Also, Gary, a thousand dollars doesn’t do squat for a family that makes 100k a year. 100-101 isn’t that much. It may help you clean up a few corners here and there, but it’s a one-percent difference. You get to treat yourself a little.

You can’t “improve your lifestyle”. You can’t buy a better car, you can’t build an addition to your house…you can get yourself a new phone or a new computer, sure. But…it’s not that much.

Now, if you could find a way to give people making 20k a year an extra thousand dollars…like, say, raising a minimum wage from $8 to $10, meaning that a 30-hour work week gains an extra $60 per week, translating to a full $3000 a year, then you’re talking economic stimulus. Suddenly minimum-wage earners can buy a new phone! They can go out to dinner! They can put money into the economy!

There are millions of them! Millions!
Millionaire Trump Adviser Says Americans Can 'Buy A New Car' With $1,000 Tax Cut
Gary Cohn also suggested that money could be used for a substantial home renovation.

President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser — Gary Cohn, the former Goldman Sachs president worth an estimated $266 million — appears to be completely clueless about what the average American family spends on a car, vacation or home improvement project.

Hours after falsely claiming that “the wealthy are not getting a tax cut” under Trump’s tax reform plan, Cohn appeared at a White House press briefing and spoke to what middle-class Americans have to look forward to. Based on the administration’s assumptions, he said, a typical family that has two children and earns $100,000 per year can expect annual tax savings of approximately $1,000.

“If we allow a family to keep another thousand dollars of their income, what does that mean?” he asked. “They can renovate their kitchen. They can buy a new car. They can take a family vacation. They can increase their lifestyle.”

The rather tone-deaf comment came in response to a question about how Trump — who could see savings of more than $125 million per year under his own plan — can claim the proposal doesn’t benefit him personally.
Matt Taibbi, The War in the White House
Months of palace intrigue have pitted the D.C. establishment and Jared Kushner against Steve Bannon – and made Trump more dangerous than ever.

It’s not quite Taibbi’s most famous attack, casting Goldman Sachs as a vampire squid –

The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.

but this teardown of the mess at the White House is pretty close, and Bannon and Cohn are both Goldman products:

The revelations of the past month show the Trump White House to be a kind of bizarro version of Real World or Amish in the City – a bunch of loutish out-of-towners granted undeserving residence in a classy downtown mansion wired in every corner for the world’s amusement. Ditsy Kellyanne Conway rubs her feet on the furniture, blabbermouth Sean Spicer loses battles of wits to Rob Gronkowski in the press room, and grandpa Rex Tillerson spends every episode hiding from the press, maybe behind the new gold drapes (they really changed the color of the Oval Office drapes). The remaining zoo animals are split in a perfectly disgusting caricature of the modern American political divide. On one side rests Bannon, a fascistic creep who represents the tens of millions of “deplorables” who rallied to Trump because he validated their zombie-movie fantasies about armies of wormy Mexicans staggering up the isthmus (“tremendous infectious disease is pouring across the border,” as Trump put it).

Bannon hasn’t been fired, and Trump’s recent bleatings about rewriting trade deals are supposedly due to his continuing influence. But there are many reports that Bannon has lost influence to Kushner and former Goldman Sachs deputy Gary Cohn, a noted monster of the financial-crisis era who represents the opposite vile brand of American politics, a Wall Street kleptocracy that has spent decades robbing Main Street blind through bubble economics and sleazy asset-hoovering schemes like sub-prime-mortgage fraud.

If there’s a better metaphor for the depressing nonchoice of modern Western democracy than the intramural struggle for influence between these two arch-fiends, it’s hard to imagine. Bannon and Cohn, two bilious, overweight ex-Goldman bankers, now sit on either side of the throne, each whispering his respective villainous ideology into the president’s ears.

