Thursday, October 18, 2018

Show Him The Money!

Lawrence Martin understands what is at Donald Trump's core -- money, plain and simple:

While so much of Mr. Trump’s policymaking is helter-skelter, scattershot, spur of the moment, it’s not so difficult to discern a constant in what he is doing, not just on foreign policy but with everything. Money is the morality. The drive for riches underpins this man’s entire life, his grotesque vanity, Mar-a-Lago, his gold-embossed Trump towers. It’s what’s behind the scandals, his alleged Russian ties, his Saudi softness, his refusal to release his tax records. It drives his thinking to the extent that the word kleptocracy has entered into the debate to describe how his presidency seeks to enrich himself and friends and family.

Money is at the root of everything Trump does:

David Hendrickson, author of Republic in Peril, argued that [Trump] was more imperialist than isolationist. In his book he writes that Mr. Trump sees alliances “as arrangements between a superpower protector and deadbeat dependents who should pay up or shove off.” In extracting rents from allies, he says Mr. Trump is trying to create “an empire of tribute.” He’s a president who decries not so much the lives lost in Middle East wars as the trillions of dollars America has squandered in them.

His refusal to deal with climate change is all about money:

The profit mentality can be seen in his approach to climate change. I was seated beside Jim Speyer, who worked for the first head of the Environmental Protection Agency, William Ruckelshaus, back in the early 1970s when the agency was created by Richard Nixon. Subsequent presidents, Mr. Speyer noted, at least took environmental issues seriously. But for Mr. Trump all that counts is near-term economic health. Climate-change programs get in the way of it. They need to be nixed. A carbon tax is the way to go, Mr. Speyer said, pointing to Canada as being on the right track.

And the obsession with money shows up most egregiously in Trump's tax cuts:

In the meantime, the administration must take care of its wealthy, even if the giant tax breaks that are going to them as well as the huge budget dollars for a rearming of an already overarmed military are creating such a deficit that, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned this week, social programs will have to be cut back.

Trump is no towering intellect. But he does know what he wants -- money. And he's going to squeeze it from whomever he can -- as he watches his own bank account grow.



Anonymous said...

um, Earth to Lawrence Martin: Trump is a greedy money-grabber?!? Hate to tell you, fella, but the whole flriggin’ country is exactly that, dude. Greed is the Creed down there and has been for quite some time. I mean Robert Reich can present stunning facts concerning the gross inequalities re wealth in America but what do legislators do? Just make it much worse with their latest tax reform. Gimme a break! Oh yeah, check out “religious” stalwart Pat Robertson’s reaction to the Saudi journalist’s Murder! Not worth fussin’ over and jeopardizing 100 billion in ARMS sales. This from a high-ranking representative of the Prince of Peace?!? A supposed “Thou shalt not kill” supporter?!? Jesus, I’m getting cynical! Mac

Owen Gray said...

I noted Reverend Pat's advice, Mac. Reich knows that it's one nation under Mammon.

The Mound of Sound said...

Maybe that's the answer. When in Rome... We know Trump is all about cash and Trump's record demonstrates his inability to distinguish honest cash from corrupt cash.

The Russian mafia knows Trump can be bought. The Kremlin knows it. Wilbur Ross's Bank of Cyprus knows it. Deutschebank knows it. New York City and Atlantic City know it.

Let's buy Trump. Directly. Cut out the US government entirely. We can launder our bribes the same way the Russians did over and over and again. We buy Trump family (Kushner too) properties for two, three, maybe five times their actual value. Discretely, of course, through wealthy intermediaries and tax havens.

Trump's net worth is somewhat shy of four billion. We can easily double that for economic and trade concessions and still wind up well ahead on the deal.

Owen Gray said...

That might work, Mound. It strikes me that Trump is more than willing to sell out -- to lots of people.

e.a.f. said...

dtrump wants what all crime lords and gangsters want, money. becoming president was just another way to attain his goal. In the end it maybe his undoing. Eventually, with money, they used to find the book keeper, now they just have to find the right computer.

Owen Gray said...

Deep Throat's advice to Woodward and Bernstein was to "follow the money," e.a.f. That was Nixon's undoing. And it will be Trump's undoing.