New op-ed at the New York Daily News: Donald Trump's big lie about 'buying' politicians

My newest piece, which is co-authored with Bradley Smith, starts this way:

For years, Trump was a major contributor to Democratic campaigns. From 1989 through 2011, Trump gave over $580,000 to Democrats, approximately $85,000 more than he donated to Republicans. He also contributed at least $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Since 2012, however, over 99% of his contributions have gone to Republicans.
Trump might have argued his political giving has changed simply because his views on health care, taxes and other issues have grown more conservative. But he has offered quite a different explanation. He says that he has given to politicians not out of conviction, but because then they “do whatever the hell you want them to do.”
These comments draw “amens” from both the angry American middle, which is furious at the political class, and knowing nods from the liberal political cognoscenti, which favors stricter campaign finance regulations that would make it easier for them to control political discussion through the elite media.
Trump’s claim to control politicians, however, appears to be nothing more than braggadocio. His one concrete example of puppetry, offered in the GOP debate: “With Hillary Clinton, I said, ‘Be at my wedding,’ and she came to my wedding . . . She had no choice, because I gave.” Leaving aside that this isn’t a pressing matter of government policy, attending a lavish Trump wedding hardly seems like something people that you have to pay people to attend.
Trump asserts that because he is financing his own campaign, he can “do what’s right for the people.” He attacks his political rivals as beholden to wealthy donors: “Bush is controlled by those people. Walker is controlled by those people.” . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Sheeesh! Back off attacking Trump. He may very well win, whther you like his gold-plated fixtutres or not. I can see him appointing many of the other Repub candidates to Cabinet positions ala Lincoln and inserting Trey Gowdy as AG/head of DoJ. Wouldn't that be a fine fireworks show?

8/22/2015 10:08 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Unknown:
I don't think that you have any guarantee that Trump will carry through on anything that he is currently talking about. In the last four years he has gone from praising Obama and his economic and health care policies to bashing them. I can't find an issue from taxes to trade to abortion to gun control to health care to regulations that Trump hasn't had a 180 degree change in positions. Even in the last few months he has had flip-flops on foreign policy, illegal immigration, and ISIS. Why do you think that you can trust that he will do what he is saying?

8/23/2015 1:51 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...


8/23/2015 1:51 AM  

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