It’s Infrastructure Stupid

Think back to the campaign of 2016….one of the big promises from Trump was to resurrect our dying infrastructure…..and so far we got nothing of the sorts.

But today the party leaders and Trump will meet on how to go about getting the $2 trillion for the plan that has been set forth.

This plan will go NOWHERE….why? The only way to pay for this plan is a rise in taxes on corporations and the wealthy……

With President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders set to meet Wednesday to discuss a possible $2 trillion infrastructure package, a progressive advocacy group on Monday warned that any proposal that doesn’t include significant tax hikes on the rich and corporations “will be meaningless and doomed to failure.”

“If major tax increases are off the table, there is no way to pay for a $2 trillion infrastructure plan, it’s that simple,” Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF), said in a statement. “Other options, such as raising the gas tax, might be part of the package, but by themselves won’t come close to reaching the $2 trillion that’s needed.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/05/20/without-tax-hikes-corporations-and-rich-critics-warn-2-trillion-infrastructure-plan

Every body agrees that our infrastructure is in trouble…….ever body agrees that it needs to be updated….the problem is NOBODY wants to pay for it.

I have an idea!

Since we have spent about $6 trillion on wars in the last decade or so…cancelling those abortions would easily pay for the infrastructure they all say they want.

The price tag of the ongoing “war on terror” in the Middle East will likely top $6 trillion next year, and will reach $7 trillion if the conflicts continue into the early 2020s, according to a new report out Wednesday.

The annual Costs of War project report, from the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, puts the full taxpayer burden of fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria over the last 17 years at several times higher than official Defense Department estimates, because it includes increases in Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs spending, as well as new military equipment and personnel.

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2018/11/14/price-tag-of-the-war-on-terror-will-top-6-trillion-soon/

The Fiscal Times look at out spending on wars as well….

“It’s important for the American people to understand the true costs of war, both the moral and monetary costs,” Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) said in a statement last week, according to The Hill. “Our nation continues to finance wars and military operations through borrowing, rather than asking people to contribute to the national defense directly, and the result is a serious fiscal drag that we’re not really accounting for or factoring into deliberations about fiscal policy or military policy.”

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2018/11/19/Problem-Our-6-Trillion-War-Tab

I think the easy answer would be the best answer.

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Feeding The Lord Of Chaos

For the last two years or so there has been an example of the Chaos theory…….you do not have to be a math geek to realize what is happening……

Chaos or Khaos is the primeval state of existence from which the first gods appeared. In other words, the dark void of space……in the case for this post replace  space with government.

First, just what is the Chaos Theory?

Chaos is the science of surprises, of the nonlinear and the unpredictable. It teaches us to expect the unexpected. While most traditional science deals with supposedly predictable phenomena like gravity, electricity, or chemical reactions, Chaos Theory deals with nonlinear things that are effectively impossible to predict or control, like turbulence, weather, the stock market, our brain states, and so on.

The Trump administration has NO form or reason…whether it is internationally or nationally….the policies are just thrown to the wind to see what plays well in Peoria.

Jeb Bush was the Cassandra of the 2016 presidential race. She was the figure in Greek mythology whose gift was being able to foresee the future — and whose curse was that she would not be believed.

Bush had the most accurate prediction of the campaign, if not of the 21st century. “He’s a chaos candidate,” he said of Donald Trump in a 2015 debate. “And he’d be a chaos president.”

https://www.nationalmemo.com/under-trump-the-chaos-never-ends/

Jeb was very prophetic……since January 2017 chaos has run the White House and the country.

Trump throws the shiny little objects of chaos up into the ir and his supporters flock to the destruction it will bring.

Plus he is proud that he sows chaos with NO actual answers or solutions….

Foreign policy under President Trump can often be wildly unpredictable, with optimistic offers of diplomacy and wild ravings about the “great suffering” he’s going to inflict militarily interspersed, and seemingly nobody in the administration on the same page.

So as the US threats against Iran spiral out of control, many saw it as business as usual, with Trump objecting to any report that there is disagreement within the administration. In comments Friday, President Trump indicated that his dangerously inscrutable foreign policy is by design.

