Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Don't Rush to Give Trump Credit

There was an amusing story from just the other week where Donald Trump took credit for stopping a Ford plant from moving to Mexico when it never was actually going to go to Mexico. That was a cute way for Trump to telegraph that he was taking no prisoners in his quest to give himself the best possible press for genius deal-making. It doesn't have to be true, it just has to play into his campaign persona.

So, take the Carrier deal as a great example of this: he used Carrier many times in his stump speech about companies draining jobs away from the US. So it was "trumpeted" just recently that he negotiated another of these great deals to keep Carrier--his regular stump speech bogey--operating in Indiana. Well, a portion of the staff. And with a considerable tax break from the governor of that state. Who is the VP-elect, Mike Pence. More details are pending. But some jobs are definitely still going.

Surely, offering local tax deals to any company thinking of leaving the US or willing to say they are mulling it over isn't an especially sustainable method of keeping businesses here. Local municipalities depend upon "ratables"--and when the option to gain revenues from a local business is eliminated, that business is essentially receiving local government services gratis. It's corporate welfare. How many corporations might like a piece of the action where the threat of flight rains down an operational cost-assist? They aren't being cajoled, badgered,  or leveraged into behaving as good citizens of the areas in which they were making their profits--they are being rewarded for having "tried it". I'm not even sure this model disincentivizes "trying it again" to see if better rate-paying can be gained.

What I do know is that this model doesn't promote fair taxation or equitable distribution of social responsibility, which is, in part, what we'd like the relationship of taxpayer to taxing authority to be. Arbitrariness is a lethal trust concern.  Some companies "getting over" is a bad case of cronyism, lather, rinse, repeat. And it sort of betrays the whimsical association Trump makes with the relationship of entities (whether individual or corporate) to government altogether--he has never considered whether government has a point. Ours- the US of A's, has very much a point laid out in the Constitution. I do not know if he has read it--he just burbled some anti-1st Amendment nonsense on the Twitter-machine that should really give us all pause. He considers flag burning to possibly be worthy of losing one's citizenship. Becoming stateless? For what has previously been ruled an exercise of free speech? What can we expect from such a mind regarding unfavorable press?  (Even regarding, perhaps, D-list bloggers?

But among things Trump has tried to take credit for--trying to "apparently" divest from his business holdings while not actually divesting and hoping the world pats him on the back for it  takes the taco. There is a Twitter thread o' snark from the US Government Office of Ethics that uses the term divest to try and shame Trump into admitting that handing his business' reins over to his kids (who seem to also be his gov't advisors) and pretending he will pay no attention to those multi-million dollar assets is just weak-sauce, and leaves plenty of room for conflict-of-interest.

In other words--I feel like the media should wait until they have found the "damn" before they trot out even faint praise.

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