The Republicans’ war on government continues unabated in the Trump Administration. By continuing to appoint cabinet members who are both corrupt and incompetent, President Donald Trump has succeeded in undermining Americans’ faith in their government. As a result (Republicans hope) fewer people will look to government for solutions to their problems. If the government doesn’t function properly then how can it solve peoples’ problems?
The war on government started in earnest during the presidency of Ronald Reagan who famously said in his 1981 inaugural address, “Government is not the solution to the problem. Government is the problem.”
But, according to the Washington Post, “the Trump administration is taking this to a whole new level. His Cabinet and other appointees are like termites, burrowing inside the government structure, taking it apart from within, and causing foundation rot and damage as they go about their work.”
So let’s examine more closely how Trump’s cabinet appointees are doing their best to destroy the government of the United States:
- The New York Times recently reported that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is severely cutting back a major Education Department investigation into fraud at for-profit colleges. Investigations are ending, and a former dean being investigated for fraud is now in charge of the investigative team.
- Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has also shut down many investigations into financial-firm misbehavior, including one into the corrupt payday loan industry which preys on poor people. He also famously said that while a Congressman he only met with lobbyists who gave him money.
- With all of his ethical scandals, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is singlehandedly trying to make the Trump Administration the most corrupt in history. But more importantly, he is undoing decades of environmental protections that could have a lasting effect long after he is booted out of office. He reversed a ban on a pesticide that can cause brain damage in children. He’s rolling back auto emissions standards. And just yesterday it came out that the EPA has blocked the publication of a study on water pollution so Americans can’t find out how polluted their drinking water is.
- And of course HUD Secretary Ben Carson, a former surgeon who knows nothing about housing policy, wants to raise the rent for low-income tenants. He recently appointed a former Uber driver as one of his top deputies in HUD.
- In the Veterans Administration, a multibillion-dollar rollout of a new computer system intended to improve health care of veterans (supported by Jared Kushner) is “riddled with problems so severe they could have led to patient deaths.” But the rollout will continue anyway.
The upshot of all of this is that Trump and the Republicans in power are doing the bidding of their corporate masters who want no government regulations on their businesses, no government “social” programs, and the privatization of government activities (so they can make profits).
Many people have criticized Trump for not making the U.S. government work well. But it appears that has been his plan all along. His goal is to destroy many parts of the government, and unfortunately with respect to attaining that pernicious goal he has been extremely successful so far.
For the good of the country, and to save our government, we need to get Trump and his horrible cabinet members out of office as soon as possible.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.