By Ralph Nader
Imagine an app that can calculate the lies per minute (LPM) Trump subjects the American public to on a daily basis. Perhaps there should be a national contest for how many Trump lies per minute can be documented by a contestant in a given week.
When the Republican “tax cuts” reached his desk, in a bill which gives massive handouts to the rich and giant corporations at the expense of working families, Trump enveloped this even more complex tax code in a vast cloud of lies designed to reassure the working class that he daily betrays.
Senator Daniel P. Moynihan once said: “You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.”
Trump continues to trumpet serial lies about the bill, which was changed repeatedly during the last days to cater even more to commercial interests – in an egregious display of cash register politics. Republican Congressional leaders have also made mendacity their mantra. Moreover, Senator McConnell and Speaker Ryan have kept the bill from the Democrats, who had no chance to carefully read the final draft which they were expected to vote on.
Apparently there is no Senate rule preventing the tyrannical majority from keeping the minority in the dark. Today the Senate, split 52 to 48 in favor of the Republicans, is Senator Mitch McConnell’s dictatorship. There were no public hearings on this legislation, no opportunity for the Democrats and the public to regularly read the changes in the bill and very limited debate on the Senate floor. The Republicans, having circumvented the filibuster and stretched the reconciliation procedure to include opening up the Arctic refuge to oil and gas drilling and having more people lose their health insurance.
None of this means anything to Trump, who probably hasn’t even read a memo by his advisors on the bill’s details. His close aides say he doesn’t like briefing materials. Why should he? The Deceiver in Chief need only lie his way to the signing ceremony:
“Biggest tax cuts in history.” False. “Biggest reform ever passed.” False. “Will create many beautiful jobs.” False. “Biggest middle class tax cut ever.” Totally false. Trump also lies when he says he will take a “big, big hit” to his own wealth from this tax bill. Laughably false.
Tax analysts have exhausted themselves counting the number of intricate ways the legislation elevates Trump and his family’s wealth, real estate holdings and estates. If he had any dignity, he would announce that he would not take tax cuts, directly or indirectly, before he signs the bill into law.
As Trump tries to sell the myth that he is somehow “for the little guy” and fallaciously claims the forgotten men and women of America “will never be forgotten again,” his cabinet secretaries and regulatory agency heads are working overtime to roll back health, safety and labor protections for working people. That is, of course, exactly why these agency heads were picked by Trump.
Trump’s corporatized Department of Education is getting rid of protections for students who have been preyed upon and burdened with huge amounts of debt by for-profit so-called universities (Remember the frauds perpetrated by Trump University and his $25 million settlement last year). He has corporate crime abettor, Mick Mulvaney, running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau into the ground and trying to dismantle its law and order program for corporate financial crooks.
Trump brags about getting rid of “job-killing regulations,” without specifically mentioning any of them. He just keeps repeating over and over again his false claims. These regulations he wants to kill save the lives, health and safety of the American people by limiting toxic chemicals in the workplace, the consumer marketplace and the air, water and soil. He is letting defenseless Americans, including children, get sicker, be injured more and die earlier by continuing his cruel and vicious abandonment of long-considered legal safeguards. The regulations he is leaving alone are the ones providing corporate welfare, or what ideologically consistent conservatives call “crony capitalism.”
Trump heralds “clean, beautiful coal” (a wild lie about a devastating pollutant) and brags about creating 45,000 more mining jobs. Even barons of the declining coal industry know he’s trying to mislead the public.
Trump’s automatic prevarications keep coming, Tweet by Tweet. He says he is helping the little guy and then appoints his bank regulator, Keith Noreika, who helped banks avoid state laws protecting consumers and helped banks charge more fees. Mr. Noreika continues such anti-consumer practices in his new taxpayer-funded job.
In a recent front page article titled “Champion of the ‘Little Guy’? Trump’s Actions Tell Another Story,” the New York Times’ reporters asks Mike Walden, a truck driver for 30 years, what he thought. Having voted for Republicans in Ohio, Walden’s reply should trouble Trump, who is always sniffing for voter trends: “What has he done for the working man?…You don’t get elected by the working class then throw them under the bus.”
Voters who continue to believe in serial political liars are entrenching a tyranny over themselves. If we do not learn to recognize and reject such dishonesty, we will continue to enable dirty to our serious detriment.
For a comprehensive list of Trump’s constantly growing number of LPMs, see Trump’s Lies in the New York Times.