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Trump Offers Huge Favors To Billionaires, Calls It A Big Economic Speech

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Trump Offers Huge Favors To Billionaires, Calls It A Big Economic Speech

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks to the Detroit Economic Club at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan August 8, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Thayer -

Published with permission from AlterNet.

If it came out of the mouth of any other politician, the speech delivered Monday by the Republican presidential candidate at the Detroit Economic Club would have been stunning in its mendacity. But issuing forth from the pie-hole of Donald J. Trump, it was, sadly, to be expected.

The lies were almost too many to count: Point to a sentence, find a lie. There was the lie about his opponent’s policy on taxing the middle class; Hillary Clinton clearly said she wouldn’t, and Trump is using her dropping of a consonant on a single word to say she did. (Just to be sure, PolitiFact had academics run audio of Clinton’s tax statement through a machine that analyzes such things.)

He claimed “the terrible Obama-Clinton judgment” destroyed Detroit’s manufacturing sector, when the Obama administration twisted Republican arms to get the funding to save the American auto industry.

There were also lies of omission. The U.S., he said, has the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world, without mentioning the fact that many of the nation’s largest corporations pay no taxes at all. In fact, some, such as Verizon and General Electric, actually pay a negative tax rate, meaning they actually get rebates back from the Treasury.

I could go on and on, but “Trump lies” is pretty much a dog-bites-human story. Yawn.

More telling is who Trump named to his economic team—the very sort of people who stand to gain from his Main Street-looting economic policies. For starters, they are 13 rich white men. But they’re rich white men whose riches were mostly gained by preying on the weak. And most, Politico’s Shane Goldmacher reports, are major donors to the Trump campaign.

Take John Paulson, whose Paulson & Co. hedge fund, according to Forbes, “is famed for betting against subprime mortgages at the peak of the 2007 credit bubble.” Paulson, the magazine reports, is worth $9.8 billion.

Then here’s Harold Hamm, founder of the oil firm Continental Resources, who is known to frequent the big donor confabs convened by the Koch brothers (but who is now at odds with the scions of Koch Industries over the brothers’ refusal to back Trump). Hamm is a backer of the climate-science deniers in Congress, according to the Energy and Policy Institute, and is said to be shaping Trump’s energy policy. If you don’t see climate-science deniers as preying on the weak, think about the people who got hurt in Hurricane Katrina. Think about the people who can’t sell their homes in Norfolk, Virginia because of sea-level rise.

And let’s not forget Steve Feinberg, the CEO of something called Ceberus Capital Management, which Evan Popp and Josh Israel of Think Progress describe as “a private investment firm which specializes in ‘distressed investing.’” Among the “distressed” properties acquired by Ceberus is Remington, the manufacturer of the AR-15-style rifle—the kind that was used in the Sandy Hook massacre and other mass shootings.

My personal favorite among the men at Trump’s economic table is probably the least wealthy but perhaps the most disingenuous: Stephen Moore, former member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board and late of the Heritage Foundation. Known for his insanely inaccurate economic predictions, Moore has been the toady of billionaires for decades, allowing him to fall ever-upward.

In 2011, while reporting for AlterNet and the Investigative Fund on the Koch brothers’ fomenting of the Tea Party movement, I found Moore wrapped up in a for-profit scheme apparently designed to scare the employees of companies hired by him into voting for Republicans. The scheme was called Prosperity 101 and was helmed by Mark Bloch, then the state chairman of the Wisconsin chapter of the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity political astroturf group. Moore was often a paid speaker at the ostensibly voluntary seminars employees at firms in the Koch network were invited to attend. He was also often a paid speaker at Americans for Prosperity events, even as he sat on the editorial board of one of the nation’s major newspapers.

Moore’s contribution to the seminar textbook was illustrative of his willingness to simply make stuff up. From AlterNet’s 2011 report:

In “The Keys to Prosperity,” Moore’s chapter in the Prosperity 101 textbook, he offers up a series of charts, some of them indecipherable, including a pie chart called “Where Your Federal Tax Dollar Goes.” (Apparently derived from an earlier presentation Moore made at an AFP Foundation event, the same charts can be found here; scroll to slide no. 16 for this one.) Citing such official sources as the Internal Revenue Service, the Government Accountability Office and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it features eight slices labeled “Flushed Down a Toilet, “Pissed Away,” “Down a Rat Hole,” “Sleaze,” “Corruption,” “Given to ‘Supporters,'” “Tossed Down the Drain,” and “Postage Stamps.” (The latter, Moore baselessly contends, accounts for 6 percent of your tax dollars—which is, incidentally, six times theallotment for non-military foreign aid).

