Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Trump’s Combative Approach Baffles Some and Appeals to Others

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Donald J. Trump

Donald J. Trump is no politician. For many, that’s refreshing, for others it’s frightening. I’m among the latter on that score.

BUT both supporters and opponents alike often wonder how his naturally combative style will work long term.

Two recent spats have made clear how that could prove problematic.

Trump’s ongoing feuds with Jeff Bezos of Amazon and New Mexico’s Republican Governor, Susana Martinez have even Trump supporters worried about his chances going forward.

Jeff Bezos and Donald Trump seem to be on opposite sides of two major issues, online taxation and whether law enforcement has the right to compromise corporate encryption technologies.

On the one hand, Jeff Bezos has said that his company is wholly aligned with Apple in its fight against government investigators, who asked Apple to break its own encryption programs so they could gain access the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorists.

While Trump hasn’t addressed Amazon’s position on encryption, he has openly criticized Apple’s policy of non-cooperation. On February 17, 2015 Trump said, “Who do they think they are?” adding, “We should use common sense...we should open it up.”

Ultimately the FBI made that issue moot when it cracked Apple’s encryption codes without Apple’s assistance.

The other major point of contention is taxes. The record suggests that Amazon pays just a tiny fraction of the statutory corporate tax rate of 35 percent - according to The New York Times, Amazon pays just six percent (these data are from 2007 to 2012) although it seems unlikely that Amazon’s tax rate has gone up since.

Despite the fact that Donald Trump has called for a dramatic cut in the US corporate tax rate, which is the highest in the world, down to a more competitive 15 percent. Yet even a Corporate tax rate of 15 percent, if collected, would wind up being a huge tax increase for Amazon, as well as many other global tech giants, such as Google and Facebook.

THAT seems to be the crux of Jeff Bezos’ issue with Donald Trump. I like Amazon and greatly admire Jeff Bezos and what he’s done with the world’s largest online retailer, however, on this score, Amazon and other global tech giants HAVE NOT been responsible American corporate citizens. They SHOULD BE paying more of their fair share.

It should also be troubling that today the Washington Post (now owned by Jeff Bezos) has become a corporate mouthpiece for Amazon. Sure, ALL of America’s media is compromised in exactly that SAME way...all of it owned and controlled by various corporate conglomerates.

His more recent feud with New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez is seen as more troubling, given Trump’s problems polling with women and Hispanics.

It’s important to note that their “feud” began in mid-April, when the New Mexico governor Martinez issued a strongly worded rebuke to Trump, when Governor Martinez spoke at a GOP fundraiser in the home of David Koch in Palm Beach, Florida. Governor Martinez, according to the Washington Post, "did not mince words. She told the crowd of about 60 wealthy GOP backers that, as a Latina, she was offended by Trump's language about immigrants. Noting her years working as a prosecutor on the Mexican border and now as a border-state governor, Martinez said Trump's plan to build a wall and force Mexico to pay for it was unrealistic and irresponsible, according to multiple people in attendance."

Trump’s response was, "The governor has to do a better job. She's not doing the job"

Something to keep in mind is that Governor Martinez’ views on immigration are opposed by a large majority of Hispanics. According to National Review, “A majority of Hispanic voters think legal status to illegal immigrants should be granted only after a goal of stopping 90 percent of future illegal immigration has been achieved, according to a new survey by GOP pollster John McLaughlin. By a margin of 60 percent to 34 percent, registered Hispanic voters said they supported granting legal status to illegal immigrants “only when the 90% goal is reached.” Hispanic adults backed the proposal by a nearly identical margin — 60 percent to 32 percent.” (

The idea that Hispanic-Americans support illegal immigration, or even increases in illegal immigration seems to be a myth. The primary supporters of increased migration are multi-national corporations who want cheaper labor.

Last September (2015) showed that only 34 percent of U.S.-born Hispanics, and 33 percent of foreign-born Hispanics, want an increase in the amount of legal immigration, said the Gallup report. (

Sixty-four percent of each group of Hispanics want migration to be reduced or leveled, said Gallup, which released the report under a misleading headline, “U.S. Support for Increased Immigration Up to 25%.” (

Twenty-six percent of self-identified Hispanics born in the United States, all of whom can vote, want legal migration to be reduced. However, the percentage of Hispanics opposing increases may be much higher, partly because a growing number of Hispanics now identify themselves as core white Americans.

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