Trump’s Psychopathy Now Clear

Eric Zuesse

What type of Presidential candidate, now become the President, would assert and (via his agents, do) all of the following things:

1:

Pence presents new healthcare offer to Freedom Caucus

The Hill, By Peter Sullivan – Mon. 3 April 2017, 04/03/17 09:33 PM EDT

White House officials presented an offer to the conservative House Freedom Caucus on Monday night as they seek to revive the ObamaCare replacement bill. 

Vice President Pence and other White House officials presented an idea at the Freedom Caucus meeting to allow states to choose to apply for waivers to repeal two ObamaCare regulations that conservatives argue are driving up premiums. 

Those two regulations detail ObamaCare’s essential health benefits, which mandate which health services insurers must cover, and “community rating,” which prevents insurers from charging sick people higher premiums. … 

2:

On September 27th of 2016, while campaigning against Hillary Clinton, Trump told CBS “60 Minutes”: “Donald Trump: By the way. Everybody’s got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say because a lot of times they say, “No, no, the lower 25 percent that can’t afford private.” But — Scott Pelley: Universal health care? Donald Trump: I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now. Scott Pelley: The uninsured person is going to be taken care of how? Donald Trump: They’re going to be taken care of. I would make a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people. And, you know what, if this is probably — Scott Pelley: Make a deal? Who pays for it? Donald Trump: — The government’s gonna pay for it. But we’re going to save so much money on the other side.” [FACTUAL NOTE: The countries with for-profit healthcare have the highest costs and the lowest quality of healthcare; so, paying healthcare via taxes is vastly more efficient than paying for it via profit-making corporations — Trump was correct there.]

On January 15th, he told the Washington Post: “We’re going to have insurance for everybody. … There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.”

So, he knows that “The government’s gonna pay for it. But we’re going to save so much money on the other side.” He knows, in other words, that socialized healthcare is far more efficient than free-market healthcare. He knows that publicly provided healthcare that’s made available as a right to all citizens, instead of being charged as a privilege that’s available only to people who are wealthy enough and healthy enough to be able to afford it, provides a nation with better healthcare at lower costs, better and cheaper, than in the United States. And here are two visuals which show this fact very starkly:

See “Life expectancy vs. health expenditure over time, 1970-2014” displaying that the U.S. has by far the world’s most inefficient healthcare — enormous economic wastage.

See “9.1. Health expenditure per capita, 2013 (or nearest year)” displaying that of all industrialized nations, only the U.S. spends more “Private” money than “Public” money on healthcare, and it’s also by far the costliest-healthcare in the entire world.

So, he knows that “charging sick people higher premiums” adds to the cost and decreases the effectiveness of a nation’s healthcare. He even said, straight-out: There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.” But he’s willing, nonetheless, “to allow states to choose to” do that — to eliminate Obamacare’s requirement that it not be done. He’s willing to replace Obamacare with something he knows to be even worse. He’s willing to be what even he knows to be a rotten President.

Earlier, on March 7th, when the Republicans’ first Obamacare-replacement bill was introduced (only to collapse almost immediately), Trump had said: “I am proud to support” it. That plan collapsed because it was ridiculously atrocious

He knew that he was endorsing something that would make America’s rotten healthcare system even costlier and worse — even more free-market — than it already is (which is already the world’s costliest and also the worst among all developed countries), but he wanted it to become law anyway.

As I have noted previously, Trump is a nationalist but he also is a libertarian, and so his backing Republicans’ efforts to make healthcare in America even more libertarian than it already is, fits the libertarianism of his ideology. But what is so stark here, to me, is that even when he knows the facts which indicate that healthcare has been overwhelmingly demonstrated in the statistics, to be better and to cost far less in a socialized than in a free-market way, he adheres to libertarianism on it.

