Trump: Will he ‘drain the swamp’?
“Stick a sterling silver fork in Donald Trump’s populism”—it’s done, said Dana Milbank in The Washington Post. Over the past year, the Republican president-elect repeatedly promised to “drain the swamp” if elected, vowing to purge Washington, D.C., of lobbyists; break the influence of Wall Street bankers; and destroy the “global power structure” that exploits the working class. But Trump is now packing his Cabinet with exactly the type of billionaires and Goldman Sachs bankers he claimed “owned” his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. For Commerce secretary, Trump has tapped billionaire private equity investor Wilbur Ross. And for Treasury secretary, he has nominated Goldman Sachs alum Steven Mnuchin, who made millions as his company foreclosed on 36,000 struggling homeowners during the 2008 financial crisis. “Judging by his Cabinet picks,” said Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle, Trump is “fishing from that swamp, not draining it.”
“Only a liberal could believe that Trump’s pledge to drain the swamp was an attack on the wealthy,” said Matthew Continetti in National Review.com. Trump’s supporters wouldn’t have backed the real estate mogul for president if they’d thought a candidate’s personal fortune mattered. Draining the swamp was about rejecting “the ideologies, fashions, clichés, and manners of the political and social and cultural elite” in favor of anti-establishment policies such as restricting immigration and ripping up trade deals. Ross and Mnuchin are both from outside the Washington establishment, and have some “heretical” views. Trump’s supporters aren’t perturbed by his picks so far, said Vera Bergengruen in McClatchyDC.com. “He is a successful businessman who hires people to get him what he wants,” said one Trump voter in Pennsylvania. “If he has to use swamp people to make America great again, why not?”
Wait until these loyalists see the results of Trump’s tax and economic policies, said Michael Cohen in The Boston Globe. Trump wants to chop the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, and has proposed huge income tax cuts for the top 1 percent of earners—leaving only “crumbs” for the working class. In the Trump administration, Republicans will eviscerate “the social safety net,” and institute policies favoring “the wealthiest and best-connected Americans.” It may take a few years, but the “angry, alienated Americans who gave their trust to Donald Trump” will eventually realize they’ve been betrayed again.