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February 27, 2017


Trump, gratuitously, starts trouble where there was none, or at least there was none until he got into the act with his tweets and un-vetted announcements from out of the blue. It’s as though he thrives on creating division and acrimony with his reckless pronouncements and tweets with a view toward diverting our attention from his pitiful performance to date marked by his inability to get out of campaign mode and into governing. Though a minority president, he was elected to govern, not campaign. Hillary and Benghazi are history – time to govern – his belittling and insult days are over, or should be (if he can escape the narcissistic haze of his world and go to work in ours).

Today Trump complimented Tom Perez as the new DNC chairman and then later tweets that his election was rigged, this from a guy whose election may have been “rigged” by his Russian friends, evidence of which he and his staff are desperately trying to suppress. Possibly Trump and those of his staff and campaign workers who were for certain in “constant contact” with the Russians during his campaign are now engaged in trying to cover up such contacts by calling up those who are investigating what such contacts were about in an effort to quash the investigation(s).

This is a first in my life as a lawyer, that is, where prospective defendants call up those who are investigating them and telling them to take it easy or to back off or propose tentative findings or whatever. Such interference might even be a crime in and of itself, and is clear proof of an attempted cover up which, like Watergate, turned out to be worse than the crime itself. In all events, bank robbers don’t usually call up the DA and tell him or her to cool it or back off investigations of their robberies in my experience and, I suspect, that of everyone else’s. Just what is it Trump and his merry band of ruffians are trying to cover up, and why?

The American people are entitled to know what the substance of these “constant contacts” between Trump’s campaign and known Russian intelligence sources was about so they can bring their own judgment to bear on what the consequences should be, all without political whitewash, and the only way that is going to be done (unless either a Russian or a campaign person squeals), is to appoint an independent investigator with subpoena powers to get to the bottom of these “constant” encounters for evidence of blackmail, business entanglements or whatever such evidence shows as fact uncolored by spin artists. If the evidence shows nothing, fine, but let’s have the evidence.

Trump has also announced today via a proposed budget that we greatly increase military spending amidst much flag-waving and America First sloganeering. This move, of course, has little to do with being first; we already are, and by an obscene margin. We already spend more on our military than the next 22 nations in the world put together which, incidentally, helps explain our massive national debt.

Trump’s plan to spend billions more has little to nothing to do with defense; it has to do with corporate welfare to the big defense contractors, welfare recipients who contribute liberally to Republican campaign coffers. Proof? In a recent speech before Boeing, a huge defense contractor with billions in federal defense contracts every year, he wound up his speech with God Bless America, and added, God Bless Boeing (as though Boeing needed divine sanction in addition to additional billions in wasteful and unnecessary spending of taxpayer monies). If anybody needs divine assistance in financing such wasteful and out of control corporate welfare spending at the behest of thousands of lobbyists with campaign contribution checkbooks at the ready, it is taxpayers and corporate workers who are victims of long-term wage inequality, not the rich and corporate class who are taking the lion’s share of the economy’s income in a pipeline to Zurich or the Caymans.

Parenthetically, it is noteworthy that Trump’s budget proposal calls for reduced spending for the environment, which I suppose is designed to offset the higher defense costs he has proposed, and I suppose cuts to education and health care are next on the chopping block to fund the coming tax breaks for the rich and corporate class and the sharp increase in so-called “defense,” all ostensibly in order to “balance the budget.” It seems elementary to me that taking in less money is a sure way to un-balance the budget unless accompanied by spending cuts, but the issue becomes what is to be cut in lieu of a tax increase for those who can afford it.

My recommendation would be to reduce waste in defense spending with no additional appropriations for weapons systems that cannot be covered with the present level of appropriations, overhaul the tax and bankruptcy codes, increase taxes on the rich and corporate class who have been on the gravy train at our expense long enough, enact single payer health coverage to replace Obamacare, strengthen social security, pass a minimum wage law, and see if our budget is in balance. If in surplus, fine; apply the surplus to reduce our debt. If in deficit, tweak all appropriations made to look for savings to bring us back into balance while recognizing that perfection is a goal but not the sole determinant in budget balancing and that our current practice of following austerity economics along with wage inequality is a giant drag on demand which in turn brings us no economic growth irrespective of the increasing Dow averages (which are increasing due to Trump’s promises of lower taxes and regulations and have no connection to economic growth in the real economy).

I will give Trump credit for this – at least with his budget proposal (flawed as it is) he is nudging into the world of governing, however reluctantly. Now if he will just get into tax and bankruptcy reforms, minimum wage debates etc., perhaps we can end the juvenile insults of the playground bully and get to governing. Perhaps.       GERALD         E



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One Comment
  1. loren boline permalink


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