$1 billion in debt.
Payoffs to staffers and lawyers and fixers of $15,000, $35,000 ... A MONTH.
Famously, nice guys finish last, but where are the Donald's tax returns?
I'm never one to cry poverty, but I really wonder what the great unwashed, the rank and file, think about this when they see it. Do their eyes glaze over? It's not JUST that the uber rich are disconnected from the 99%, it's not JUST that so many of them seem to be out-and-out CROOKS, it's not JUST "income disparity", a term that sounds like a boring economic indicator like hogbelly futures -- it's the way all of this has seeped into the national unconsciousness and nobody seems to care or remark that the President casually offers a monthly stipend twice what my household makes in a year, just for someone to keep quiet about something. It's the moral decay AND the profligate trust in wealth to erase any consequences, to create an APPEARANCE of cleanliness.
It was the repair bill for the De Vos yacht, which would have paid off ALL my and my kids' educational debt. A yacht bought with the proceeds of a pyramid marketing scheme, if that isn't a symbol of everything wrong here.
It's the smirking self-satisfaction of McConnell and Ryan as they reap -- the tax law, Citizens United, obdurate refusal to enact campaign finance reform, repeal of net neutrality, right to work, deregulation of favored industries (banks! oil!) -- and funnel the proceeds to supporters and buddies who will keep them in power for pennies on the dollar, though the sums are astronomical.
WHY aren't more people deeply, angrily pissed off? How can Trump hang onto the rural white working class, when one of their bedrock values (supposedly?) was the worth of an honest day's work? Was that all just guff so they could pretend blacks and Hispanics are lazy? Aren't there households making $25K-$40K and barely scraping by, who feel the offense, as I do, PERSONALLY? Who WANT their labor, and their pay, to add up to something more than just decimal places and credit ratings -- to say something about a life well-lived, about a contribution to family, to town, to country?
What does it say to us -- we 99%-ers -- that the country's leadership views all that as sentimental crap, views us as fodder, as fools, as cogs, as less than full participants because we DON'T have trust funds and offshore accounts and entire armies of bookkeepers to hide our tax returns?
Some of this has always been true, but the Trump kakistocracy, kleptocracy, has put it on full, ignoble display.