The War Budget

Every year we hear abut the defense budget and every year it gets larger and larger…..sucking up more and more of much needed revenue for the country.

I have been saying for decades that the Pentagon is destroying the capabilities of this country all the while making defense contractors richer and richer…..war is big business…..

Imagine. It cost America more to fight a ragged band of insurgents and terrorists than the Red Army, Red Guards, Viet Cong, Khmer Rouge, Korean People’s Army, and the rest of communism’s many axes of evil. And real military outlays today remain well above even Reagan’s enhanced levels.

Corporate America quickly seized its opportunity for gain. Hartung quoted Boeing Vice President Harry Stonecipher warning politicians not to get between the companies and the cash: “the purse is now open . . . any member of Congress who doesn’t vote for the funds we need to defend this country will be looking for a new job after next November.” Boeing’s PAC was experienced at winning votes for the Export-Import Bank, a fount of corporate welfare nicknamed Boeing’s Bank for munificently underwriting the company’s airline sales. Boeing also added to the horde of lobbyists, an estimated 700-plus for the infamous merchants of death alone. Many of these agents of influence served in either the Pentagon or Congress, putting their career contacts to profitable use.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/war-is-big-business/

Let’s be honest…..the Pentagon budget should be called what it truly is…..a War Budget.

The misleading first name of the Defense Department doesn’t justify using “defense” as an adjective for its budget. On the contrary, the ubiquitous use of phrases like “defense budget” and “defense spending” – virtually always written with a lower-case “d” – reinforces the false notion that equates the USA’s humongous military operations with defense.

In the real world, the United States spends more money on its military than the next 10 countries all together. And most of those countries are military allies.

What about military bases in foreign countries? The U.S. currently has 750, while Russia has about two dozen and China has one. The author of the landmark book “Base Nation,” American University professor David Vine, just co-wrote a report that points out “the United States has at least three times as many overseas bases as all other countries combined.” Those US bases abroad “cost taxpayers an estimated $55 billion annually.”

Stop Calling the Military Budget a ‘Defense’ Budget

The problem is that even Progressives for all their big talk cannot step back from the M-IC and its cash……

Military contractor campaign donations, propaganda, and patriotism account for much of the support for our endless wars and preparation for them, costly in economic, environmental, and human ways. In addition, a multitude of interests sustains the military and its budget, and encourages silence about its wars of aggression and other activities.

The antiwar movement must contend with the many ordinary citizens who may have no desire to kill people, destroy the environment, or overthrow governments. They are trying to earn a living, fund their charitable organizations and schools, or save their communities from economic devastation. At present, without a national budget devoted to human needs, they see no other choice but to slip under the wings of the lush military budget.

The military contracts for almost everything. Along with other government enterprises, such as prisons and highways, this further ensures their survival while contributing to booming regional economies where unemployment levels are low.

https://covertactionmagazine.com/2021/10/04/addicted-to-military-keynesianism-why-cant-even-our-most-progressive-politicians-break-with-the-military-industrial-complex/

Our country needs to repair itself….both socially and internationally and spending billions on war will do neither.

But as usual the people sleep through all the destruction…..and yet pretend they care.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Closing Thought–09Sep21

We all know about this War on Terror…..but do you know what it has cost in funds and lives?

The US-led “war on terror” has killed nearly one million people globally and cost more than $8 trillion since it began nearly two decades ago, according to a report from Brown University’s Costs of War Project.

The landmark report, which was published on Wednesday, examines the tolls of wars waged by the US in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other regions where the US military is engaged in conflicts referred to as “forever wars”.

“It’s critical we properly account for the vast and varied consequences of the many US wars and counter-terror operations since 9/11, as we pause and reflect on all of the lives lost,” said the project’s co-director, Neta Crawford, in a statement accompanying the report. 

“Our accounting goes beyond the Pentagon’s numbers because the costs of the reaction to 9/11 have rippled through the entire budget.”

