Casino Billionaire Carl Icahn to Advise President-Elect Donald Trump on Regulatory Issues
Posted on: December 22, 2016, 07:27h.
Last updated on: December 22, 2016, 12:06h.
Carl Icahn has agreed to be an advisor to President-elect Donald Trump when the latter officially becomes with 45th president of the United States next month.
There has been plenty of speculation since Trump’s historic upset win over Hillary Clinton on November 8 that Icahn might join the incoming administration. The billionaire has repeatedly stated he would not want to work in an official capacity and shot down rumors of becoming secretary of the Treasury.
This week, the serial investor, who sits as chairman of Tropicana Entertainment, agreed to become a special advisor to the president and counsel the commander-in-chief on issues relating to regulatory reform. Icahn will work as a non-federal employee and therefore won’t need to sever ties with his companies. The gig comes with no specific duties, and no salary.
“He is not only a brilliant negotiator, but also someone who is innately able to predict the future especially having to do with finances and economies,” Trump said in a statement. “His help on the strangling regulations that our country is faced with will be invaluable.”
Trump also announced that his presidential campaign manager Kellyanne Conway is joining the administration as an official counselor. “She is a tireless and tenacious advocate of my agenda. . .,” the President-elect told The New York Times. “I am pleased she will be part of my senior team in the West Wing.”
Icahn has had enough of business regulations that overshadow common sense. He has openly expressed his views that governments are making it too difficult to turn a profit in areas like Atlantic City.
After he shut off the lights and put nearly 3,000 casino union employees out of work at the property once dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world” by the President-elect, the New Jersey Legislature passed a bill this week to prevent Icahn from reopening the casino until at least 2021.
“Another absurd antic . . . that will hurt Atlantic City,” Icahn lamented.
Trump will seek to reduce heavy regulations imposed during President Obama’s eight-year administration. The two billionaires share many of the same business philosophies.
“Under President Obama, America’s business owners have been crippled by over $1 trillion in new regulations and over 750 billion hours dealing with paperwork,” Icahn explained. “It’s time to break free of excessive regulation and let our entrepreneurs do what they do best: create jobs and support communities.”
Strike the Unions
Icahn blamed the local casino workers’ union for the closure of the Trump Taj Mahal last fall.
“Icahn Enterprises was willing to endure a tough situation when we thought we could emerge successful,” the owner wrote to Taj employees in August. “This is what we have done . . . invest in companies that are down on their luck, turn them around, and create a success story.
“It just might have worked, but Bob McDevitt (Local 54 Unite-HERE president) and his team stepped in and decided to destroy the Taj,” Icahn concluded.
There’s no debate that the takeover specialist holds a de facto master’s degree in making money. But critics of his advisory role wonder if he’s accepted the job simply to advance the interests of his own businesses.
“It looks like Trump isn’t the only billionaire set to profit off the presidency,” Democratic National Committee (DNC) spokesman Eric Walker said.
Of course, if anyone in the DNC ever said a kind word about the President-elect, you might want to check the temperature in hell.
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