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Sabotaging America For Fun And Profit

August 19, 2017

The Trump Administration seems to be on its way to becoming one of the more chaotic presidential administrations in modern times – if not in all of our history. The turmoil and rapid turnover in key positions on the President’s staff, as well as his remarkable penchant for making what many see as outrageous statements on Twitter and on camera, have ensured that he remains a topic of hot discussion in the media despite the fact that he is on an alleged 17 day “vacation” and Congress is in the midst of a month long vacation referred to a recess. Heads keep rolling (figuratively speaking), new revelations keep surfacing related to the various investigations being conducted, and international relations seem to be kept in an extremely agitated state – spurred on largely by a back and forth exchange of pleasantries (please give me some license for sarcasm here) between the heads of state of North Korea and the USA.

Some bottled up frustration on the part of President Trump is understandable. His legislative agenda seems to be at a virtual standstill prompted by more than a month of heavy infighting regarding attempts to repeal and/or replace the Affordable Care Act. Heavy lobbying by the White House managed to get a bill passed by the House, but nothing has been passed in the Senate. Every bill that has made it to a floor vote has promised to take coverage away from millions of Americans. Trump’s campaign promises called for repealing the law, but replacing it with a better one which would improve the level of care nationwide. The President seems to have forgotten or given up entirely trying to fulfill that promise, and has at times even supported the notion of letting the system implode, resulting in untold misery for millions of Americans and major damage to the private health insurance industry as a whole.

Another area of the health care debate involved major cuts to the Medicaid budget. Hundreds of billions would be slashed in Medicaid, despite Trump’s campaign promise not to attack Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. The people who would be most negatively affected by either version up for discussion in Congress would have been the poor, elderly, disabled and those with other pre-existing conditions which historically have made it difficult and extremely expensive to cover. To sabotage the current system rather than fixing it is absolutely unconscionable for any person looking out for the welfare of the people supposedly being represented by this government – up to and including our President. No one, including Congressional Democrats and advocates of single-payer, universal coverage, thinks the ACA is flawless, but short-term fixes to stabilize markets is certainly preferable to throwing millions of people to the wolves with no coverage at all.

The beneficiaries of such sabotage would be the nation’s wealthiest taxpayers – who would receive tax cuts paid for by the hundreds of billions of dollars of cuts to Medicaid. Ironically, some of those hardest hit by these cuts would be millions of Trump’s most ardent supporters in last year’s election. No good deed goes unpunished, right, Mr. President?

An argument could be made that most of the composition of Trump’s cabinet has been aimed at a general sabotage of many of the safeguards that have been implemented from the New Deal era right up to the present. Public withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords, as well as rollbacks of numerous environmental regulations to appease corporate oligarchs in their insatiable search for ever-higher profits, endanger future habitability of the planet as well as the health and wellbeing of those poor enough not to be able to avoid the more immediate health consequences of living in close proximity to the toxins in the increased pollution. Why is he pushing for more fossil fuel extraction and its inherent ecological dangers rather than jobs dealing with cleaner forms of energy?

Moves afoot regarding labor also involve making union organizing more difficult and giving increased power to corporate management over their workers. As if the race to the bottom in terms of wages and working conditions brought about by state right-to-work (for less) laws and the advent of corporate friendly international “free trade” agreements wasn’t already a bane on the existence of ordinary workers – the powers that be in the Trump Administration are seeking to increase the level of wealth and income inequality between corporate executives, shareholders and workers even more. Make America Great Again for Wall Street, but not Main Street? No, thanks.

In areas under the purview of the Justice Department, Jeff Sessions (allegedly one of the President’s targets for elimination, due to his following the law and recusing himself in areas related to the Russian collaboration investigations) is promising and already delivering on rolling back much of the progress achieved by previous administrations. Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, the War on Drugs and Criminal Justice Reforms are all being systematically attacked – to the detriment of LGBTQ individuals, minority racial, ethnic and religious groups, voters, and others subject to the long arm of the federal judiciary. Selective enforcement and severity of punishment are beginning to harken back to the way things were when conventional wisdom thought refusing civil rights to some groups of people was acceptable and the mass incarceration for long periods of time for non-violent drug offenses was deemed appropriate. That’s backsliding, not progress.

Our democracy is under further attack directly by the President in the form of his bogus committee investigating allegedly widespread voter fraud to further disenfranchise eligible voters more likely to vote against the GOP in future elections. Even public education is being attacked by an Education Secretary who favors privatization of public schools in the form of for-profit charter schools – another recipe for increased societal inequality in terms of educational opportunity.

The Trump agenda, as articulated on the campaign trail in the lead-up to last November’s election, appears to have been largely supplanted by the reactionary Ryan budget from his time as House Budget Committee Chair during the Obama Administration. His promises to bring back good jobs that were shipped abroad to take advantage of cheaper labor seem to be coming up short so far. His promise of a greater economy providing wage growth for all, with more and better jobs, also seems to be harder to achieve than he led his supporters to believe.

