Today, the wife of Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Louise Linton, posted a photo of herself deplaning a U.S. Air Force jet in full high-fashion garb, tagging luxury brands Hermes, Tom Ford and Valentino in the photo. A critic commented on the fact that the trip, presented as a high-class getaway, was paid for by taxpayer dollars.
Linton’s condescending and surprisingly juvenile response invokes a common entitlement trope for the wealthy:
Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice [sic] to your country? I’m pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day “trip” than you did.
In other words, Linton implies that, because she is wealthy and, therefore, pays more in taxes, she is entitled to “#daytrips” on the taypayer’s dime. What she fails to grasp is that paying her fair share in taxes doesn’t lead to special treatment; it makes her a contributing member of society in line with every other American who pays into the system to use our roads, schools, and police departments.
While she has since made her Instagram account private, the nation’s first look at Mnuchin’s wife was rather unfortunate. Moving forward, she should perhaps consider that if she does not want to be attacked for her taxpayer-funded trips, she should take care to leave #Hermes, #TomFord, and #Valentino hashtags out of it next time.
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.