Entitlement Reform? (The GOP 2019 Song)

Some things never change……with the news of  an ever expanding deficit and the spineless GOP has the lame same idea as in the past….entitlement reform.  Pathetic pack of losers and even more so now with the King Don in the Oval Office.

With all the drama that leaks from the White House…..nothing is being said about the deficit.  Nothing is being said that the worthless tax cuts are expanding the deficit….that is until today when GOPer Sasse of Nebraska told Morning Joe that he wants to work on entitlement reform to help the deficit.

I love this crap!  The GOP will focus on deficit control after blowing it up with their massive tax cuts for rich bastards….this is a continuing story…once they, the GOP, are in the minority the deficit and entitlement reform is primary on their minds but when in majority it means little and is seldom mentioned…..these toads are all too predictable.

Finally a true GOPer…..blame the deficit on entitlements and not on their stupidity with the budget for the Pentagon or those  worthless tax cuts of 2018.

But what are these reforms that the GOP will embrace?

Paul Ryan made the TV rounds giddily hawking his plan, saying, “Do we want to get entitlement reform? Of course we do.

His intentions could hardly be clearer, but there are still people out there worried about stating this fact too openly. Earlier this month, Maya MacGuineas, president of the non-profit Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

“Gutting,” of course, is exactly what Republicans mean when they talk about “reforming” “entitlement” programs. But MacGuineas was correct to point out the many politically loaded words partisans throw around when talking about programs that benefit poor Americans (with “reform” being high up on that list.)

https://splinternews.com/what-we-really-mean-when-we-talk-about-entitlement-refo-1821222884

Let’s look at the most recent news about the deficit…….

The federal budget deficit has surged to $779 billion in fiscal 2018, its highest level in six years as President Trump’s tax cuts caused the government to borrow more heavily in order to cover its spending. The Treasury Department said Monday that the deficit climbed $113 billion from fiscal 2017, the AP reports. Debt will likely worsen in the coming years with the Trump administration expecting the deficit to top $1 trillion in 2019, nearly matching the $1.1 trillion imbalance from 2012. The deficit worsened because tax revenues are not keeping pace with government spending. The government’s fiscal year runs from October to September, unlike calendar years that begin in January. Tax revenues were essentially flat in fiscal 2018, while spending increased 3.2% as Congress gave more funds for military and domestic programs.

Revenues generally tumbled after December when Trump signed into law $1.5 trillion of tax cuts over the next decade. The tax cuts have caused economic growth to accelerate this year with Federal Reserve officials anticipating gains of 3.1%. But the Trump administration initially promised that the tax cuts would pay for themselves through stronger growth—and there is no sign so far of that happening. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin suggested in a statement that the underlying source of the widening deficit was growth in government spending, rather than the tax cuts. “Going forward the President’s economic policies that have stimulated strong economic growth, combined with proposals to cut wasteful spending, will lead America toward a sustainable financial path,” Mnuchin said. But William Gale, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, noted that the tax cuts are unlikely to generate a long-term bump in economic growth

The deficit is Ryan’s biggest nightmare….which in itself is a self inflicted wound…..because of the GOPs policies the deficit expands…..

Rep. Paul Ryan said one of the biggest disappointments from his term as House speaker was his inability to address the growing mountain of federal debt.

“On healthcare itself and debt and deficits, it’s the one that got away,” Ryan said at a Washington Post event.

As speaker, Ryan helped oversee a rise in spending that is already adding to the deficit. Under his tenure, the amount of outstanding federal debt grew by just over $2 trillion, and the federal deficit expanded from $438 billion in the 2015 fiscal year to $779 billion in the 2018 fiscal year.

https://www.businessinsider.com/paul-ryan-federal-debt-deficit-gop-tax-law-2018-11

2019 will bring the GOP chest thumping about the deficit…..any person that watches our system at work can see just how hypocritical the GOP is…always…..

It gets humorous at the attacks on the people of the US as the cause of the deficit soaring……the truth (no GOPer wants to hear that)….is their massive budget increases for the Pentagon and then those worthless tax cuts of 2018 have done more than any entitlement program.

Of course the GOP will say that Dems hate the Pentagon and the military and that they do not want Americans to have more money……THEY ARE LIES!

The honest approach would be to have all income including bonuses pay into the system….and that taxes be paid according to income…..those are simple fixes that will go NO where.

For those that want to debate entitlement reform……this is a collection of cards that can be printed and used as a reference….

https://www.vox.com/cards/entitlement-reform/what-is-entitlement-reform

Further Reading:

https://mic.com/articles/61613/what-the-debate-over-entitlement-reform-is-really-about#.dUIM5n33I

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Closing Thought #2–10Dec18

Today in history my state, Mississippi, became the 20th state of the Union……1817.