Some people might say that this just proves he’s stupid. What I think is that it indicates he’s not primarly concerned with improving the lives of the American people — and, for any U.S. President, that’s a knowing violation of his oath of office. I can’t see that as being anything but psychopathic, no matter how stupid he might (or might not) be. The problem with Donald Trump is that he’s a psychopath. His Vice President is probaby at least as bad, so that any replacement of Trump by Pence would be making a bad situation even worse (and Hillary Clinton clearly was a psychopath), but let’s at least acknowledge the reality, that the U.S. government doesn’t represent the American people.

Incidentally: consider the proposal that was made by the Republican Party’s House Freedom Caucus on Monday —

to repeal two ObamaCare regulations that conservatives argue are driving up premiums. 

Those two regulations detail ObamaCare’s essential health benefits, which mandate which health services insurers must cover, and “community rating,” which prevents insurers from charging sick people higher premiums.

Whose “Freedom” was the House Freedom Caucus actually so concerned about there? It wasn’t the freedom of the American people — their freedom from sickness, and from medical bankruptcy, etc. — but solely the freedom of healthcare investors to wrangle more out of them, by gaming their insurance companies’ contracts so as to just ignore the people who need the insurance the most, and to deceive the people who need it the least to think they need it enough to pay what would actually be inflated (higher-profit) prices for it. In other words, their “Freedom” — otherwise generally called “libertarianism” — is actually nothing but the investors’ freedom (liberty) to rip off the consumer, and the worker, and the environment, etc.; it is nothing more than freedom for corporations, not freedom (but instead lack of protections) for people (except the owners of corporations). In other words: it’s an elite scam.

The problem isn’t Donald Trump; it’s the entire fraudulent system that now controls the United States of America.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • Shiggity

    Neoliberal style economics favor sociopaths and psychopaths.

    It’s easier to maximize profit when you’re completely devoid of emotion or empathy.

    • awb22

      Which I don’t think explains Trump, maybe Zuesse. He would have done a lot better in the private sector. The difference between B’aires and the rest of us, is they believe their BS.

      • cettel

        Trump is opposed to governmental regulations, of the economy, of the environment, of product-safety, of anything, and favors privatization of everything.

        • pennyroyal

          libertarian, plus disdain for science, critical thinking, reasoning, revenge fantasies against Obama and anything sensible and decent.

    • cityspeak

      Oh my God you mean a sociopath is occupying the oval office!!!
      LBJ
      Nixon
      Ford
      Reagan
      Bush 1
      Clinton
      Bush 2
      Obama
      Trump
      I’d say it’s been a long line of sociopaths or perhaps easier to understand just servants to do the bidding of the .01%. The rest of us, 99.9% of us, are just left to watch in wide eyed horror.

      • collette.robert@yahoo.com

        Those who know history are condemned to watch those who don’t repeat it

    • pennyroyal

      define neoliberal. Kind of a squishy term, methinks.

      • cettel

        It means that the person is opposed to governmental regulations, of the economy, of the environment, of product-safety, of anything, and favors privatization of everything.

        • pennyroyal

          libertarian, more like.

      • Marko

        Neoliberal = favoring sociopaths and psychopaths

        Not squishy at all. Immutable , in fact.

        • pennyroyal

          oh, so neo-liberal is the new whipping boy from the right…that is propaganda

          • Marko

            Also :

            Neoconservative = favoring sociopaths and psychopaths

            Ergo ,

            Neoliberal = Neoconservative

          • pennyroyal

            the lunatic fringe of both sides are closer to each other and even overlap on some of the issues.

          • Army of Addicts

            Neoiberals: the wicked step children of Neoconservatives.

      • larrymotuz

        You might look at George Monbiot’s Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems for an appreciation of what neoliberalism is all about.

