Donald Trump has released his tax plan, if not his taxes. And yes, the two are related. Several elements of the plan stick out for the audacious manner in which they benefit Trump and his children while at the same time destroying what remains of our nation's solvency. We should not be surprised. Trump is trying to run the nation like he runs his businesses. We should all be deeply concerned.
By proposing to eliminate the alternative minimum tax and reducing his effective tax rate to 15% through changes to the corporate tax rate (he currently pays taxes-if and when he pays taxes-as an individual, not a corporation, but that would change under his proposal), Trump stands to gain billions in lower tax rates. By eliminating the inheritance tax (deceptively called the "death tax" by Republicans) Trump's children stand to inherit billions more than they otherwise would. These changes target the top 0.1% of taxpayers more than anyone else. So much for being a populist.
Trump's tax proposal has no realistic source of revenue or spending cut to balance it out. It would, if passed in its current form, balloon the deficit to catastrophic levels. Our nation's very solvency would be at risk. Future generations would pay dearly for Trump's kickback to himself and his billionaire buddies.
Trump, lining his pockets and then declaring bankruptcy and walking away leaving others to hold the bag should not surprise us. It's how he runs his businesses and, apparently, it's how he plans to ruin our nation. (S)
The Government Night/Town Hall event on 4-17-17 was my first opportunity to hear Representative Denham speak publically. What I encountered was not entirely pleasing. I will admit to going into the meeting with a bias against the congressmen. His lack of clarity over positions on the repeal/replacement of the Affordable Care Act, the president’s immigration Executive Orders and systematic removal of environmental protections made me weary of his ability to accurately represent the people who live in this district. Never the less, I was willing to give him a fair chance to share his current vision and plans to help promote the desires and needs of his constituents.
I learned very quickly that Representative Denham has a very thin skin. He shushed and reprimanded audience members who did not respond to his words in a positive manner. He explained to one constituent that he was going to allow them to ask their question…just not right now. It makes me wonder how effective he is fighting for our district in Washington D.C. if he resorts to pettiness with the people that he is paid to represent.
I also learned that he is an expert at evasiveness. He was asked a question about his support or lack there of for Charter Schools or school voucher programs and instead of answering the question, he insinuated that the teacher who’d asked it didn’t know the difference between the two. “You’re a teacher, you do know what a charter school is…?” This was a patterned I noticed; when he was flustered, he lashed out with sarcasm.
Stunningly, our representative also seemed unclear as to whether or not California was a right to work state. The audience member who asked the question regarding the policy actually had to take time to explain the issue. There was also the moment when a constituent called him out on a letter she received signed with his name. He at first insinuated that she had given him a random letter that was not authentic, and then several audience members yelled out that they’d received the same letter and he relented and began explaining all of the messages he receives and has to go through.
I will give Denham credit for staying for almost three hours. I will also give him credit for grudgingly admitting that global warming exists and for stating on record that he’s told republican leadership that he will not vote for a health care plan unless his concerns are addressed. The question is whether his concerns and the concerns of the district are similar.
Several times throughout the night Denham stated his belief that the biggest issue we have in our district in the area of healthcare is lack of providers. I agree, but that is not an authentic issue with the ACA which only became law in March of 2010. According to the Center for Health Journalism, the number of specialists per capita in Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced counties is significantly lower than other California counties; the problem affects all residents regardless of the type of insurance, though those on medical are hit the hardest. This is not a new problem for Central Valley residents, particularly in the area of specialty medicine. Representative Denham is using this “pre-existing” condition as a red herring in the health care debate. For example, I asked a question about the lack of mental health resources and providers for adolescence in the district. I explained that I have very good private insurance and that I struggled to find local help for my own daughter. He had no response to my calls for help. He only continued to try and tie the ACA with lack of providers in our district, which is in my opinion, a cop out on truly taking a position on legislation that will effect tens of thousands of his constituents.
I think that one thing is very clear: Representative Denham needs to spend more time face to face listening to his constituents needs and less time hiding behind “telephone town halls”. With nearly 1,000 constituents (ID’s were checked) in attendance, there is obviously a clear demand for him to spend some more time with the people he represents. (C)
It's now been about 72 hours since we learned of the United State's attack on the Syrian airfield from which the latest nerve gas attack on civilians was launched. Members of the be the change Turlock group may not agree with my initial reaction which was one of thinking that at last something is being done to deter Bashar al-Assad from committing further atrocities against his populace. Some aspect of my initial reaction was undoubtedly nurtured by my sense of patriotism to our country and to my strongly held belief that it is immoral for nations to stand silently by when preventable human rights violations are occurring.
However, with the luxury of 3 days to think and reflect, I have come to the following conclusions.
1) Trump intended this attack to be symbolic, and only symbolic. The air base is already operational. The intended audience was not Syria or Russia, but the people of the United States. This was about distraction, not real policy or real prevention.
2) The actions actually place us more at risk. By being so transparently phony, there is nothing to stop the Syrians and Russians from continuing their atrocities. They may or may not use poison gas, but you are just as dead if a barrel bomb falls on your house as you are if a nerve gas canister does. So the next time Bashar al-Assad chooses to assault his citizens, will we have to escalate? Will we become embroiled in an unwinnable war, once again?
3) Trump is a hypocrite of the worst sort. When Obama faced the same painful decision and defered to the lack of congressional will for intervention in 2013, Trump tweeted emphatically for non-intervention.
4) The Iranians and Russians are now more likely to double down in Syria, making Bashar al-Assad's regime less likely to change and cementing an alliance that is not good for our interests.