Trump bragged on Twitter that “Iran can have no idea what is actually going on.” Later in the day, he was talking to real estate agents and said it was “probably a good thing” that Iran has no understanding of his policy toward them.

This all seems to verify Iran’s official position that the US is not approaching them in an honest manner. Administration offers of talks and threats of war are all built around a deliberate policy of making sure Iran, and for that matter the American public, have no idea what the president’s real intentions are.

(antiwar.com)

The Chaos that Trump is creating is making problems that will take a generation to repair….if ever……

The consolidation of Republican power in Washington was supposed to create huge dividends for every kind of interest group by eliminating legislative gridlock and brinkmanship and giving a single party power to set policy. By the same telling, this was supposed to be a particular boon for business owners (and, downstream, for workers), who would welcome a climate of lower taxes, laxer regulation, and greater certainty with new investment, and thus more jobs.

The concept of “certainty” was one Republicans in Congress wielded as a brickbat against President Obama for eight years only to abandon it when President Donald Trump, through a mix of incompetence and malevolence, turned uncertainty into a weapon.

In the realms of health, immigration, and foreign policy, Trump has managed to leave stakeholders on all sides of issues—consumers, providers, civilians, enforcers, diplomats, and entire countries—completely befuddled in ways that threaten to cause great harm. The question is whether people around Trump can convince him that the policy environment he has created needs to change, or, more ominously, whether he has convinced himself that chaos gives him the upper hand.

https://newrepublic.com/article/142065/trumps-chaos-causing-lasting-damage

The Chaos can be repaired but if it has 8 years to fester then the damage will be more permanent.

I do not see Trump being asked to teach a course on International Relations anytime soon…..maybe with a resurrected Trump University (God forbid)…..

A couple of closing thoughts…….

I laugh at people who tell me how smart they are……..and I do  not trust a baboon that sits with arms folded in front of his body as he answers questions….a sure fire way to spot a goddamn liar.

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

Tariffs…..Tariffs…..We All Fall Down

Of all the shiny objects that Trump and his lackeys throw out for the news to digest…tariffs is the biggest one for his supporters and our economy…….

I heard a report that advisers in the Whote House aren scrambling to explain the markets to this president…..

Seriously?

A “really smart person” and a graduate of the Wharton School of Business (the second most prestigious school of business) needs someone to explain the economics?  Did he sleep through that class at Wharton?

Let me help his supporters for they are wrapping themselves around a LIE.

How simple can I go?

A tariff is a TAX……how’s that for simple?

A tariff is a tax on goods coming into or leaving a country. That tax might be an ad valorem tax, which is a fixed percentage of the product’s price from time to time, or a specific tax that stays the same no matter what happens to the product’s price. Either way, the aim of import tariffs is to stop cheap goods from coming into the country from overseas and stealing market share of domestic producers. In this sense, tariffs are a form of protectionism, imposed to save industries that are especially vulnerable to competition from overseas.

I have tried to make it simple for people to understand tariffs and their results……

https://lobotero.com/2019/05/10/as-tariffs-come-and-go/

I am not so sure that Trump economic policies were the result of Trump economics……tariffs are proof for me…..they will bring the “surging” economy to a screeching halt.

Stupid is as stupid does!

A couple of idiotic statements from this group of mental midgets……

As the US-China trade war continues to rage, President Trump is not only defending the hugely disruptive effect it is having on the global economy, but promising that the “great patriot farmers” of America would reap the rewards when the US ultimately won the trade war.

Trump promised that the US government would compensate farmers for any losses they suffer from the tariffs, and suggested China would pay for that compensation in the form of the higher tariffs they are paying for the US allowing them “to do business with us.”

Trump’s promises to the farmers are likely driven by the political reality of the situation. Farmers heavily backed Trump’s election, and the trade war has heavily hurt their exports to China, as retaliatory sanctions have left them increasingly noncompetitive on the market.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) was a lot more comfortable with US farmers suffering in the trade war. Cotton insisted the hardship for them was “minimal,” and that China would suffer more than America would, suggesting that made it worth it.

