Major US newspapers reported Tuesday night time that President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Steven T. Mnuchin, a former Wall Street banker who served as Trump’s marketing campaign finance chairman, to be the subsequent secretary of the treasury, probably the most influential cupboard place when it comes to financial coverage and the roles and dwelling requirements of working individuals. The appointment is to be formally unveiled on Wednesday.
This follows Trump’s appointment of Representative Tom Price of Georgia, a main proper-wing Republican and opponent of Medicare, to head the Department of Health and Human Services. This division oversees Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which account for the huge bulk of home social spending by the federal authorities.
There have been additionally press reviews that the a lot-rumored nomination of billionaire speculator Wilbur Ross as secretary of commerce can be introduced shortly, and that Elaine Chao, the spouse of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and a cupboard member within the George W. Bush administration, can be named as secretary of transportation.
Trump has already named one other billionaire, faculty privatization advocate Betsy DeVos, spouse of Amway inheritor Dick DeVos, to be secretary of schooling.
With these appointments, the overall outlines of the brand new administration’s home insurance policies are clear. Far from Trump’s demagogic claims that he would “drain the swamp,” the corrupt nexus between Wall Street and Washington is tighter than ever.
In some ways, the Trump administration represents the fusion between the 2, with outstanding members of the monetary aristocracy, together with three of the 500 or so US billionaires—Trump, Ross and DeVos—taking main positions within the nation’s capital.
Every non-billionaire cupboard appointment introduced by Trump is a millionaire or multi-millionaire. These embrace Senator Jeff Sessions, Representative Tom Price, Elaine Chao and, in fact, Mnuchin, a former companion at Goldman Sachs value upwards of $50 million.
Mnuchin shouldn’t be the primary Goldman Sachs veteran—and marketing campaign insider—that Trump has named to a prime place. Stephen Bannon, the marketing campaign CEO and former head of the extremely-proper Breitbart News, could also be stated to symbolize the fascist wing of Wall Street, whereas Mnuchin represents its extra typical institution wing.
In choosing a Goldman Sachs alumnus to head the Treasury, Trump is following the instance of George W. Bush, who appointed Henry Paulson, and Bill Clinton, who appointed Robert Rubin. Mnuchin’s father and brother had lengthy careers on the agency, however Mnuchin left quickly after turning into a companion, first working for billionaire George Soros (a outstanding Clinton backer in 2016), then going west to make tens of millions as a Hollywood financier, backing some extremely worthwhile motion movies, together with the X-Men franchise, in addition to Avatar, Gravityand the execrable American Sniper .
One of his extra controversial monetary operations on the West Coast concerned the takeover of the failed California mortgage lender IndyMac in 2009. He headed a group that purchased IndyMac from authorities receivers, renamed it OneWest, pushed ruthlessly to foreclose on debtors, and so improved the stability sheet that he bought the corporate to CIT in 2014 for greater than twice the acquisition worth. Fair housing teams filed discrimination fees towards OneWest for refusing to lend or refinance in sure minority areas.
When Mnuchin agreed final summer time to head Trump’s fund-elevating operation, he was extensively criticized in Hollywood and Wall Street circles, which largely backed Democrat Hillary Clinton. Mnuchin himself had donated primarily to Democratic candidates, however knew Trump from earlier enterprise dealings. As he informed Bloomberg Businessweek on the time, “Nobody’s going to be, like, ‘Well, why did he do this?’ if I end up in the administration.”
It is a digital certainty that a Mnuchin Treasury will scrap the pretense of regulating Wall Street that was mounted by the Obama administration and the Democrats by way of passage of the 2010 Dodd-Frank banking invoice. The solely institutional change completed by Dodd-Frank, and a minor one, the institution of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is probably going to be reversed.
While the Trump administration provides Wall Street free rein, it should deepen the assaults on health care for working folks that have already reached a new degree beneath the Obama administration. This is the importance of the nomination of Representative Price as secretary of health and human providers.
As one headline put it, “Gutting Obamacare might be the least controversial part of Tom Price’s health care agenda.” A former orthopedic surgeon and six-time period House member from the identical rich Atlanta suburbs that elected Newt Gingrich, Price favors a utterly market-based mostly health care system, by which nobody can be “entitled” to health care until she or he had the cash to pay for it, maybe with assistance from a completely insufficient authorities voucher.
Like Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, a shut ally whom he succeeded as chairman of the House Budget Committee, Price seeks to benefit from the unpopular and reactionary character of Obamacare to launch a frontal assault on all federal health care packages, notably Medicare and Medicaid, which underwrite health care for 130 million individuals, together with the aged, the poor and these affected by the worst sicknesses.
Under a program that the Republican-controlled Congress would doubtless enact, Trump would signal into regulation, and Price would administer, Medicaid can be ended as a federal entitlement program and reworked into separate block grants for every of the 50 states, which might be solely free to scale back advantages and requirements. Medicare would grow to be a voucher program, comparable to the Health Savings Accounts provided by many employers, with the federal contribution to buy personal insurance coverage restricted to a most of $three,000, leaving the majority of the price of health care to fall on the aged.
Planned Parenthood, ladies’s rights teams, and homosexual and lesbian teams all denounced the Price nomination as a sign of the reactionary path of the Trump administration, warning that it proposed to return many years, and even half a century, when it comes to household planning, abortion rights and different social points.
Price is an adamant opponent of abortion underneath all circumstances. He launched laws to defund Planned Parenthood packages and in addition to a constitutional modification to outlaw homosexual marriage. According to one report, he was so hostile to the concept some ladies require monetary help to pay for contraception that he challenged a reporter to “bring me one woman” who struggled to afford contraception.
He will probably be in command of a division that units coverage on points comparable to who can obtain survivor’s advantages underneath Social Security, whether or not medicine like Plan B could be bought over-the-counter, and whether or not health insurance coverage insurance policies ought to cowl contraception and abortion providers.
These cupboard choices exhibit the absurdity of all makes an attempt by the Democrats to paint Trump in constructive colours. This is to be a authorities of response all down the road, from excessive militarism in overseas coverage to vicious assaults on jobs, dwelling requirements, social packages and democratic rights at house.
The two-confronted character of the Democratic response to Trump was typified in feedback by incoming Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer. He denounced the naming of Representative Price to run Health and Human Services, saying Price “has proven to be far out of the mainstream of what Americans want when it comes to Medicare, the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood.” At the identical time, he hailed the number of Elaine Chao to run the Department of Transportation, praising her “long history of service to our country.”
Schumer added, “Senate Democrats have said that if President-elect Trump is serious about a major infrastructure bill, backed by real dollars and not just tax credits and without cutting other programs like health care and education, that we are ready to work with his administration.” Actually, the Democrats are prepared to work with Trump underneath all circumstances, and if they can’t discover something “positive” to help, they’ll invent one thing.