Who’s Vacuuming?

Ordinarily, I’d leave ex-wives out of a political debate, but Ivana Trump wants to be heard and she’s been talking to the New York Post. I doubt what she had to say will be particularly helpful to her ex-husband.

Ivana Trump said the first step for America to regain respect is adopting the billionaire’s immigration policies.

“And I’m an immigrant,” said Ivana, who was born in the Czech Republic.

“As long as you come here legally and get a proper job … we need immigrants. Who’s going to vacuum our living rooms and clean up after us? Americans don’t like to do that,” she added.

The Republican presidential front-runner’s first wife insisted she has “nothing against Mexicans.”

“But if they [come] here — like this 19-year-old, she’s pregnant, she crossed over a wall that’s this high. She gives birth in American hospital, which is for free. The child becomes American automatically,” she said. “She brings the whole family, she doesn’t pay the taxes, she doesn’t have a job, she gets housing, she gets the food stamps. Who’s paying? You and me.”

When it comes to picking spouses, The Donald doesn’t seek the ‘Made in America’ seal of approval, not that there’s anything wrong with that. What’s more important is whether the Trumps understand the problems of ordinary Americans who know how to vacuum and clean up after themselves.

Growing up in the New York media market, I was occasionally subjected to this kind of arrogance. I remember when Leona Helmsley rationalized her tax evasion by stating, “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.” Too often, that appears to be true.

I doubt anyone cares what Ivana Trump thinks about immigration policy, but most people won’t feel much sympathy for her point of view. I mean, I don’t care how rich you are, you ought to pick up after yourself. And, if you can’t, you don’t need to hire an immigrant to do it for you.

And, as for Ivana Trump paying for the food stamps and housing of the children of illegal immigrants, she’ll hardly notice the expense:

Their divorce was settled after that in 1992. Although the settlement remains sealed by the courts, it is rumored that Ivana received $20 million; the $14 million family estate in Connecticut; a $5 million housing allowance; $350,000 annual alimony; all of her jewelry; and 49% of Mar-a-Lago, the family home in Palm Beach, Florida, that also serves as a private club for the Palm Beach elite.

Are we supposed to cry that some of her money might go to feed a child? And I emphasize might because what Leona Helmsley said is accurate enough that I wonder if Ivana Trump actually does pay for that 19-year-old girl’s government assistance.

More likely, she doesn’t pay her fair share, which means you and I can sleep at night knowing that we haven’t let a child go hungry or without shelter, but that thought probably never even crosses Ivana’s mind.

It’s a little more understandable when someone who actually plays by the normal rules and who actually notices the difference when they write a check to the IRS feels some resentment about their tax dollars going to someone ‘undeserving.’

When Ivana Trump does it, it just makes people want to oil the guillotine.

Or, hand her a vacuum cleaner…

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.