El Dorado News

Friday
February 23, 2018
El Dorado News Times
Shea Wilson

Shea Wilson

In search of what was missing …

By Shea Wilson
This article was published February 4, 2018 at 5:00 a.m.

What did you think of First Lady Melania Trump’s expressions during Tuesday’s State of the Union address? What about her breaking with tradition and taking a separate car from her husband? Why did she wear white? Allegations reemerged earlier this month that her husband had an affair with porn star Stormy Daniels. Were the First Lady’s actions signs of fury? She skipped out on a trip to Davos, Switzerland, with the president, you know.

I marveled in the aftermath of the speech that some media outlets used the services of language experts to speculate on the meaning of those stoic glances.

Joe Navarro, a body language expert and author of What Every Body Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People, said that Mrs. Trump behaved differently than any other first lady in modern history at certain moments.

“It was not that she looked stoic, though she often did, it was almost a distant pained look,” Navarro told the Huffington Post. “She almost mechanically stood and applauded, without any form of alacrity. That may speak to some psychological discomfort and emotional pain.”

I feel her pain, but for different reasons. And the answers I seek have nothing to do with the state of the Trumps’ marital relations. Let’s talk money.

Are your wallets fuller? I could almost envision my bank account swelling as President Trump boasted of higher 401(k) balances, the stock market surge and tax cuts during his first State of the Union speech.

“The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value,” Trump said in his speech. “That is great news for Americans’ 401(k), retirement, pension, and college savings accounts.”

This is good news. I like seeing my 401(k) increase. But, I am a detail person. I need more information than one-liners from a TelePrompTer-read speech. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act moved through Congress with lightning speed, but it will take more time to see the long term effects of the new law.

We should see more money in our paychecks with less in federal taxes withheld. And the tax bill is expected to work by increasing companies’ ability to invest, which should result in greater productivity and ultimately, higher wages. That’s the goal, but it will take time for the money to turn over. How long? And those tax cuts will expire in eight years. What then? And despite running on a platform that included reduced health care costs, I am seeing increased premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. Doesn’t that suck up those tax cuts?

Americans need more details about what was not said during Trump’s speech. The stock market is soaring now, but many of us remember 2008 when 401(k) savings took a dive. Market experts say some people lost as much as 37 percent of their 401(k) savings at that time. A next recession hit. Will we be prepared? What about the Social Security Trust Fund, which is set run out in 2035? Will it? What then?

The missing points from Trump’s speech matter. Those are the details that impact Americans living outside the Beltway. Tip for media outlets: Trump’s fidelity and his wife’s mood are not irrelevant at this point. He is a lying cheat and that was widely known when he as elected. Tell us something we don’t know.

Shea Wilson is the former managing editor of the El Dorado News-Times. Email her at melsheawilson@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter @SheaWilson7.

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