Today is the only the first day of December 2016 but my recurring theme for the formation and duration of the Trump administration has becoming apparent: it is an organized criminal conspiracy. In order to get things through Congress Donald Trump needs the cooperation of the Republicans in the Senate. What better way to guarantee it than to nominate the Senate Majority Leader’s wife as Secretary of Transportation. That is an especially astute political move when you look at recent history and consider that Trump wants to spend a lot of money on projects that will flow through the Department of Transportation. It is also part of a pattern.
Tuesday, Trump named Elaine Chao as his nominee as Secretary of Transportation. Chao is the wife of Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In that capacity McConnell controls whether or not a piece of legislation reaches the floor of the Senate and has great sway over just how that debate and vote is handled. Trump is talking about an infrastructure program of $1 trillion dollars or more. Many of those projects will pass through Chao’s department. The money to fund those projects can’t be released without the cooperation of McConnell and Chao. If the money is never realized there is no opportunity to reward financiers, Trump companies or skim a little off the top.
To put the kind of money we are talking about in perspective if the total spending is only $1 trillion 1/100th of 1% is $100 million dollars. That is a lot of temptation that can to a great degree be lost in a rounding error.
The McConnell’s have been a team before. During the entire George W. Bush administration Chao was W’s Secretary of Labor while hubby Mitch was a Republican Senate Leader. If you were an employer you had two chances to avoid a labor law you were not comfortable with: Mitch could kill it legislatively and he was not successful Elaine could simply not enforce it. A favorable labor regulation situation could save you a lot of money; say more money than a political contribution.
Remember Chao served W’s entire eight years. The last time a Labor Secretary stayed in the post that long her name was Frances Perkins; the President was a man named Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the big event was World War II and almost nobody reading this article (including its senior citizen author) was yet born.
By my count this is the third nominee who is in position to siphon public funds into private pockets. The other two are Education nominee Betsy DeVos and HHS nominee Tom Price. As of this writing Trump’s best nominee/appointee is Reince Priebus. When Priebus is your star player you have a losing team! There is an old expression “Follow the money”; in the case of the Trump administration my advice to the American taxpayers is “Watch your wallet!”
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