I haven’t fully recovered from Tuesday night’s Trump victory; still trying to absorb what happened.  It appears that our Rust-Belt folks have spoken and they got what they wanted.  Right now the questions – in the media, at least – are “Did He Mean What He Said?” and “What Kind of President Will He Make?”  As to the first question, this refers to his “polices” rather than his “pussy grabbing” statements.  As to the second, this seems to refer to his bullying, bombastic and non- PC “personality” that he displayed during his campaign.  While it’s too soon to know the answers to both queries, it isn’t comforting to know that Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon are apparently in the running for prime administration posts.

On the other hand, and despite nationwide protests by “anarchists” according the right wing,  come January next year we will have  new President and a new Administration.  Judging by the few coherent policies articulated by Trump thus far, it’s looking like more of the same old tired Republican rule that finally got partially unhitched during the Obama Administration.  Take, for example, Trump’s proposed tax cuts, something we’ve been through for decades now, only “huuger” this time around.   (If you’re wondering why we have a $20 trillion debt, you need look no further.)  Here’s the breakdown of benefits for us Americans under Trump’s tax cuts:

So the bottom line for the Rust Belt folks who voted for Trump is that for anyone making less than $84,000 a year or 80% of all Americans who pay taxes, you’d get to keep between $250 and $4,970 more of your paycheck.  On the other hand, the top 20% of all earners, i.e. folks making $148,100 to  $1,790,000 annually, would get tax reductions of between $7,848 and $227,225 per year.  Or to put it another way, the bottom 80% of Americans get 29% of all the reductions in Trump’s proposed tax plan, while the top 20% get a whopping 70% of the tax savings. 

As I said, more of the same, only "huuger."  Problem is, this kind of economic "policy" prescription, along with anti-union, Free Market Economics, corporate favoritism, laissez faire economics and ignoring the plight of folks who have suffered under all this public policy junk is the very reason why the Rust Belt rose up and elected Trump. Not that they understand what's been happening to them. To them it's all illegal immigrants, establishment politicians, liberal elites and the biased media.   What they have still not caught onto, is the massive con game they've been fed for decades now, and yes, by some of those "liberal elites" but much more so by conservative public policy prescriptions.  Say what you will about "European Socialism" but when European high school graduates get to attend some of Europe's best universities for tuitions that typically range under $1,000 semester, or your average worker slug gets 40+ days of paid vacation per year, it's pretty damned clear that European Socialists seem to value the well being of their citizens.   America does not.  

But this is what we’ve been doing for years because the phrase “cutting taxes” is a surefire winner among the public.  Trump’s tax proposal doesn’t provide for any spending cuts (or revenue generating proposals) and it is estimated that his personal income tax proposals would cost an estimated $12 trillion over the next ten years.  Adding Trump’s proposals to reduce estate taxes, reducing capital gains taxes and his other economic plans to the mix, would cost an estimated $20 trillion (thereby doubling our current debt) in ten years. 

With a Republican controlled White House and Congress, there is a much better chance of some form of his economic proposals actually being implemented.  Paul Ryan, whose “A Better Way” continues along the same pathway that Republicans have been going down for so long now just like Trump’s (just not so huuge), continues to implement the same “more of the same” policies that have pissed off the Rust Belt voters, whether they know it or not.  (They do not seem to.)  Sure, they get to keep a few hundred dollars more every year, but those old Rust Belt jobs, particularly well-paying, benefit rich union jobs have disappeared as a result of conservative economic policies that we have been implemented for the past thirty years.  And no matter the Trump working and middle class rallying cries of “Bringing  Good Jobs Back To America,” those jobs are not coming back. Ever.  But working and middle class folks will get to keep a few hundred bucks more.  

But it all sounds so good – rip up trade deals, punish China, cut taxes, bring jobs back – sure fire campaign winning promises.   Promises, promises, promises.  Rust Belt Americans have been fed promise after promise after promise through Republican and Democratic Administrations alike getting to keep a few hundred bucks in their pockets as their jobs, their union benefits, their earnings, their wealth has slowly trickled away.       

But American Has Spoken.

NOTE:  Catherine Rampall, a Washington Post columnist I often disagree with, had a particularly relevant - if pithy - piece in this morning’s paper.


Popular posts from this blog