Building a Wall: A Distraction from Republican Goal of Privatization
Trump may have to find a new threat to use as leverage to get his way other than a shutdown. But “his way” should not be understood as “building a wall.” Trump and his surrounding team of “money men” want radical privatizing of our economy. It was almost a surprise that during the shutdown they did not get out to preach the gospel of privatization, as another way to pitch the destruction of government.
In evidence: On February 13 last year the Washington Post carried an article “Infrastructure Plan would sell National, Dulles airports.” The aim of the Administration’s plan was to cut infrastructure spending – the plan proposed a $168 billion cut over 10 years – while promising improvements. In addition to selling Dulles and National, massive cuts in federal dollars would hit major US infrastructure such as the power transmission assets of the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Southwestern Power Administration.
The infrastructure plan was released on the day before the Post story appeared. The Administration also reintroduced a separate plan that proposed to take the air traffic control system out of government hands, a plan that had been blocked in Congress the year before. Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said of the plan, “It is like a Hollywood facade…the lack of direct investment would leave out large parts of America.”
Administration top officials are ideologically privatizers, their goal mostly to get out of paying higher taxes. To prove anything more for their ideology they would have to be capable of self-reflection. And they are not. They themselves are proof that a business background is no vote for the ability to get things done for Americans in the nation and in its communities, They don’t understand why they should even be concerned about a broader community or anything that can’t be put into a narrow objective of profit and self-interest. They are so habituated to denigrating actions that bring diverse communities closer together they may actually believe and assume that public servants are losers and that government does nothing but pass regulations big business doesn’t like. They may actually believe their scripts to the point that they don’t try to find out what government does. Theirs is an ideology based on ignorance.
–Elizabeth Spiro Clark, Chair, Committee on Public Policy and Political Action