        See:https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/15/neoliberalism-ideology-problem-george-monbiot

      • collette.robert@yahoo.com

        They are the liberal versions of the neocons

  • Ol’ Hippy

    Probably Trump is more the true narcissist but these are small nits to pick. The healthcare system needs to be socialized and I’ve been saying that for many years, especially while I was working for companies that didn’t provide coverage but still, barely, made too much for state assistance. Obama just added another layer of expense, the insurance co.’s, plus the extra administrative time spent doing all the extra ‘paperwork’ that takes away from the Dr’s valuable time. It’s time for medicare for all based on a sliding scale of deductions based on pay.

    • cettel

      Empirical studies have shown that psychopaths tend to be narcissistic, and that narcissists tend to be psychopaths. However, they’re not exactly the same.

      • pennyroyal

        I think Trump is Borderline Personality Disordered. He has a tenuous grasp on reality, trusts very few people, and most of them are his children and family members and he’s indoctrinated them into Trump ‘think’ as in a cult. This makes him even more dangerous and susceptible to Bannon-speak. He’s gullible and reactive. And scares millions of us.

  • iseeit

    Trump a Libertarian……..?
    Major fail Eric. Is that nonsense just because you hate Libertarians, Trump, or both?

    • awb22

      The Trump bashing started even before election night. Eric does a disservice by jumping on the anti-Trump bandwagon with all the other low IQ ideologues. Maybe an inferiority complex owing to his khazar geneology. At least it explains a lot more then he would care.

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  • awb22

    The SOS Zuesse, going down with the ship, I see. You, and late night comics. I’ve seen enough.

  • Jill Galvan

    Trump is so far from a libertarian… I can’t even imagine where you would get such a ridiculous idea. He’s business as usual. Helping his rich friends and screwing the little guy. Libertarian values give equal opportunity to all, not over-regulate so that only huge corporations can afford to play the game. Libertarians value freedom of movement, not travel bans and giant walls. Libertarians value the constitution, while Trump has been a constitutional nightmare since the beginning of his campaign. What you attribute to libertarianism isn’t. The Freedom Caucus is quite Republican, not Libertarian, though some members of it do share some of the ideals. Your comparison of cost efficiency vs quality of care also has nothing to do with a free market healthcare system, which is what libertarians actually promote and not at all what we have. What we have now and have had for decades is a coordinated effort to fleece the public between our government and the insurance companies…unless you believe something that has worked so well can only have come about by accident.

    • cettel

      Trump chose a very libertarian Cabinet, for example the incompetent Betsy DeVos, who is a champion of privatizing education.

      • Jill Galvan

        Betsy DeVos is another great example of a Republican, not a Libertarian. If what I read against her can be believed, she wants to use taxpayer money to fund Christian schools. That’s not remotely a libertarian position.

        • cettel

          She favors privatization of public schools; and the way she has been selling it is mainly to fundamentalist Christians, who tend to send their children to private (Christian) schools, and also to home-school. Those people tend to want taxpayer subsidization (compensation for their tuition-charges, etc.) of their religious schools, and those are charter schools. The Van Andel, DeVos, Prince, or “Amway” founder-families, fortunes have been extremely pro-privatization, but not only of education. For example, Erik Prince, who is the founder of the mercenary firm, Blackwater (renamed after the Iraq War scandals), is proud to represent privatization of the soldiering function. You need to see the bigger picture — it’s not only a religious issue.

          • phavengeist

            My only point is that none of these people are actually libertarian. Any privatization that occurs by giving taxpayer money to religious institutions is not a libertarian position. Any privatization that takes tax money and gives it to businesses is not any sort of libertarian position. Government subsidies and regulations are what keep these rich people rich. They make their fortunes because of the government, not in spite of it. Trump will eliminate regulations that aid his business partners and friends but not the ones that will help keep them in power.

        • pennyroyal

          christo-fascist. The Cabinet is full of them.

      • pennyroyal

        Betsy DeVos is a Dominionist and wants the USA to become a Christian-fascist nation. All schools will be Evangelical Christian and other mainline churches will be shunned. Public schools will be shut . Her brother, Blackwater honcho, had back channel connections with Putin. Putin wants the USA and Russia to ally and conjoin as the two remaining White Nations. It’s all madness.
        Look up Reconstructionism and Dominonism.