It’ll be backlash ethnic nationalism against sociopathic finance capitalism, foreigners-suck versus screw-the-poor, depending on Trump’s mood. That’s assuming the president hasn’t been distracted by some insane civilization-imperiling military adventure recommended to him by “adults” like Defense Secretary James Mattis, Homeland Chief John Kelly and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. Who’s really running things in the Trump White House? The more we hear, the less we seem to know, but none of the choices seem to be good. ‘Round and 'round the bowl we go; God knows when we will hit the bottom.

Gary Cohn, one of Trump’s best people. Remodel a kitchen! Buy a new car! What planet are these idiots from. They have no idea how the real world works! This statement would be humorous if the consequences of this warped thinking were not so serious. We will be in a recession over this trickle down crap like we were before with Reagan and George W. Bush. The fat cats will be sitting back counting the enormous amount of cash that they will make from the taxpayers just like they did during the Recession of 2008. Remember when Trump thought the recession was a good thing because he could buy up foreclosures at a bargain rate? Trump cared not about the poor people that lost their homes and savings through no fault of their own. The average innocent victim of the recession was not “bailed out.” They should have been.
At Least 6 White House Advisers Used Private Email Accounts
While it is not necessarily illegal for White House officials to use private email accounts, President Trump had made Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of emails as secretary of state a centerpiece of his 2016 campaign.
By Matt Apuzzo and Maggie Haberman

Jared Kushner

Stephen K. Bannon

Reince Priebus

Gary D. Cohn 

Stephen Miller

Ivanka Trump


Trump’s Banksters and the Rollback of Dodd-Frank

Donald Trump has ordered a rollback of regulations over Wall Street, including the Dodd-Frank Act, passed in 2010 to prevent another too-big-to-fail banking crisis.

Perhaps Trump thinks that we’ve forgotten what happened when Wall Street turned the economy into a giant casino, and then – when its bets went sour in 2008 – needed a giant taxpayer funded bailout.

Maybe Trump thinks Americans forget losing their jobs, homes, and savings in the fallout.

Many people who voted for Trump got shafted. I hope they haven’t forgotten that while they suffered, not a single bank executive went to jail.  

Trump supporters need to join with Democrats and progressives in stopping this rollback, and holding Trump accountable.

The biggest banks are far bigger today than they were in 2008. Then, the five largest had 25 percent of U.S. banking assets. Today they have 44 percent. 

If they were too big to fail then, they’re too big period now. 

Getting rid of Dodd-Frank triples the odds of another financial crisis. 

Meanwhile, Trump has brought more banksters into his administration than any in any previous administration – mostly, from Goldman Sachs. 

The head of Trump’s economic council is Gary Cohn who was president of Goldman Sachs. Other Goldman alumni include Trump’s right hand man, Steve Bannon, Trump’s pick for Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s pick for the securities and exchange commission, Jay Clayton and another White House advisor, Dina Powell. 

Now remember, a decade ago, Goldman Sachs defrauded investors and ripped off its customers and it’s paid nearly $9 billion in government fines. 

Many of Trump’s banksters were there at that time. 

Don’t let Trump and the Republicans endanger our economy again. Let’s not make the same mistake twice.
Bad Take- WSJ: America First Doesn’t Mean America Alone
We are asking a lot of our allies and partners. But in return the U.S. will once again be a true friend.
By H.R. McMaster and Gary D. Cohn

This isn’t really a bad take in the traditional way that some opinion writer says something baseless and dumb. It’s an op-ed, attributed to H.R. McMaster and Gary Cohn (though probably not written by them), that was published in the Wall Street Journal. It’s a scary op-ed, not because of anything openly threatening, but because of the context and the content of the op-ed.

So why is this a bad take? 

  • Well, it’s full of falsehoods and lies. The president was not “reconfirming America’s commitment to NATO and Article 5″. He never mentioned Article 5 at all throughout his time with NATO.
  • If America is going to be a “true friend to our partners and the worst foe to our enemies”, why did Macron lump Trump into the same category as Erdogan and Putin? Why did Merkel say that Europe needed to take its destiny into its own hands? Why did Trump refuse to say anything negative about Russia? Doesn’t sound like America’s friends trust America all that much.
  • Its depiction of Saudi Arabia is nonsense. Saudi Arabia is a hotbed for extremism and still will be, even with the “Global Center for Combatting Extremist Ideology”,
  • It addresses absolutely zero of Trump’s many gaffes. Does it mention how, when meeting with Netanyahu and the press, he said that “He didn’t mention Israel” during his meeting with the Russians, essentially confessing that he did. According to this article, the trip was perfect!

