Magazine | January 25, 2016, Issue

Memorandum of Understanding

FROM: Donald J. Trump, President and CEO of the United States of America

TO: [Name$tring, Lastname, Firstname, CitizenID#.date]

DATE: [Date$tring mm/dd/yyyy]

To the Taxpayer:

Many thanks for your recent vote selecting me to be the President of the United States, effective Friday, January 20, at 12:01 p.m. I think you’ll all agree that it was a spirited and passionate campaign. And though I must have struck some of you as “bombastic” and “ill prepared” (this I gather from my Twitter timeline), I assure you that now that the “fun” part is over, I am all business.

To wit:

I am pleased to be able to make a conditional and contingent acceptance of your offer, following your acceptance of my counter-offer.

While it is indeed a “great honor,” as some have said, to “serve” in this office, it is not without its financial drawbacks. The current compensation package on offer for the position of “President of the United States” is U.S. $400,000, which I think we can agree is a significant reduction in the monies I have heretofore been awarded/been paid/received in my various capacities as television personality, steak entrepreneur, and real-estate licensee.

Clearly, at the current offered level of remuneration, I will be suffering a major financial loss. It would be counterintuitive for anyone at my level of compensation to accept less than he is accustomed to — in effect, to move down the ladder of prosperity — irrespective of my level of enthusiasm for the job on offer.

That is not to say a deal cannot be structured whereby I accept your offer of the Office of President of the United States and both parties walk away with a win-win attitude.

Allow me to make a counter-proposal:

1. The title of the position be reconfigured to “President and CEO of the United States of America,” and I continue in that capacity for the duration of the first four-year term, whereupon the position become “President, CEO, and Chairman of the United States of America” (italics mine).

2. All parties make a good-faith effort to repeal the 22nd Amendment to the United States Constitution, allowing me to assume the position of “Executive Chairman” for the duration of my natural life. (Please see Appendix R: “Definition of ‘Natural’ in Term ‘Natural Life’” for clarifications.)

3. The United States of America, as a brand, has suffered a major decline in terms of brand equity and brand crossover value. The next CEO will be tasked with improving the brand’s value and increasing its power in the marketplace. I think everyone agrees that this is in many ways my métier. Therefore, what I’m proposing as far as contingent compensation is the following royalty deal: In addition to the congressionally approved comp package, a 0.1% share (or “points”) in the delta (increase) in the GDP from 1/20/17 to 1/20/18, to be calculated by approved and normal GAAP methodology, and to be issued to me as a “performance bonus” on a year-on-year basis. In the fourth year, after four consecutive years of growth, a “super bonus” is triggered equal to 2x the previous years’ bonus.

4. In the unfortunate case where the GDP does not grow, the bonus is calculated based on one of two metrics (to be mutually agreed upon): either a price-per-head “bonus” on each illegal immigrant repatriated; constructed feet of a wall along our southern border, on a per-foot basis; and/or a simple pound-for-pound tribute in the style of the old-school Aga Khan, in which my weight as of 31 December is matched in precious metals to be determined later but restricted to gold, silver, and rare-earth compounds. (The irony of utilizing an ancient Islamic-inflected form of bonus delivery is not lost on me or my compensation consultants at Semler Brossy.)

5. Liquidated damages/upset price equal to one year’s bonus (previous year baseline) in the case of my contract’s being inexplicably un-renewed following the initial four-year term.

6. Use of office space, staff, and travel allowance following the natural end of the contract in a location substantially similar to the original office, and with all amenities provided on a continuation basis.

7. Any substantial capital and/or physical-plant improvements undertaken and completed during the initial or subsequent terms will remain co-branded in perpetuity. Any bridges, railways, warships of any battle class, space-exploration vehicles or stations, national parks, waterworks, federal highways, or discovered suns will be appended with “Trump’s™” trade dress and distinctive logo, e.g., “Trump’s™ USS Gerald R. Ford Supercarrier” or “Trump’s™ Interstate Route 71 Business Loop” or “Trump’s™ Galileo VII Radio Telescope.”

As you can see, these deal points merely serve to incentivize me to do the very best possible job. Please initial each item and sign the form below to execute this agreement.

