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Fecteau: Trump’s Big Business Boondoggle

Monday, December 05, 2016

 

President-elect Donald Trump recently had a huge announcement. After discussing the issue with Mr. Trump, Carrier Corp. nixed a plan to relocate approximately a thousand jobs over the border to Mexico. On the surface, Mr. Trump used his acute negotiating skills to keep the Indiana based heating and cooling conglomerate from sending jobs over the border, but the story doesn’t end there.  

Mr. Trump’s supposed negotiating acumen left a lot to be desired. The American public will have to pay Carrier roughly $7 million in the form of tax incentives, and training grants to save around 1,000 jobs almost all in Indiana. Though not as reported, Carrier would still be sending jobs overseas just not these specific jobs. This deal was so bad even Republican firebrand Sarah Palin lambasted it. 

This does set a disconcerting precedent. The United States has always sought to attract companies to relocate domestically. This is the first time in modern history that the United States, led by President-elect Trump, has fundamentally bribed a company to stay. Moreover, other businesses have an incentive to threaten relocation, so they can negotiate a similarly lucrative package. 

This is a stark contrast from Mr. Trump’s campaign promises. He promised stiff tariffs on companies operating on American soil that relocated outside United States. He also promised the voters he would work for them, and not be subservient to corporate interests; this was just sleazy, half-baked rhetoric. 

This reeks of a backroom deal meant to make Trump, and his corporate partner in crime look like angels. Mr. Trump gets to show off his alleged business prowess. Carrier can announce they are committed to the American workers, and let’s be cliché, the American dream. What isn’t there to like? Oh yeah, the price tag; the American people are the losers, and big business wins yet again. 

When we elected Trump, we didn’t get a savvy business man; we elected a shrewd public relations guru. This deal is just a dog and pony show meant to be a PR stunt in lieu of anything truly tangible. When he formally announced the deal, Mr. Trump delivered a triumphant victory speech to thousands. If it was a win for the American worker, as he claims, it was pyrrhic and expensive.  

This is what Trump did his entire career; he makes a mediocre or even poor product, slaps his last name on it, and wala, tells everyone it is the best thing since sliced bread (just like he did with this deal). Make no mistake, there are around a thousand happy workers keeping their jobs, but at the expense of the American taxpayer and others will still lose their jobs. 

The United States cannot afford to financially seduce every company considering relocation, but it looks like that is the norm with Mr. Trump as President. Does anyone still wonder why Mr. Trump filed so many bankruptcies?  

Where are the fiscal conservatives here? Except for Mrs. Palin, I haven’t heard a peep from them. This horrendous deal stinks of everything that small government conservatives so despise, the government picking and choosing winners and losers, and a massive subsidy for big business. I guess it is excusable to them if it is a Republican boondoggle with pleasant optics.    

Matt Fecteau ([email protected]) is a former White House national security intern and Iraq war veteran.

 

Related Slideshow: 10 Ways Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump Are Actually Similar

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Universal Health Care 

Despite sitting on opposite sides of the aisle, Trump and Sanders essentially share the same healthcare plan. But you don’t have to take our word for it—Ted Cruz, Trump’s chief rival, said himself that Trump and Sanders “have basically the same healthcare plan," in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

"Donald Trump enthusiastically supported the TARP bailout of big banks. I opposed it. He enthusiastically supported Barack Obama's stimulus plan. He thought it should have been bigger. I think it was a disaster and a waste of money. Actually, Donald not only supported both of those, but he argued that Obamacare should be expanded to make it socialized medicine for everyone,” Cruz told Hannity

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Reforming Wall Street

Both candidates have made serious noise talking about reforming Wall Street. Bernie Sanders has just about made his whole career on taking on financial kingpins, and has attracted many young fans in the process.

While the uber-capitalist Trump may seem like the candidate to take on his fellow one-percenters, his words say something different. Trump blasted hedge fund managers on CBS, saying they are “getting away with murder,” on CBS’ “Face the Nation" in 2015.

"The hedge fund guys didn't build this country. These are guys that shift paper around and they get lucky,” Trump said.

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They Don't Take Money from Wall Street

It’s not just that the candidates criticize Wall Street and big banks—plenty do that. But Trump and Sanders back up their tough talk by not attracting campaign donations from those same financial institutions.

Sure, Hillary Clinton has taken aim at the major financial mavericks during her time on the campaign trail—what self-respecting Democrat hasn’t? But a closer look at her campaign financials shows that she isn’t putting her money where her mouth is.

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Their Campaigns are Populist Movements

Neither Trump nor Sanders are what you would call a “party darling.” Both have taken aim at the lions and leaders of their own parties have been unafraid to make controversial statements regarding the political establishments.

Instead, their campaigns have been buoyed by passionate, typically politically apathetic people. People who have finally found someone they  can relate to in the political landscape and someone they feel they can trust. Despite repeated predictions of failure, regular people continue to respond to their campaigns, as both Sanders and Trump remain near or at the polls as the primaries begin.

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The Most Unusual Candidates (Ever?)

Trump and Sanders are certainly the most unusual candidates this year, as both the Republican and Democratic fields contain typical governors, senators and congressman vying for the ultimate government job. It goes one step further, however—they may be the most unusual candidates a Presidential campaign has ever seen.

Sure, Trump isn’t the first rich eccentric to take a run at the Oval Office (just google Ross Perot if you don’t believe us.) But he’s certainly the first candidate to speak about immigrants and other races as he has.

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Massive Crowds

Political candidates of any variety like going where they are wanted. They make sure that there are plenty of warm well-wishers to make campaign events see exciting and full.

Trump and Sanders, however, seem to be able to attract raucous crowds that are more akin to rock concert or playoff game than a political rally. People come in costume, dressed as their favorite candidate. Teenagers, even though they cannot cast a vote, turn out in full face paint to support their candidate.

It’s happened all over the country. Record-setting crowds packed the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon and thousands filled the DCU Center to see Trump in Worcester, Massachusetts. Everywhere these candidates go, people rush to see them.

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Lots of Small-Money Donations

Typically, leading Presidential campaigns are powered by big money donations, but that’s not the case for Trump and Sanders.

As Graphiq shows us below, Sanders and Trump are one and two, respectively in the amount of campaign donations under $200—a sure sign of grassroots support.

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Real Talk

How often do you watch and listen to a political speaking, and find yourself drifting off to sleep or reaching for your iPhone?

That rarely seems to be the case when Trump or Sanders are on the mic. You never quite know when Trump will insult an entire religion or ethnic group in one thirty-second soundbite. 

Not to be outdone, Sanders folksy and frantic style of speech has attracted attention—and plenty of jokes and memes—from all across the internet.

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 Slated for Failure

Since the first day that each candidate announced their campaign, the political intellectual and elite have told everyone that they just don’t stand a chance. Trump and Sanders are too controversial, their too radical and they are too inexperienced. How many times did political analysts or other talking heads say they would be out of the race before the first votes are ever cast?

Yet here we are, just a few days away from the first caucuses and primaries. Neither Trump nor Sanders are out of the race. Neither is on their dying breaths. They are thriving. And, as you’ll see in our next slide, they are winning

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Leading in Iowa (and New Hampshire!)

If the latest polls are to believed these massively unusual candidates—one socialist, one real estate magnate/reality tv star, both with tons of small donations, both told they never had any chance—will be making victory speeches in Iowa and New Hampshire soon.

According to CNN, Trump has an 11 point lead among Republicans and Sanders an eight point lead among Democrats in Iowa just a few days before the caucus.

And in New Hampshire, as you’ll see below,  Trump and Sanders have double digit leads as we approach the first true primary.

 
 

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