During a campaign rally in Lexington, Kentucky on Monday night, President Donald Trump explained to an enthusiastic audience of merch-flaunting slogan-chanters that his policies were solely responsible for an economic boom and that the economic boom was responsible for increasingly healthy marriages across the country.
“People tell me that their wives, their husbands all of a sudden they’ve been running the 401ks for years and they totally lost respect for, let’s say the husband, totally lost respect—now they think he’s a financial genius because he’s up 74 percent,” Trump said, despite 401ks being up, on average, closer to eight percent. “She says, ‘Darling I love you, you are the most incredible, brilliant financial mind.’”
Trump’s speech resonated with the staff of Fatherly not only because he’s a remarkable writer of female dialogue, but because many of the married men working in the office had experienced the so-called Trump Bump in their romantic relationships. Naturally, they were eager to explain how the president’s policy decisions had made their marriages great again.
These are their very, very, very, very true stories.
High Deductibles and Good Defenses
Before Trump’s tax cuts, my marriage was on the rocks. My wife had chosen to spend her life with me, a person who shuffles words around for a living, because she was in awe of my financial savvy. The $749 I had in my 401K on our wedding day was a meaningful sweetener. But over the ensuing years she discovered that my Gold Bonds were actually in a 20-pack I bought at Sam’s Club and that my “friend in Omaha” was the manager of a Fuddruckers. Still, she respected that I still poured money into a high-deductible health plan that provided us with access to several divorced marriage therapists in the Bronx. But our retirement savings remained a bone of contention. I assured here that I had a near mint collection of 1992 Marvel Masterpiece playing cards in the original tin and this assuaged her for a while, but I feared she would leave me if she discovered that Silver Surfer actually had some dings and was merely a PSA Near-Mint-Mint 8.
Then Trump lowered the tax rate. Though my salary didn’t change, my wife was able to watch the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies benefit from sinking over 100 percent of after-tax profits related to the president’s policies in share buybacks that massively inflated their personal worth. I found an ermine muff in a bag on the street and told her I bought it at Sacks Fifth Avenue and she totally didn’t hear the “c.” Better yet, the value of our now-combined 401K shot up 8 percent, meaning we were able to bank literally hundreds of dollars. Good thing too, because my wife found out about the ballooning national debt and how we’re not going to have access to social services when we’re past working age and that makes her anxious. I’ve heard her talking to her muff about it. We can’t afford a dog.
But the silver lining here is that when my wife thinks about the future, she sees the value of having me around. I kept the Louisville Slugger I used in Little League and I’ve been practicing with it. I’ve made a suit of armor from La Croix and White Claw cans filched from a local WeWork. She’s gonna be fine as long as I’m around. I think she gets that. — Andrew Burmon, Editor-in-Chief
Genius By Proxy
Trump is so overtly bad at managing the country, his own personal message, and the lives of innocent people, that my wife has come to respect me much more than since he was elected and she started imbibing daily news hits about his ignorance and selfishness. In that regard, Trump has done me a solid. When we first dated, my wife sometimes found my discursive rants about everything from Beatles ephemera to obscure Star Wars novels to frustrating. But since listening to Trump deliver economic policy speeches peppered with lies and racism, she’s concluded I’m a genius. Contrast helps. These days, my wife will turn to me and say “Darling, I love you. You would never tweet more than once a day, and you’d never use all caps when you did it.”
Have I benefitted from Trump’s economic polices? Nope. Don’t have the portfolio for it. Not one bit. But, I would argue that I’ve benefitted from the personal venality that they express. My wife is more patient these days. She’s gonna listen to me rant about the intricacies of The Mandalorian and sigh only occasionally.
It all reminds of that time I tried speed dating in Brooklyn. I thought it would be hard, but all I had to do was to not look as ridiculous as the skinny jeans-wearing, Strokes-loving, David Foster Wallace-quoting yahoos that showed up. It’s like what they say about bears. You don’t have to be faster than the bear. You just have to be faster than the other guy. My wife’s patience is a bear-like. — Ryan Britt, Entertainment Editor
Soy Beans and Significant Futures
Before Trump’s trade war, I was a nothing of a writer scraping by with just enough money to pay the interest rate on my decades-old student loan and half a dozen maxed-out credit cards. To make ends meet and close the gaps in our finances, I grew a small crop of heirloom soybeans in my suburban Ohio backyard which I sold to China for a tidy but small profit. So when Trump slapped tariffs on China and they retaliated with tariffs of their own, I was certain this soy boy of the hoi polloi would lose even more respect from his Helen of Troy. (I’m not Jewish, but I remember thinking, “Oy!) After all soybean exports to China fell 75 percent between 2016 and 2017. But I was wrong to be scared. Because thanks to socialist-style, safety-net supports from the United States Government, soybean growers were bailed out to the tune of $12 billion last year and another $16 billion in 2019. Turns out this golden boy has no need to sell soy with thanks to Trump’s savvy ploy. Now all my wife can talk about is my “most incredible, brilliant financial mind” and I’m polling sixth in the Iowa caucus. — Patrick Coleman, Parenting Editor
Freakier Sex and Financial Acumen
Prior to President Trump, my investments were a mess. I couldn’t afford holders for the pot that piss in. But, since the average housing payment has risen an additional $500 under Trump’s watch, we’ve stopped saving for a home and pushed the money from that withered husk of a dream into my once-meager 401k. Now? It might provide us enough money to afford some medicine when we’re older and weaker and free falling through the empty space where there was once a social safety net. My wife really appreciates that I’ve planned for the eventuality.
I’ve also been able to take some of the money that Trump saved me and invest it by giving it to non profits (shout out Border Angels) that combat the federal government’s policy of caging immigrant children. Though this does little to quell the rage that storms in our hearts, it’s been great for our sex life. My wife really needs a relief for her anger and I’m happy to play that role. Plus, a safe word and a hay-yellow wig has improved our communication in general. — Matt Berical, Deputy Editor
Coffee Loopholes and Trickle Down Economics
My wife has always respected my brilliant financial mind. She first realized I was gifted when she saw me bartering in a coffee shop. You see, there’s this loophole with coffee shops where, if you bring your own cup, you get 15 cents off. So I buy one regular cup each year and wash and reuse it all year, which allows me to transfer 15 cents into my 401K several times a day.
“15 cents?,” you say. “That isn’t much.”
That’s where my financial genius comes in. It’s called compounded interest, I think. Or confounded Pinterest. Whatever the term, when I add 15 cents times 600 or so cups of coffee needed to stay competitive in my full time job (and two side hustles) to the 50 percent of my income I put away (no match, of course), I save real dough. I made pennies on my quarters thanks to Trump’s tax cut and was able to maintain the 15 cent deal with my local coffee shop, which is owned by my money manager’s boss’s son, who doesn’t really like working but wanted to give back to the community and digs Tokyo-style lattes. This is called trickle down economics. Or con-pounded interest. Something like that.
Whatever it is, when I retire I will be able to finally afford a down payment on one of the homes that my family of four looks at online in lieu of watching Netflix, which is a bit more expensive these days. Sure, the kids will be grown then, but that’s for the best. After 18 years of living in a one bedroom, we’ll all be ready for some more space. — Tyghe Trimble, Editorial Director