2020 Democratic presidential nomination thread

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JLBB
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Re: 2020 Democratic presidential nomination thread

Post by JLBB » 1 week ago

Afro_Vacancy wrote:
1 week ago
There is what is "legal" and there is what is "ethical". In a functional society, they would be closely correlated, but in present-day America the powerful define the law to benefit them. Nobody has gone to jail for any of the wall street financial crisis, the Iraq war, the Libya war, etc. So I'm not particularly persuaded by arguments as to what's legal.

I don't have the energy to respond to all 12+ of your points, but I'll mention the issue of emoluments. I think that everybody or nearly everybody knows that Trump, Kuschner, etc are using the office to make a few billions on the side, that this is corruption, that this is illegal, and that this makes America look bad. I think that even grass-roota Republicans understand this. And I think that it doesn't matter, do you know why?

Because a few billion in corruption is chump change in the current system. Washington DC is the Mecca of global corruption and has been for a very long time. All Americans instinctively know this. If you donate money to the right political party, you get a lot back, and the amount of money that is being regularly wasted is approximately ~1000x larger (probably more) than the corruption that Trump is indulging in. The taxpayer doesn't give a shit because he's been getting robbed a lot worse for decades. It's the bigger picture that matters.

I visit DC on a regular basis. Would you like to know something interesting? It's an expensive city, with the highest median wages in the country. Do you know why that is? It's because a lot of lobbyists live there, and federal lobbyist is a highly paid profession. What does that tell you?

Represenrative Alexandria Occasio-Cortez and Senator Ted Cruz were working on an anti-corruption bill that would prevent congressmen from working as lobbyists for several years after leaving Congress. I expect it to not pass.

Focusing on billions of dollars in one class of corruption while ignoring the broader trillions that are being lost makes the Democrats look delusional and out of touch.
"etc are using the office to make a few billions on the side, "

I don't know about Kushner's situation, but there's zero evidence Trump has benefited financially from taking office, his profits haven't been inconsistent to prior years in any sense. Estimates for net worth being around 3 billion recently, his earnings have been around 4-450 million dollars over the past few years. Roughly a 15% turn on net worth in a very strong business cycle with ultra low interest rates. To say he's making "billions" from office is hysterical, he already had a profitable business and his net worth by all accounts has barely moved since he became president.

In terms of accusations of breaching the emoluments clause, the only specific examples I see people give are below the million dollar mark (usually hundreds of thousands which is entirely irrelevant to a billionaire) involving foreign officials staying at his hotels etc. One person suggested hundreds of thousands in Saudi payments to stay at one of his hotels was evidence of corruption.

"Focusing on billions of dollars in one class of corruption while ignoring the broader trillions that are being lost makes the Democrats look delusional and out of touch."

Realistically, its likely in the millions which still is completely irrelevant to someone with a net worth of three billion. If you can find evidence of him making "billions" out of office feel free to show it, but it would involve pretending that every last sent of profit he's made in recent years is due to being in office, and he'd be quickly heading to bankruptcy without it. I agree with your point about magnitudes of corruption and attitudes of the American people, but the magnitude of extra profit is not even close to the billion dollar mark. I suspect there's also some lost business from people boycotting certain Trump institutions that may not have in the past. I'm not sure the angle from which you're looking at this, but some of the lefties I talk to seem to believe that a single cent of profit Trump makes in office is illegitimate, and the only way he wouldn't be engaging in corruption is if he was losing money.

https://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career ... ency.html/

Here are some actual numbers, at most we are looking at increases in hotel revenue around the 30 million dollar mark per year which included the opening of a new hotel in 2016. Being a new opening would have taken revenue regardless, and consider that Trump spent 60 million out of his own pocket in campaigning during the Republican primary. But overall the best thing to do is look at his net worth over the past few years, and that in particular has gone nowhere. Hardly evidence of an elaborate scheme to make money out of becoming president. Trump had a net worth of around 3 billion when he entered office, if he leaves in 2021 he will likely leave with roughly 3-4 billion also. The Clinton's for reference entered politics with a net worth around a million. By 2016, they had amassed over 250 million. Not saying this was 100% due to corrupt means, but Trump is the worst example of you will find of a politician being enriched from a position in congress or the presidency. Someone with a billion dollars isn't going to be moved in lifestyle or emotions by another billion, someone with a million dollars will be ten times more motivated by even the offer of another million.

"Focusing on billions of dollars in one class of corruption while ignoring the broader trillions that are being lost makes the Democrats look delusional and out of touch."

Totally agree with this though, and also would like them to address it.

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