The report estimates that the war on terror, which will mark its 20th anniversary on 11 September, had directly killed 897,000 to 929,000 people – including at least 387,072 civilians.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/us-led-global-war-terror-has-killed-nearly-one-million-people

A staggering cost of lives and funds…..

Somewhere I hope that sanity will finally set in and a new direction for our foreign policy other than shoot first a hope it turns out well….and it seldom does.

(You guessed it…..there will be a post coming about the changes that are desperately needed in our foreign policy)

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Why The Defense Budget Never Goes Down

As you know I believe the US spend way too much taxpayer money on weapons and so-called defense.

The Pentagon is a problem….a problem we refuse to solve.

A sad indictment of the system…..we spend over $700 billion a year on the Pentagon and they seldom ever pass an audit of their practices and expenditures…..

When the Pentagon launched its first-ever independent financial audit back in 2017, backers of accountability in government welcomed it as a major step for a department with a track record of financial boondoggles.

But the Defense Department failed that audit – and the next two as well. Now lawmakers are introducing a bipartisan bill that would impose a penalty for any part of the department, including the military, that fails to undergo a “clean” audit.

“The Pentagon and the military industrial complex have been plagued by a massive amount of waste, fraud and financial mismanagement for decades. That is absolutely unacceptable,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who co-sponsored the bill with Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, along with Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Mike Lee, R-Utah.

Despite having trillions of dollars in assets and receiving hundreds of billions in federal dollars annually, the department has never detailed its assets and liabilities in a given year. For the past three financial years, the Defense Department’s audit has resulted in a “Disclaimer of Opinion,” meaning the auditor didn’t get enough accounting records to form an assessment.

https://www.npr.org/2021/05/19/997961646/the-pentagon-has-never-passed-an-audit-some-senators-want-to-change-that

And yet they get increasingly more and more cash…..

If the taxpayer truly wants to know where their money is spent and wasted….then  look no further than the Pentagon.

I have written many times about the extreme money that the US throws at the Pentagon…..after the fall of the Soviet Union one would think that without a major competitor on the international stage we could save some cash and lessen the cash thrown at the Pentagon….but that has not happened…..why is that?

It is not rocket science….the M-IC needs an enemy and the government will create a threat as needed….

Strange, isn’t it? Our secretary of state emphatically claims that China has been acting “more aggressively abroad” and behaving “increasingly in adversarial ways.” No, he insists, we’re not exactly at the edge of a new cold war or planning, in the style of the last century, to “contain China.” All this country is doing is “uphold[ing] this rules-based order — that China is posing a challenge to. Anyone who poses a challenge to that order, we’re going to stand up and — and defend it.” Ah, you remember that “rules-based order,” don’t you? The one this country has sponsored in this century with an endless series of losing wars across the Greater Middle East and Africa, right?

Our secretary of defense, mentioning no country by name (cough, cough, but you know which one he has in mind), recently said: “I’ll never forget the valor that I saw and the lessons that I learned as a commander in Iraq and CENTCOM. But the way we’ll fight the next major war is going to look very different from the way we fought the last ones.” (The assumption being, of course, that such a war will indeed be fought.) And the Pentagon is already focusing its energy on just such a possible future war against “near-peer competitors” from the Arctic to the South China Sea. Even President Biden, addressing Congress and the nation, emphasized that “we’re in competition with China and other countries to win the twenty-first century.”

Why the Pentagon Budget Never Goes Down

There you have it…..what was once the USSR is now China…..

Just think what this country could do with $700 billion it would save with some reduction to the funds at the Pentagon…..

Just a thought!

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Biden On Budget Predictions

I have been trying to help my readers navigate the ins and outs of Biden’s policies he is trying to get through a divided Congress.

