Donald Trump keeps asking “What do you have to lose?” — you know by voting for him? Well, this week we saw some answers.
First, a British economic forecasting firm estimates that if Trump gets elected and implements just his existing economic proposals, it would cost the US $1 trillion over the next five years. Trump’s proposals would also cost 4 million jobs in the US, slow down global growth, raise consumer prices and hurt US consumer spending, and (of course) probably spark trade wars with other countries.
Ironically, the people who would bear the brunt of this major hurt would be industrial workers, who are the suckers who are mainly voting for him.
The Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania (which happens to be Trump’s alma mater) says the same thing, as does Moody’s Investors Service.
The biggest problem with Trump’s economic plans is his promise to deport all illegal immigrants. Lucky for us, doing that would be impossible, but even if he is only able to deport 10% of undocumented workers, that would — in the words of another economist — “be devastatingly bad”.
And those are just the results of what he said he would do. An even bigger problem could be the things he won’t tell us about. Newsweek did a detailed study of Trump’s business dealings and found that if Trump becomes president, he would have massive conflicts of interest. Faced with a decision between two plans, where one of the plans would make Trump much more money than the other, which one do you think he would pick? Do you think he would put America first?
Trump says he would put his business interests in a “blind trust”, but that is not just a lie, it is complete bullshit. A blind trust is when a politician puts their investments under the control of an independent manager, who exchanges all previous holdings for new ones and — most importantly — doesn’t tell the politician what investments they own. That way there is no conflict of interest. But not only will Trump not do that, he couldn’t do it if he wanted to.
First of all, most of Trump’s business income is from licensing his name. Do you think he could divest himself from that, or would even if he could? For example, would all of the “Trump Towers” (and other things named Trump) around the world change their name and stop paying Trump? Of course they won’t — there wouldn’t be any money to reinvest so it would be a pure loss for Trump. Not to mention that there is no way Trump could just walk away from those contracts.
These conflicts of interest would do serious damage to the national security of the US. For example, as one of our few Muslim allies in the fight against the Islamic State, Turkey is one of our most strategic partners in the Middle East. But Trump’s business partner there was indicted for smuggling, and the Turkish president has also condemned Trump for his anti-Muslim rhetoric and ordered that Trump’s name be removed from buildings in Istanbul.
Second, Trump says he will put his business interests under the control of his children, but that means that the managers are not even vaguely independent. So Trump would still be tempted to make decisions that benefit his children (now, and himself later). And if you think that the person who has already used his campaign to sell Trump steaks and promote his golf courses won’t do that, you haven’t been paying attention.
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