The Trump betrayal of his base just grows and grows

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(AP)

Thanks to Donald Trump, Wall Street bankers and financiers see dollar signs followed by a whole lot of zeros dancing in their heads and into their bank accounts. They are downright giddy about it.

Here’s how Politico describes it:

“A populist candidate who railed against shady financial interests on the campaign trail is now putting together an administration that looks like an investment banker’s dream.

Former Goldman Sachs banker Steven Mnuchin has been seen at Trump Tower amid rumors that he’s the leading candidate for Treasury secretary. Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross appears headed to the Commerce Department. Steve Bannon, another Goldman alum, will work steps from the Oval Office. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon remains a possibility as Treasury secretary and will serve as an outside adviser if he doesn’t get the job.

It’s a restoration of Wall Street power — and a potential flip in the way the industry is regulated — perhaps unparalleled in American history.”

“You would have to go back to the 1920s to see so much Wall Street influence coming to Washington,” said Charles Geisst, a Wall Street historian at Manhattan College. “It’s the most dramatic turnaround one could imagine. That’s the truly astonishing part.”

Not seen since the 1920s … that’s encouraging, right?

And of course, the Wall Street dream doesn’t end there. In addition to dismantling and defanging the regulatory system enacted after the 2008 meltdown — remember the days of “this sucker could go down!”? — Trump is proposing huge tax cuts targeted mainly at the wealthy. In other words, they’re going to get richer than ever, and also pay less taxes on those riches than ever. What’s not to like?

It’s really quite the scam. You campaign in rural and small-town America, feeding and feeding upon the economic and racial resentments of people who have felt left behind and abandoned by their country. You gain political power.  You then use that political power to further enrich and empower the very elitists whom you’ve campaigned against.

And it’s not as if they were hurting in the first place. Last year, the amount paid just in bonuses on Wall Street — not in salaries or benefits, such as limo service and country-club fees, but bonuses alone — was double the amount paid to all the 900,000 full-time minimum wage workers in the entire country put together.

We’ve already talked about how the Trump transition team has abandoned his promises to address rising drug prices, a decision that sent pharmaceutical stocks soaring. The wall with Mexico? It’s been downgraded to a mere fence, and only in places. It was, Newt Gingrich now tells us, more of a “campaign device” than an actual promise. Trump promised repeatedly on the campaign trail to protect Medicare from those who want to slash it; now, his transition team is embracing plans by the Republican House to “modernize” the program by turning it into a voucher program and shift costs back onto the elderly.

And the coal miners, remember them? In speech after speech in critical states such as Pennsylvania and Ohio, Trump would remind his followers of the jobs that had disappeared in the mining and steel industries, the pensions and benefits that had been slashed, the way of life that once gave them hope but had now vanished. “If I win, we’re going to bring those mining jobs back,” he promised.

Now that Republicans have won the election, the song sure has changed. As Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky now puts it, those mining jobs aren’t coming back after all, because it turns out that the real problems of the coal industry are “private sector” problems, meaning that low-cost natural gas has rendered coal economically uncompetitive.

The interim president of the Kentucky  Coal Association echoes that sentiment. “I would not expect to see a lot of growth because of the Trump presidency,” Nick Carter told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “If there is any growth in Eastern Kentucky, it will be because of an improved economy for coal.”

And no, McConnell and his fellow Republicans won’t support a plan to help them.

“A government spending program is not likely to solve the fundamental problem of growth,” McConnell said. “I support the effort to help these coal counties wherever we can but that isn’t going to replace whatever was there when we had a vibrant coal industry.”

But wait, it gets worse.

For the last 20 years, the steel and coal industries have been ravaged by Wall Street financiers who buy up properties, break unions, slash wages in half, strip retired workers of the health benefits they earned and in many cases push production and output over worker safety. They then turn around and sell those gutted companies at an enormous profit. When Trump would go into these regions to rage against the elites and promise to fight for the common man, these were the people whom he would rail against.

Wilbur Ross, known as “the King of Bankruptcy,” has made billions through that process in the textile, steel and coal industries, but it came at a cost. One of his mines, the Sago Mine in West Virginia, had one of the worst safety records in the industry and had faced repeated partial shutdowns ordered by the federal government. But the company did little to correct conditions there, and in 2006 a roof collapsed, killing a dozen miners in the worst accident in that state in 40 years.

Today, Ross is a major fundraiser and campaign contributor to Trump. And as noted above, he is now the leading candidate for Commerce secretary in the Trump cabinet.

Drain the swamp, baby.

Reader Comments 1

1907 comments
Peachs
Peachs

What has happen is the US cannot win wars any more.  They go and blow money and lives and come home empty and mentally sick.  This is the new definition of conservatives.

DerekGator
DerekGator

@gadem @rimsky :  You are completely wrong on both accounts, people of color are constantly at war and other than Hitler, genocide is almost always committed by people of color. 

gadem
gadem

@rimsky White men are responsible for 95% of the wars and 96% of all genocide. But minorities are the dangerous ones....

rimsky
rimsky

@gadem @rimsky Yes and want that feeling of anger back.  They can't stand it when a Black man tries to diffuse conflict around the World.  Like Iran, Iraq, Syria, Cuba etc., etc.

