Larry Kudlow, Donald Trump’s new top economic adviser, is famous for being wrong about everything, in some very dramatic ways. And boy, was he ever wrong about the Trump administration and the effects of wealth. Back in late 2016, Kudlow explained why it was a good thing that Trump was putting so many billionaires and multi-multi-multi-millionaires on his cabinet:
“Why shouldn’t the president surround himself with successful people?” he wrote, referring to the rich conservatives Trump has added to his incoming team. “Wealthy folks have no need to steal or engage in corruption.”
About that. Members of Trump’s cabinet had an estimated combined net worth of $4.5 billion (though it seems that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross may have seriously inflated his wealth). Let’s check out the record of non-stealing and non-corruption they’ve racked up, shall we?
But most of all, there’s Trump himself and his family of grifters. From the galas and fundraisers being held at Trump’s properties—for a hefty fee—by groups looking to suck up to him, to the shell companies and foreign governments renting real estate from him to the overseas deals being smoothed by governments looking to curry favor, Trump is corrupt right up to his questionable hairline. Meanwhile son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner—himself from a family of wealthy real estate developers—has gotten a series of suspicious loans. And that’s not even getting into the little stuff like Don Jr.'s trip to India to give a foreign policy speech and sell some condos, or the $1.5 million a year Ivanka is getting from Trump companies while working in the White House.
Yeah, that whole “rich people don’t need to be corrupt because they’re rich” thing holds up about as well as Kudlow’s 2007 insistence that there wasn’t going to be a recession.