The rich are weird

Donald Trump is one of the most Twitter-obsessed freaks I’ve heard tell of, but he doesn’t quite seem to understand how the medium works.

But the most eye-popping revelation from Politico’s dive into Trump’s reading habits is his decidedly analog method for “liking” tweets. First, a quick reminder of the accepted method for liking tweets: Click the heart.

Now, Trump’s method for “liking” tweets:

The president has even been known to sends printouts of tweets he likes. After he liked one Gaetz tweet, he had it printed by a staffer, signed it and requested that it be sent to Gaetz’s congressional office, where the now-framed tweet hangs.

Recalling Trump’s past as a hotelier, Gaetz said, “This is the proverbial Trump gift basket waiting for you in your suite or sent to you.”

He’s like a caricature of an old, out-of-touch grandpa. This is not how any of this works.

It’s also deeply bizarre that someone would frame a tweet and hang it on their wall.

In other general fucking rich people news, wealthy parents are transferring responsibility (on paper) for their kids to their poorer friends.

Amid an intense national furor over the fairness of college admissions, the Education Department is looking into a tactic that has been used in some suburbs here, in which wealthy parents transfer legal guardianship of their college-bound children to relatives or friends so the teens can claim financial aid, say people familiar with the matter.

They give an example.

One Chicago-area woman told The Wall Street Journal that she transferred guardianship of her then 17-year-old daughter to her business partner last year. While her household income is greater than $250,000 a year, she said, she and her husband have spent about $600,000 putting several older children through college and have no equity in their home, which is valued at about $1.2 million, according to the property website Zillow. She said she has little cash on hand and little saved for her daughter’s education.

Transferring her daughter’s guardianship was largely a matter of paperwork, the mother said. Her business partner attended a court hearing with an attorney. She, her husband and her daughter didn’t even need to show up, she said. Once the guardianship was transferred, the teen only had to claim the $4,200 in income she earned through her summer job, the mother said.

Today, her daughter attends a private college on the West Coast which costs $65,000 in annual tuition, she said. The daughter received a $27,000 merit scholarship and an additional $20,000 in need-based aid, including a federal Pell grant, which she won’t have to pay back. The daughter is responsible for $18,000 a year, which her grandparents pay, the woman said.

Whoa. When my kids were starting college, I was making $40K/year, and we didn’t even own a home — we were renting. Yet we managed to scrimp and save and get all three kids through four years of college. So that family is bringing in a quarter million per year, and they haven’t managed to set aside any money for their kids’ education? What have they been spending their money on? That kid is getting $20K that could have gone to someone who really needed it. The woman openly admitted to robbing poorer people, and she’s probably proud of her cleverness.

Close those loopholes, and publicly shame the rich. That’s all we can do.


  1. numerobis says

    Closing that loophole means funding public schools and nationalizing the private schools.

  2. kingoftown says

    “Close those loopholes, and publicly shame the rich. That’s all we can do.”

    Or make university free for all. Scotland manages it.

  3. Sonja says

    John Menard Jr. (Menard’s) is a perfect example of this phenomenon. He’s nuts.

  4. cartomancer says

    One also has to wonder at the “business partner” on the other end of the scam. Some partnership there, if one partner gets a massive income from the shared business, and the other is poor enough to qualify for substantial financial aid.

    Also the lawyers and civic officials who facilitated the process. Don’t you at least have to give a good reason for transferring legal guardianship of children in America? Aren’t there inquiries and interviews? Is there no oversight mechanism to watch for, oh I don’t know, people doing it just to cheat the government out of money they don’t deserve?

  5. lumipuna says

    Sending out a printed tweet? Doesn’t Gaetz’s office have a fax machine?

  6. alkisvonidas says

    The woman openly admitted to robbing poorer people

    “Robbing poorer people” is just the long-winded term for “being rich”.

    In Roman and Medieval times, kings, nobles and church officials would sometimes adopt the children of peasants and paupers, raise them as their own* and provide for them; that was obviously an excellent deal for the poor, to which they seldom objected. Our enlightened times have apparently produced a twisted reversal.

    (I’m sure someone will use this as an argument against Big Government)

    *well, their servants raised them, but never mind

  7. Matt G says

    Weird? I would say unethical and shamelessly greedy. My SO works in financial aid and sees all kinds of tricks being played. And the school often goes along with it….

  8. brain says

    @2: absolutely right. It’s insane to have private colleges that cost yearly more than an average house.
    Well, no issue in having them, actually: the insane part is that they are considered mandatory to get a successful and well-rewarded job.
    Public university should ve available to everyone, not as a fallback solution, but as the main investment in a nation’s future.

  9. tardigrada says

    I’m sure some of the schools love that deal. They can happily claim some degree of diversity without ever having to admit those icky people outside their usual clientele.

  10. Rob Grigjanis says

    brain @8:

    Public university should ve available to everyone, not as a fallback solution, but as the main investment in a nation’s future.

    Yeah. Health and education should be considered as infrastructure. How much more infra can you get?

  11. says

    The Hamberdler signs other people’s tweets. I’m sure if Tom Hanks sent him a signed head shot, Orange Yeller would sign it too, send it back, and Hanks would be expected to frame it and hang it on a wall.

  12. microraptor says

    cartomancer @4: Remember: the more money you have, the fewer obstacles there are when it comes to performing legal shenanigans.

  13. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Well, that’s just another point against the obsession with means testing programs to make sure the very wealthy can’t use them. If the program is lucrative enough, they’ll find a backdoor way to benefit from them anyway. It seems far easier to just tax them more while making the thing they’re abusing available to all people, and work on closing the loopholes in the taxes instead. At least then, you’re only fighting their use of loopholes on only one front.

  14. numerobis says

    tardigrada: indeed. And anyway, the real money isn’t from tuition — it’s from donations. Lose $100k but then you’ve got alumni who, maybe one in ten will give a full million. It’s no difference!

  15. wzrd1 says

    “Close those loopholes, and publicly shame the rich. That’s all we can do.”

    No, France did better and the wealthy did learn how to behave better. You simply lack the intestinal fortitude to consider such a threat based path, to ensure all abide.
    So, all are faced with, “Let them eat cake”.

  16. photoreceptor says

    agree with wzrd1, my three kids went through university in France (where I have lived half my life), only cost was for insurance (which is also cheap). Used to be the same in the UK before a certain Maggie Thatcher screwed things up. Sounds a lot like socialism eh, next thing people’ll be asking for general health care coverage.

  17. inflection says

    Among Hillary’s emails one of the more common types was her sending something to a staffer to print out for one reason or another, so that part in particular is probably just a generational thing.

  18. says

    Just make sure that
    A) the kid has to agree
    B) the kid also loses any inheritance claims.
    See how this scam goes.