I could say more, but let’s also look at the most terrifying paragraph of this entire piece:

“The president embarked on his first foreign trip with a clear-eyed outlook that the world is not a “global community” but an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage. We bring to this forum unmatched military, political, economic, cultural and moral strength. Rather than deny this elemental nature of international affairs, we embrace it.“

Why is this terrifying?

  • To view the world as not a “global community” but as a haven for competition, you undermine the entire idea of organizations like NATO and the EU, organizations that are responsible for being the bulwark against the kind of carnage that occurs during a world war.
  • Delusion of strength is worse than not having strength to begin with. Our politics are weak, with delusional and scandalous politicians in power. Our culture is split into competing national narratives, tribalism run amok. Our moral standing is a joke, as we’re welcoming into Congress a man that beat a reporter. America is not strong; rather, it is remarkable vulnerable.
  • If we’re competing for advantage, then how does that rewrite NATO relationships? Are we in this simply to extort NATO allies, to show that we have an advantage over them? Is this just a silly pissing contest? What is the point of a zero-sum game where “advantage” is advocated?

This is clearly Trumpian propaganda propped up by McMaster and Cohn as legitimate. America First is as terrifying as it was when it allied with the Nazi cause back before World War 2. It’s delusion wrapped up in shiny paper, and more than that, it shows how far somebody like McMaster has to sink to work in the White House.

This is a bad take.
Trump's economic adviser says Trump had nothing to do with Friday's strong jobs report
Gary Cohn doesn't think the strong jobs report was because of President Donald Trump.
By Bob Bryan

– According to Gary Cohn, the head of Trump’s National Economic Council, there’s no reason to credit Trump for the strong report.

– “Look, there’s clearly a good February as part of the number. I’m not going to deny that,” Cohn said. “But on the other hand, when you look at what we’ve been doing here at the White House and all of the CEOs that we’ve brought in — whether it be Exxon or Sprint or Intel — they’ve promised enormous amounts of jobs and job creation in the United States. Those hirings have not been done yet. Those are future hirings.”

– Thus the beat in the February report, according to Cohn, is on the back of the recovery from the past eight years under President Barack Obama.

“So we’re still living on the hirings from the normalized economic growth that’s built into the system here,”

The Only Real “Centrist” Agenda

With Steve Bannon on way out, official Washington is jumping for joy that Gary Cohn – the former president of Goldman Sachs who’s now running Trump’s National Economic Council, along with Dina Powell, another influential Goldman Sachs alumnus,  – seems to be taking over Trump’s brain.

As CNBC puts it, Cohn will push “more moderate, business-friendly economic policies.” The Washington Post says Cohn is advocating “a centrist vision.” The Post goes on to describe “The growing strength of Cohn and like-minded moderates" as revealed in Trump’s endorsement of government subsidies for exports, and of corporate tax cuts. Says the Post: “The president’s new positions move him much closer to the views of … mainstream Republicans and Democrats.”

In reality, Cohn, Powell, and other Wall Streeters in the Trump White House are pushing Trump closer to the views of Wall Street and big business – views that are reflected in the views of “mainstream” Republicans and Democrats only to the extent the “mainstream” is dependent on the Street and big corporations for campaign money.

These views aren’t “centrist,” and they’re not sustainable. More tax breaks for the rich and more subsidies for big corporations aren’t much better for America than xenophobia.

Wall Street and corporate America seem not to have learned a thing from what’s happened over the past year. Do they really believe the anger, rage, hate, racism, and nationalism that welled up during the 2016 election was a random, passing phenomenon, like a particularly bad hurricane?