Biden has offered up his first budget as president and it has many great points……

President Biden released a $1.5 trillion wish list for the federal budget on Friday, one that seeks substantial increases for Democratic priorities like education, health care, housing, and environmental protection, per the AP. The request by the White House budget office spells out Biden’s top priorities as Congress weighs its spending plans for next year. Highlights:

  • The Biden request provides a relatively small 1.6% increase to the $700 billion-plus Pentagon budget. Homeland security accounts would basically be frozen, reflecting opposition among Democratic progressives to immigration security forces.
  • Biden wants to increase the Education Department’s budget by a massive 40.8% to $102.8 billion, which includes an additional $20 billion in grants for high-poverty schools.
  • The Department of Health Human Services would get a 23.1% boost to $133.7 billion. There would be additional funds to combat opioid addiction and for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whose mission took on new urgency in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The administration is also asking for $6.5 billion to establish a biomedical research agency to address cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases.
  • Biden is seeking a $14 billion increase across government agencies to address climate change.
  • Housing and Urban Development would get a 15.1% increase to $68.7 billion, primarily to provide housing vouchers for an additional 200,000 families.
  • The administration also seeks more money for civil rights enforcement addressing gun violence as a public health epidemic.
  • The plan also details how the Biden administration will try to deal with the influx of arrivals at the southern border. It includes $861 million to invest in Central America to address the forces driving people to migrate to the United States. An additional $345 million would go to immigration services to resolve delays in years-long naturalization and asylum cases. The budget for the Executive Office of Immigration Review would jump 21% to $891 million in order to hire 100 new immigration judges and support teams to reduce the existing backlogs.

I like the expansion of education which is an excellent idea…..but dislike the increase to a bloated Pentagon budget that has been sucking up funds for way too long.

An ambitious budget…..but how far will this go in a divided Congress populated with dullards and cowards.

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“lego ergo scribo”

The Iron Triangle

This could be that area of South Vietnam during that war……

The heavily forested Cu Chi and Iron Triangle jungles were frequently... |  Download Scientific Diagram

…..but it is not for no one gives a shit about that war anymore…..nor the Iron Triangle from the Korean War.

The Iron Triangle I am talking about in this post is a political or should I say a bureaucratic one.

I recent tried to inform my readers about the government contract process……https://lobotero.com/2020/09/29/those-government-contracts/

And that lead me to this particular part of our federal bureaucracy….the Iron Triangle.

But first a few words about the institution we called bureaucracy…..

Red tape. Paper pushers. Bean counters. Vast, cookie-cutter buildings with fluorescent lighting and thousands of file cabinets.

These are the images that come to mind when many Americans think of government bureaucracy. A bureaucrat is someone who works in administrative capacity for the government. How important are bureaucrats and their government agencies in actually running the United States government? According to some, they are the real government — the ones behind the scenes who go to work when the politicians are enjoying the spotlight.

Max Weber, a German sociologist was one of the first people in modern times to think seriously about the importance of bureaucracy. The term actually comes from the French word “bureau,” a reference to the small desks that the king’s representatives set up in towns as they traveled across the country on king’s business. So bureaucracy literally means “government with a small desk.”

https://www.ushistory.org/gov/8.asp

Now on to the Iron Triangle…..

Iron Triangle Examples

The term “iron triangle” is a term used to describe the dynamics of policy-making between special interest groups, Congress and governmental agencies. The interrelationship between these three factions can create a self-sufficient (and sometimes corrupt) sub governmental situation in which American citizens’ best interests are ignored in favor of receiving special favors and regulation changes for passing particular legislation.

Other times, special interest groups (SIGs) like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will lobby to have meaningful laws passed that protect a certain group of people. Let’s take a look at the good and the bad with the following iron triangle examples.

Special interest groups are a key element in the iron triangle because they can create a governmental situation in which their lobbyists have an undue influence on government.

Another corner of the iron triangle is Congress. Congress exchanges “friendly legislation” to interest groups as well as bureaucrats and governmental agencies in order to gain their support in elections.

Anyone that has studied Civics, you know that dying subject that few care about, they would understand what the “Triangle” represents.

The Iron Triangle

The Iron Triangle is responsible for the stalemate in Congress…if the legislation does not benefit them then they throw cash at select Congresspeople and bring any progress to a halt.

The Iron Triangle needs to be dismembered once and for all…never to return to hold the nation captive.