In psychology, there’s a concept known as projection, the term for when a patient ascribes to his nemesis the very motive or behavior that animates the patient.

In his nearly hour-long speech at the Detroit Economic Club, Donald Trump accused his opponent of being “bought, controlled and paid for by her donors and special interests.”

Look at the men on Trump’s own economic team, and you’ll get a very clear idea of just who his policies aim to benefit.

Adele M. Stan is AlterNet’s senior Washington editor. Follow her on Twitter @addiestan.



  1. Dominick Vila August 9, 2016

    Trump’s economic plan is a combination of Reagan’s trickle down economic, and a shameless copy of parts of Hillary’s economic plan.
    The “simplified” tax rate proposal is designed to be a giveaway for the top 1% of our population, and would result in a resumption of massive deficit spending and accumulation of debt. Investment in infrastructure to create good paying jobs that cannot be outsourced, and make us more competitive, was proposed by President Obama, and rejected by the GOP to ensure he was a one-term President. The popular childcare proposal is part of Hillary’s plan, and was cynically “borrowed” by Ivanka, pretty much the same way parts of Michelle’s old speech were plagiarized by Melania.
    Trump’s economic advisors team consists of well known Wall Street moguls, the same way his foreign policy team is full of businessmen and lobbyists with close ties to Russia.
    Aside from the fact that Trump proposed some things that are the exact opposite to what the GOP has traditionally supported, his proposal will reduce Federal government revenues, would increase deficit spending, would require massive borrowing, and would produce huge increases in the national debt. It is not an economic proposal, it is an economic train wreck tailored, mostly, after the disastrous trickle down economic that was partly responsible for the worst economic recession since the Great Depression.

    1. Jennifermwilloughby4 August 9, 2016

      <<rw. ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!ir435m:….,…..

    2. docb August 9, 2016

      The childcare plan is regressive and will only help the parents of rich babies…Middle class and poor people do not make enough money to benefit and file simple tax forms!

      The rest is a combo of lyin ryan’s ‘dynamic scoring’ fraud that adds trillion to the debt and reagan’s trickle down that has not worked for anyone but the wealthy in 30+ years. More claptrap from the con scam scum!

  2. charleo1 August 9, 2016

    Same old, same old isn’t it? Cut corporate taxes, get rid of the death tax, put Reagan’s likeness on Mt. Rushmore… If you’re a single parent making $30,000 a year, you can deduct all of your childcare expenses from your Federal Income tax. All your Federal taxes of exactly zero..So go ahead Mom, and deduct them from the taxes you don’t owe anyway. See how much Trump loves you? Your boss wants you to sleep with him, or he’ll cut your hours? Now that’s another story. Geeez lady! Quit whining, or find another job!

    1. jmprint August 9, 2016

      But not to worry Mrs Trump can drop off her son in Russia at the nanny and deduct the expense and get the tax credit. I do not understand his voters, they hate the way things are, but are voting for more of the same thing, plus more opportunities for the elite. Where do they see a benefit for them. Trickle up means more taxes for them in the long run.

      1. charleo1 August 10, 2016

        One of the reasons they’re able to get away with these enrich the rich, tax schemes. Is the amazing number of voters who don’t know the difference between a Federal tax, and a State, or local one. So fail to connect the dots between cutting corporate taxes at the Federal, or State levels, which at this point is nothing but pure corporate welfare. Has had the effect of blowing huge holes in local budgets. Where such little things as schools, fire, and police departments, and of course water systems must get by with emaciated budgets. It’s gone on for decades, until we’re starting to see these huge disasters like Flint. But the overall effect has been that people’s property taxes have gone thru the roof to make up for the skulduggery has been done up the budget food chain in Washington, or State Govs. to favor these big money special interests, et.al. that make their wonderful political careers possible. So, they demagogue a tax as tax. It’s why voters boggle heads go up, and down, when they rail against the tyranny of high taxes. Then blame everything from low wages to gov, waste, and bloat on them. And run on cutting them in Washington like Trump. While our towns and cities, especially rural ones, who’s economies have been devastated by globalization anyway, are literally falling apart from a severe lack of funding. Or at best an uncertain funding stream, which hampers sorely needed long term investment in local infrastructure like water plants, and general country maintenance.

  3. AgLander August 9, 2016

    Trump has clearly defined a specific plan that emphasizes growth and it WILL lead to growth. Hillary Clinton’s reaction? Nothing other than a snarky attack on the names of the people advising Trump. She has no plan, all she can do is attack those who do. She promised 200,00 new manufacturing jobs for New York when she was running for the Senate seat….not only did she not produce any new jobs, but under her “leadership” New York state lost over 20% of its manufacturing jobs! Hillary Clinton has no program, she has no plan……but she does want you to vote for her simply because she possesses that certain body part that differentiates her from a male. That’s it!

