Houston, Texas, America’s fourth largest city, is literally underwater. At this very moment, rescue workers are pulling trapped elderly people from their homes. Private citizens selflessly patrol the rivers and lakes that have taken over the city in small fishing boats, searching for people in need of assistance. At least 19 people have died due to Hurricane Harvey.
So, of course, Donald Trump picked this moment to give a major address calling for lower corporate taxes.
Wednesday afternoon, cable news networks cut to a startling juxtaposition. On one side of the screen, viewers saw radar images of the storm system still pounding the gulf region. Or they saw images of citizens pulling helpless Texans into makeshift rescue boats.
On the other side, Trump was perfectly dry and wearing a business suit. While streams of water poured through Houston neighborhoods, Trump called on a Missouri audience to vote Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill “out of office” if she won’t support Trump’s as-yet vague tax proposals. As Texans pile into churches and mosques and other makeshift shelters, Trump said he wants to cut the business tax rate to 15 percent.
not a good look pic.twitter.com/Fl2ISWoDid
— Jesse Lehrich (@JesseLehrich) August 30, 2017
“Lower taxes on American business mean higher wages for American workers,” Trump told a supportive audience that, unlike so many people in Texas, will go home to dry homes tonight and not have to worry about whether they will ever sleep in their familiar bed again.
It was the single most on the nose metaphor for the Republican Party anyone has ever conceived of. Donald Trump — a man whose very name is synonymous with ungracious opulence — called for his company to pay less to support the public good while an American city drowned.
Even Ann Coulter was not impressed.
This is the worst, most tone-deaf speech @realDonaldTrump has ever given. Jeb! had better ideas.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) August 30, 2017
One prominent Trump supporter, however, held a different view.
Thank you, Mr. President, for calling for a level playing field for American workers & job creators. The time for major tax reform has come.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) August 30, 2017
The people of Houston may have other priorities.