“Pretty Undisciplined”!

Something that I have saying since 2016…..and yes it is referring to our dear President Trump……

Well ex-SecState Rex Tillerson has confirmed my conclusion……during an interview with CBS Tillerson opened up…..

Rex Tillerson has been relatively tight-lipped about his time in the Trump White House. But, some nine months after Trump fired him (an “unceremonious firing by tweet,” Politico recalls), the former secretary of state has finally spoken publicly about his interactions with the president in a “rare interview” with Bob Schieffer of CBS, the Washington Post reports, adding that in the interview “he didn’t call Trump a ‘moron,’ but he didn’t exactly suggest that Trump was a scholar.” Tillerson did reportedly say that the president is “pretty undisciplined,” which was a challenge for Tillerson “coming from the disciplined, highly process-oriented ExxonMobil corporation.” Here’s more from Tillerson’s interview with Schieffer:

  • On Trump clashing with Tillerson: “Obviously we are starkly different in our styles. We did not have a common value system. When the president would say, ‘Here’s what I want to do and here’s how I want to do it,’ I’d have to say to him, ‘Mr. President, I understand what you want to do, but you can’t do it that way. It violates the law. It violates a treaty.’ You know, he got really frustrated.”
  • On Trump’s leadership style: “He acts on his instincts; in some respects, that looks like impulsiveness. But it’s not his intent to act on impulse. I think he really is trying to act on his instincts.”
  • On Trump’s decision-making: “[Trump] doesn’t like to read, doesn’t read briefing reports, doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things, but rather just kind of says, ‘This is what I believe.’”

Life is good when those once close to Our Dear Supreme Leader confirms my observations…..

A smile to end my posting day…..

Gen. Kelly Goes Bye Bye

Another One Bites The Dust!

John Kelly has been the Trump Chief of Staff since the early days of the admin….once Priebus got on the wrong side of Our Supreme Leader….Kelly was an adult in an infantile White House only he could bring sanity to the Oval Office…..well that did not work out as thought…..his spine was not as rigid as we were told.

Personally, I thought in the beginning that he might be a good choice but early on it was illustrated that he would not be anything other than another “yes” man without a spine.

Well word has come out that he will take a powder at the end of this year…..

– It’s official: John Kelly is leaving the White House. “John Kelly will be leaving toward the end of the year,” said President Trump while heading out for the Army-Navy game Saturday, USA Today reports. Rumors had been swirling after White House sources said Kelly was on his way out—and Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s most senior aide, might be taking his place, per the Wall Street Journal. “Stop calling John [Kelly] for anything,” President Trump was quoted as saying. “Call Nick. He’s my guy.” But Trump aides warned that Ayers was more a Pence advocate, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly criticized Ayers’ foreign-policy skills. On the plus side, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner—who have bristled under Kelly’s command-and-control style as chief of staff—are said to be pro-Ayers.

Kelly repeatedly clashed with Trump and lost some West Wing authority during his 17-month tenure, per CNN. A former Marine Corps general, Kelly imposed discipline on a freewheeling White House but saw Trump work around his who-gets-to-see-Trump-when rules. Kelly also made his own problems, erupting in a profanity-laced exchange with national security adviser John Bolton, engaging in a “near brawl” with informal Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski, slamming Rep. Frederica Wilson with false information, and apparently mishandling the abuse scandal around ex-staff secretary Rob Porter. Kelly also denied reports that he’d called Trump “an idiot” and considered himself “the lone bulwark against catastrophe” in Trump’s White House. Trump called Kelly “a great guy” in announcing his departure.

They say that the Chief of Staff for Pence will be chosen to take Kelly’s place at the side of Trump…..well maybe not……

President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff John Kelly, Nick Ayers, is no longer expected to fill the role, the AP reports. Ayers, who is chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, was seen as the favorite for the job when Trump announced Saturday that Kelly would leave around year’s end. But a White House official said Sunday that Trump and Ayers could not reach agreement on Ayers’ length of service and that he would instead assist the president from outside the administration. Ayers confirmed the decision in a tweet Sunday, thanking Trump and Pence for giving him the opportunity to work in the White House: “I will be departing at the end of the year but will work with the #MAGA team to advance the cause,” he said. (He was actually a somewhat controversial choice.)

It was not immediately clear whether Trump had a new favorite for the post. The official was not authorized to discuss the personnel issue by name and spoke on condition of anonymity. Ayers and Trump had discussed the job for months. The new hire was to be key to a West Wing reshuffling to shift focus toward the 2020 re-election campaign and the challenge of governing with Democrats in control of the House. President Donald Trump is considering four people as he determines who will be his next chief of staff, per the AP. A person familiar with Trump’s thinking says the director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, is among those under consideration to replace John Kelly.

