The problem with fraud is you usually can’t tell its happening until its too late and the damage is done.
Early in my career, I invested in a small technology company that was hiding returned inventory. When the lies of its senior management were discovered, and the company was slammed into bankruptcy, trading was suspended. It was impossible to sell my shares, and I lost my whole investment.
Often in this kind of situation, the perpetrators of the fraud end up doing just fine. They have already squirreled away millions, often in off-shore accounts, and have high-powered lawyers to help keep themselves and their fortunes beyond the reach of the law.
In similar fashion, we are being defrauded by our current government. Those who see it happening are fearful and angry. Those who are unaware–because they have so effectively been kept in the dark by the President and his minions–must be warned.
Sadly, those shouting warnings, even if they are experts, are dismissed as anti-Trump liberals.
One expert is Robert Reich, former Secretary of the Department of Labor. In his blog post yesterday entitled “Fools or Knaves,” he describes the lies supporting the Republican tax plan—among others, the lie that people earning more than $1 million per year will bear a greater tax burden than the rest of us, and the companion lie that the tax cuts and resulting deficits will be more than offset with the effects of “trickle down” economic activity.
The Joint Committee on Taxation, the Tax Policy Center, the Tax Foundation and virtually every qualified economist disagrees. The legislation will mainly benefit the already rich; the upper-middle-class will actually see a tax increase; the tax savings for everyone else will be modest; and the deficit will skyrocket.
President Trump will be on the Hill this week to twist arms and help the legislation hurtle ahead.
Reich wonders why Mnuchin, who surely knows better, is aiding and abetting this alarming process with his own repetition of the blatant, supporting lies. History will not be kind to those who have participated in such a fraud and failure of duty, Reich concludes.
One explanation of Mnuchin’s unseemly behavior, according to Reich:
“Apparently Mnuchin will say anything to retain his power and influence in the Trump administration. He knows he’ll never have anything close to this power again.”
This explanation inspires another: Mnuchin, like the President and every other member of the super-rich Trump cabinet, already has plenty of money. He and the rest are using their offices to get more of it and to otherwise obtain maximum financial advantage for themselves and major donors.
By the time the poor and middle-class members of the Trump base fully understand the effects of the fraud–as their tax bills and healthcare costs rise and the economy stalls out–Trumpian robbers like Mnuchin will be long gone, living in their security-gated mansions or bobbing, far from view, on their super yachts.
Why, then, should they care how history treats them?