Just A Thought!

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“lego ergo scribo”

Battle Of The Pentagon

As most Americans are aware of, at least not those that read IST, the Pentagon gets money it does not need.

I have written before that as long as the people are calling for defunding this or that….why not start looking more closely at the budget of the Pentagon….I mean the waste there out stretches the imagination and they get away with it.

Maybe just defund out endless wars would be a better place to start.

Arguments for “ending endless war” dovetail seamlessly with the M4BL invest-divest framework. Indeed, M4BL has issued a call to cut military expenditures and reallocate funds to domestic infrastructure and community wellbeing. But the similarities go beyond shared demands to shift funding priorities. The call to end America’s permanent war footing involves a transformative vision of its own: abandoning a posture of American military dominance.

Rethinking U.S. military primacy is a necessary corollary to ending state-sanctioned violence at home because America’s wars abroad sustain and feed into militarized and racialized domestic policing. Beyond the conveyor belt of equipment, training, and manpower that circulates between America’s wars – within our borders and overseas – lie massive vested interests in what today is best understood as the military-industrial-policing complex. And this complex profits from and entrenches the very forms of racialized state violence that protesters oppose.

Defund America’s Endless Wars

Recently the Progressives tried to introduce a b ill that would cut the Pentagon’s budget by 10%…….centrists Dems went hand in hand with Repubes to defeat the idea of the cut……but the idea is gaining popularity and has a good chance of winning this debate…

This comes on the heels of two major votes in the House and the Senate to cut the Pentagon budget by 10 percent. Both amendments were soundly defeated.

Yet while the picture may look bleak, there is cause for optimism about reducing the Pentagon budget. In fact, conditions look more favorable today than they have at any time for at least a decade. That’s owed to organizing inside of Congress, an energized progressive foreign policy movement, and a new national reckoning over budget priorities propelled into the nation’s consciousness by the national uprisings over systemic white supremacy and the coronavirus crisis.

Comparing the recent votes to cut the Pentagon budget with a similar vote in 2017 illustrates the point. Three years ago, the House voted on an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill to cut the Pentagon budget by one percent, or just $7 billion. That year, 35 percent of House Democrats supported the cut. Contrast that with today’s House effort, led by Representatives Barbara Lee and Mark Pocan, which sought to chop 10 percent, or $74 billion, off the Pentagon’s topline. Today, 40 percent of House Democrats supported the amendment, despite the fact that members of their own party wrote the bill. And in a parallel Senate effort, led by Senators Bernie Sanders, Ed Markey, and Elizabeth Warren, nearly half of the Democratic Caucus voted for the amendment, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has not been known to be supportive of such measures.

Why we will win the fight to cut the Pentagon budget

Not to worry…the M-IC machine will hit back and help keep any cuts from happening….this piece gives good sound reasons for not cutting the Pentagon budget….

It’s election season. Politicians at both the federal and state levels are looking for ways of bolstering their reelection prospects. One way of doing this is to stage public spectacles, the modern version of ancient Rome’s gladiatorial games, designed to gain support for politicians from average voters. The most recent example of this strategy in action has been a campaign of attacks on so-called Big Tech: companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google.

There have been antitrust investigations and even calls to break up these tech giants. Whether it is lawsuits by state attorneys general or hearings before congressional committees, the goal is to demonize these companies primarily for their success. The trouble is that in seeking to score near-term political points, these politicians are not only maligning great American companies but threatening the nation’s economic health and national security.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2020/08/01/election-year_attacks_on_big_tech_will_undercut_peace_and_prosperity_115513.html

Did you see where they say that these acts will threaten our economic health and national security?

That is M-IC speak that actually means it will cut our profits and that is unacceptable.

Finally there is a push to defund the Pentagon and it has bi-partisanship…..plus it will help defund the police as well…..

Many liberals and progressives in the Democratic Party have been loudly calling for the defunding of police departments around the country after the tragic death of a black man, George Floyd, at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer. While defunding the police — not to be confused with disbanding the police — means different things to different people, most advocates propose redirecting a portion of city and county police budgets to social programs, mental health intervention, combating homelessness, and affordable housing programs.