      1. tbs August 9, 2016

        Same democratic plan used for years..tax the rich to
        pay for the poor! The rich already pay more and also donate more! Tax them more and donations go down!
        We need to curb the freebees to the illegal immigrants so we can take care of our own first!
        AND how much did Hillary pay in taxes from their Clinton Foundation? Hmmmm

        1. Dominick Vila August 9, 2016

          Charitable institutions, churches, and religious organizations are usually tax exempt, if they meet the criteria established by the IRS.
          If you are interested in how much the Clinton’s paid in taxes, you may want to check their income tax returns, which as opposed to Trump’s, are available for public scrutiny.

    1. johninPCFL August 9, 2016

      “[T]he idea that they are even in the same league is preposterous,” wrote The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof over the weekend. “If deception were a sport, Trump would be the Olympic gold medalist; Clinton would be an honorable mention at her local Y.”

    2. tbs August 9, 2016

      Right on! Trumps economic plan is getting a lot of thumbs up! So why all the fuss from Hillary? Hmmmm
      But then whatever Trump proposes Hillary will put down guaranteed!
      She has no plan and when she does let see what she comes up with?
      Also she does not know how to create jobs! All talk and no depth!

      1. The lucky one August 9, 2016

        “Trumps economic plan is getting a lot of thumbs up” Really? Name a few other than Trump’s lackeys or fellow billionaires. (Assuming Trump really is a billionaire which is questionable).

  4. bojimbo26 August 9, 2016

    `Katrina` Trump – when you speak before you think .

  5. Rich August 9, 2016

    Where the heck are all the Republican deficit hawks? Don’t they understand that real economists have already predicted that should Drumpf’s plan be enacted into law the national debt would INCREASE by about 11 TRILLION DOLLARS over the next 10 years. Had the president or Secretary Clinton proposed such a plan Trey (Gutless) Gowdy would already be scheduling a Congressional investigation into how they are preparing to ruin our economy.

    By the way, the only reason that Reagan’s “trickle down” economic policies appeared to work was a huge increase in GUVMINT spending to stimulate the economy during his two terms as president. That is why the Reagan years saw the largest growth in the national debt apart from the years we were involved in major foreign wars.

  6. Aaron_of_Portsmouth August 9, 2016

    Support for the billionaires—now, Trump is getting back on message by GOP standards.

  7. Jinmichigan August 9, 2016

    No one, not in the media or a politician seems to talking about how the trump / ryan plan will be paid for. NO ONE. Sad what the republicans have become. At least Reagan was honest enough to try to pay for his tax cuts.

  8. Oddworld August 9, 2016

    One thing is for certain…if all those billionaires are buying Trump’s lies, it proves they are no smarter than the average person. Being wealthy has caused many of these billionaires to be ignorant and deceitful in their quest to keep and make more money. Trump is no exception. Trump supporters take note, he isn’t telling it like it is (you’re most popular mantra), he’s praying on your anger then selling you a fairy tale.

  9. Jon August 9, 2016

    I keep thinking there must be a stopping point. Some point that Donnie will stop proposing things that should scare the hell out of everybody but the wealthiest and corporations and stop his constant lying. His speech setting forth his economic plan proved that if there is such a point, he hasn’t reached it yet. Who, other than the wealthiest and corporate interests, could even consider for one second voting for the man with the outrageously unfair plan?

  10. Daniel Jones August 10, 2016

    Look up the Wikipedia entry on the Raft of the Medusa.

    The famed artwork was a flanderized reference to the actual wreck of the French ship Meduse off the coast of what is now known as Mauritania. Just what happened is of interest to analogists.

    When a new monarch took his position following the fall of Napoleon Bonaparte, he swept in his followers into positions of influence. Thus he was blamed when the bureaucracy rotated in a new commander of the Meduse, despite a complete lack of naval experience or ability on the part of Viscount Hugues Duroy de Chaumereys. He was an utter incompetent. After the wreck, a raft was hastily constructed and about a hundred and fifty people were put on it as the boats were full to capacity with the other two hundred and fifty crew and passengers. white the overloaded raft was supposed to be towed, they were cut loose after only a few miles distance from the wreck.
    With no control, no support, and no hope, those on the raft took to savage fighting and largely died. Only fifteen survived when they were found by another ship–there was no real search for the ship.
    Why do I say this? Because this is my choice of allusion to the economic doom that faces us should Donald Trump win and appoint these clowns.


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