a chance to live them more fully.
I appreciate and thank Mary Trump for illuminating some of the things that help us to understand her uncle and to further understand ourselves. I also realize that Donald is doing the best he can right now. Does he represent your highest values?
The writer lives in Santa Barbara and is a regular contributor to the News-Press.