Thursday, June 29, 2017

CNN -- What's really behind Trump's 'poor person' comment

By Paul Waldman
At his campaign-style rally in Iowa last week, Trump said he doesn't ‘want a poor person’ advising him on the economy.

President Donald Trump’s reasoning for his choice of Wall Street insiders -- people like billionaire Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and his chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs president -- to populate his Cabinet is that rich people know how to manage money better than poor people.

But we are not talking about actual poor people. “No one's suggesting that the President ought to pluck someone working for minimum wage at a fast-food restaurant to be the next chair of the Council of Economic Advisers. When Trump says ‘poor,’ what he really means is ‘not rich.’”

There's nothing unusual for Republican politicians to “approach domestic policy on the idea that there's a causal link between the amount of money you have and your moral worth as a human being. Wealth, to most Republicans, [is] a sign of virtue.

“When they're in charge -- however differently they may frame it for the base -- the wealthy will be hired, catered to, indulged and pampered, while the poor will be the target of vicious budget cuts and stern lectures about pulling on those bootstraps. It doesn't come from any notion about what makes for effective policies -- it's about values.

“Trump is just a little more willing to say it.”

Here is Robert Reich’s perspective:

"I just don't want a poor person," he said. "Does that make sense?" He even gloated about filling his cabinet with Wall Street insiders and Goldman Sachs executives. Does he think we've forgotten what happened the last time the big banks gambled with our economy?

Trump's team of banksters are already hard at work dismantling financial reforms designed to protect Americans from another Great Recession. They oppose increasing the minimum wage, basic workers' rights, and affordable health care for all. Meanwhile, they're pursuing tax cuts for the top 1% that would explode the budget and devastate programs for the poor and working class.

So to answer his question, "does that make sense?" to only have rich people advising you? Yes. If your only goal is to serve them.