If so, they’re wrong. These sentiments came from a shrinking and ever more anxious working class. From millions of people so convinced the game is rigged against them they were prepared to overthrow the established order in order to get fundamental change. From voters whipped up into a fury over tax breaks and subsidies and bailouts for those at the top – socialism for the rich – but who for years have been getting the harsh losing end of the capitalist stick: declining wages, mass firings, less job security, emptying towns and cities, and their children with even lower and fewer prospects.  

They came from people who during the Great Recession lost their jobs, homes, and savings, as Wall Street got bailed out for its wanton greed, and not a single top Wall Street executive went to jail.

The so-called “centrist” policies that Wall Street and big corporations are now happily promoting via Gary Cohn and Dina Powell won’t reverse these sentiments. They’ll add to them, because these were same sort of the policies that got us to this point.  

There’s a better alternative. It’s to make it easy for people who lose their jobs to get new ones that pay at least as well, through wage insurance;  expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and raise the minimum wage so every job pays a living wage; invest in great teachers and great schools, along with a system of lifelong learning, and high-quality early childhood education; and provide Medicare for all.

And pay for all of this with a 2 percent tax on wealth over $1 million and a carbon tax. While we’re at it, get big money out of politics.

Here’s a  “centrist” agenda that big business, Wall Street, and the rest of America should agree on because it (or something very much like it) is the only way to move forward without inviting even more inequalities of income, wealth, and political power – and ever more vicious backlashes against such inequities.

If Wall Street and big business used the 2016 election as a teachable moment, they would realize this.
Donald Trump’s top economic advisor is about to get a $284m payday from Goldman Sachs
Gary Cohn’s jump from Goldman Sachs to Donald Trump’s administration is helping him unlock more than $284m (£227m) in bonuses, shares and other investments through the Wall Street bank. Cohn is selling his Goldman stock as it trades near a record high on speculation Mr Trump’s policies – on which he will advise – will be a boon for the bank.


DC has made comics fun again!

In 1984.

Blue Devil by Gary Cohn, Dan Mishkin, Paris Cullins and Pablo Marcos.

Yes, this comic series was fun and goofy and the equivalent of SIMON AND SIMON with just one Simon and a silly blue superhero suit. It was about the only DC title I read back in the day, though I’d eventually pick up Byrne’s MAN OF STEEL once that launched (and of course DARK KNIGHT). But those days before…



If you voted for Donald Trump, I get it. Maybe you feel you’ve been so badly shafted by the system that you didn’t want to go back to politics as usual, and Trump seemed like he’d topple that corrupt system. 

You voted to change our country’s power base – to get rid of crony capitalism and give our government back to the people who are working, paying taxes, and spending more just to survive. Lots of Americans agree with you. 

But now, the president is turning his back on that idea and the many changes he promised.

He did not drain the swamp. After telling voters how he would take control away from special interests, he has surrounded himself with the very Wall Street players he decried. Now, those who gamed politicians for tax loopholes and laws that reward the rich don’t even have to sneak around with backroom deals. 

Steve Mnuchin, Gary Cohn, Dina Powell and others from Wall Street, as well as corporate lobbyists by the dozens, are now inside the Trump administration rigging the system for the extremely wealthy from the inside. 

They want to make it easier for banks to once again gamble with your money and repeat our financial crisis. They want to cut health care for millions of you. They want to lower taxes on corporations and the rich. They want to get rid of rules that stop corporations from harming your health or safety. 

That’s not the change you were promised.

Make America Great Again? The Trump administration wants to expand on policies that have kept American wages stagnant for almost four decades. Huge corporations and billionaires get the breaks, and hard working Americans once again get left waiting for the crumbs. That’s not the change you were promised.

Bringing back fiscal responsibility? The Secret Service budget is skyrocketing to protect his family on international business trips, ski vacations, and separate New York City living quarters. 

At the same time, the president still refuses to untangle himself from his businesses and prove he’s not leveraging our government for his financial gain. You’re paying for his lifestyle while he’s doing nothing to help yours. 

That’s not the change you were promised.