Peachs
Peachs

@rimsky @gadem when you have a minority rule, conflict is the only common cause for the nation.  


9/11 saved the Bush administration.  


There will have to be something like this that drags us together again. 

Peachs
Peachs

@rimsky and if they can't treat people like this it is them that they believe is being cheated not the poor minority they are running over. It is called entitlement. 

rimsky
rimsky

According the analysis done by some people (according to NPR) the RW had spread a lot of lies in the course of the election via electronic media.  

This dissimation of falsehood went unchecked and unchallenged.  The RW are clever at spreading lies.

rimsky
rimsky

@InTheMiddle2 @rimsky You are exactly right that Trump won the electoral college.  No one denied that.  Yet some how you are unable to comprehend that piece of info.

rimsky
rimsky

@gadem After listening to NPR during the weekend I have come to the conclusion that a lot of people voted for trump for one reason only: that he will change Washington and thereby bring jobs back.

To those people I say "good luck".  They will change their mind in 2018.

gadem
gadem

@rimsky @gadem He's not changing Washington, and those jobs are not coming back. I fault both parties with not being honest with those that feel left behind. The people that feel left behind needs to be retrained.



rimsky
rimsky

@gadem @rimsky You did hit the nail squarely on the head.  I am glad the libs/progs are pissed.

gadem
gadem

@InTheMiddle2 @rimsky @gadem Your comprehension is lacking. People are voting against their best interest based on lies. Donald will never do anything to support the working man. Yet you hold out hope that the crumbs from the rich man's table will somehow find its way to your mouth.

rimsky
rimsky

@gadem @InTheMiddle2 @rimsky Trump has gone on to say on camera that minimum wage is too high.  Yet lot of low wage people have voted for Trump.  Go figure.

Here's_to_Blue
Here's_to_Blue

@InTheMiddle2 @rimsky @gadem For me, I'm tired of the party of "he!! no to any Democratic initiative" party that controls Congress.  If THAT isn't a "my way or the highway" attitude, then I don't know what is.

Peachs
Peachs

I figure he has bad teeth and that is why he never smiles. 

rimsky
rimsky

@Peachs Hehehehe.  I can speculate where that potty mouth has been but that will be gross.

Here's_to_Blue
Here's_to_Blue

@Peachs Who, Trump?  It looks like he has a set of rather expensive dental implants when he smiles.  Most of the time, though, he just screws up that mouth of his into what looks like a malformed back orifice.

DoubleNaughtSpy
DoubleNaughtSpy

....achtung.....Bookman's Fourth Reich.....achtung.....fear mongering will not change the results of the election.....the sun will rise today.....from the east.....that is all.....

honested
honested

@DoubleNaughtSpy 

Well, at least the Pope comprehends the danger on civilization the deplorables have wrought.

I can't wait for our resident geniuses to weigh in on allowing forgiveness for abortion to extend to ALL priests!

rimsky
rimsky

@DoubleNaughtSpy Come and tell us a year from now what a cluster F#$ck the admin was to this country.  On the contrary you people are not smart enough (ego also prevents) from admitting what blunder you made.

Peachs
Peachs

Do not be afraid, that seems to be the main message from the Trump camp, after scaring hell out of us for several years.  Every one remain calm.  What a leader..

Peachs
Peachs

@rimsky @Peachs he got mad at Saturday Night Live, not funny says the Fuhrer Trump. 

rimsky
rimsky

@Peachs @rimsky Yet he don't have the time to fight a legal battle.  Now that is funny.

rimsky
rimsky

@Peachs In my lifetime no single person has made me afraid for the well being of this country like the numnutz some conned people are about to anoint in the most important position of the country if not the world.

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

g' night Mr. Bruno - and sorry about leading you astray yesterday - they had a 2 and 6 record for crying out loud - that score blew me away!


If we ever meet I will buy YOU lunch :)

Robert Karma
Robert Karma

The willingness of so many Americans to ignore reality and embrace the elitist, billionaire Trump is not surprising. It is far too easy to live in an echo chamber online where all of your interactions are with people who share your worldview. We happily pursue our Confirmation Biases without question because it is easy to ignore pesky things like facts, history and evidence in favor of fake or distorted "news" stories that reinforces rather than challenges one's beliefs. The damage of living in the ideological bubble is how it isolates us from our family, friends, neighbors and fellow citizens. It takes work to seek out the facts, to verify claims, to learn the history behind the issues facing our country. We take the lazy route by readily accepting stories, claims and accusations we want to believe without question. 

The Founding Fathers wanted informed citizens.  They believed it was essential for the health of the American Republic.  Thomas Jefferson said that “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” A responsible citizen is one that is able to think and thus to vote wisely and carefully. They wanted an electorate that was knowledgeable about candidates and issues.  Alexander Hamilton in 1780 decried, “The people commonly act more from their feelings than from their understandings.”  John Adams thought similarly.  “Evil, in humankind,” he wrote, “lies in the lack of governance by reason over the passions.”  Thus, thinking and reasoning lie at the heart of what it means to be a good citizen in the founders’ world.

