‘Morally Bankrupt’ Budget: After $1.5 Trillion Gift to Rich, Trump Demands $1.7 Trillion in Safety Net Cuts
Those wondering how President Donald Trump plans to pay for the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts for the rich he signed into law last year got their answer on Monday, when the White House unveiled its 2019 budget (pdf) blueprint that calls for $1.7 trillion in cuts to crucial safety net programs over the next decade—including $237 billion in cuts to Medicare alone.
While imposing “severe austerity” on domestic programs that primarily benefit poor and middle class Americans, Trump’s proposal also aims to hike the Pentagon’s budget to $716 billion—a seven percent increase from his 2018 request—and provide $18 billion for “the wall.”
“The Trump budget is morally bankrupt and bad economic policy,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wrote on Twitter Monday shortly after the White House proposal was made public.
Critics were quick to note that such severe cuts to healthcare programs that serve the elderly, the disabled, and the poor will likely come “with a body count.”
In addition to calling for potentially devastating cuts to healthcare, food stamps, and other components of America’s already-withering safety net, Trump’s budget also calls for large cuts to environmental programs—including $598.5 million from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“President Trump’s budget is nothing short of devastating for all Americans who value clean air, safe drinking water, and protected public lands,” Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement on Monday.
Though presidential budget requests are non-binding, they are a strong indicator of the White House’s goals and values, as Indivisible’s senior policy manager Chad Bolt observed while analyzing the newly released document.
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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement Tuesday after President Donald Trump accused members of Congress who did not clap during his State of the Union address of being un-American and treasonous
“The great political issue now facing our country is not Democrat vs. Republican or progressive vs. conservative. It’s much deeper then that. It’s about democracy vs. authoritarianism.
Today we have a president who is undermining the first amendment by consistently referring to media criticism as ‘fake news.’ He has questioned the authority of an independent judiciary. He has tried to make it harder for people to vote by wildly exaggerating the extent of voter fraud. He has viciously attacked those in law enforcement who have investigated him. And yesterday he suggested that members of Congress who don’t mindlessly stand and applaud his every word are guilty of ‘treason.’
Our job now is to remind Trump and his allies what democracy is all about. By our grassroots activism we will defend President Lincoln’s words at Gettysburg when he stated ‘that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.’ Stand up. Fight back. Get involved.”
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Bernie Sanders Warns GOP to Play Ball on Spending Bill
A guest on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell, Sanders emphasized Democrats will not “desert” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.
“What Republicans must understand is they have got to start negotiating in a bipartisan manner; they cannot have it all if they want 60 votes,” Sanders told Mitchell.
Any appropriations bill in the Senate requires 60 votes to pass, meaning Republicans would need at least nine Democrats to pass a spending bill, and Sanders is not keen on voting for another continuing resolution.
“That means not only protecting the Dreamers, it means parity between defense and non-defense spending,” Sanders said. “If they wanna spend a zillion dollars more on defense, then we have gotta take care of the working class in this country.
“We’re not going to desert these young people,” Sanders said, referring to the more than 700,000 DACA recipients.
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Trump’s ‘shithole’ comment is his new rock bottom
On Thursday, in a meeting with a senators and House members on immigration, the President of the United States, asked this: “Why do we want all these people from ‘shithole countries’ coming here?”
Yes, he said “shithole countries” — apparently in reference to the fact that immigrants from places like El Salvador, Haiti and Africa were being protected in a potential bipartisan deal to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and secure funding for border security.
What’s even more appalling is that the White House didn’t even try to deny that Trump used that slur, which was first reported in The Washington Post. In fact, in a lengthy statement from White House spokesman Raj Shah, the administration seemed to even defend the sentiment. “Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” said Shah.
But it gets even worse. Asked about the “shithole” comments, a White House official told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins this:
“The President’s ‘shithole’ remark is being received much differently inside of the White House than it is outside of it. Though this might enrage Washington, staffers predict the comment will resonate with his base, much like his attacks on NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem did not alienate it.”
Stop. Read that again. Here’s what it means: The President’s voicing of a racist remark about the sorts of people whom we are letting into the country is actually a good thing because people who like Trump will agree with him.