Conservatives and Republicans have generally pushed back against calls to defund the police. They typically maintain that the level of police misconduct is overstated, that police departments just need to be reformed, and that violent crime and property crime will increase if police department budgets are cut. In response to some major cities calling for defunding the police, Donald Trump simply said, “We won’t be defunding our police. We won’t be dismantling our police. We won’t be disbanding our police. We won’t be ending our police force.” Certainly the president knows that funding levels for police departments are decided on the local level without any input whatsoever from the federal government?

Defund the Pentagon

Just thinking out loud!

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“lego ergo scribo”

That 2021 Pentagon Budget

I think that the Pentagon Budget is way too high and that it makes for waste…..the new budget for 2021 was up for a vote and there was a movement to cut 10% out of the budget…..a move that I agreed with but thought it should be higher)….

Not to worry…..the M-IC owns Congress so the deal to cut the budget was defeated….and after that 37 Dems voted to approve the wasteful budget……..

Hours after the Republican Party released a coronavirus relief proposal including $0 for election assistance funding and no additional funding for cities and states as the country continues to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act on Thursday, allocating $740.5 billion to the Pentagon.  

The annual military budget bill was passed with a vote of 86-14, with 37 Democrats joining the Republicans in supporting the proposal. View the full roll call here. 

Progressives including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.),and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) voted against the bill.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/23/day-after-voting-down-10-pentagon-cut-37-senate-dems-join-gop-approve-740-billion

Not worry those VP picks are right on target…the Progressive voted “No” and the  sell out voted “yes”…..

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, two leading contenders for the 2020 Democratic vice presidential nomination, voted opposite ways Wednesday on an amendment to slash the Pentagon budget by 10% and invest the savings in healthcare, housing, and education in impoverished U.S. communities.

Warren, a co-sponsor of the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), voted in favor of the measure while Harris voted against. The amendment, led by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), was defeated by a margin of 23-77, with 24 Democratic senators voting no. See the full roll call here.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)—one of more than a dozen potential vice presidential picks being vetted by the Biden campaign—also voted against the amendment, which would have reduced the proposed $740.5 billion Pentagon budget for fiscal year 2021 by $74 billion.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/22/top-vp-contenders-diverge-warren-votes-yes-and-harris-votes-no-slashing-pentagon

There you have it……Biden who is a centrist sell out and two of his picks for VP Duckworth and Harris….and now we know who owns those Senators.

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Remember Benghazi!

Closing Thought–18Feb20

It was just a couple of years ago…..I know that is a lifetime thanks to social media….and the GOP was chest thumping and looking for blood from the Obama administration because of the death of the American ambassador in an attack in Benghazi, Libya.

We had months and months and lots of insulting words uttered by those dim witted Repubes….and in the end there was not much that could be done except bitch and moan…..

So I found this story interesting from the Trump administration……

The Trump administration has left an organization created in honor of Chris Stevens, the US ambassador killed in the 2012 Benghazi attack, out of its next budget. The fiscal 2021 budget proposal eliminates the $5 million requested for the nonprofit Stevens Initiative, part of the $420 million cut from the State Department’s cultural and educational programs, the Washington Post reports. The Stevens Initiative funding has been cut for the past two years, but Congress put it back in both times. A State Department official said it’s possible the $5 million for the program—the same amount it has received the past two years—could show up elsewhere in the budget before the final version is approved. The organization advocates online exchanges among US, Middle East, and North Africa students.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made his name investigating the Benghazi attack, Foreign Policy points out, and blaming Hillary Clinton, his predecessor, and other Democrats for the deaths of four Americans. Pompeo was a second-term congressman from Kansas at the time. Donald Trump said the same things in campaigning on the issue in 2016. “By the way, with Benghazi and with our ambassador—remember? That’s all Hillary Clinton, folks,” Trump said. The Stevens Initiative says it’s helped tens of thousands of students with virtual cultural exchanges. A colleague of the ambassador to Libya said Stevens’ interest “was in communities we couldn’t otherwise reach.”