Well CRAP!

Who will be the next person in DC to prove that they have NO spine?

Just A Thought!

Where Oh Where Did The Economy Go?

If you are a junkie for this president then you will know about the extremely good economy that he is presiding over, right?

Then explain the yo-yo effect in the last week.  Something has investors nervous.  Wassup wit dat?

We hear that hundreds of thousands of jobs are being created…..or the factories that are re-opening….on and on…..but just how good is this economy for those that do not have legacy money or lots of zeros in a bank account?

The U.S. mobility rate dropped again to a new low in 2017, with just 10.1% of Americans moving homes, according to new data from the Census Bureau.

Why it matters: Economic opportunity isn’t enough to get people moving anymore. And less mobility could mean the wealthy areas of the U.S. continue to accumulate wealth, while the poorer areas will remain poor because people are less likely to move for better jobs and companies are less likely to move for cheaper labor.

https://www.axios.com/americans-not-moving-economy-booming-mobility-acea1512-0f7d-45e2-a8b1-dd8ea02ea1bb.html

With all the great news about the economy then why is there still abject poverty?  Why is that?

What does it mean to be poor? Currently there are two basic ways to define poverty. To get a better measure of who needs help — and a better sense of how to provide it — society needs a third definition.

The first definition is absolute poverty — essentially, material destitution. Human beings need food, water and shelter, and if we can’t afford these things, life is pretty miserable. In the U.S., the federal government has poverty guidelines that are based on food consumption: If you make less than about three times the minimum amount people need to spend on food each year, you’re poor.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-11-26/poverty-in-america-greater-than-statistics-indicate

THe American Dream is dead….dead….dead…..and who can we say killed it?

Donald Trump, during a recent stop on his “Anarchy in the UK” tour, argued that the mass influx of immigrants into Europe is causing Great Britain and other nations to “lose their culture.” The fear of cultural dilution and transformation as a consequence of shifting demographics is widespread, and it resonates in the United States, too, especially among those who support the current president.

Stephen Bannon, Tucker Carlson, and other popular right-wing figures have warned of threats to national identity in an American context, contending that Mexicans will not assimilate and that Islam is incompatible with liberal democracy and secular governance. Liberals and libertarians often respond by recalling the long tradition of assimilation in American history, along with the outrage that often accompanies new arrivals. Nearly every ethnic group, from the Italians to the Chinese, has been the target of political and social hostility. It is an old story, but one worth telling, and it is an old debate, but one worth having. Border sovereignty, even to someone like me who probably favors more liberal immigration laws than most TAC readers, is a legitimate issue and not to be easily dismissed.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/corporate-capitalists-killed-american-identity/

But if things are as bad as all this then why is Trump trumpeting(no pun intended) his support for the Middle Class and all Americans?

President Trump’s iron clad campaign promise that auto layoffs would cease has evaporated into hot air. At his rustbelt rallies Trump insisted that if he won the election the auto industry would so fear him that they would not only end layoffs of American workers, but bring back the factories they had built overseas.

Late last month, General Motors announced it would slash its salaried workers by 15 percent and terminate one in four of its executives. The “reset” will be felt well beyond the company’s Oshawa plant in Ontario, Lordstown, Ohio, Detroit and Warren, Michigan and White Marsh, Maryland GM targeted for layoffs.

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/12/trumps-concern-working-class-just-convenient-campaign-slogan/

If you have money then you are smiling….if you have no savings then you are worried about the coming year……pretty much America as usual.

By The Way….remember those tax cuts that were gonna makes us all wealthier?

Most Americans expect to pay less in federal taxes this year, after President Trump and Republicans in Congress passed a last-minute tax bill last December.

But thanks to a rule change that the Internal Revenue Service made Thursday, a lot of Americans will reportedly be paying a bit more in taxes in 2019 than they thought they would–and even more in later years. Eventually, maybe a lot more.

It all comes down to a simple math equation, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal–or more accurately a series of simple math equations. Because the tax law uses particular dollar amounts to establish thresholds for different things–tax brackets, the amounts of deductions, etc.–the IRS has to adjust many of these numbers for inflation each year.

Chipping The Workers!

I am a dog person and I love my friends so I have them micro-chipped so they can be quickly identified and they can be returned home in the shortest space of time safely.

Look at that face!

It is wonderful technology……but only it used properly.

But would you consider being micro-chipped by your employer?

The prospect of UK firms implanting their staff with microchips in order to improve security and efficiency has raised concerns among trade unions.

Several legal and financial firms in the UK are reportedly in discussions with a company responsible for fitting thousands of people with chips in Scandinavia.