5) I am a big believer in the idea that if something is worth fighting for then it is worth going all in. Half measures do not work, as proven in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Will we never learn? If, and that is a big if, it is worth going in, then the Syrian air force should no longer exist. Russian anti-aircraft defenses should be shattered.
6) And therein lies the problem. While a nerve gas attack is an atrocity, it is not worth starting a nuclear war over. In this case, history will record that the country that is most responsible, besides the Syrian government, is Russia. It has the power to stop the atrocities and does not. All in pursuit of their several centuries long pursuit of a warm water port. These deaths are on Putin, not that he cares. They are not on the nation whose intervention could lead to a broader conflagration.
7) Perhaps of the most importance, our constitution is important, and Trump did not uphold the clear language in the constitution when he attacked without congressional approval. This is why Obama, much to his chagrin, did not attack in 2013. Congressional Republicans should reflect on their harsh words for Obama given that he chose upholding the constitution over his own policy objectives. The test of a true leader is not how he or she uses his or her power, but when he or she chooses not to.
For these reasons, I now view the 59 cruise missile attack as unwise, ineffective and unconstitutional. If Trump gave a damn for the Syrian people, he would allow the refugees from that tragically war torn nation to flow into our welcoming arms. (S)
Yes, Friday's defeat without a vote of the abomination of a health bill put forth by Ryan and Trump is a huge victory for all Americans, even those who don't know how large a bullet was dodged. The so called health care bill was actually a tax cut for the rich funded by taking away medical benefits from the poor and middle class. We are all better off for its defeat.
However, we must not become complacent in the wake of this embarrassing loss for Trump and Ryan. There will be more threats in the days to come. Some we will lose without a fight, like today's gutting of several environmental regulations for no reason other than to allow Trump a win. (The stated purpose of bringing back mining jobs is bogus.) Others we will be able to fight. Do not doubt for a moment that the health care victory was won at the grass roots level. Remember that, so that when Trump comes around with a tax cut bill for the wealthy or tries to ram a budget through Congress that in no way reflects the values of Americans, we are prepared to fight.
Activism, not apathy, is the only way for our nation to survive this presidency. So celebrate the win, but remember, it is just one battle won in one campaign of what is surely to be a long war. (S)
The following is circulating on Facebook. I think it says much of what needs to be said. I have removed the signatures due to length. Hopefully you can find it on Facebook for those who want to post it on your page.
This is where I stand. The 45th so-called POTUS, those taking positions of authority in his Cabinet and Administration, and the majority of Republicans in Congress are a real and present threat to me, my way of life, my friends and family, and to all of the people that I love.
Somepeople are STILL saying that we should give Drumpf a chance, that we should "work together" with him because he won the election and he is "everyone's president." This is my response:
* I will not "work together" to privatize Medicare, cut Social Security and Medicaid.
* I will not "work together" to criminalize abortion, restrict health care for women, or to normalize disrespect, subjugation and sexualization of women.
* I will not "work together" to build a border wall.
* I will not "work together" to persecute Muslims.
* I will not "work together" to shut out refugees from other countries.
* I will not "work together" to lower taxes for the 1% and increase taxes on the middle class and poor.
* I will not "work together" to help Trump use the Presidency to line his pockets and those of his family and cronies.
* I will not "work together" to weaken and demolish environmental protection.
* I will not "work together" to sell American lands, especially National Parks, to companies which then despoil those lands.
* I will not "work together" to enable the killing of whole species of animals just because they are predators, or inconvenient for a few, or because some people want to get their thrills hunting them.
* I will not "work together" to deny or remove civil rights from anyone.
* I will not "work together" to alienate countries that have been our allies for as long as I have been alive.
* I will not "work together" to slash funding for our Public Schools and Education
* I will not "work together" to take basic services and assistance from people who are at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.
* I will not "work together" to get rid of common sense regulations on guns.
* I will not "work together" to eliminate the minimum wage.
* I will not "work together" to support so-called "Right To Work" laws, or undermine, weaken or destroy Unions in any way.
* I will not "work together" to suppress scientific research, be it on climate change, fracking, or any other issue where a majority of scientists agree that Trump and his supporters are wrong on the facts.
* I will not "work together" to increase the number of nations that have nuclear weapons.
* I will not "work together" to put even more "big money" into politics.
* I will not "work together" to violate the Geneva Convention.
* I will not "work together" to give the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazi Party, White Supremacists and White Nationalists a seat at the table, or to normalize their hatred.
* I will not "work together" to deny health care to people who need it.
* I will not "work together" to deny medical coverage to people on the basis of a "pre-existing condition."
* I will not "work together" to increase voter suppression.
* I will not "work together" to normalize tyranny.
* I will not “work together” to eliminate or reduce ethical oversight at any level of government.
* I will not "work together" with anyone who is, or admires, tyrants and dictators.
* I will not "work together" to put a pipeline to transport oil on or under Sacred Ground for Native Americans that would run under the Missouri River, which provides drinking water for millions of people; An accident waiting to happen. All earth is sacred. She's our mother.
* I will not "work together" to legitimize racism, sexism, and authoritarianism or fascism.
* I will not "work together" to remove the arts from priority in our culture.
This is my line, and I am drawing it.
* I WILL stand for equity, democracy, honesty, love, respect for all living beings, and for the beating heart that is the center of Life itself.
* I WILL use my voice and my hands, to reach out to the uninformed, and to anyone who will engage in dialogue:
* That "winning", "being great again", "rich" or even "beautiful" is nothing... When others are sacrificed to glorify its existence.
100+ at the time of this entry
Please add your name to the top of the list... Copy, & Paste the entire thread into your or Newswire and Timeline... Kee it rolling; it needs to be propagated everywhere and also to go into the history books.
(S, with thanks to J)