If you thought the Repubes would be up in arms after using the deaths as a political tool….then you will be hearing the sound of crickets.

Typical from the cowardly Repubes…..but not to worry since all money issues originate in the House then I believe it will be put back in…..

I Read I Know, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Update on the 2020 Trump Budget.

I gave my readers a look at the preliminary budget being offered by Trump for 2021……https://lobotero.com/2020/02/10/new-trump-budget/ and a few thoughts before we look into the budget……https://www.crfb.org/blogs/what-will-budget-look-2021

According to Trump Social Security and Medicare will be saved from cuts….and the real report has come out……either Trump does not know what is in his budget or he was lying……(I believe the later applies here)……

President Donald Trump posted a tweet on Saturday vowing, “We will not be touching your Social Security and Medicare in Fiscal 2021 Budget.” One day later, the Wall Street Journal published a report indicating that Trump is doing exactly that with his budget proposal.

The Journal’s report, which came a day ahead of the administration officially releasing its budget on Monday, indicates that Trump’s $4.8 trillion budget includes “steep reductions in social-safety-net programs,” including cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security disability programs:

The White House proposes to cut spending by $4.4 trillion over a decade. Of that, it targets $2 trillion in savings from mandatory spending programs, including $130 billion from changes to Medicare prescription-drug pricing, $292 billion from safety-net cuts—such as work requirements for Medicaid and food stamps—and $70 billion from tightening eligibility access to disability benefits.

https://www.vox.com/2020/2/10/21131316/trump-2021-budget-entitlement-cuts

There is stuff that ALL seniors need to know about the new budget proposal……

Seniors should think of the proposed budget as President Trump’s “wish list”: not all of his proposals will take effect. Most, but not all, of his proposals would require the cooperation of the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and the Republican-controlled Senate.

Here are the line items from Trump’s 2021 budget that would have the greatest impact on seniors.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/elenabotella/2020/02/10/what-seniors-need-to-know-about-trumps-2021-federal-budget/#514a3cf53842

This budget will take some dickering to get passed…..but will it?

Another problem I see with this budget…..

Budget proposals for fiscal 2021 released Monday afternoon call for $4.5 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative, a fund started by the Obama administration in the aftermath of Russia’s 2014 invasion of parts of eastern Ukraine and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, which sparked a conflict that continues to inflict casualties on both sides. The latest proposal represents a precipitous drop from the $6 billion enacted for the current fiscal year and $6.5 billion the year before. Congress approved funding in line with administration requests for those years.

https://www.usnews.com/news/world-report/articles/2020-02-10/trump-seeks-steep-cut-to-fund-designed-to-deter-russia-from-threats-to-europe

But not to worry the Imperial President now has his sycophants in place to rubber stamp his every move…..

President Trump released his 2021 budget on Monday to great fanfare, but don’t expect to hear much about it in terms of Senate debate. The chair of the Senate Budget Committee says he won’t even schedule a hearing on it because the document is essentially meaningless, reports the Hill. That isn’t an anti-Trump slam: Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming gave the same treatment to former President Obama. His rationale is that any related hearing is a waste of time and turns into a “diatribe against the president,” reports Politico.

“I want to encourage people … not to waste any time searching out the president’s budget cuts,” Enzi told his fellow senators in a floor speech. “Congress doesn’t pay any attention to the president’s budget exercise. It’s all it is—an exercise. Congress holds the purse strings, according to the Constitution, and Congress is very protective of that constitutional authority.” Among other things, Trump’s $4.8 trillion blueprint calls for a big outlay in military spending, including the creation of a new submarine-launched nuclear warhead, reports the New York Times

Not to worry the economy is great…that is according to Trump….and yet this…..

In public, President Donald Trump likes to boast about—and usually inflate—the performance of the American economy on his watch. He picks through the numbers to take credit for everything good and sorts out everything not-so-good for dumping on his predecessors. The result: lots of exclamation points!

