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Remember the outrage when Hillary Clinton was accused of selling access in exchange for charitable contributions? Lest you have any doubts about the criminality that soon will invade the White House, read this:
Ivanka Trump reportedly will have a White House office, which she’ll be able to use to advocate for policies – a step she’s already taken with preliminary calls to Republican members of Congress.
This follows a series of meetings Ivanka Trump has joined with her father, foreign leaders, domestic business leaders, and prospective cabinet members.
Remember, Ivanka has not been elected to anything or cleared for anything. But, seemingly she plans to use the White House to run her businesses. Is that even legal?
Who cares? Right?
When Ivanka auctioned a lunch with her for tens of thousands of dollars, it raised eyebrows. Though the charitable auction was eventually scrapped, it appeared Donald Trump’s daughter was putting a high price on access to an influential member of the incoming president’s orbit.This week, it’s apparently Ivanka’s brothers’ turn. Time magazine, among others, reported:
A new Texas nonprofit led by Donald Trump’s grown sons is offering access to the freshly-minted president during inauguration weekend – all in exchange for million-dollar donations to unnamed “conservation” charities, according to interviews and documents reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity.
Trump’s “charities” have a history of benefitting Trump financially. He even has been fined for that offense for which he falsely and ironically accused Hillary Clinton.
The notion of Trump, the global warming denier and friend of big oil, having “conservation charities” is ludicrous.
And the donors’ identities may never be known.
Prospective million-dollar donors to the “Opening Day 2017” event – slated for Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, at Washington, D.C.’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center – receive a “private reception and photo opportunity for 16 guests with President Donald J Trump,” a “multi-day hunting and/or fishing excursion for 4 guests with Donald Trump, Jr. and/or Eric Trump, and team,” as well as tickets to other events and “autographed guitars by an Opening Day 2017 performer.”
The prices aren’t cheap. For $250,000, donors can receive a “private reception and photo opportunity” with Donald Trump himself. To hunt with Trump’s adult sons, donors should expect to write a check for $500,000.
There would be no legal requirement to disclose the donors’ names to the public.
Here we are, watching leading members of Team Trump put a generous price on access to themselves, and engaging in the exact behavior the president-elect condemned as a candidate in the very recent past.
You can just hear the water being drained from the swamp.
Oops. Like all other Trump promises, the swamp-draining now is cancelled.
Based on history, there is no reason to doubt that the Trump public-private partnerships will net billions for Trump and his family.
This is the same Donald Trump who promised to do as all other Presidential candidates have done:
- Release his tax returns
- Divest himself of any assets that could result in his self-dealing as a President
Not only has he refused to do either, but in the case of those self-enriching assets, he has indicated there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it. His words: “The law’s totally on my side, meaning, the president can’t have a conflict of interest.”
“Ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe.” The “why” is that Trump plans to use the White House as his personal piggy bank, to enrich himself.
Trump’s followers essentially have told him, “We don’t care how crooked and slimy you are. You can do anything you want and we still will back you.”
And it’s not just his followers. The entire Republican party is in on the scam:
Politico is reporting that some Republicans who would normally never go for an Obama-like stimulus plan are now entertaining the idea of a Trump infrastructure plan. Why, because they are hypocrites? No, according to Politico they are afraid of Trump:
POLITICO – To understand the spell Trump has cast on the Republican Party, just listen to the members of the House Republican Conference these days:
The same gang that made slashing spending their singular cause in Congress are now entertaining — and in many cases embracing — the president-elect’s pitch to pump billions into the economy in the form of a massive infrastructure package.
The irony, expressed privately by lawmakers and leadership aides, is glaring. Privately, House Republicans complain that Trump’s infrastructure plan reeks of Obama’s stimulus package.
They say his tariff proposal is ridiculous and using the White House to force companies to stay in the U.S. is inappropriate.
Many are afraid to publicly oppose Trump because of his fondness for retribution and use of Twitter to publicly shame his critics. So now, they’re left crossing their fingers that his rhetoric doesn’t translate into actual policy proposals next year.
“Sometimes it’s the pioneers that end up with arrows in their backs,” said Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.). “Sometimes, for preservation sake in a political sense, people don’t want to pioneer in teeing off on a newly elected, and at this point popular, presidential nominee.”
This is indeed irony. What we wanted was for a Republican Congress to rein Trump in and keep him on the straight and narrow when it comes to spending and trade (and other things he decides to go liberal on). But now we’re hearing that they are considering Trump’s liberalism because they are afraid of him?
The next four years are not going to go well if Congress doesn’t get some balls.
Congress get balls? Who can forget what Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Mitt Romney, and Chris Christie had said about Trump and what he had said about them, then seeing them genuflecting before Trump, hoping to get some political assignment?
If that isn’t vomit inducing, nothing is. Well maybe Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan are:
Mitch McConnell Speaks Out in Strong Support of Trump
Breaking a pattern of staying on the sidelines, the Senate’s GOP leader issues a call for a ‘powerful’ President Trump.
Ryan: Last night and again this morning, I spoke with president-elect Donald Trump and I congratulated him on his great victory. And now, Donald Trump will lead a unified Republican government.
So McConnell always stays on the sidelines, but this time he issued a call for a powerful President Trump. And Ryan called repeatedly to congratulate Trump and to assure him the party is unified behind him. (“Mr. Trump sir, we all love you, sir.”)
I can hear the kissing and sucking sounds, all the way here in Chicago.
If you give a proven liar and cheat an open invitation to steal, what do you think that proven liar and cheat will do?
Welcome to the slimy world of our President and his family and his Party — the Party that supposedly will rein Trump in.
Will someone please count the silverware in the White House. The Trumps are coming.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the rich and the rest.
Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.
Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:
Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE AN ANNUAL ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012
Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONEFive reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefitting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and corporate taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.
The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.