Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Donald Trump and Corporate America’s failed coup d'etat
Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech)
Few today remember or are even aware that leading members of America’s elite, Corporate America, were busily engaged in planning to overthrow the United States government in 1933. Among the plotters were DuPont, Goodyear, Bethlehem Steel, JP Morgan, DuPont, US Steel, General Motors, Chase Manhattan Bank, Standard Oil and Goodyear. The plotters also included high-ranking members of the Democratic and Republican parties. “[As] the plans for a fascist plot developed, its organizers hoped to draw upon both the [American] Legion and the VFW [Veterans of Foreign Wars to a form of people’s militia, modeled on Mussolini’s fascisti...” (Charles Higham, Trading with the Enemy) Chosen to lead the ill-fated coup was Marine Corp General Smedley Butler who, instead, informed the House Un-American Affairs Committee of the plot.
“In the last few weeks of the committee’s official life it received evidence showing that certain persons had made an attempt to establish a fascist organization in this country…There is no question that these attempts were discussed, were planned, and might have been placed in execution when and if the financial backers deemed it expedient.” (Report of the McCormack-Dickstein Committee, 1934)
The continuing intentions of the plotters apparently did not die in the Congress: In 1936 ambassador to Germany William Dodd warned the president that,
“a clique of U.S. industrialists is hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant our democratic government and is working closely with the fascist regime in Germany and Italy. I have had plenty of opportunity in my post in Berlin to witness how close some of our American ruling families are to the Nazi regime.”
For a more complete discussion of the history of relations between US interests and Nazi Germany before and during the war see Chapter 10: Corporate America and Hitler: a Love Story in my book, The Jewish Problem and its Final Solution: Modernity and Destiny.
That which Corporate America failed to achieve for America's elite in 1933 by military force it achieved at the ballot box in 2016 by the election of one of its own.
In fulfilling his campaign promise to “Make America Great Again” President Trump filled his cabinet posts with millionaires and billionaires, some representing the same corporations implicated in the 1933 coup. The billionaires include Secretary of Education Besty DeVos, $5.2 Billion and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ros, $2.9 Billion. The remainder of the cabinet, beginning with Treaury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, $40 Million and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at $150 Million are all millionaires. The only non-millionaires represented are Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke: and Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin. Trailing behind is Vice President Mike Pence who, for all intents and purposes represents outsider Trump’s bridge to the Republican Party.
Not exactly a selection representative, or likely to represent the interests of the president’s wildly enthusiastic core constituents, the struggling Middle Class. In fact the two signal efforts at passing legislation in Congress to-date, Paul Ryan’s American Health Care Act and Trump’s budget plan for 2018 not only fail to promote the interests of the president’s core constituents, the middle class and working class, they seem intended to achieve the very opposite, to significantly harm his core constituents. As all are likely well-aware by now, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office headed by a very conservative Republican conclude that Trump(Ryan)care will result in 24-million people being eliminated from health insurance; the pre-existing conditions clause will become discretionary dependent on state funding. Costs of insurance premiums are projected to increase, and coverage for elder Americans would be reduced, cost increased. With projected cuts to Medicaid, even once-middle-class residents would be unable to pay for nursing home care.
If the American Health Care Act intended to replace the existing Affordable Care Act does significant harm to the middle and working classes, what impact would the budget sent to Congress have on Trumps core constituents?
“While the proposal will reportedly leave Medicare and most of Social Security untouched—ostensibly keeping with Trump’s campaign promises—it is expected to slash some $1.7 trillion from other programs over the next decade, with the bulk of the savings taken from Medicaid, food stamps, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Social Security Disability program, among others.”
Recall that quote by the president before Congress: “We will provide massive tax relief for the middle class.” And what of that promise? The title to an article appearing in Forbes, not exactly a “liberal” magazine, cuts to its heart:
“The large reductions in ordinary tax rates and those imposed upon business income, when coupled with the elimination of the estate tax (no benefit to the middle-to-working class)-- results in truly massive cuts for the richest taxpayers in America: with annual savings of over $18,000 going to the top 5%... while the middle class will experience a 1-2% increase in after-tax income, the richest 20% will see a 6.6% rise, while the top 1% will have 14.2% more after-tax income under the Trump plan as compared to current law.”
And for those hoping the GOP Senate will moderate Trump’s tax relief to benefit the Middle Class, again according to Forbes,
“In their 2016 "Blueprint for Tax Reform," Ryan and Brady did indeed propose sweeping tax cuts of their own, amounting to $3.1 trillion over the next ten years… Under the GOP plan… the middle class will experience an increase in after-tax income of less than 1%, while the richest 1% will see their after-tax income rise by 13.4%.
Which raises the question, from where will the money necessary to support “tax relief” come from?
“The president’s budget plan calls for more than $1 trillion in cuts to a wide range of social programs with millions of beneficiaries, from farm subsidies to federal student aid. That includes a $600 billion cut to Medicaid over 10 years, despite Trump’s repeated promises on the campaign trail not to cut the program. The budget also takes an ax to the federal food stamp program and Social Security Disability Insurance.”
And then there are such known effective programs as meals-on-wheels, school lunches, day care… According to White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, “There’s a certain philosophy wrapped up in the budget and that is — we are no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs… but by how many people we actually help.” Which translates to, “how many people we consider are worthy of help.”
During the first two-thirds of the 20th century eugenics was how America measured human value. The “fit” were white and preferably of northern European extraction. The “unfit” were pretty much everybody else: non-white, poor, mentally or physically sick. Government programs promoted childbearing among the Fit, while sterilization and reservations was the “humane” solution for America’s “unfit.” America was unashamedly striving for nationally pure gene pool.
It is clear that with the Trump presidency the United States has returned to an earlier time in its history, a time that, for the Fit, America was indeed Great! For the remainder, including Trumps “enthusiastic constituents” the new Unfit, not so great. The institutionalization of upward distribution of wealth sought by Corporate America’s failed 1933 coup d’ etat was finally achieved bloodlessly by selling snake oil to the new Unfit facing the abyss.