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Hallelujah, President Trump Rushes To Aid The Needy!

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Hallelujah, President Trump Rushes To Aid The Needy!

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Of all the economic pain in America that Washington ought to be relieving, what group would you choose as the top priority?

Public opinion surveys consistently reveal that the great majority of us say that people on the lower rungs of the economic ladder — the poor and the failing middle class— are the ones Congress should focus on. But, then, regular people don’t run Congress — or Donald Trump’s White House.

On February 3, Trump and a blue-ribbon panel of working-class champions announced a bold new initiative to create millions of new American jobs. The panel members were genuinely thrilled that the president was acting so swiftly and decisively. Indeed, a spokesman for the group, Steve Schwarzman, praised Trump as a leader who wants to “do things a lot better in our country, for all Americans.”

Wait a minute… Steve Schwarzman? Isn’t he the billionaire honcho of Blackstone, a group of Wall Street hucksters? Yes, and holy moneybags, there’s Jamie Dimon, who’s presided over a mess of investment frauds and financial scandals as head of JP Morgan Chase. This “jobs” panel is filled with Wall Street banksters and chieftains of such corporate powers as Walmart, GE, and Boeing — outfits notorious for laying off and ripping off workers.

You might remember Trump-the-candidate fulminating against those very elites as being “responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class.” But now, in a spectacular flip-flop, he’s brought them directly inside his presidency, asking them to be architects of his economic strategy. Worse, he’s doing this in the name of helping workers.

Hello — to develop policies beneficial to working stiffs, bring in some working stiffs! But not a single labor advocate is on his policy council, in his cabinet, or anywhere near his White House.

Thus, the so-called “job-creation plan” announced by Trump and his corporate cohorts doesn’t create any jobs, but calls instead for — voila — deregulating Wall Street. These flimflammers actually want us rubes to believe that “freeing” banksters to return to casino-style speculation and consumer scams will give them more money, which they “can” invest in American jobs.

Do they think we have sucker wrappers around our heads? Trump’s scheme will let banks make a killing, but it doesn’t require them to invest in jobs, so they won’t. There’s a name for this: fraud.

Many of Trump’s working class voters must’ve been a bit stunned to see that his top economic priority was not them, but a tiny group dwelling in luxury at the very tippy-top of the ladder: The very Wall Street bankers he campaigned against. Cheered on by House Speaker Paul Ryan and the other corporate-owned GOP congressional leaders, Trump rushed out a “reform” proposal to undo essential financial restrictions that help keep the banksters of the street from defrauding and gouging workaday people.

For example, “Trump & Company” want to save the poor financial giants from a consumer protection called the “fiduciary rule.” If you’ve got a 401(K) retirement plan, chances are it’s invested on your behalf by a firm of financial advisors, so this rule simply requires them to act in your best interest, rather than shifting your money into risky investments that pay them bigger commissions. Prior to the enactment of this ethics provision in 2015, many advisors were serving themselves, gleefully ripping off their customers (mostly ordinary working families) to the tune of $17 billion a year!

That’s real money, even if immorally gained, and the industry has lobbied hard (but unsuccessfully) to kill the legal requirement that money advisors deal honestly with their clients. Then, hallelujah, along comes a president who’s known for dishonest business dealings. So — voila — suddenly Wall Street is being liberated from the shackles of ethics, shouting: “Free at last, free at last! Thank Donald Almighty, we are free at last,”… to gouge again.

To find out more about Jim Hightower, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

IMAGE: U.S. President Donald Trump takes his seat along with United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz (L) and Delta Airlines CEO Edward Bastian (R) for a meeting with airline industry CEO’s at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 9, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower is a nationally syndicated columnist and one of America's most prominent progressive voices. His column carried by more than 75 publications across the country. Prior to becoming a writer, Hightower served as Texas Agricultural Commission from 1982 to 1991.

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32 Comments

  1. bojimbo26 February 10, 2017

    Trumps only rushing to help the needy because there`s something in it for him .

    Reply
    1. Bettycmauldin February 10, 2017

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      Reply
    2. plc97477 February 10, 2017

      The only “needy” trump is helping are the banksters.

