Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Trump screws everyone but himself - Ed Lasky

by Ed Lasky

Democrats will have a field day should Trump win the primary or run as a third-party candidate. No doubt they are salivating now.

As we approach the Iowa caucus one line of criticism seems to be sticking to Trump, but it is only one example of his modus operandi: enrich himself at the expense of the people.  Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner reports that one ad critical of Donald Trump is resonating with Iowans as the primary battles begins in earnest:
In addition to asking about presidential preferences, the Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll asked voters if they were bothered by certain information about the candidates. By far, the most bothersome bit of information tested about either candidate: "Donald Trump supports the use of eminent domain to take private property for public or private projects, with compensation to the landowners." Presented with this information, 60 percent of Republican voters said it bothered them, compared with 35 percent who said it did not.
Eminent domain is a big issue in Iowa, where projects involving the government seizure of private property have drawn the ire of farmers.  As my colleague Al Weaver reported last week, Trump touted the use of eminent domain in an area where farmers have been protesting a proposed regional airport that would involve land seizures. Driving around Iowa over the past few days, I've noticed a number of signs on farms on the side of the road reading, "Stop Eminent Domain Abuse."
But Trump's defense of eminent domain goes beyond even situations in which it's being used for public use. As a casino owner, he tried to use government power to take away the home of a wealthy widow for a fraction of what she had been offered for the property in order to build a limo parking lot for one of his Atlantic City properties.
Donald Trump deployed all his forces and political connections to try to take away the home of a then-elderly widow, Vera Coking, where she had lived for decades. Corking’s lawyers charged that when she resisted, his construction crews continually vandalized her house. Trump exercised his pull with the government to use eminent domain to try to evict her and take over her house. Vera fought back in the truest American tradition and the Superior Court of New Jersey ruled against Trump and his friends in the government agency that tried to take the house from Vera. She later called Trump “a maggot, a cockroach and crumb”. Trump has subsequently fictionalized this true blight on his record by telling a lie about what had transpired that, of course, burnished his own shameful record.

In a previous column of mine (Is Trump a Democrat?) I also pointed out that his stance on eminent domain was just one reason to question his bona fides as a conservative. Abuse of eminent domain is also one more example that his primary role has been that of a crony capitalist -- the antithesis of being for the little guy. He has routinely used the tricks of he crony capitalist trade, including supporting the bailout and stimulus boondoggle that American taxpayers will be paying off for decades to come (but that helped save his -- or his dad’s -- real estate empire) and  currying favor with Democrats, including the Clintons -- plying them not just with fulsome praise but showering money on them and their so-called foundation.

Indeed, his entire history belies his claim to care about anyone other than himself.

This abuse of the little guy is part of pattern with the billionaire heir from New York. Columnist Ross Douthat suggested in “The Way to Stop Trump” that critics focus on how often he has screwed the little guy as con men are wont do to do. Qhen Trump started appearing at conventions to pitch get rich quick deals I was often puzzled. Was he so greedy that he would collect millions from the gullible who fall victim to this sort of hucksterism? Apparently the answer is ye -- -or maybe he just so loves the spotlight he calculated the spillover effect would help him sell Trump cologne, Trump hotels and casinos and Trump Air and whatever doodads and shtick he pasted his name to over the years, Douthat pointed out other examples of the con man who suckers people out of their money -- and in the months to come their votes.  He counsels the campaign strategy for other GOP candidates to follow, and that we can count on the Democrat nominee to use if Trump gets the Republican nod.
Tell people that he isn’t the incredible self-made genius that he plays on TV. Tell them about all the money he inherited from his daddy. Tell them about the bailouts that saved him from ruin. Tell them about all his cratered companies. Then find people who suffered from those fiascos — workers laid off following his bankruptcies, homeowners who bought through Trump Mortgage, people who ponied up for sham degrees from Trump University.
What was Trump University?  It might as well have been named Screw U. That venture was a scam that took many millions of dollars from people who were fraudulently promised Trump would run a real estate program that would make them rich. The reality, as outlined by New York’s Attorney General: people were fleeced:
According to Schneiderman, more than 5,000 people paid Trump University some $40 million, a quarter of which went straight to Trump himself. "Mr. Trump used his celebrity status and personally appeared in commercials making false promises to convince people to spend tens of thousands of dollars they couldn't afford on lessons they never got," Schniederman said in a press release. In the filing, he accuses Trump University of "deceptive acts and practices," false advertising, "operating an unlicensed private school," refusing to provide mandated refunds, and other misdeeds.
Nine specific allegations were charged, andthey do not make pleasant reading about the man who supposedly stands up for the little guy, but actually only cares about the man who looks at in the gilded mirrors that no doubt line the walls of his numerous mansions and high-rise condos.

Trump has latched onto the care of veterans to build support -- and they well deserve it because our nation has treated veterans shamefully over the years. But how truthful are his claims of concern? His much heralded Trump charity has barley supported them, despite his claims to the contrary. His   Donald J. Trump Foundation (couldn’t he name it after his parents, the source of his wealth?).  Emily Canal of Forbes reported of this miserly history:
 The Donald J. Trump Foundation has donated $5.5 million to 298 charities between 2009 and 2013 (the most recent year available), according to the non-profit's 990 tax forms from those years. Of that, only $57,000 has been donated to seven organizations that directly benefit military veterans or their families, Forbes found. Wounded Warriors was not among the organizations Trump's foundation gave to in that time period.
Some veterans say that the billionaire has been AWOL when it comes to helping veterans. "Donald Trump is not a leader in veterans' philanthropy, unless he's donated a lot of money that nobody knows about," Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, told the New York Times in July. "We were founded in New York. We are headquartered in New York. I've been here 10 years, and I don't think I've ever even seen Donald Trump."
Trump has converted his business failures into clever triumphs over the banks and investors who entrusted their money to him. He used bankruptcy laws to escape responsibility for his debts. That option is sometimes is necessary for individuals -- that is why the laws exist.  But has anyone pointed out that these actions have harmed the little guy to benefit the billionaire? Who were his investors? Pension funds of workers, retirement plans, 401K owners, and shareholders who owned stock in the banks he left holding the bag for his mistakes. Did any bank executives ever lose their jobs -- ever get the message “You’re Fired” for trusting Trump?

Incidentally, didn’t he take delight as Theodore Roosevelt might say whenever he humiliated people on his television show by dressing them down publicly and then delectably declaring “You’re Fired”?  Who can have fun firing people? Didn’t Romney get excoriated by Democrats by foolishly announcing he liked firing people when hey didn’t perform? Romney’s statement was misused by Democrats but the damage was done. There are dozens of dozens of clips of Trump gleefully firing people on national television. Anyone who has ever been demoted, criticized, or fired by a boss -- or had a loved one suffer such indignities -- will be bombarded by stories of Trump making life miserable for the little people he has fired on his show (and off his show, too).

How many people were laid off by Trump over the years? One can rest assured that Democrats will have a field day should Trump win the primary or run as a third-party candidate. No doubt they are salivating now.

So Iowans and all people should be forewarned. You are entrusting your precious support and vote for a man who has fraudulently represented himself as someone standing up for the little guy. In reality, he has only cared about the man whose name he emblazons on every item he could. His campaign is not about you -- it is about him. And he will screw you, as he always has done.

Ed Lasky

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/01/trump_screws_everyone_but_himself.html

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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