Monday, September 3, 2018

President Wrecking Ball

“You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.” ~ Art of the Deal
Trump fancies himself a master dealmaker,  but so far, he has only dismantled deals made by others, while clinching none of his own.  He’s like a brood parasite.  Brood parasites are birds that lay their eggs in other birds’ nests sometimes destroying eggs already in those nests. So far, there is little Trump can claim as his own outside of lies and chaos.

Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear weapons program,  with nothing to replace it.  He wants another deal with Iran that would limit Iran’s long-range missile program and support for terrorism, in addition to its nuclear program. You think he could have kept the nuclear deal and negotiated a separate deal for the missile and terrorism.  So much for the old adage about a bird in a bush.  Besides, how much leverage will he have, since our allies are opposed to his approach?

He withdrew from the Trans Pacific Partnership even though it contained renegotiation of NAFTA, would have embedded the United States in Asia and put China in check.  Perhaps, he later realized the opportunity he was throwing away and tried to reenter the agreement.  Participants had no interest in accommodating him.  In fact, they said they may consider allowing the U. S. To reenter the agreement “when a new president is in office.”  They continued the treaty without the United States.  In fact, many of the countries were seeking a deal with China.

Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord because according to him,  “the United States needed a better deal”.  Apparently, he did not understand that each country fashioned its own program.  The climate accord was simply a commitment to combat climate change in the way each country saw fit.  Since the U.S. cannot formally withdraw until November 2020, Trump’s declaration is not even internationally accepted.  The only real impact I see is that the United States loses the opportunity to be the supplier of a hundred thousand windmills and solar panels.

He continues to dismantle America.

He is undoing an agreement made with automakers to set fuel-economy standards through 2025 because apparently consumers are eager to buy  cars that get worse gas mileage and spew more pollution from the tailpipe.

He rescinded DACA, the deferred-action program for the “dreamers” who were brought to the United States illegally as children,  then stole a bunch of children at the southern border to give him more children to exploit.

And even though, while campaigning,  he promised to pass the biggest, bestest, most affordable healthcare law to replace the ACA; he  has managed only to kill a few features of the Affordable Care Act.  All of which is more than a little strange to me.  A President’s first obligation is to uphold and enforce the laws of the nation.  Like it or not, The Affordable Care Act is law.   Clearly, he hates Obama more than he respects the laws of the land.

And don’t mention trade.  It is clear to anyone who understands the nuts and bolts of trade that Trump hasn’t a clue.  He’s going to renegotiate NAFTA, get Mexico to build a wall and bring China to its knees.  So far, the only ones kneeling are football players.

Rocket man took him for a ride and Putin punked him.

But wait, he did manage to modify a trade deal with South Korea.  Of course, the new agreement will have little impact on its exports to the United States or its domestic auto market, since no local auto companies export vehicles made in South Korea to the United States.  U.S. carmakers will be able to ship  25,000 more cars than before; a boon to the economy since no American car brand sold more than 10,000 vehicles in South Korea last year. 

Let’s see, he did drop the “Mother-of-all-bombs” on an airstrip in Syria.  Never mind that they were taxiing planes down that same runway 3 hours later.  He signed a gigantic tax cut that advantaged corporations and the rich a lot more than it helped me.  My check is a little bigger, but so is my grocery bill and a fill-up at the gas station.  

Let’s not forget, he passed a budget.  After sitting on their hands for eight years, the Republicans passed a $1.3 trillion spending bill that expanded many of President Obama's priorities and thumbed a nose at Trump.
  • They doubled the increase for the U.S. Census.
  • Ignored Trumps proposal to cut nonmilitary spending by $54 billion.
  • They didn’t eliminate funding to Planned Parenthood
  • Funding for TIGER, an infrastructure grant program created by Obama,  was tripled.
  • Republicans failed to cut federal funds to sanctuary cities, nor did they add new detention beds for undocumented immigrants.
  • The "BORDER WALL, was not fully funded.”
  • Trump’s  proposal to replace food stamps with monthly boxes of nonperishable foods did not receive funding.
  • Trump proposed cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, Pell Grants, Head Start and The Department of Energy's renewables budget…. all received an increase in funding.
The Department of Labor and the Department of Education got nearly $12 billion more than the reduced level Trump sought.

Here’s the complete list of 18 independent agencies Trump wanted to scrap:
  • African Development Foundation
  • Appalachian Regional Commission
  • Chemical Safety Board
  • Corporation for National and Community Service
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • Delta Regional Authority
  • Denali Commission
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • Inter-American Foundation
  • U.S. Trade and Development Agency
  • Legal Services Corporation
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation
  • Northern Border Regional Commission
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation
  • United States Institute of Peace
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Congress did not eliminate a single one of them.  The Community Development Block Grant, a federal housing program, received a 10 percent boost over Obama’s proposal.

In the final analysis, Trump plans will add $8.282 trillion to the budget; almost as much in four years as Obama added in eight. That would make Trump the second-biggest contributor to the debt in history, after FDR,  in just one term.

He's not making America great, he's dismantling America.

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