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Trump’s Predatory Infrastructure Privatization Scheme

by Stephen Lendman, Market Oracle:

Straightaway in office, Trump proved he’s an imperial/predatory corporatist tool – his rhetorical populism pretense, not real, his agenda hugely harming ordinary people at home and abroad.

Days after his election, Ellen Brown exposed his phony promised economic change, saying “his infrastructure plan appears to be just more of the same – privatizing public assets and delivering unearned profits to investors at the expense of the people.”

Addressing supporters after his electoral triumph, he promised “to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals.”

“We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”

As Brown noted, the devil is always in the details. They’re not pretty. His plan calls for spending $1 trillion on infrastructure over the next decade.

Instead of responsibly funding it by low-or-no-interest government-created credit, how China finances infrastructure spending as Brown explained, Trump won’t let America do it the same way “without raising taxes, slashing services, cutting pensions, or privatizing industries,” harming the general welfare, ordinary people paying the price for private profit-making.

Goldman Sachs runs Trump administration economic and financial policymaking – the firm notorious for making money by fraud, grand theft, market manipulation, scamming investors, bribing politicians, having its executives in top administration posts, and getting open-ended low or no interest rate bailouts when needed.

Its business model and culture assure billions of bonus dollars for company officials, complicit traders, and others on the take. It’s a crime family, not a bank, like other major Wall Street firms.

Its grand theft continues unabated, none of its top officials ever fined, prosecuted and imprisoned. Current chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein calls its operations “doing God’s work.”

Former GS executive vice president Steven Mnuchin serves as Trump’s Treasury Secretary.

Former GS president and CEO Gary Cohn heads his National Economic Council, in charge of the infrastructure privatization scheme Goldman intends profiting from, buying public assets on the cheap.

On May 26, the International Business Times (IBT) headlined “Trump Administration Conflicts of Interest: How Gary Cohn Could Sell US Infrastructure to Goldman Sachs,” saying:

Trump’s scheme involves “sell(ing) off public assets to private financial firms,” GS hoping to profit hugely, “taking ownership of public assets, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents reviewed by International Business Times.”

A Trump administration plan released days earlier explained plans to spend $200 billion to “incentivize additional non-Federal funding,” allowing private investors like GS to buy public bridges, airports, toll roads, and other infrastructure properties.
In its most recent annual SEC filing, GS said “(i)n a number of our businesses, including where we make markets, invest and lend, we directly or indirectly own interests in, or otherwise become affiliated with the ownership and operation of public services, such as airports, toll roads and shipping ports, as well as physical commodities and commodities infrastructure components, both within and outside the US.”

IBT explained Trump’s plan proposes to expand “tax-exempt bonds on behalf of private entities constructing highway and freight transfer facilities” – a lucrative giveaway to Wall Street firms like GS.

Cohn was quoted saying “(i)nstead of people in cities and states and municipalities coming to us and saying, ‘Please give us money to build a project,’ and not knowing if it will get maintained, and not knowing if it will get built, we say, ‘Hey, take a project you have right now, sell it off, privatize it, we know it will get maintained, and we’ll reward you for privatizing it.”

“The bigger the thing you privatize, the more money we’ll give you.”

Read More @ MarketOracle.co.uk

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