      Reply
    3. jmprint February 10, 2017

      Corporate welfare, has never helped the poor.

      Reply
  2. Dominick Vila February 10, 2017

    This is a replay of trickle down economics and deregulation that will end up the same way previous attempts at helping the poor by handing money to the top 1%, and eliminating barriers that would prevent or make it more difficult for our banks and corporate America to increase their fortune. The elite will amass more money than they already have, and the poor and middle class will end up bailing them out the same way we did in 2008-10.
    In true Republican fashion, while our Treasury is being put at the disposal of the top 1%, Republicans in Congress are busy working on Trumpcare, the replacement of Obamacare, which in addition to eliminating the mandate to have insurance coverage, will change the model of government subsidies in Obamacare with tax credits that vary in scope dependent on the tax contributions an individual or family pays. Meaning that a person that pays $100K in taxes a year will get a greater amount of tax credits, than a waitress that pays $1K in taxes a year. In addition to pushing for a “solution” that would benefit those who don’t need public help to get the care they need, Trumpcare will change the intent of healthcare reform from providing comprehensive, affordable, health care coverage to ALL Americans who can’t afford the high premiums charged by the insurance companies, to a program designed to eliminate the probability of bankruptcy or having to sell everything a person owns to stay alive. The changes are still being debated, but what is emerging is anything but helping the working class or the poor.

    Reply
  3. jim muster February 10, 2017

    God help us …… We have a crazy man in the White House. Advise to my friends who voted for Trump ” Be Careful What You Wish For” It may come back to bit you on your ass..

    Reply
  4. Joan February 10, 2017

    Carpetbaggers have taken over the White House and the swamp expanded to fill Pennsylvania Ave in it’s entirety, watch out for the gators.
    More concerning, to me, is President Bannon’s plan for a global war that will bring about a new world order (Fourth Turning). We can and have faced financial ruin as a Nation, many hurt, none killed. What we have not faced is a plan and effort from within the White House to destroy our democracy and institutions. Bannon, Conway, & Pence want the Apocalypse. What appears to be foreign policy missteps are part of the plan. If Trump himself is in on the plan, he has likely been given a nonsense story that paints him as Richard the Lionheart during the crusades. It fits nicely on one page, with nine bullet points or less.

    Reply
  5. Just A Citizen February 10, 2017

    Heaven forbid someone on the left would recognize that there could be real issues with such rules. No, let us just jump to the meme of “letting the bankers rip us off”.

    Placing a “fiduciary” standard on transactions can open up all kinds of costly litigation when investors simply don’t like the outcomes. And how is an adviser to know they found the “best” investment. Also ask yourself if you are simply opposed to people being paid via commissions. Because that is at the heart of the rule.

    There is a need to clean up conflicts of interest, but maybe the rule in question is not the better way to do this. But of course, lets not evaluate it. Lets just assume the worst motivations.

    http://www.investopedia.com/updates/dol-fiduciary-rule/

    Reply
    1. FireBaron February 10, 2017

      So, you have no problem with someone “steering” you into a questionable investment that allows the price to be built up way above its value, then said advisor (and his associates) selling all of his (their) personal shares, at the higher value, setting off a “correction” leaving you holding an investment portfolio worth significantly less than you started with, but your “advisor” made a pile of bucks off of it. Right?

      Reply
      1. Just A Citizen February 10, 2017

        So you make up accusations to avoid dealing with the question.

        Have you stopped beating your dog yet?

        Do you realize that what you describe is already a violation of law? The “fiduciary rule” is unrelated.

        Reply
        1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth February 10, 2017

          I believe you suffer the same mental illness that Trump suffers. You would rather look under every rock to find anything to justify Trump’s irrationality, just as Trump does. He can’t admit he’s unfit because that would violate the “oath” he made with his narcissism, and you can’t admit Donald is unfit because that would mean you were conned like millions of others. You talked about strawmen earlier—What you’ve been engaged in is putting up a plethora of strawmen.

          You do know what narcissism is, don’t you?? If not, look it up and compare Donald’s behavior to the definition. There won’t be any shame on you for falling for Trump’s trap—we’ll just chalk it up as “Blind Devotion”.

