Trump is going after companies he has branded “disgraceful” or “disgusting” and “corrupt.”
But what’s going on in the halls of the White House is a more subtle, and perhaps even more consequential, assault on the very institutions that he and his aides claim to love.
As the president’s personal political capital grows, so does his personal power.
It’s time to ask: What is the scope of his assault on America’s economic standing?
Trump’s assault on American business is a direct response to the economic crisis of the 1930s, when America’s business system collapsed in the Great Depression and unemployment skyrocketed to nearly 50 percent.
The recession and the Great Recession are often cited as a catalyst for the current economic crisis, but it was Trump’s economic advisers who first articulated the dangers of a global financial system that was based on financial speculation and debt-based bubbles.
The Trump administration has already taken actions to prevent that bubble from bursting, with the passage of the JOBS Act in May that allowed Americans to take advantage of a new round of government-backed loans that were guaranteed to keep them afloat.
The president has also made it clear that he will not let American companies fail and he has threatened to slap hefty tariffs on goods made in China, Mexico and other countries that have built factories that are producing for America’s exports at the expense of U.S. workers.
But the Trump administration is not just targeting the American economy.
It is also targeting a set of institutions that are central to the American way of life.
Trump is trying to gut the United Nations.
He has made the U.N. a tool of foreign influence in the U