By Gary Tomei
Trump recently traveled to Saudi Arabia and told the Saudis that they are our friends, even though they espouse a type of Islam, known as Wahhabism, which essentially preaches hatred of America and promotes Jihadism. Trump made this connection even though the Saudis are, in fact, the leading promoters of terrorism in the world—what Trump calls “radical Islam.” But, never let principle get in the way of a business deal! Trump is now planning to outsource our government’s obligation to maintain the national infrastructure (which is part of the general welfare) to the Saudis. The Arabs get a huge windfall when we pay them for their generosity and the public gets the bill—and gets screwed again.
Do you believe that the Arabs are executing this deal because they love us? Of course, America’s con men won’t let the foreigners make all the money. Apparently, U.S. billionaire Stephen A. Schwarzman arranged the deal with the Saudis.
Mr. Schwarzman’s company, Blackstone, announced that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund had committed $20 billion to infrastructure projects, primarily in the United States. It appears that Blackstone will commit another $20 billion to the fund and, all told, including potential borrowed money, the new fund could invest more than $100 billion in infrastructure projects.
So, if I understand this correctly, Blackstone and the Saudis will essentially be partners in this scam.
We seriously need to upgrade our infrastructure, but having private companies hand out contracts for those projects presents huge opportunities for cost gouging and corruption.
Imagine how it will work: Instead of the government hiring engineers and construction companies directly, our government will contract with Blackstone/the Saudis. Who will hire the entities who will actually do the work? Both Blackstone/the Saudis, and the company doing the project, will have to make a profit. Even without overcharging and stealing, the increased costs to the citizenry are evident.
America appears to be obsessed with the idea that private business always functions better than government. The fact that the private contractor, Halliburton, wasted and/or stole billions of dollars during the Iraq war should have disabused us of that idea.
It is evident to me that the present trend to privatize government functions in everything from schools to prisons is leading us down the garden path to our own demise.
Trump and the Saudi Connection
By Gary Tomei