          Reply
        2. I Am Helpy February 12, 2017

          ^ this guy is so stupid he thinks MLK was a conservative.

          Reply
    2. KDJ54 February 10, 2017

      We assume the worst, because these foxes have not proposed any alternative rule, they just want this pesky regulation gone. I used to have money invested with these financial advisors, but after the crash of 2008, I finally learned my lesson. The financial advisor kept on making money after 2008, but I lost it by the bucket full. Once I had recovered my losses, I closed the account and moved the money out where I had control over it. I figured if I was going to lose money, I didn’t see any need to pay somebody else to do it for me. You are deluded, if you think that these foxes are gonna put up their own rules to keep themselves out of the chicken coop. They’ve stolen Colonel Sanders secret recipe, and they’re just waiting to kill the chickens, so that they can fry them and enjoy themselves at the little guy’s expense.

      Reply
      1. Just A Citizen February 10, 2017

        KD

        Assuming the worst and avoiding information based on ideological proclivity are different. I am trying to attack the latter here.

        I do not propose letting the fox write the rules. I am pointing out that sometimes when the fox howls about the pain the pain truly is not necessary. Or that the cure is worse than the disease at times.

        This was the same issue with Dodd-Frank. Think about one point in the article I cited. Over 1200 pages of new regulation to implement a simple concept of “fiduciary” liability.

        As for investing, I have never allowed anyone but me to direct my investments. Although there is obviously a secondary manager when you purchase mutual funds or any type of group investment.

        At the heart of your statement is this belief that we need to write more laws and more laws to protect people who are lazy to pay attention or ignorant about the things they are doing. In this case investing.

        Where do we draw the line between outlawing actual fraud and theft vs. trying to protect people from their own ignorance?

        Reply
        1. Joan February 10, 2017

          Most of our Tort laws are designed to do what you indicate government should not do; protect the ill and uninformed against those that would prey on ignorance and naïveté. The rule was designed to ensure that when I get advice on investing from a professional I am paying, the advice given reflects only the best interest of my pocketbook and not their own. Just as I rely on similar laws to ensure that my doctor does not recommend a surgery I don’t need just to buy a new boat. By your logic I should obtain medical expertise Before going to the doctor to avoid being the victim of malpractice.
          I was executrix of my parent’s trust, they died in their late 70’s. The estate and sock portfolio was riddled with WTF transactions. In most cases those anomalies served only one purpose – the profitability of a financial advisor she trusted, who abused that trust.
          You blithely claim that the ignorant and uneducated should not be in the stock market – but to retire in the US requires investments.

          Reply
          1. Just A Citizen February 10, 2017

            Joan

            I did not say they shouldn’t. I asked the rhetorical question as to why we should impose burdens on the rest of us because they either do not know or don’t take the time to know. Buyer be aware!

            I am guessing you are the type to cry for a new law every time somebody behaves badly or something doesn’t go your way. And that is why our system of Govt. is completely out of control and posing such a burden on us.

            I would rather have tort law and civil cases to deal with many of these issues than more Federal regulations. The latter almost always wind up doing little except create costs on the consumers and growing more bureaucracy.

            Please notice also I did not condemn the concept of creating a fiduciary standard on certain brokers and investors. That is you reading what you think I say instead of what I actually say. I was simply pointing out that the author, like so many talking heads, only gives one side. And that side is overtly biased with loaded language to get the sheep to follow.

            There is more to the story than the usual “bad rich wall street” meme from the author. Quite often there are legitimate concerns by those who will be subject to new regulations. Time to expand your horizons and look into the details.

            Reply
          2. Joan February 11, 2017

            You have no knowledge of my ” horizons”. Thanks for playing. No refutation except A) I am a crybaby liberal who does not want to take personal responsibility and B) there are details that I don’t know, that you do, but you won’t share. Those undisclosed details that you and industry insiders know but that this author does not, got it.

            Reply
          3. Just A Citizen February 11, 2017

            I provided you with a reference which explains some of the issues.

            I see your back to projecting and making up things which I did not say. Sorry, I thought were actually interested in a discussion.