        • cettel

          Dominionist Christians were crucial to the very start of libertarianism, such as Gary North, and here’s an excerpt on that from my next book:

          Even earlier, Crane and Pew had donated to start and sustain the Rev. James Fifield’s Mobilization for Spiritual Ideals, an organization to train libertarian-minded clergymen for Christ. Of course, Crane and Pew received tax-deductions for that, too, just like the Kochs and Romney received tax-deductions for their contributions to “charity.” When an aristocrat chooses the beneficiary, not only is the public cheated directly, by having no say in who needs (or should receive) donations or services, but the public gets cheated yet again, when its democratic government is thereby reduced by these tax-deductions. Charities are thus a type of privatization, allowing wealthy private individuals, instead of the public via its elected representatives, to determine how societal resources will be allocated to serve (supposedly) the public welfare, or the Constitution’s “general welfare.” It’s privatized. Aristocrats typically seek to remove the public from making those decisions about the public, which they consider inappropriate for their vassals to make. Again: privatization is the goal – removing this power from the public sphere, even where the power concerns the public. That’s what the tax-deductibility of “donations” to “charities” is really about. Any authentically charitable purpose should instead be funded fully by government out of taxes, under the General Welfare Clause or other clauses in the Constitution – not privatized – but the aristocracy propagandizes constantly against that. Jasper Crane, according to a worldcat.org biographical note, also “was prominently identified as a trustee of both Princeton University and the Princeton Theological Seminary,” and was “prominently associated with the National Association of Manufacturers, the Foundation for Economic Education, the American School for Economics, and the National Council of the Churches of Christ.” All of these conservative organizations were tax-subsidized through exemptions of various sorts (even NAM is a “nonprofit”), even though they were organs of indoctrination that were funded predominantly by the aristocracy, for the aristocracy, disdainful of the public, and often openly disdainful of democracy itself. Their freedom of speech constitutes no problem, but taxpayers subsidizing them does. If these organizations are predominantly business expenses, “donations” to them should be taxed as such; people who disagree with them would not then be participating in their funding – participating entirely against their intentions, and perhaps even knowledge – such as is now the case.
          One of Rev. Fifield’s first followers was Leonard E. Read, who subsequently went on to establish the Foundation for Economic Education, and to write The Coming Aristocracy.
          According to Michael J. McVicar’s “The Libertarian Theocrats,” in the Fall 2007 Public Eye, “Fifield’s operation earned the fiscal support of such right-wing philanthropists as J. Howard Pew of Sun Oil, Jasper Crane of DuPont, and B.E. Hutchinson of Chrysler. … Beginning in 1949, the Christ-centered free market ideals of Spiritual Mobilization reached nearly fifty thousand pastors,” introducing these conservative clergymen to the writings of Ludwig von Mises and other libertarians. Fifield’s impact, through these pastors, was profound: laissez-faire (or the “invisible hand” of God) was increasingly being preached from pulpits. Then, via the NCC, this “libertarianism” intensified. However, the impact that Fifield’s organization had was even greater than that of the NCC, because it directly shaped what preachers preached.
          As Kevin M. Kruse said in his 2015 One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America (page 7): “Fifield and like-minded religious leaders advanced a new blend of conservative religion, economics, and politics that one observer aptly anointed ‘Christian libertarianism.’ A critic in the mid-1950s noted with sarcasm that ‘these groups do as much proselytizing for Adam Smith as they do for Christianity.’”
          Libertarian theology, funded by conservative aristocrats, was suddenly becoming prominent in both church and state. In fact, two of the leaders of the Volker Fund during the early 1960s were Rev. Roussas J. Rushdoony and his son-in-law Gary North, both of whom wrote books urging replacement of the U.S. Constitution by biblical Law. Rushdoony, like Read, had been inspired to his creation of his “Christian Reconstruction Movement” by Fifield’s Mobilization for Spiritual Ideals. Rushdoony and North both argued for re-institutionalization of slavery, as per the laws in the Bible. Slavery was part of their “libertarianism.” This was “Macht macht recht” carried to an extreme, and it was appropriate as an expression of their worship of the very personification of power, The Almighty – worship not of truth, nor even of goodness (in any sense that was independent of power), but of Power itself, which is the way that God is traditionally defined: the Creator’s defining attribute. It is power-worship.
          Another example of theocratizing the “Right”, though of a different type, was the John Birch Society, which was itself named after a Christian missionary who had been martyred by the Chinese communists, and which was also a theocratic Christian libertarian political organization. As soon as Reagan became President (and there was consequently little remaining for the Society to aspire to), Birchites spun off the Council for National Policy, a self-selecting secret group of aristocrats and clergymen, who subsequently emerged as virtual kingmakers within the Republican Party.
          One person who was profoundly influenced by libertarian thinking was the Texan, Gary Allen, who was the author of the 1971 best-seller, None Dare Call It Conspiracy, which demonized the ‘Rockefellers’ as ‘the founders’ of the Council on Foreign Relations, in league with foreign (especially British) aristocrats. That book became seminal in the John Birch Society’s campaign against America’s older aristocracy, so as to draw the public toward newer oil-based aristocrats as being the true American patriots, people such as the Hunt brothers, when, in fact, the actual enemies were the aristocracy itself: all hereditary wealth, the very basis of the cultural and enduring institution, the aristocracy. Up front in the book was posted an endorsement from Dan Smoot, former assistant to J. Edgar Hoover, saying that the Birch Society did “an admirable job of amassing information to prove that communism is socialism and socialism (a plot to enslave the world) is not a movement of the downtrodden but a scheme supported and directed by the wealthiest of people.” In other words, Hayek’s central thesis in The Road to Serfdom was now being given a conservative populist patina, which was strongly supported by this close colleague of America’s fascist founder of the FBI, Smoot. That thesis went all the way back to ALL, in the 1930s. Gary Allen had been a speech-writer for the segregationist U.S. Presidential candidate, George C. Wallace. Allen’s book influenced profoundly the views of his fellow-Texan Alex Jones, who went on to found the InfoWars.com website and his own TV show.