The devil lies in the details, many of which will come to the fore once Congress returns to sort out the latest debt ceiling crisis, budget for the coming fiscal year and any tax reforms it manages to push through, but I don’t hold out much hope for anyone who isn’t already in the top 1% economically being placed on better footing by this Administration and Congress. If your idea of Making America Great Again is to make the already wealthy wealthier, the already powerful more powerful and inequalities and inequities in most every facet of lives being brought to new extremes, Trump and this Congress may accomplish it. That is not my vision of a greater society. I sincerely doubt it fits that bill for most of those who voted for Trump last fall, either.

What effect our President’s bombastic approach to foreign policy – diplomatic, military or otherwise – will have on future events is difficult to predict. His recent performance in dealing with rightwing extremism and white supremacists here at home has shown more people than ever before his unsuitability for the job he was chosen for. The constant turmoil and sense of desperation he demonstrates on a regular basis in his dealings with political foes and allies alike, as well as the news media, may make for good TV ratings, but it does not bode well for either his public approval polling or the wellbeing of either the country or the people comprising its residents and citizenry. Nobody, except perhaps for his family and closest associates, voted for Donald Trump to become President so he could line his pockets at our expense. Based on his conduct so far in office, it certainly appears that may have been a major motivating factor in getting him to run – that and the fact that he’s getting more media attention than he ever dreamed possible.

We need a President and Congress more responsive to the needs and aspirations of all of this country’s people. I don’t foresee this particular group of individuals making much headway in that direction unless we cause even more of a ruckus than we have so far. At the very least, we need to make sure enough of us can still vote in 2018 to throw a good portion of them out of office and into the unemployment line.

Further Suggested Readings:

Sen. Bernie Sanders: Trump ‘wants to sabotage health care in America’

Senator announces bipartisan health care hearing on Obamacare

6-Month Update for Trump Voters

Red Alert: Team Trump Unveils Anti-Planet, Anti-Worker Corporate Wish List

Health Care in a Time of Sabotage

Trump’s Bid to Pit Black and Brown Workers Against Each Other

Sabotaging Obamacare

Trump’s In-Your-Face Impeachable Offense

Trump’s Justice Department Says Gays Aren’t Eligible for Civil Rights Protections

Trump’s terrorism adviser downplays white supremacist violence

Climate Science Out, Coal In: EPA Exhibit Will Reflect Trump’s Agenda

Former DOJ Civil Rights Head: Jeff Sessions Is Implementing an Anti-Civil Rights Agenda

Donald Trump can’t stop failing tests of moral leadership

GOP senator: racist groups think ‘they have a friend’ in Trump

NYPD slams ‘irresponsible’ Trump comments urging police not to be ‘too nice’ to suspects

White House Doubles Down On Transgender Military Ban

Trump Bulldozes Environmental Laws to Pave Way for ‘Xenophobic’ Border Wall

Trump expected to roll back LGBT protections in ObamaCare

Trump’s EPA May Be Weakening Chemical Safety Law

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7 Comments
  1. Claudia Davison permalink

    May I send you what I’ve been posting on Facebook pages and sending via e-mail?

    Claudia Davison @thefairelection Sent from my iPad mini

    >

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  2. Reblogged this on SUSAN'S SPACE.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rick, you have written such a concise, and spot on synopsis of what is happening. I haven’t read anything to compare. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • #Followthewhiterabbit #QAnon @TracyBeanz @seeyouTurkey Busa. lots of wonderful things to learn instead of filling your hearts and heads with a twist that is rather incorrect You need to clean out the rot that has embedded its self within the country Perversions of every kind Theft Politicians who have ripped off the people something shocking Politicians who are ruled by Big Banks and corporations Politicians who perpetrate terror upon own countrymen and women; More importantly When Bill and Hilary went into the Whitehouse with 400.000 today they are worth approx 6 million mm thats not good McCain has done the same ISIS was his wee hobby oh but that will not be YET on mainstream Media nor all those who are wearing boots and being shipped off to Guantanemo Bay So best have a wee bit more patience and enjoy 2018 as your lives imrove expotentially As long as you can keep your Gov out of Saudi/Israeli Wars. Peace Always whilst seeking wisdom.

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  4. Looking on the bright side he will start campaigning in 14-16 months for another 4 years. Just hoping our two nations are still friends by then since he’s sanctioning half the planet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, I think his re-election campaign started during his inauguration. He’s got a big rally scheduled for Tuesday in Phoenix. Can’t wait to see what violence he instigates this time. Canada and the US will still be friends, though I don’t know how many in leadership roles will be able to stand Trump that long.

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