Inequality, Opportunity and Poverty

“The Heist is a revelatory show” — Guardian

“…incredibly candid” — Slate's Trumpcast

In Donald Trump’s America, wealthy people and large corporations have won big. The Trump Administration promised the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 would pay for itself and boost the middle class. But in truth, the tax cuts funnelled hundreds of millions into the pockets of the rich and ballooned the national debt. Then, something similar happened again with the 2020 pandemic bailout. Promises made, promises broken.

The Heist is the story of a huge political swindle, how it happened, and how power works in a Donald Trump presidency. Reporters spent months behind the scenes: we get to know a big Republican donor, a senator who caves to political pressure, and the enigmatic Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, who led the charge for these laws.

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The Dallas Piggy Bank

In 2017, rich Republican donors demanded a legislative victory, and this is how they got it. We meet one big donor from Dallas who goes on the record to explain how money and power work in Trump’s America. This is the behind-the-scenes story of how political pressure led to the 2017 tax bill, a huge giveaway to the wealthy.

Mnuchin’s World

Who is Steven Mnuchin? He somehow manages to fly under the radar, but as Treasury Secretary he has tremendous power. How did a man with no record of public service and the nickname the “Foreclosure King” become the guy in charge of America’s money? The answer? This is how power works in Trump’s America.

Buyer's Remorse

Republicans say they hate debt. So why did they push for a tax bill that would add almost two trillion dollars to the country’s tab? Only one Republican senator broke ranks — until he didn’t. This episode tells the story of the flip-flops, backroom deals and magical thinking that led to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Better Off?

What did companies do with their huge tax break? The Trump administration made grand promises about the 2017 tax law — that corporations would invest the windfall in their workers, boosting the entire economy. So, are we better off? We look at the case of American Airlines, which is now furloughing thousands of workers in the middle of the pandemic.

The Virus

Our final episode of the season. The coronavirus has hit, and America is experiencing its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Congress and the Trump administration rush to roll out the Paycheck Protection Program. The PPP was supposed to help small businesses and their workers. But with the system rigged to favor the rich, things quickly go wrong.

The Center for Public Integrity is an investigative newsroom dedicated to exposing abuses of power.

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