Editorial cartoon (6/21/2017)

Let's forget for a moment all those rage-filled and often dumb things that Donald Trump does on a daily basis, and pretend that he acts like a conscientious national leader trying to do what's right for the people who voted for him.

Yes, it's tough imagining a Trump like that. Besides, many of those who voted for him think he's doing a great job for them. Just what the doctor ordered — shaking up Washington and draining the swamp and doing his best to cause turmoil wherever he goes.

"Just what we put him in there to do," commented one Trump voter in a New York Times story.

What's so maddening is that while his supporters continue to stand by him, Trump is using all these daily distractions and outlandish personal take-downs in his middle-of-the-night tweets to cleverly disguise what he's really doing. It's like it's all a distraction to get the media and his opponents to take their eyes off the ball — his agenda.

While his backers cheer his ability to create chaos among the "political elite," Donald Trump is pushing the same agenda that the conservative kingmakers have been promoting for decades — give the wealthy breaks from taxes and regulations and watch the dollars "trickle down" to the ordinary folk. That theory has yet to work, but Trump isn't giving up, no matter if it hurts the people he claims to be helping.

We saw much of that in his still half-baked budget proposals — defunding Meals on Wheels, cutting money for education, public health and the environment, and building more weapons to fight more wars.

That's all bad enough, but even worse is his planned attack on the Dodd-Frank Act, the repeal of which would once again hold the nation's economy hostage to Wall Street, which less than 10 years ago brought the U.S. to its knees and wrecked the financial lives of millions of Americans.

And here we all thought that it was the country's blue-collar workers, the miners and the manufacturers, who needed help. Instead, Trump's aim is to make life even easier for the Wall Street money manipulators who are already wallowing in record CEO pay, a soaring stock market and record dividends to stockholders.  

It doesn't look like draining the swamp to me, but rather, playing into the hands of the biggest alligators in the swamp: House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who have fought the Dodd-Frank reforms all along.

In addition to making it easier for big banks to return to the days of crazy mortgage schemes and eliminate requirements to set aside enough money to weather another financial meltdown, Trump's plan would strip the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of its powers and give Trump the authority to remove its director.

The CFPB, Trump's Wall Street-led Treasury Department believes, is regulatory overreach. Yes, overreach so severe that it has saved millions of Americans from predatory lending practices, phantom bank credit card fees, payday loan scams and dozens of other schemes to prey on defenseless consumers — the ordinary people that this administration professes to care about.

This is but one of the many attacks on working people that is lurking in Donald Trump's own swamp of billionaire bigwigs, whose only allegiance is to wealth, no matter who gets hurt.

Perhaps it's time to start focusing on that rather than Trump's inane tweets.

Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. dzweifel@madison.com and on Twitter @DaveZweifel

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