The emerging Hillary Donald Trumpton administration
By The Wayne Madsen Report
The Electoral College elected Donald Trump president even though Hillary Rodham Clinton received 3 million more popular votes. But Hillary supporters should cheer up because President Trump is now instituting some of the same foreign and tax policies so vigorously opposed by Trump's "America First" and libertarian base.
Trump's Tomahawk cruise missile attack on Syria over unproven allegations that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad "gassed his own people," -- an echo of a neocon propaganda refrain that demonized Saddam Hussein -- have been followed by Trump policies that match exactly those of Barack Obama and advocated by Mrs. Clinton. These include calling for "regime change" in Syria, proposing increased economic sanctions against Russia over Syria and Ukraine/Crimea, threatening a military confrontation with China over the South China Sea, and something not even considered by Obama or Clinton: use of nuclear weapons against North Korea.
Trump's ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, told the war-mongering CNN over the weekend that regime change in Syria was "inevitable." While Haley has adopted the very same interventionist policies of her two Obama administration predecessors, Susan Rice and Samantha Power, Trump's ambassadors in Serbia and Macedonia have been encouraging George Soros-financed protesters to take to the streets in opposition to the Russia-friendly presidents of both nations. In both Serbia and Macedonia, Trump's Soros-friendly ambassadors, Kyle Scott and Jess Baily, respectively, are demanding the governments to adhere to European Union directives on changing their governments and freezing out Russia.
Donald Trump has morphed into Hillary Donald Trumpton.
In Ecuador, Trump's ambassador Linda Jewell has been working with opposition groups to question the victory of progressive presidential candidate Lenin Moreno over a Wall Street stooge, Guillermo Lasso. The Trump administration has also given support to the proto-fascist president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, in his attempt to imprison opposition leaders fighting against Macri's banker-directed austerity measures. Macri, the former mayor of Buenos Aires, and Trump have cooperated on Trump Organization real estate projects in Buenos Aires.
Trump is now being lauded by the corporate-military media complex for his attack on Syria. Trump has appointed several alums to senior White House positions from the Council on Foreign Relations, Heritage Foundation, Brookings Institution, and Center for Strategic and International Studies to his White House team. These individuals, all having excellent neocon street credentials, include National Security Adviser Gen. H. R. McMaster; his assistants Dina Powell, Lisa Curtis, and anti-Russian polemicist Fiona Hill; and presidential adviser Sebastian Gorka -- a neo-Nazi Hungarian-American by way of London.
Stand by for the "Trump Tax"
Trump is also signaling his support for a "border adjustment tax" being proposed by congressional Republicans. A "BAT" is nothing more than a halfway house to a "VAT," or "value added tax." Although a BAT is directly imposed on U.S. companies importing goods they manufacture in foreign nations, the border tax is passed by the affected companies on to consumers.
A BAT will drive up the cost of clothing, electronics, and certain food items. In fact, the Trump administration wants to go further than the BAT with a VAT, a national sales tax that would be applied not merely to imported goods but also to domestically-produced products and services. A VAT is widely seen as severely impacting low and medium income earners. Moreover, the VAT being considered by Trump is not in lieu of the national income tax but in addition to it. Mrs. Clinton and her Democratic loyalists, most notably Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), have long proposed a VAT, with some exemptions on the poor and middle class. However, there are no exceptions or exemptions with the Trump VAT. Low and middle income households would have to shell out more money for staples while they would see no increase in salaries.
A VAT will also result in more intrusive baggage searches at U.S. Customs entry posts. Travelers deemed to be bypassing the VAT by buying clothing, electronics, and small luxury items at duty free shops or in inexpensive countries abroad will face confiscatory duties and fines assessed at Customs stations. Even clothing removed by travelers from store packaging with tags removed, but still showing folded creases, may land travelers in hot water with Customs and Border Protection agents. Travelers may also be required to show agents documented proof that their smart phones, laptops, and expensive watches and jewelry were purchased within the United States. Lying to agents about foreign purchases would very likely result in their confiscation by the federal government. The Koch Brothers, suspecting the BAT is a transition to a VAT, are due to run TV ads across the nation in opposition to the border tax. It is indeed, a case of hell freezing over when the Kochs are absolutely correct with their ads opposing the BAT. Of course, for Trump's billionaire pals, who enter the United States in private jets and yachts, the customs rules will be much looser, if they are enforced at all.