Easier said than done

Posted 3/4/17

Donald Trump stuck to the teleprompter, didn’t throw in raving ad-lib insults about the American press and sounded (to some) rather presidential in his address to Congress the other day. But this …

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Easier said than done


Donald Trump stuck to the teleprompter, didn’t throw in raving ad-lib insults about the American press and sounded (to some) rather presidential in his address to Congress the other day. But this was not some old leopard who had washed off his spots overnight.

This was the same person who has bragged about sexually assaulting women, has terrified non-white Americans, has been demanding a wall along the Mexican border, spent years arguing that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, removed  protections for trans youth that many feel will lead to increased suicide risk, appointed an anti-science conspiracy theorist to head the Environmental Protection Agency and a known racist as attorney general, described the news media as an “enemy of the American people,” has stacked his administration with ultra-rich Wall Street veterans, has empowered Steve Bannon and his white-supremacy ideology . . . (thanks to Andy Martino of theoutline.com for that summary)

House Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the address was "clearly a bait-and-switch speech" and that Trump has failed so far in his presidency to back up his rhetoric with concrete proposals. 

With one of his usual preemptive distractions, Trump set the stage with a denunciation of evil in all its forms. He then continued on to promise all things to all people in his speech—pie in the sky, a chicken in every pot and other empty platitudes. Missing mostly was any indication of where the money will be coming from to pay for all of the beautiful initiatives and programs he described. A high school math student could have shot his entire speech full of holes. 

A main disconnection is his insistence that he will raise the present defense/war budget of some $584 billion by 10%. The increase has been referred to at $54 billion, but I’m going here with the current budget I found on the Internet and am calling 10% a $58,000,000,000 increase. How he’s going to do that with his promised “big, big” decrease in corporate taxes is a puzzle to most everyone of both political parties. 

Especially since Trump also is promising a throw-the-dog-a-bone tax cut to the middle class, to fund a $1 trillion infrasture undertaking, spend billions on his proposed wall along the Mexican border, etc. 

It’s obvious he’ll be seeking to severely cut foreign aid (hamstringing our diplomats and military), reduce funding for Medicaid and Obamacare, gut and defund the EPA and wipe out a variety of lesser budget items costing only mere millions but which are an offense to Republican philosophy. It all still leaves a seeming large deficit that will add to federal debt. 

That debt is appoaching $20 trillion. The interest on that debt is one of the biggest outlays in the annual federal budget—almost $257,000,000,000 a year last time I looked. I’m sure when it gets down to detail, Trump will be over-estimating future revenues he is promising with resurrection of the old GOP “trickle-down theory”--and talking about a “temporary” increase in the deficit . . . and thus the federal debt. 

A pathogical liar can look you in the eye, smile—and stuff you full of bullspit. An example from that “state of the union” speech: “My administration wants to promote clean air and clean water.” The reality is Trump’s announced plans to eviscerate and defund the Environmental Protection Agency. He has begun that by appointing to head the agency an avowed anti-global warming zealot who—as attorney general of Oklahoma—filed numerous suits against environmental protections during the Obama years. 

Trump also is vigorously removing restrictions on industry, such as on carbon emissions, etc. He managed to pave the way for both coal-burning and fouling waterways through rescinding the Stream Protection Rule, formulated late in the Obama administration.  This regulation was aimed at reducing the effect of coal mining on surface water, groundwater, fish and wildlife. It would have required companies to avoid mining practices that permanently pollute streams and destroy drinking water sources. Companies would have needed to test and monitor the condition of streams before, during and after mining as well as restore streams after the completion of mining activities.

The word on the street today also is that Trump’s first budget proposal will cut funding for Puget Sound clean-up by 93%--from $28- to $2 million. To put that $26 savings in perspective, by mid-February, the federal government had spent $10 million on just three weekend trips to his Florida resort, where he can revel among billionaire back-slappers. And he’s back there again as I write this. Firing up Air Force One, all manner of continuing security, etc. don’t come cheap. The Trump family's costs go well beyond the Mar-a-Lago trips of course. Police officials estimate that they spend $500,000 a day on security for Trump Tower in New York, where first lady Melania Trump and son Barron live. That’s a million every two days!

It seems that if Melania would simply move into the White House for 52 days, cleanup of Puget Sound could continue for a full year.

The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” issued this observation on March 3: “Breaking: Trump went a full 24 hours without a false/misleading claim! We’ve been tracking every problematic claim made by Trump throughout his first 100 days as president. Every day since Inauguration Day, Trump made at least one false or misleading claim. So far, we’ve counted 194 false or misleading claims over 43 days. (We’re tracking his promises, too.)

"Feb. 28 was his worst factual day: Trump made a record 27 claims. Fourteen of those were made during his maiden speech to Congress, which we fact-checked in a round-up. March 1 was his best factual day: For the first time as president, Trump made no false or misleading claim. He only tweeted once (‘THANK YOU!’) and made only brief public comments. Alas, he was back to business as usual on March 2.” Here are the Post’s specifics on the speech to Congress: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/02/28/fact-checking-president-trumps-address-to-congress/?utm_term=.590a46a490c7&wpisrc=nl_fact&wpmm=1 

Paste that into your browser and check it out. Then weigh it all against Donald’s ridiculous early-morning tweet Saturday claiming that Obama had tapped his Trump-Tower phone. What a sorry attempt at creating a distraction from investigation of the Russian affair. His tweet read: “How low has President Obama gone to tapp [sic] my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”

Put up or shut up, Donald!




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