This goofy article caught my eye this morning, from Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!):
There’s an under-the-radar perk being offered to staffers in President Donald Trump’s administration — discounts on Trump-branded merchandise sold at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club.
White House staffers who have a Secret Service hard pin identifying them as administration officials can flash it at the pro shop — where Trump-branded driver headcovers retail for $40 and a Trump golf polo tee sells for $90, according to the online Trump store — and receive the same discount available to club members, who pay a reported $350,000 to join the club.
When I was working on payroll software, this was a question that came up repeatedly from fast food companies and others: if they offer discounted or even free merch that they sold, the value of the item(s) bought was considered taxable and needed to be included.
Of course, Comrade Stupid does not actually employ these gubmint employees hisself, so there is (probably) no tax impact per se, but just encouraging them to frequent one of his bidnesses is really sketchy and falls into an ethics abyss (as everything with Comrade Trump does):
But ethics experts say the arrangement only highlights how Trump remains more entangled in his commercial properties than any president in American history. Those blurry lines between his government work and his private business, from which he never divested, are perhaps most fuzzy when the president is spending time with government officials on the grounds of his own properties.
Discounts are not prohibited by the Office of Government Ethics if they are available to all government employees, or if it’s a standardized discount. But if they are not, the discount is considered a gift. Federal officials are also prohibited from accepting gifts in excess of $20 and are urged to decline any gifts “when accepting them would raise concerns about the appearance of impropriety.”
And as we know, impropriety is the calling card of the 4th Reich. Just as Seb. I’m sure the press will ask Elmira Gantry Huckabee Sanders, as she sports a teeshirt from the Possum Hollar Invitational, or whatever.