Donald Trump came into office spouting the usual Republican mantra that government is the source of all of our problems. “If there’s a new regulation, they have to knock out two,” he said. So he’s taken a chainsaw to more than 860 federal regulations since he’s been in office, ground all that paper to pulp and buried it, claiming it’s fertilizer for his promised 3% GDP growth. But even if he achieves the 3%—and that’s questionable—what kind of barren, polluted ground will this corporate bumper crop leave behind?
So far Trump has killed, suspended or gutted regulations that restrict carbon emissions, oil drilling in the Arctic, power plants dumping toxins (including arsenic, lead and mercury) in rivers and lakes, use of brain-damaging pesticides, predatory payday loan sharks, concentrated media ownership, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms…and the list goes on and on.
Of course we wouldn’t need all of this government regulation if bankers and corporations behaved like angels, or even ethical human beings. But from Enron to Lehman Brothers to Merck to Wells Fargo, they’ve proven again and again that without regulatory oversight, they invariably go on white-collar crime sprees that cost the rest of us a bundle. The one-percenters rake in the spoils, while the greater public is poisoned, cheated and stuck with the bail-out bill.