This is a nice combo post: excerpts from an excellent Truthout article highlighting the greediest elements of Trump’s budget, coupled with commentary on the scope and impact of Trump’s greedy tax avoidance scheme. Then an excerpt from a Rebecca Solnit piece that is extraordinarily insightful into the Trump psyche.
Before the Truthout and Solnit pieces, a reminder to click here for more details and to RSVP for Sunday’s Kick-Off to Retake’s community education and organizing effort focused on equity. Click here to read about the campaign.
Truthout Points to Massive Tax Avoidance by 1%. While the GOP makes massive cuts to healthcare and proposes still greater tax breaks for the wealthy that would impose untold suffering on millions, Truthout asks: “Why in the name of all that is holy and good would any reasonable person wish to inflict such pain on ordinary, innocent people? Put the question to a conservative advocate of these ideas, and they’ll tell you lickety-split that it’s the responsible thing to do. We’re broke, see?” But Truthout finds that if only a fraction of the 1%’s wealth were captured and taxed, there would be no budget crisis, no need to make cuts: “Researchers in Scandinavia and the United States use the Swiss and Panamanian leaks to show that global tax evasion is likely much more prevalent than previously thought. Their estimates indicate that the top 0.01 percent of the wealth distribution own about half of all offshore assets and may be hiding roughly a quarter of their wealth offshore.”
The motivation behind these policies: “These people are doing this because, for whatever reasons, they are driven by one sole purpose: fathomless greed. They are going for the loot, period. Whatever they have, they want more, and they don’t want to share even a little bit they wouldn’t notice was gone, so they hide it away in bank vaults spread across a global network of financial spider holes to avoid paying taxes, peeling off a few bills now and again to pay a politician to go on television and talk most earnestly about how broke we are.” Click here for the full report. It is well worth the time.
Rebecca Solnit on Trump: Hubris, privilege, and the inevitable tragic fall of the King of Air: Solnit’s piece artfully explores the psychological roots of hubris and privilege. She captures the essence of the blindness caused by privilege: “We gain awareness of ourselves and others from setbacks and difficulties; we get used to a world that is not always about us; and those who do not have to cope with that are brittle, weak, unable to endure contradiction, convinced of the necessity of always having one’s own way. The rich kids I met in college were flailing as though they wanted to find walls around them, leapt as though they wanted there to be gravity and to hit ground, even bottom, but parents and privilege kept throwing out safety nets and buffers, kept padding the walls and picking up the pieces, so that all their acts were meaningless, literally inconsequential. They floated like astronauts in outer space.” Solnit suggests that this is how our King of Air was born.
She then points to the inevitable tragic fall for our self-professed, self-made man. “The man in the white house sits, naked and obscene, a pustule of ego, in the harsh light, a man whose grasp exceeded his understanding, because his understanding was dulled by indulgence….One way or another, he knows he has stepped off a cliff, pronounced himself king of the air, and is in freefall. Another dungheap awaits his landing; the dung is all his; when he plunges into it he will be, at last, a self-made man.” Click here for Solnit’s entire essay. No synopsis does its eloquence justice.
The message here is that while we work locally, we can be assured that the over-reaching greed of Trump and his cronies is providing rich soil for growing transformation. We need to keep our nose to the grindstone and work hard to educate our friends and family. As last Sunday’s post made clear: our day is coming. Click here to view last Sunday’s post.
Paul & Roxanne