I voted for Obama twice. The first time around I had very high expectations like probably most people who supported him and voted for him. The bar was set very high, close to walking on water. Hope and Change was in the air but I also kept telling myself that he is a mortal like everybody else, that he is just one man, the President of the US, yes, but that there is also Congress… Over the last eight years there were a lot of things Obama initiated or supported that I didn’t like. I still believe that he was one of the best presidents this country has had. That’s my opinion. History will be the judge of that. In many ways Obama went along with the political establishment, the rich and the super-rich and the moneyed interests. Overall, President Obama continued the status-quo. There is not doubt that Hillary Clinton would have done the same continued the status-quo.
President Trump on the other hand is – aside from all the attributes that I don’t want to repeat here – seemingly erratic and unpredictable. He keeps everybody constantly off balance, saying one thing only to contradict himself within a 24-hour period. He is the first president in recent memory who seems to buck the establishment. And yet, he is surrounded by establishment types. A couple of things Trump did so far by decree are positive changes: decoupling the USA from the TPP/TTIP negotiations for one and second, his executive order on lobbying. Other things that he ordered by decree are either non-sensical, not in the best interest of We the People – but good for the rich and super-rich again, detrimental to the environment of our country and our planet, short-sighted, harmful to the economy and the way he seems to operate is at times already a touch Hitler’esque.
I don’t expect the Fox-fed, low-information voters who are too dumb to know that they are dumb not to support President Trump full throttle in everything he does, right or wrong. However, I do expect those among my FB friend who did vote for President Trump who are learned people, possibly with a degree in this or that, to be able to step back enough to look at any action by the Trump administration and analyze and evaluate it on its merits.
I believe that at this time in our country “We the People” want and need someone who is willing to buck the establishment. Someone who is willing to stand up for the people. And all of us need to reach across, get out of our own, comfortable “echo chamber” and engage with those fellow Americans who are seemingly on the other side. This is a great opportunity to discuss as objectively as possible! Hating each other doesn’t get us anywhere. Following the Orange Führer blindly is not an option either (couldn’t help myself….).
So woohoo, the great wall will finally be built! President Trump ordered the Department of Homeland Security by decree – executive order – to start building. Cost estimates range between 15 and $30 billion. Have you ever seen a government project being built on time and on budget? Neither have I! And where is this money going to come from? Paul Ryan says that Congress might actually OK the money and advance it on behalf of the American taxpayer to be reimbursed later by Mexico in a “rather complicated” deal according to President Trump. And where do you figure this money will come from? 15 – $30 billion. We would have to go borrow that kind of money! It would add to the national debt that everybody is so worried about! And who do you suppose would be able to lend us that kind of money? Oh yes of course, the Chinese! They have been lending us money for decades. They would be delighted to let us have even more money and be even more indebted to them than we already are. The Chinese would have us even more by the balls and over a barrel, take your pick, then they already do.
Oh, and one more thing before we actually go and build this wall: 40% of all illegal immigrants simply fly here with a tourist visa and then overstay their visit. Kinda like I did in 1985 for a few months until I got a greencard and later on got naturalized. So let’s just say there are actually 11 million illegal immigrants in this country right now. 4,400,000 of those flew here! No wall, no matter how high, would have kept them out.
Imagine what we could be doing with those $15-$30 billion in this country for our people! Schools, infrastructure, free colleges and universities, I guess I could go on but I hope you’ll get the drift.
by Michael Payne
I occasionally hear someone in the news speak of “American Exceptionalism”, the theory that the United States is qualitatively different from other nations; that we are unique among nations and generally superior to them in almost any measureable category. That’s a nice thought but it’s just not reality. That’s not to say that it cannot be attained at some future time. So, let’s discuss what America would be like if this nation could truly be called exceptional.
by Bernard Schaer
Some of the very interesting comments that followed this post Hector Balderas or else…. (…?), but – I felt – didn’t really pertain to the core of my earlier post, prompted me to write this post today. So, you might want to go read the other one, including the comments, first.
Beltway media scorn People’s Budget, hail Ryan hoax
by Peter Hart and Julie Hollar
The budget proposal released on April 5 by Rep. Paul Ryan (R.-Wisc.) includes tax cuts for the wealthy, tax hikes for the middle class, drastic cuts in social spending and a radical restructuring of Medicare that would shift most of the cost of healthcare to seniors. Its dubious claims of deficit reduction rely on fatally flawed assumptions and inexplicable projections (CBPP, 4/7/11; CEPR, 4/11).
Meanwhile, the 76-member Congressional Progressive Caucus unveiled its own “People’s Budget” proposal on April 13, which would eliminate the deficit in 10 years without eroding social services or raising taxes on the working class. Serious economists like Paul Krugman (New York Times, 4/25/11) and Jeffrey Sachs (Huffington Post, 4/8/11) have spoken out in favor of the People’s Budget as, in Krugman’s words, a “genuinely courageous” plan and “the only major budget proposal out there offering a plausible path to balancing the budget.”