Before Donald Trump was elected, he promised to be a different kind of Republican when it came to decades of GOP economic mismanagement. But what Trump ultimately delivered is what all Republican presidents have delivered since Ronald Reagan, according to Rolling Stone's Tom Dickinson -- "bubbly new wealth for the already rich, while putting the middle-class through the wringer."
Dickinson writes that Trump's betrayal of the middle class has played out in plain view.
"First with Trump’s 2017 tax cut, which showered wealth on the richest, offering the middle class a drop in the bucket, and now with a pandemic response that has inflated the wealth of billionaires, even as main-street America reels under a Depression-level crisis," he writes. "If Donald Trump fooled you once, shame on him. If he fools you twice, shame on you."
Fast-forward to the coronavirus pandemic, and the stimulus relief doled out to Americans to help keep them afloat in the midst of rolling lockdowns amounted to "crumbs on the table." Speaking to Rolling Stone, Brown University political economist Mark Blyth says this was intentional and the payments were distributed in a way designed to produce confusion and delay, relying significantly on paper checks.
“Why did we use checks?” Blyth asks. “Because you want it to be a f**k up. ... You want half the people not to get the money, because your real clients are the corporates — not the citizens, you don’t give a shit about them. You care about the top 10 percent of the people who effectively own 80 percent of the stocks. That’s who the constituency is.”
Read the full op-ed over at Rolling Stone.