Donald Trump doesn’t do irony, and that’s why today he promised to make government honest again. Trump won PolitiFact’s 2015 Lie of the Year and his scorecard is weighted in the mostly false, false and pants on fire direction. That is to say, Trump is known for his dishonesty.
So this, of course, is how Trump is wrapping his — you’d better sit down —
ethics reform package.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2016
One of these things does not belong: Donald Trump, ethics and honesty.
In his ethics reform package, Trump promises some pretty good ideas:
First: I am going to re-institute a 5-year ban on all executive branch officials lobbying the government for 5 years after they leave government service. I am going to ask Congress to pass this ban into law so that it cannot be lifted by executive order.
Second: I am going to ask Congress to institute its own 5-year ban on lobbying by former members of Congress and their staffs.
Third: I am going to expand the definition of lobbyist so we close all the loopholes that former government officials use by labeling themselves consultants and advisors when we all know they are lobbyists.
Fourth: I am going to issue a lifetime ban against senior executive branch officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.
Fifth: I am going to ask Congress to pass a campaign finance reform that prevents registered foreign lobbyists from raising money in American elections.
Not only will we end our government corruption, but we will end the economic stagnation.
However, it is Donald Trump whose transition team is stocked with lobbyists, whereas Hillary Clinton’s transition team is banning lobbyists.
This might be an attempt to stop the revolving door, but it’s only going one way. He’s not stopping the real problem with lobbyists coming from the other way around, and Trump knows this because his campaign is full of lobbyists- they are writing his economic “policy”, a policy that – surprise!- benefits them and their kind. That is to say, the big corporations and the very wealthy.
People who work in the private sector should not be able to collect money while they have “left” their position to go work in government regulating said sector or lobby the government for that sector. That is where the first order of corruption comes from. Trump’s promise avoids that problem all together, while making it seem as if he’s addressing the real problem.
Trump can “ask” Congress to tie his shoes every morning, too, but they aren’t going to be doing that any more than they will agree to this ban he’s asking them to institute on their own friends and future employment opportunities. This seems highly unlikely to be something they would willingly do just because someone asked them.
Donald Trump says he’s going to ban “senior executive branch officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government”, yet his campaign staff has been plagued with suggestions that various members have an interest with a foreign government, specifically Russia.
Honesty and ethics start at home, they are actions not promises. The fact is that Donald Trump’s very first promise is to do something that he is only addressing in one way, while ignoring the very serious problem of corporate lobbying and the revolving door.
Which is dishonest.
And Donald Trump is selling that to the people as his way of “Make Our Government Honest Again”. Of course he is.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.