If you lived in a bubble where Twitter Trump was your sole news source, you’d be pretty fired up, which makes it odd that on Monday the very same Trump White House said it intends to slash a scheduled pay raise for civilian federal employees. Cutting the 2.5 percent raise set for 2021 to 1 percent for millions of federal workers seems a bit austere in the face of such self-proclaimed boom times. Even more absurdly, Trump is justifying ordering the cut on the grounds that the country is in the midst of a “national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare,” which the White House says authorizes the president to “implement alternative plans for pay adjustments.”

So which is it? The best economy in the history of economies or a national economic emergency? Either way, somebody’s lying.

(slate.com)

And that is how you pull the wool over the eyes of the voter……

It pains me to see how our government is going into the toilet and I hope that the next president has more oversight than this Imperial one….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

New Trump Budget

Today is Monday the 10th of February and Trump’s new budget will be released today ……

Let’s look at what it will be and who will get the knife……

Confronted with trillion-dollar-plus deficits for as far as the eye can see, President Trump is offering a budget plan that rehashes previously rejected spending cuts while leaving Social Security and Medicare benefits untouched. Trump’s fiscal 2021 budget plan, expected to be released Monday, isn’t likely to generate a serious Washington dialogue about what to do, if anything this election year, about entrenched fiscal problems that have deficits surging despite a healthy economy. It was being released on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, a move that minimizes attention. For more in a fairly critical AP summary:

  • The budget proposal relies on rosy economic projections and fanciful claims of future cuts to domestic programs to show that it is possible to bend the deficit curve in the right direction.
  • Trump and key administration figures such as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had promised that Trump’s signature cuts to corporate and individual tax rates would pay for themselves; instead the deficit spiked by more than $300 billion over 2017 to 2019, falling just short of $1 trillion. Part of it is eye-popping levels for defense, about $750 billion this year, and comparable gains for domestic programs favored by Democrats.
  • In this year’s budget release, Trump has revealed initiatives of interest to key 2020 battleground states, such as an increase to $250 million to restore Florida’s Everglades and a move to finally abandon a multibillion-dollar, never used, nuclear waste dump that’s political poison in Nevada. The White House also leaked word of a $25 billion proposal for “Revitalizing Rural America” with grants for broadband Internet access and other traditional infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges.
  • The Trump budget also promises a $3 billion increase—to $25 billion—for NASA in hopes of returning astronauts to the moon and on to Mars. It also is likely to reprise his small-bore infrastructure initiative while proposing a modest parental leave plan.
  • Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to promise voters that his budget “will not be touching your Social Security or Medicare” in keeping with his longstanding 2016 campaign promise.
  • The reality is that no one—Trump, the Democratic-controlled House, or the GOP-held Senate—has any interest in tackling a chronic budget gap that forces the government to borrow 22 cents of every dollar it spends.

The budget will be $5 trillion…..waiting for all those fiscal conservs to attack it….but that would require the GOP to grow a set of cajones…..not likely.

I cannot see this news as a big news maker for the week….it is an election and the regurgitation of the candidates will be more important especially starting Tuesday and the NH primary.

On a side note–the many trade wars that Trump has chose to inflict on our economy is costing the American family $1000+ a year….

President Donald Trump’s ongoing trade wars are expected to cost the average American family $1,277 this year, according to a study by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The figure is based on the negative impact of tariffs on economic growth, as well as higher prices to consumers as American manufacturers and retailers are forced to pay tariffs on imports.

Trump has boasted that trade wars are “easy to win,” and has repeatedly falsely insisted that China is paying tariffs directly into the U.S. Treasury. In fact, American companies importing goods or supplies pay tariffs enacted by Trump, and typically pass on those costs to consumers. In addition, U.S. industries are hurt by retaliatory tariffs enacted by other nations when American companies try to sell their products abroad.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/cbo-1277-trump-trade-war-cost_n_5e3f5db1c5b6f1f57f125dfe

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“lego ergo scribo”