According to several reports, Trump administration is on the path of becoming the richest Cabinet America has ever seen. To take one example, the net worth of Trump’s appointee for commerce secretary alone, Wilbur Ross, is about $2.5 billion.
That is in stark contrast with George W. Bush’s 2001 Cabinet which had a combined wealth of $250 million and was still able to stir some media buzz. At the time, the press called them a team of millionaires.
Trump’s Cabinet Nominees
Trump, on the other hand, is about to assemble the wealthiest U.S. administration to date. His appointees for the executive positions include an heir to a colossal family fortune, a couple of Forbes 500 billionaires, and several multimillionaires. Possible candidates include ultra-rich businessmen which could join the team soon.
Most of Trump’ cabinet is comprised of people coming from ultra-rich families, with flawless education backgrounds and successful business ventures. Critics say that these people are more experienced in backing political candidates than running a country.
Their wealth and business connections are at odds with Trump’s campaign rhetoric of protecting the working class and small businesses. Nevertheless, Trump also touted the idea that only people who exploited the rigged system are the most suited to fix it.
One expert noted that Trump is bringing these Washington outsiders because he has a larger business in mind. The expert added that this team’s weak spot is their inability to relate with the poor and America’s middle-class like a Bernie Sanders would. The analyst said they lack basic ‘life experience’ with those two groups, but empathy may fill some gaps.
Trump named Todd Ricketts for deputy secretary of the Commerce Department and Steven Mnuchin as head of the Treasury Department. Ricketts’s family fortune nears $1 billion, while Mnuchin is a billionaire banker, former Goldman Sachs executive, and hedge fund manager.
Trump’s pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, is a billionaire Republican and the daughter-in-law of Amway founder. The DeVos’ combined fortune amounts to $5.1 billion. Additionally, Elaine Chao, who was recently selected for the position of transport secretary, is the daughter of a shipping tycoon.
A Billionaire Cabinet with a Billionaire Agenda
Nearly all these people spent fortunes on political contributions. For example, DeVos, Ross, and Mnuchin spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on candidates over the last two 24 months. Ross has even decorated his Manhattan office with photos of the political candidates he has sponsored over the years. In those photos, one can see Ross with former U.S. president Bill Clinton, former NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg and former House speaker John A. Boehner.
Earlier this week, Democrats blasted Trump for adding Ross and Mnuchin to his crew.
“I’m not shocked by this. It’s a billionaire president being surrounded by a billionaire and millionaire cabinet, with a billionaire agenda . . . to hurt the middle class,”
noted Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Brown also accused Trump of not fulfilling his campaign promises to “drain the swamp.”
In a recent interview, Mnuchin said that one of his and Wilbur’s assets is that they both worked in the banking sector. He added that they understand the best how the loan business works.
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