            Reply
          4. I Am Helpy February 12, 2017

            ^ reminder: this guy once made an embarrassing typo, then when it was pointed out, edited it and then DENIED IT HAPPENED. A ridiculously thin-skinned idiot with odious racist opinions – which is why he’s such a fan of Trump.

            Reply
    3. Turtle February 10, 2017

      You are against people handling your money acting in your best interest? Bravo sir!

      Reply
      1. Just A Citizen February 10, 2017

        Strawman Alert.

        Reply
        1. I Am Helpy February 12, 2017

          That is – quite literally – what you argued for. You are a MORON. Stop having opinions about things you don’t understand (i.e. everything).

          Reply
    4. Hueight February 10, 2017

      It’s not a “fiduciary” standard it’s a fiduciary responsibility. It’s not a transaction it’s a long term investment. No one expects an advisor to foretell the future to know the best investment.

      Reply
      1. Just A Citizen February 10, 2017

        Hueight

        Not sure why you are trying to split hairs. It is in fact a standard, as a legal standard. That standard is applied to make sure that responsibility is defined by law. So that people can be prosecuted for not meeting the “standard”.

        Each long term investment is a transaction. One to get in and one to get out.

        The Fiduciary standard can create litigation over decisions made based on arguments that better decisions were available at the time. Not because the investment loses money.

        Reply
        1. I Am Helpy February 12, 2017

          ^ this guy is so stupid he thinks Trump is a liberal (but only when he gets caught out in another criminal lie).

          Reply
    5. dtgraham February 10, 2017

      The worst motivations are easily assumed because the worst happened; just in the last decade.

      Reply
      1. Just A Citizen February 10, 2017

        Bad things happen all the time. Doesn’t mean you need a new law to address it. Or that you need a law that goes beyond just fixing the problem and costing people without good reason.

        Reply
        1. dtgraham February 11, 2017

          Wrong, idiot boy. Bad things of that magnitude should never happen. Not of that magnitude. The depression era financial regulations, including Roosevelt’s Glass-Steagall, led to an America without any banking crises at all for 70 years. When the last vestiges of them were given up in the 90’s, that’s when the problems started.

          What, 2008 just seemed like a coincidence to you, idiot boy? So, bad things just happen…right? Brilliant.

          Reply
    6. I Am Helpy February 12, 2017

      OK, sorry you couldn’t assemble anything resembling a coherent argument. It’s because you’re a repugnant moron, of course.

      Reply
  6. Aaron_of_Portsmouth February 10, 2017

    The “needy” to Trump are the “poor” millionaires who feel belittled in the company of so many other wealthy elites. So, Donald in a fulsome gesture of munificence for these pathetic ordinary millionaires, is rushing to help improve their status. Then, perchance, they too might improve their “pitiful” lot and be able to have 20-foot self portraits of themselves commissioned as Donald has done in his uniquely humble manner, and be able to spare a million or 2 to other struggling millionaires trying to make ends meet.

    What a con job Trump has pulled on so many gullible supporters of his. In the Trump Era, the old saying “A Sucker is born every minute” will have to be revised to “Gullible People were born every second during the Baby Boom Years”.

    Reply
  7. Thoughtopsy February 10, 2017

    Is that the sound of the Swamp starting to overflow?
    Wow… I wonder how long it will take for President Snowflake’s voters to work out they’ve been totally screwed….

    Reply
  8. ps0rjl February 10, 2017

    The fiduciary trust rule was one of the best things about Dodd-Frank bill. These guys will do everything from churning your investments to create fees to investing your money into investments that look good but in reality are going to tank and they want their money out of it. When I graduated from college I went to work for a major bank in their personal trust division. The bank had invested heavily in trying to save Illinois Central which was on the verge of bankruptcy. They offloaded much of the paper they had on Illinois Central into the personal trusts. Not a lot in any one trust account but spread over at least 500 or more personal accounts, they were able to put most of it in the trusts. Most of the beneficiaries of the trusts were trust fund babies and as such they didn’t have a clue what happened. Some did though and when they and their lawyers questioned the transactions, the bank reimbursed them for their losses. That is why we needed the fiduciary rule and Trump and his buddies repealed it. The foxes are back guarding the henhouse and the watchdog has been removed.

    Reply

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