The chips, which are about the size of a grain of rice, are usually implanted beneath the skin between the thumb and forefinger and use radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to allow people to replace physical key cards, IDs and even train tickets.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/microchip-uk-workers-employees-privacy-bioteq-biohax-cbi-tuc-trade-union-a8629656.html

Personally, I do not want my employer chipping me….that would give they way too much control over my life….a control that they want to possess.

Anyone else have a thought on this?

Then I shall say TTFN…be well. be safe……chuq

The “Green New Deal”

This is why I dislike the Dems so much….the Progressives have come up with a plan for a “Green New Deal”………

We understand the problem ― we can’t allow temperatures to rise by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gives the world 12 years to make substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to avoid severe climate effects later this century ― including in the United States. The urgency of the situation can’t be overstated.

We have momentum ― incoming Democrats, like Reps.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, are building support for an ambitious climate plan, and more than 15 members of Congress are calling for a select committee with a mandate to draft comprehensive legislation: a Green New Deal. We have the outline of a plan: We need a mass mobilization of people and resources, something not unlike the U.S. involvement in World War II or the Apollo moon missions ― but even bigger. We must transform our energy system, transportation, housing, agriculture and more.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/11/30/we-can-pay-green-new-deal

This is a great idea….the problem is that it is NOT a Dem idea…..this was first proposed 8 years ago by the Green Party USA…….

And if you like facts then read this fact……http://www.gp.org/green_new_deal

But at least I am not alone knowing where this “idea” came from……

This week progressives nationwide are talking about a Green New Deal and, while mainstream media is saying that insurgent Democrats came up with this, we beg to differ! We applaud the efforts of Democrats for finally adopting what the Global Greens began to work on in in 2006 while noting that the delay of 12 years is very significant when it comes to climate change.

The Green Party has been advocating for a massive jobs and public works program to transition our energy infrastructure rapidly over to renewable energy for more than a decade [1]. The project truly began with a Global Greens ‘Green New Deal Task Force’, first formulated in 2006. It was brought into American Green political campaigns by Howie Hawkins when he ran for governor in 2014 [2]. Next Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka highlighted it in their 2016 presidential campaign [3] while many more American Green candidates have run campaigns using it since that time.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/11/29/sorry-democrats-the-green-party-came-up-with-the-green-new-deal/

Time to give credit where credit is due….and bring in the people that thought this idea up as part of the team to pass this policy.

To be honest I do love all these grand plans…..knowing that they will probably go nowhere….but it does make good optics and slogans…that be bitchin’

Farewell To A President

Over this past weekend this country lost a president……POTUS 41…..George HW Bush died at age 94…..

I admit I was never a supporter of his……I worked against him in his run against Clinton but to be fair I worked in opposition to Clinton as well…..but from an international relations point of view Bush1 was a good president…..as the 41st president he oversaw the end of the Cold War and the beginning of a uni-polar world…..he went to war on several occasions that I opposed……and worked hard to stop the wars ….

Richard Haass wrote a good piece about Bush1’s chops as president…..

I have worked for four US presidents, Democrats and Republicans alike, and perhaps the most important thing I have learned along the way is that little of what we call history is inevitable. What happens in this world is the result of what people choose to do and choose not to do when presented with challenges and opportunities.

George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, was presented with more than his share of challenges and opportunities, and the record is clear: he left the country and the world considerably better off than he found them.

I worked for and often with Bush for all four years of his presidency. I was the National Security Council member responsible for overseeing the development and execution of policy for the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. I was also brought into a good many other policy deliberations.

https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/the-world-george-h-w-bush-made/

I think I liked Bush as a man because he actually served this country in the time of war…..the last president to do so……

And so passes George Herbert Walker Bush, the last American President to face combat. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor that drew the United States into World War II, he deferred admission to Yale and joined the Navy at the age of 18, just out of prep school in the June of 1942. He went to war in 1943, barely a man, saying later, “I was scared but I was willing. I was young, but I was ready. I had barely started living when I began to see men die.” He saw significant combat across the Pacific as a carrier-based bomber pilot, serving with deep courage and commitment, completing 58 combat missions and surviving two crashes.

http://time.com/5468640/george-hw-bush-military-service-navy/

But my memories are not all glowing…..I feel that under his leadership the GOP was handed over to the Religious Right which had the beginnings of the world we have today.

He also was a better president….he called supply side economics its better name voodoo economics….we can give him the win for the Cold War and he did what needed doing at the time raised taxes (that was the kiss of death for the rich donors) and he looked for a balance between the branches…..

I may not have wanted this person to be re-elected but I did appreciate what he was attempting to do as far as foreign policy goes….not much I would have supported but could understand.

But at least it threw Trump off the headlines and I bet he has had a sigh of relief for that.

Goodbye HW….You will be missed…..RIP

Sully, HW’s service dog bids farewell.