The Treasury Department, in an unprecedented move, is including President Donald Trump’s name on all paper checks for stimulus funds that will be delivered to Americans over the next few weeks.
The $1,200 payments to each American adult are meant to help those dealing with economic difficulties at this time, the result of the spread of coronavirus across the country and the implementation of necessary social distancing measures.
Never before has a president’s name appeared on an Internal Revenue Service disbursement check — ordinarily, the name of a civil servant is on the document instead — but when they are received, Americans will note the name of “President Donald J. Trump” written on them.
The move to include the president’s name, however, reportedly required a delay for the checks to be printed in that manner.
While Treasury Department officials deny that such a delay occurred, senior IRS officials familiar with the process told the Washington Post this week that placing Trump’s name on the checks may have delayed their deliveries to Americans, many of whom are struggling financially and in dire need of the money, by as many as a few days.
Trump originally expressed a desire to have his name on the checks in late March, as the stimulus bill was approaching his desk, according to several media reports at the time.
Several individuals on social media voiced their outrage at the vanity of Trump requiring his name being on the checks, as well as the fact that doing so would cause Americans to have to wait longer to get economic aid.
“Apart from inexcusably slowing the checks, this display of ego is a reminder to all of us that the one and only thing Donald J. Trump cares about is … Donald J. Trump,” Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe wrote in a tweet.
In a separate posting, Tribe also stated that those whose checks are delayed can “thank this man,” referring to Trump. “He cared more about getting his name on the check than about your need for it. He’s worse than contemptible,” Tribe added.
If the check you’re waiting for is delayed, you can thank this man. He cared more about getting his name on the check than about your need for it. He’s worse than contemptible. https://t.co/O76gnmxgrj
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) April 15, 2020
Political activist and author Amy Siskind also expressed her contempt for the president’s action. “His name should be written on every death certificate: Donald J Trump is the leading cause of death in America,” she wrote in a tweet that was accompanied by a link to the Post article describing the possible check delay.
Actor and activist George Takei also weighed in on the matter, describing how check recipients should react when they see the president’s name.
“When we receive our stimulus checks, which have been delayed because the ‘president’ insists his name be printed on the memo line, after the words ‘Donald J. Trump’ we should all write SUCKS and post a picture, tagging him on social media,” Takei wrote. “He only understands schoolyard tactics.”
When we receive our stimulus checks, which have been delayed because the “president” insists his name be printed on the memo line, after the words “Donald J. Trump” we should all write SUCKS and post a picture, tagging him on social media.
He only understands schoolyard tactics.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) April 15, 2020
Perhaps the most jarring reaction came from Chad Hooper, the president of the Internal Revenue Service’s Professional Managers Association. Hooper was not private about his disgust with the inclusion of Trump’s name, as well as the possible delay that would come about by doing so.
“In this time of need for additional resources, anything that takes our focus from getting those checks out the door and hampers the equitable, fair administration of the tax code is not something we can support,” Hooper said.