Saturday, January 21, 2017

Trump's "American Carnage" - Methinks He's Got The Wrong End oF the Stick


Graph showing how national debt would blow up if Trump's tax cuts are enacted (Source: Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget)

As Trump crouched this morning in an Episcopalian church  pew trying not to let his mug be seen at a "national prayer service"   nearly a million women - many in "pussy hats" - are ripping him to shreds as they march in D.C. - and around the world. Trump yesterday used a 16 minute speech to howl that "American carnage" is about to halt under his watch, careful not to tell his groupies he will be the major source of it.  So,  why not rip a page from Hitler's playbook and use others as scapegoats for what is about to befall the millions who blindly voted for him? Works every time, at least for a while.

Don't take my word, just think of the coming consequences as a result of his assorted appointments of "despicables" and the announced policy changes  To fix ideas, consider his tax proposals alone. He has demanded an "across the board" tax cut. It starts by increasing the current standard deduction of $12,600 (for joint filers) now, to $30,000.  These deductions, by the way, are what you use when you don't itemize.   At the same time, Trump would dump the $ 4, 050 write off claim for each member of a household, e.g. the "personal exemption". He also wants to simplify the tax code by changing from the current seven brackets - ranging from 10 percent to 39.6 % to just three brackets.

In addition, if he gets the help needed from congress, he will scrap in turn: 1) the AMT or alternative minimum tax, 2) the estate tax and 3) the 3.8% surtax on investment income - as part of abolishing Obamacare.  As regards the corporate tax rate he would lower it from the current 35 % (actually few businesses pay that rate, most are effectively 5%) and replace it with a 15 percent rate.  He has also floated the idea of applying this not only to big corporations but small business owners and the self-employed, including dentists, law partners, and Trump himself.

While all this sounds terrific in theory it carries a steep price tag, which you can get an idea of by studying the graphic at top. That is, the federal debt as a percentage of GDP would explode through the roof - exceeding the size of the entire U.S. economy within ten years. The debt incepted - in order to be even relatively controlled- would necessitate draconian cuts in every federal "entitlement" program including: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, and all VA programs, departments. With such astounding debt there will be no "winners".

You want carnage? That's carnage - and it ain't coming from the global trade order but from Trump's own administration!

Then there is the soon to come painful loss of health care by 18 to 20 million Americans, nearly two thirds of whom voted Trump.  Many of these people still can't believe it, but mainly because they confused "Obamacare" which they pillory and mock - with the ACA - which they somehow think is different. Hence, not realizing the ACA ("Affordable Care Act") and Obamacare are one and the same.

At the heart of the Trump signing repeal is to get rid of the mandate, through which those who have more health issues can be covered by those with fewer. Once that mandate is removed then the protections of the ACA fall through. First among them will be that pre-existing conditions will now be reckoned into charges or whether people get insurance at all. Oh yeah, you may get "access" - but have to pay $200k a year to get it!  Then  there is the other negative that young people currently allowed on their parents' plans to age 26 will no longer be covered.  They'd have to pay for their own plan. And what is on offer? Well, according to Rand Paul: "those taken off the ACA can get a high deductible plan or use tax credits combined with a health savings account".

If you believe that doesn't spell c-a-r-n-a-g-e, think again!

Now, if you want REAL carnage, watch spellbound as Trump's minions in the EPA (like Scott Pruitt)  enable wholesale fracking around the country, including in national parks- and try to extract every last erg of oil from the ground. This will come on the latest NOAA and NASA reports that 2016 was the third hottest year in a row and making the planet the warmest it's been in 125,000 years.

Carnage? Oh yeppers, plenty! From power grids going down from overuse during extended heat waves, to ocean bacteria and plankton decimated, to the spread of tropical diseases like dengue fever and worm infestations, including of the brain. It is expected that before the first year of no seasons (est. 2040) more than 3 billion humans will bear worms in their brains. Alas, these will likely infect - with their larvae- as many Trump voters as others.

Trump insisted in his spiel he could repeal the global trade order by simple decree or his imperious say-so, but if any believe that they are fully delusional. It is not going to happen. Trump, rather than find scapegoats, would have done better to level with his followers that they all need to make common cause with the rest of us (non-Trump voters)  - to halt the climate nightmare unfolding and threatening everyone.

Sadly, Trump's ego and Id were too inflated to do that.  Hence, when Gloria Steinem addressed the D.C. crowd this morning she commented on Trump’s inauguration speech yesterday.:

Everything that happened before him was a disaster and everything that he would do would be fantastic, the best ever, miracles and all the superlatives."

Leaving out, of course, that he - Trump - will be the one to visit the carnage -  which will likely fall heaviest on his own voters.

Miracles? Trump's people, his voting blockade, will need them in spades within months.

Bank on it!

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