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Saturday, July 29, 2017

On ethics, Trump is leading America in the wrong direction

Jeffrey D. Sachs
Originally published July 26, 2017

Here is an excerpt:

So here we are. Bribes are no longer bribes, campaign funds from corporations are free speech, and the politicians are just being good public servants when they accept money from those who seek their favor. Crooked politicians are thrilled; the rest of us look on shocked at the pageantry of cynicism and immorality. Senior officials in law-abiding countries have told me they can hardly believe their eyes as to what is underway in the United States.

Which brings us to Donald Trump. Trump seems to know no limits whatsoever in his commingling of the public interest and his personal business interests. He failed to give up his ownership interest in his businesses upon taking office. (Trump resigned from positions in his companies and said his two sons are in charge.)

Government and Republican Party activities have been booked into Trump properties. Trump campaign funds are used to hire lawyers to defend Donald Trump Jr. in the Russia probe. Campaign associates such as Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn have been under scrutiny for their business dealings with clients tied to foreign governments.

In response to the stench, the former head of the government ethics office recently resigned, declaring that the United States is "pretty close to a laughingstock at this point." The resignation was not remarkable under the circumstances. What was remarkable is that most Republicans politicians remain mum to these abuses. Of course too many politicians of both parties are deeply compromised by financial dependence on corporate campaign donors.

The article is here.