          • pennyroyal

            Wow. Thanks for putting this all together. Very helpful. I’m going to print this up and give it a good read.

  • oncefiredbrass

    The Answer is to just sell Catastrophic Policies. All minor stuff will be paid out of pocket, so if you have a sinus infection, you can call around and see who charges the least to see you or call around and price an X-ray. Once the small stuff is out in the free market it will drive down prices through competition instead of letting an insurance company over pay for routine care and fixing prices high. If you drop all the people who have preexisting conditions, they are just going to end up in the Emergency room. When you walk into your doctor’s office you see 20 people running around, 15+ are there just to bill the insurance company, the amount of savings from that alone would Definitely lower the prices at doctor offices when they don’t need all the people to do all that paperwork. Hard to explain exactly in a post, but it’s a general idea.

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  • Army of Addicts

    I think he just bit off more than he could chew when he decided to run. He ran with the idea that he could actually do some good for the American people. He’s not running the show.

    I’m sure this was explained to him in no uncertain terms. For all we know, his very life has been threatened should he not comply to the neoconservative agenda. He’s acting like a fish out of water.

    Then again, maybe he’s just another Lyin’-ass-dog.

    • Army of Addicts
    • collette.robert@yahoo.com

      The fish has lived in the swamp his whole life

      • Army of Addicts

        Yes, that’s what I am hearing lately.

  • collette.robert@yahoo.com

    Moral imbeciles (what psychopaths used to be called and more descriptive) say whatever they need to say in any given situation but have no problem in doing what they want at a later date. They are unaware of any conflict as they live in the moment and cannot be held to their word.