3/9/2018 By John F. O’Donnell
Earlier this week, President Trump’s chief economic advisor, Gary Cohn, resigned from his post. This was apparently due to Cohn disagreeing with Trump over tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. However, it’s beyond worthwhile to understand that before working in the White House, Cohn was the head of Wall Street behemoth Goldman Sachs. Looking through this lens, it becomes clear that he’s leaving the public sector because he accomplished everything he wanted to benefit the banking industry and is now, likely, going to reap those twisted rewards back in the private sector. Revolving door much?!
Recall that just over two months ago the Trump administration passed a massive tax reform bill that gives huge cuts to corporations and the wealthy. In fact, all said and done, by the time these new tax laws are completely in place, 83% of the benefits will go to the top 1%. Gary Cohn is part of that 1%. He received a $285 million exit bonus from Goldman Sachs before entering the White House. If that’s not incentive to do the bidding of his bankster cronies, what is? And now that that bidding is done – the passing of this crazy tax scam – what incentive does he have to stay at the White House? The answer is little to none. The dispute over tariffs that Cohn had with Trump really appears to be nothing more than a pretense. Striking to the heart of the character of Gary Cohn, Public Citizen’s Lori Wallach said –
“It is very telling that for Cohn, a registered Democrat, the final straw in leaving was not Trump’s horrifying response to the Charlottesville white supremacist uber-hate fest or endless attacks on Mexicans and Muslims, but a steel trade enforcement action involving tariffs that would be 5 percent lower than the steel trade action enacted by President George W. Bush in 2002.”
(Dr. Evil & Mini-Me?)
It should be noted that another “accomplishment” of Gary Cohn’s before leaving was the easing of the rules for IPOs. This is something that – surprise, surprise – Goldman Sachs has wanted to happen for years. It potentially means hundreds of millions of dollars in additional annual revenue for the firm. Furthermore, Cohn’s involvement in Trump’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan is also a huge giveaway to massive Wall Street firms because it places them as the middlemen between private industry and government contracts. Ultimately, it looks like Gary Cohn helped further rig an already rigged financial system to a point where his greed, for the time being, feels satisfied. That’s a scary thought. It’s almost as scary as the bleak reality that income inequality across the globe is so vast at this point that the world’s billionaires made enough money in 2017 to have been able to end extreme poverty seven times over! (Something tells me they won’t do that, though.) For almost every American, things are going in the wrong direction, and criminals like Gary Cohn are a big part of the problem, regardless of what they say about steel.
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