For those of us who bothered to pay attention to the historical record, the verifiable evidence, the clearly laid out facts available to all who inquire, we are not surprised by Trump's full and deep embrace of the political and financial elites who stand to benefit on the backs of the working class who voted for Trump. Those who supported Trump in the belief that he would "drain the swamp" and institute populist reforms to benefit the average American are going to have a serious case of buyer's remorse as they are betrayed by Trump and the GOP. The rich will get richer, the jobs Trump promised to bring back are never coming back, the power of the average citizen to have a say in government will be diminished as the GOP consolidates their power. Those of us who warned our fellow Americans about the clear and present danger to our Republic from Trump would be justified in saying "we told you so" but the damage to our country is going to impact the vast majority of the American people. It brings us no joy to point out the obvious. All we can do now is come together and defend our Constitution and our civil liberties from the coming assault. The question is just how long it will take Trump supporters to come to the realization they have been lied to, manipulated and violated by Trump. We can only hope the truth hits them before it is too late to save our country from the Trump Apocalypse.

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

@Bruno2 @Robert Karma

Very few Trump supporters, if any, expected him to make good on the various "promises" he threw out during the campaign


And that doesn't bother you?  That he flat out lied to you to get your vote? That he lied to the poor schmuck coal miners in W Virginia about getting their jobs back?  That he lied to the ranchers in Arizona about the wall?


I know that the line now is that if you oppose him you're a bitter lib, or full of hate - but it amazes me that you are so willing to back someone who lied to you so brazenly.

Bruno2
Bruno2

@BuckeyeGa @CherokeeCounty @Bruno2 @Robert Karma No one expects the impossible from Trump, but at least he acknowledged the frustration many Americans feel and maybe he'll make some efforts to curb illegal immigration and end unfair trade practices.  His opponent, Hillary, called those same frustrated Americans "deplorable".  Who were you expecting ordinary Americans to vote for??

If you want to hold out some impossible standard for Trump to live up to, have at it.  The last I checked, no candidate ever made good on all of their promises.

Bruno2
Bruno2

@Robert Karma @Bruno2 You need to go back to your "safe space", Robert.  I don't think you can cut it in the real world in which not everyone thinks the same as you.

tonyzambos
tonyzambos

@CherokeeCounty @Bruno2 @Robert Karma can we at least wait until he is office before you call him a failure....Jan 21......give him 100 days , lets see what happens, then unleash yourself on everybody.....but to cry chicken little before or while your man is still in office allowing wall street to pay such big bonuses and for the VA to pay such big bonuses on shittier service while gi's are still dying in line....look to the present powers in washington for half the article you read above.....they had plenty of time and power to change the two things I'm talking about..so he hasn't lied about the wall or coal because he is not in office.....


Bruno2
Bruno2

@Robert Karma 

"It is far too easy to live in an echo chamber online where all of your interactions are with people who share your worldview."

Maybe you should go back and read the comments from the Bookman regulars on Election Day.  Talk about living in a bubble....

"The question is just how long it will take Trump supporters to come to the realization they have been lied to, manipulated and violated by Trump."

Very few Trump supporters, if any, expected him to make good on the various "promises" he threw out during the campaign.  He was elected upon sentiment, not specifics.  As such, your "analysis" badly misses the mark.

The bottom line is that you're a bitter Lib who still hasn't come to grips with the fact that half the country thinks differently from you.


Robert Karma
Robert Karma

So you admit @Bruno2 that you knowingly backed a liar and charlatan? So what did you accomplish? I'm not bitter, I'm willing to fight for my country and Constitution. Half the country doesn't disagree with me. "Donald Trump won nearly 60 more Electoral College votes than Hillary Clinton, but the Democratic presidential nominee’s popular vote continues to advance over her opponent’s as ballots pour in from the last few states to be counted, including Michigan, Washington and Utah. Clinton is ahead of Trump by more than 1.4 million popular votes, tallying close to President Barack Obama’s 2012 election results, with 63,045,266 votes to Trump’s  61,607,950, according to a Cook Political Report analysis on Friday." - http://www.ibtimes.com/clinton-trump-latest-2016-election-results-popular-vote-final-tally-depends-michigan-2448281

There are 324,118,787 Americans, 200,081,377 are registered to vote and "estimates show more than 58 percent of eligible voters went to the polls during the 2016 election..."

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/how-many-registered-voters-are-in-america-2016-229993 and http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/voter-turnout-2016-elections/


So the 61.6 million votes for Trump out of 200 million eligible voters doesn't show that half the country disagrees with me. The election did show that Americans voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by over 1.5 million votes (and counting.) Trump won the Electoral College which he had said was rigged and unfair (until he won that way). So we know what we have known for many years, the electorate is just about evenly split. 


Facts, they are not just for Liberals! You should try them and become an informed, responsible citizen like the Founding Fathers intended.

Robert Karma
Robert Karma

@Bruno2 @Robert Karma Sorry buttercup but dissemination, deflection and denial don't work on me. You'll have to do better. There are no safe spaces in reality.

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