The Reverend


Some readers may have seen this already.....



Dennis Schornack, who served as a senior advisor on transportation in Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s (R) administration for three years, blamed the widespread water contamination that has led to lead poisoning and possibly a Legionnaire’s outbreak on Snyder’s penchant for running government like a business.



“Government is not a business…and it cannot be run like one,” Schornack told the Detroit Free Press. “The people of Flint got stuck on the losing end of decisions driven by spreadsheets instead of water quality and public health. Having been a Snyder staffer, luckily in a spreadsheet-rich area like transportation, I lived the culture amidst its faults.”



“It’s sort of a single dimension for decision making; thinking that if it can’t be solved on a spreadsheet, it can’t be solved.”



In a blizzard of phony narratives, the one I've heard most often is....'America needs a president with business experience'. Type those exact words in the Goog bar and you'll get 77 million hits. We heard this phony notion when Monopoly Man Mitt ran for president, and we're hearing it again about Donald Trump.



What is the only objective of an experienced businessperson? To make a profit. Implied in the businessman-as-president narrative is the idea that presidents need to understand what's good for businesses.....and then set an agenda that will do just that.....help businesses make profit.



Businesses make more profit in one of two ways. They either raise prices or they cut costs. Most of the time, they do both. Government is not a business and it's role in society is to defend the population, see that justice is carried out, and "promote the general welfare of the People." Nothing in the Preamble about profits or businesses.



The conservative narrative that America needs a businessperson as president contains a bastardized version of business philosophy. In this version, taxes stand in for profits....and government spending stands in for business costs. In effect, then, constantly lowering taxes, specifically on wealthy Americans, produces more "profit" for those wealthy Americans, and cutting government spending paves the way to cut those taxes even further.



Now, I'm not bashing business or business people here. Businesses are an indispensable part of our prosperous society. But business plays it's role....and government plays it's role....and those roles are not interchangeable.



In the case of Rick Snyder in Michigan, the 'general welfare of the People' part of the Governor's oath was ignored, as it was in Scott Walker's Wisconsin, Sam Brownback's Kansas, and other Tea Party-afflicted, GOP-controlled states. Taxes on the wealthy and on business in those states were slashed as well as state government spending for those states' most vulnerable citizens. Point being that those states applied a bastardized version of business philosophy to a non-business entity.....state government of, by and FOR the People.



The Flint water-poisoning incident came about because of a myopic focus (new band name?) on "spreadsheets", instead of People. Decisions were made based entirely on cutting state government costs without the slightest regard for how those cuts would affect the citizens who Snyder took an oath to "serve".



Yes, I understand that a state government must balance it's budget.....but in these GOP-controlled states the given, the premise in balancing those budgets starts with....no increased taxes, ever. That only leaves state spending. Sorry about that poisoned tap water, but budgets had to be balanced, taxes can't be increased....so, costs of delivering potable water, among many other things, simply had to be slashed.



In the case of Businessman Trump, the story promises to be the same. To show how America can "win again", Trump plans to reduce taxes on the nation's wealthiest individuals while simultaneously reducing Big Business corporate tax rates. Those cuts will deprive the federal government of much-needed revenue, just as happened when W slashed taxes twice on the nation's wealthiest. You see, Trump's bastardized version of government-as-business seeks tax cutting "profits" for the "successful" few. Though he doesn't share where he would cut government spending, if at all, The Donald with his "spreadsheets" would be compelled by the massive new deficits he creates with his tax cuts to slash federal spending.



And just like in Flint, the general welfare of the People will be entirely ignored. Here's Trump on what he would do with the EPA....



"Environmental Protection, what they do is a disgrace. Every week they come out with new regulations."



Asked by host Chris Wallace who would protect the environment in the absence of the EPA, Trump maintained that "we'll be fine with the environment......you can't destroy businesses."



I think you can deduce what Trump has in mind when it comes to the general welfare of the People. The "businessman's" approach promises to bring the misery of Flint to every city in America.



The hell of it is.....turning all American cities into a version of Flint.....is called "winning."