Jan 18, 2017
Over 50 people, some dressed as swamp creatures, have launched a days-long sit-in at Goldman Sachs headquarters in New York City to protest President-elect Donald Trump's nomination of former Goldman executives to his cabinet.
"It's about highlighting the lie that was told to millions of people in this country, the lie that Trump was draining the swamp. If we really want the swamp to be drained, we have to do it ourselves and we're doing it by going to Goldman Sachs," Nelini Stamp of the Working Families party told Sarah Jaffe, writing at the Guardian.
Trump has nominated former partner Steve Mnuchin as treasury secretary, not to mention Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn for the top economic post at the White House.
Steve Bannon, Trump's top advisor, also once worked for the firm (before he worked to fuel white supremacist views via far-right website Breitbart) and current Goldman executive Dina Powell "was named a senior adviser," Bloomberg reports.
"Steven Mnuchin was called 'Mr. Foreclosure' at OneWest and Goldman Sachs," pointed out protest participant Jean Sassine, who lost his job in the 2008 recession, in an interview with Jaffe. "Do you want Mr. Foreclosure to be secretary of the treasury?"
"Join the resistance to drain the swamp," says the website for the action, calling on people to fight against "Government Sachs."
The protesters are staunchly maintaining their occupation--even camping out and sleeping in the cold rain--until Friday's inauguration, demanding action from Trump:
\u201cProtesters including @nycDSA members are camped outside #GovernmentSachs to protest capitalist domination of our government. Join them!\u201d— NYC-DSA \ud83c\udf39 (@NYC-DSA \ud83c\udf39) 1484756435
Meanwhile, on Wednesday a new analysis from Americans for Tax Fairness, a coalition of groups fighting for tax reform, shows Mnuchin stands to personally see an annual tax cut as high as $3.3 million under Trump's tax plan.
"Steven Mnuchin has stated that under Trump's tax plan '[t]here will be no absolute tax cut for the upper class,'" said Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness, in a statement. "But that's at complete odds with the tax plans proposed by candidate Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan. At his confirmation hearing, Mnuchin should be grilled about how as treasury secretary he would fix those plans so that they meet his test. Given how much Mnuchin stands to personally gain from these tax plans, the public may view Mnuchin's confirmation as treasury secretary as akin to having the bank robber guard the bank."
Moreover, the coalition found that the if the GOP succeeds in repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Mnuchin will see his tax bill drop by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"The enormous tax breaks that will be given to Mnuchin and other wealthy Americans by repealing the ACA and enacting the Trump tax plan are a betrayal of working families," Clemente continued. "Mnuchin and his friends on Wall Street get a huge tax cut, but millions of families lose their healthcare."
"Mnuchin needs to answer the question: 'What will you do as Treasury Secretary to keep your pledge to working families that there 'will be no absolute tax cut for the upper class?'"
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