Blair Bess, 3/29/2018 [Archive]

Is President Trump Anti-Trustworthy?

Is President Trump Anti-Trustworthy?

By Blair Bess


It's fascinating to hear the president rail against those who don't pay their fair share of taxes or have grown too powerful. This from a man who thinks he's smarter than everyone else. Because he doesn't pay taxes. And has grown too powerful.

President Trump is whining, yet again, about Jeff Bezos and his brainchild, Amazon. In a recent tweet, he tapped out "Unlike others, they [Amazon] pay littler [sic] or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!"

Can you believe it? The president is absolutely livid about rich guys putting ordinary folks out of business. Guess he forgot about all the contractors he stiffed, the investors he screwed, and the legal bills he refused to pay.

Let's get real. The new tax laws favor big corporations like Amazon and the well-to-do like Jeff Bezos. And Donald Trump and his family. And the Trump Organization and the Kushner Companies. The Trumps, Kushners, and their businesses stand to save tens of millions of dollars each year.

Regarding Amazon abusing the U.S. Postal Service, both the company and its customers pay for the privilege of having merchandise delivered door-to-door. The president probably doesn't realize this because he doesn't like to read and has no need for books; or likely anything else Amazon may have to offer. Unless it's gold-plated.

The president has a point about the role Amazon has played in the slow, painful demise of the brick-and-mortar retail sector. It's true. But we, as consumers, have also contributed to the steady decline of Main Street and mall shopping experiences. We're lazy, and like convenience and affordability.

The real reason the president cares about retail contraction, however, is personal. It could potentially hit him in the bank account. The success of commercial real estate is intrinsically tied to the prosperity of the retail industry.

But why hammer away at Jeff Bezos? Because, in addition to being Amazon's largest individual shareholder, Bezos also happens to own The Washington Post.The President would like to shut the lights out at The Washington Post. As The Post's motto says, "Democracy Dies in Darkness."

The president doesn't much like The Post. He doesn't much care for democracy either. And he really doesn't appreciate the coverage given to him by The Post's journalists. They are nothing more than purveyors of "fake news." Even though, despite White House denials to the contrary, their scoops consistently prove to be accurate.

The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many other "failing" newspapers, news sites and cable news networks have done an excellent job in keeping the most dishonest president in history honest. And there's the rub. The president loathes honesty.

President Trump's tweets are ominous. They suggest he or his proxies will continue their attempts to chisel away at the news media through manipulation of public opinion, the Constitution, the rule of law, tax legislation, and government agencies.

The Department of Justice has been tasked to investigate whether a planned merger of AT&T and Time Warner violates anti-trust laws. Ostensibly, this is because the president doesn't like the idea of a small number of companies dominating the nation's media, thus hurting consumers. Who does?

The truth: Time Warner owns CNN, another of the president's nemeses. Administration threats to kill the proposed merger are a not-so-indirect result of the president's desire to silence CNN. Just as his threats to Amazon are rooted in his desire to darken the doors of The Washington Post.

Too much wealth and power in too few hands negatively impacts all Americans. But before attacking Amazon, AT&T, Time Warner, or Jeff Bezos, the president needs to take a close look in the mirror.

President Trump must cease his ongoing assault on the First Amendment. His misuse of power for personal gain is damaging to those he ostensibly serves; and self-destructive. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. Deliberate attempts to abuse and obstruct it are inexcusable. And, as may soon be proved by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, a prosecutable offense.

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Copyright 2018 Blair Bess distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Blair Bess is a Los Angeles-based television writer, producer, and columnist. He edits the online blog Soaggragated.com, and can be reached at BBess.soaggragated@gmail.com.

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