Saturday, July 15, 2017

The swamp

Robert Reich

Instead of draining the Washington swamp, Trump has flooded it with lawyers and lobbyists hell-bent on lining the pockets of corporate America. A new report from the New York Times and ProPublica has identified 71 Trump industry appointees, including 28 with potential conflicts. A few examples:

1) At the Education Department 3 members of the deregulation team previously worked for charter school advocacy groups and for-profit college operators. The Department has already begun to rollback student loan protections, which could potentially save for-profit colleges millions of dollars.
2) The chairwoman of the deregulation team at the EPA was formerly president of the Rule of Law Defense Fund, an organization tied to the oil industry that has lobbied against clean air laws. In March, Trump signed an executive order to dismantle environmental protections strongly opposed by the nation's largest polluters.
3) A senior appointee at the Department of Housing and Urban Development still owns a $50,000 stake in a real-estate company where she previously worked, whose value could be greatly boosted by HUD’s policies.

To hide these conflicts of interests the Trump administration has refused to release correspondence and calendars of government officials. Some former lobbyists have even received special ethics waivers to work in government.

This is the most ethically challenged administration in recent history.


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