Donald J. Trump

(dictated but not read)

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

What Trump Sees

The French writer Charles Péguy once said that “one must always say what one sees. Above all, which is more difficult, one must always see what one sees.” While it may ...
Politics & Policy

End Corporate Welfare

A campaign against business subsidies — conservative warfare on corporate welfare — would present Republicans with an easy win: What other issue would energize free-market conservatives while stoking the sympathies ...
Politics & Policy

School of Rock

The heavy-metal band Iron Maiden often starts its concerts or encores with a short lesson in history and rhetoric. As fans watch jumbo screens fill with black-and-white images of aerial ...

Features

Politics & Policy

The Good Fight

One subplot of the Republican presidential-nomination battle has been an increasingly vicious and personal contest between two first-term senators, both of Cuban descent and separated by just a few months ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

The Causes of Wealth

One of the more striking public-health developments of the post-war era has been the rise in the number of Americans suffering from cardiovascular disease, particularly in the states of the ...
Politics & Policy

A People Divided

   To the man-in-the-street, who, I’m sorry to say, Is a keen observer of life, The word intellectual suggests right away A man who’s untrue to his wife. W. H. Auden could well have carried ...
Politics & Policy

Terrible Beauty

Leonardo DiCaprio is 40. Let that sink in. No, it’s even worse than that: He’s 41. Yet the cheeks are still smooth, the boyishness still palpable, the eternal youthfulness still a ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Women in War As an Army infantry officer with some combat experience, I wholeheartedly agree with David French (“Social Justice at War,” October 5) that arbitrarily declaring that women will serve ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Trump is wrong: Cruz is a natural-born citizen. But at least Trump is consistent about wanting to stop foreigners from taking jobs from low-skilled Americans. ‐ “If Hillary thinks she ...
The Long View

Memorandum of Understanding

FROM: Donald J. Trump, President and CEO of the United States of America TO: [Name$tring, Lastname, Firstname, CitizenID#.date] DATE: [Date$tring mm/dd/yyyy] To the Taxpayer: Many thanks for your recent vote selecting me to be ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

LEAVES: THREE TANKAS Fall comes. He watches Their dying flames fill the eaves And ground their splotches In slow-browning, flattened sheaves: Loss over which no one grieves. * Their coming down makes The ground a cereal bowl Of brown. ...
Happy Warrior

Sweet ’16

This will be a year of great portent. Our nation seems joined in an epic arm-wrestling match to determine what our institutions, norms, and pronouns will look like for the ...

Most Popular

Sports

The Kaepernick Saga Drags On . . . off the Field

Colin Kaepernick’s workout for NFL teams in Atlanta this weekend did not run smoothly. The league announced an invitation to scouts from every team to watch Kaepernick work out and demonstrate that he was still ready to play. (As noted last week, the workout is oddly timed; the NFL season is just a bit past its ... Read More
Immigration

The ‘Welfare Magnet’ for Immigrants

That term refers to a controversial concept -- and a salient one, given the Trump administration's efforts to make it harder for immigrants to use welfare in the U.S. A new study finds that there's something to it: Immigrants were more likely to come to Denmark when they could get more welfare there. From the ... Read More
World

Israel’s New Way of War

Commuters on Route 4, driving toward the Israeli coastal city of Ashdod on November 12, were shocked by an explosion, a rocket impact next to a major intersection. Had it fallen on a car or one of the many trucks plying the route, there would have been deaths, and the road would have been closed. Instead, police ... Read More
White House

Decide Trump’s Fate at the Ballot Box

If Donald Trump’s presidency is going to end before 2025, it should end at the ballot box. A lot of what has been revealed by Trump’s desire to see Ukraine investigate Joe and Hunter Biden -- or at least publicly announce an investigation -- merely confirms character traits, instincts, and habits that have ... Read More
Culture

‘Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself’

It was just one more segment to fill out the hour, and thereby fill the long 24 hours of Saturday’s cable news on November 2. Or so it seemed. Navy SEAL Mike Ritland was on the Fox News program Watters World to talk to Jesse Watters about trained German shepherds like the one used in the raid that found ... Read More