It wasn’t so long ago, that the Republican president was screaming about fixing the issues with foreign collusion, pay-to-play access, cover-ups, and bribery.
He claimed he would be the one to end all of that.
If you’ve been paying attention, you know that if he drained a swamp, he pumped all that sludge and even a few creatures from that black lagoon right into the White House offices.
Just so we’re clear on the sequence of events over the last two days:
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates just pledged $100 million to Ivanka Trump’s fund for women entrepreneurs.
In return Saudi Arabia received a $110B arms deal from the United States, and they get to purchase — through the Blackstone Group — a significant ownership of the infrastructure work Trump promised his voters during his campaign, which will mostly involve toll roads and other services that American citizens will have to pay to use, on top of paying their taxes to support and supposedly fund.
So the Trump’s family gets a massive personal payout, Saudi Arabia gets a tremendous amount of weapons while not addressing any of their long list of Human Rights violations, and they receive control over a substantial segment of American infrastructure system.
Robert Reich has some raised some additional concerns specifically about that last point:
“Saudi Arabia just joined the parade of investors into U.S. public works by pledging a record $20 billion investment with Blackstone Group’s new infrastructure fund.
It’s the latest push around the world by large investors to buy up U.S. airports, roads, bridges, water systems, and other public projects.
Rather than taxing the wealthy and then using the money to fix our dangerously outdated infrastructure, the states and the federal government increasingly are giving rich investors tax credits to encourage them to do it.
The investors then charge tolls and user fees, and earn big profits.
So the public pays twice – once when we subsidize the investors with our tax dollars, and then again when we pay the tolls and user fees that also go into their pockets.
We don’t even get the infrastructure that’s most needed. Projects most attractive to investors are those whose tolls and fees bring in the biggest bucks – giant mega-projects like major new throughways and new bridges.
Not the thousands of smaller bridges, airports, pipes, and water treatment facilities most in need of repair. Not the needs of rural communities and smaller cities and towns too small to generate the tolls and other user fees equity investors want. Not clean energy.
To really make America great again we need more and better infrastructure that’s for the public – not for big developers and investors. And the only way we get that is if corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes.”