More news/video/tweets/etc. in the comments, including:
*Walmart is abruptly closing 63 Sam’s Club stores and laying off thousands of workers
*Meet the Coal Miner’s Daughter Taking on Joe Manchin for Senate in West Virginia
*Donald Trump cancels London visit amid protest fears
*House Dems Join With GOP to ‘Violate the Privacy Rights of Everyone in United States’
*Arrest of Prominent Immigration Rights Activist Sparks Uproar, Protests in New York City
*In a Surprising Move, the Anti-Pipeline Movement Is Taking a Page from Hobby Lobby & More
So, Steve Bannon is finally unwelcome within the Republican party. The President has given Bannon the treatment he reserves only for the worst offenders, claiming he had nothing much to do with the campaign. Next up, I expect to hear that Bannon’s primary task in the White House was pouring coffee. Though, I of course share your glee at the downfall of an odious man, my relief is tempered by the knowledge of what it took for the Republican party and this White House to break decisively with Bannon. Bannon and his media outlet Breitbart have been trafficking in racism and xenophobia … Continue reading →
Have you ever wondered what America felt like on the eve of the Great Depression? I don’t know for certain, but I can guess that we had wealthy heiresses who dabbled in fashion pontificating on politics, based on what they’d learned at society dinners and maybe some tortured conversations with the servant-class surrounding them. Kinda like this society heiress here: "Small businesses will have the lowest taxes since 1931" … Ivanka Trump discusses impact of tax reform pic.twitter.com/NVuVBmeiU5 — FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) December 18, 2017 The heiress here is calling the GOPTaxScam a “middle class tax cut”. So does the president … Continue reading →
Like many of you, I initially despaired when reading exit poll results from the Alabama senate election. It seemed unbelievable that over 63% of white women would vote for a man who was credibly accused of molesting young girls. My first reaction was, “we won this by a hair-breadth, but we have a lot of work to do”. Then I realized that this not the whole story: A very interesting piece of data from Alabama exit polls: While White women overall voted for Moore 63 to 34, when you break out evangelical vs non you get evangelical white women 76 … Continue reading →
You can find the Sackler family’s name on numerous museums and universities, they’ve bought naming rights to several. They also donate to conservative organizations. Richard’s political contributions have gone mostly to Republicans—including Strom Thurmond and Herman Cain—though at times he has also given to Democrats. (His ex-wife, Beth Sackler, has given almost exclusively to Democrats.) In 2008, he wrote a letter to the editor of The Wall Street Journal denouncing Muslim support for suicide bombing, a concern that seems to persist: Since 2014, his charitable organization, the Richard and Beth Sackler Foundation, has donated to several anti-Muslim groups, including three organizations classified … Continue reading →
I’ve written previously about the Kushner family’s attempts to shore up their precarious finances by extorting fees from low-income tenants and selling green-cards to Chinese investors. As Bloomberg reported in August, the Kushners are desperately seeking cash to save their heavily-mortgaged Manhattan skyscraper as balloon payments come due over the next two years. Last week, Kushner took an unannounced trip to KSA: President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner returned home Saturday from an unannounced visit to Saudi Arabia — his third trip to the country this year. Kushner left Washington, D.C., via commercial airline on Wednesday for the trip, which was not announced to … Continue reading →
You can also consider this an open thread.
Reducing corporate tax rates somehow always ends up being a “bipartisan issue”. President Donald Trump is increasingly fixated on slashing the top corporate tax rate to 15 percent – a level that pretty much no one else working on the issue in the White House or Congress thinks is workable.In a White House meeting on Tuesday, Trump again expressed his strong desire to hit the 15 percent target, from today’s 35 percent. […] On Wednesday, President Trump plans to travel to North Dakota – his second tax sales pitch in a week – to deliver a speech focused on the … Continue reading →
Over a year ago, I wrote about how Trump reminds me of a politician I know from my youth, Bal Thackeray: Bal Thackeray adopted a hodge-podge of ideological positions. His party controlled trade unions while he openly admired strongmen and dictators (including Hitler). The one constant throughout his career was the use of ethnic and religious divisions. His real talent was tapping into economic discontent, frustration and anger at corruption. He rose to prominence by fomenting resentment towards “immigrants” from other states in India. Bombay had been a melting pot for decades, attracting people from all over India who spoke a … Continue reading →
Yesterday the NYT reported Herr Drumpf doubled down on “both sides” for causing violence in Charlottesville. … Continue reading →
Eric Trump is 32. Jared Kushner is 36. Donald Trump Jr. is 39. They’re all young enough to serve. Yes, the Army won’t allow Jared and Don Jr to enlist since they’re over 34, but I’m sure the President can make a call and request an exemption. If Donald Trump is going to deliver “fire & fury”, perhaps his kids and sons-in-law should help deliver it. Eric and Don are already “locked & loaded” so to speak. They have the ability to track and shoot dangerous animals as you can see in the photo above. They should require minimal training to … Continue reading →
There are several commentaries that defend the new immigration bill by favorably comparing it to the Canadian ”points system” for immigration which prioritizes younger more educated workers and those with skills deemed to be in demand. I agree there are advantages to a points system, for one, it takes a more holistic view of immigrants. For example, the Canadian system awards points for family, including siblings in Canada, under the assumption (largely correct) that such a support network helps new immigrants successfully navigate the economy and society. But, lets not delude ourselves. The proponents of these bills don’t want to set up a … Continue reading →