Corporate criminals can get away with almost anything under Trump


A new report shows corruption is flourishing under Trump, as agencies have drastically reduced fines levied on corporate violators.

Trump is allowing corruption to flourish as his administration engages in a "soft on crime" mentality when it comes to wealthy corporations.

A new report from Public Citizen shows a significant decrease in fines and punishments levied on lawbreaking corporations as a  result of the Trump era's lax enforcement.

In 11 of 12 agencies the report looked at, the Trump administration imposed fewer penalties in its first year compared to President Obama's final year in office. In agencies like the Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency, the reduction has been a staggering 90 percent.

In one striking example, the EPA — formerly run by scandal-plagued Scott Pruitt and now overseen by a former coal industry lobbyist — saw civil penalties drop by more than 94 percent under Trump. Corporate polluters paid almost $24 billion in fines to the EPA during Obama's final year, but only $1.5 billion in Trump's first year.

The Trump administration "has gone soft on enforcement policies that protect Americans from lawbreaking corporations," says Public Citizen.

Trump often proclaims he wants "law and order," but actions by his agencies show Trump refuses to hold wealthy corporations accountable.

In another example, cited by the Associated Press, the Obama administration was prepared to seek almost $5 million in penalties against an agriculture company that violated pesticide regulations and exposed workers to risks. But when the Trump administration took over, the fine was reduced by 97 percent to a mere $150,000. (The company also agreed to spend $400,000 on worker safety.)

"The rampant corporate crimes and wrongdoing cause real harm to Americans who are ripped off by banks, poisoned by polluters, deceived by drugmakers and have their data stolen and exploited by tech monopolies," says Public Citizen.

Trump's weakness toward wealthy corporations lies in stark contrast to his "zero tolerance" attitude toward immigrants. While Trump refuses to stand up to corporate lawbreakers, he'll shamelessly call immigrants "animals" and encourage his administration to kidnap children from families fleeing violence and seeking refuge in the United States.

Breaking with the policies of previous administrations, the Trump administration has decided to criminally prosecute all border crossers. The policy has resulted in cruel outcomes, including reports stating the parents of 463 children may have already been deported while their children remain in government custody.

Bullies often pick on the weak and cower before the powerful.

Trump's servile attitude toward corporate lawbreakers and fear-mongering display of false bravado when dealing with asylum-seeking immigrants exposes who Trump really is.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.