President Donald Trump was criticized on Tuesday for not showing enough empathy for storm victims when he visited Texas. But during Wednesday’s speech on tax reform, the president seemed passionate about taking care of rich business owners.
While visiting Texas, Trump described the storm as “epic” and “historic,” but he said little about the first responders who had died or the thousands who have lost their homes.
Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer immediately noted the lack of empathy following Trump’s Tuesday visit to Texas.
“I was with President Bush when he went to see the devastation caused by fires in Arizona and tornados in Missouri,” Fleischer said. “And there was something missing from what President Trump said — I hope he will say it later today — but that’s the empathy for the people who suffer.”
On Wednesday, Trump mentioned the hurricane victims and first responders in his opening remarks.
“We are with you today, we are with you tomorrow and we will be with your every single day after,” he said, noting that the victims were “people, people.”
But he quickly moved on to his tax reform pitch. He called out business owners by name, something that he had failed to do with storm victims in Texas.
“We must reduce the tax burdens on our companies and our workers,” he insisted. “The tax code is now a source of frustration for tens of millions Americans.”
“This is wrong,” Trump argued. “First and foremost, our tax system should benefit loyal hardworking Americans and their families.”
“When it comes to the business tax, we are dead last [in the world]. And this cannot be allowed to continue… We’re not surrendering anymore.”
Trump called the middle class “the forgotten people” who “know how to spend their own money.”
According to The Washington Post, Trump’s tax reform plan — to the degree that he has articulated one — will largely benefit the top 1 percent of earners.
“Let’s create the 21st tax system that our people deserve,” Trump said at the conclusion of his remarks on Wednesday. “It’s time.”