Cotton further said that the hardships borne by American farmers was nothing compared to the sacrifices made by US soldiers in various wars overseas.

(antiwar.com)

Very smart?  MY ASS!

Trump’s lie that this is just a squabble with China seem to have soothed the feathers of Wall Street……markets are a bit more stable…..

Maybe he is smart….smart enough to know that a LIE will tamp down any opposition to Trump’s mash up with China.

Find His Way Back Home

Closing Thought–13May19

Rudy Giuliani is a political HACK……Americ’s Mayor is a JOKE!

The MSM has shown that it is about as predictable as I have been saying for decades.

The MSM likes to drive the news cycle…..and Rudy gave them the perfect opportunity to make the news for us mere mortals……

President Trump’s personal lawyer says he is urging Ukraine to open investigations that could benefit Trump politically in the United States. Rudy Giuliani used Twitter on Friday to explain his rationale for planning a trip to Kiev to push for two investigations, the AP reports. One is the origin of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference.

The other is the involvement of 2020 rival Joe Biden’s son in a gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch. Giuliani wrote to Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy to “explain to me why Biden shouldn’t be investigated,” and accused Democrats of interfering. Democrats rushed to denounce Giuliani. Rep. Jerrod Nadler said American politics were in “a sorry state” if the president’s lawyer was seeking foreign interference. Giuliani’s trip was first reported by the New York Times.

A Trump lackey pounding his chest as if he was something important…he is not…he is an enabler and the worse mouthpiece EVER!

President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani says it’s his right to travel to Ukraine to “defend” his client — to try to push for investigations that he thinks could be “very helpful” to the president. The New York Times first reported Giuliani’s travel plans — he told the Times that he plans to ask Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to look into the origins of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, as well as former Vice President Joe Biden’s son’s past connections to the country.

He said there’s “nothing illegal” about his effort to pursue probes in Ukraine, since he is not trying to carry out foreign policy initiatives on behalf of the administration.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/rudy-giuliani-defends-ukraine-trip-to-help-defend-trump/

But wait!

Rudy has a change of heart!

Speaking with Fox News’ Shannon Bream on Friday night, President Donald Trump‘s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said he is not going to the Ukraine after all.

Giuliani told Bream that in order to avoid any political suggestion, “I will step back and just watch it unfold.”

Bream then asked if that meant “no trip on Sunday” and no trip to the Ukraine.

Giuliani said that it did.

Rudy Giuliani Says He’s Not Going to the Ukraine

Rudy NEVER intended on going to the Ukraine….he was trying to change the calculus of the news cycle and the networks bit…..

I have been telling you that the MSM only reports on stuff that they want…not the news and Rudy is living proof.

Rudy got what he wanted…..control of at least one news cycle…..to change the focus…..and he succeeded.

Middle East, As Bad As It Ever Was.

When the Middle East is mentioned most Americans just shake their heads and make some indistinguishable sounds……

It all began with the Sykes-Picot Agreement……https://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/Sykes-Picot_Agreement ……..and but it was the Balfour Declaration that made most of the problems today…..a short but sweet statement…..

Foreign Office
November 2nd, 1917

Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Yours sincerely,
Arthur James Balfour

And so it begins…….

Fast forward to the desk of FDR…….

There is no question that the Middle East Arab-Israeli-oil situation is one of the world’s most enduring and vexing problems. Almost every economically significant country in the world has a major stake in how this scenario plays out and most countries orient and arrange a large part of their foreign policy and energy strategy with Middle East considerations front and center in their planning.

What if the United States had been presented with the opportunity to circumvent the Mid-East Jewish-Arab-oil crisis before it had a chance to metastasize into the worldwide scourge it is today? The opportunity did, in fact, present itself in 1945. Unfortunately, the United States—under FDR—failed to capitalize on it and thus the world today lives in constant danger caused by the flashpoint of those seemingly unending, unsolvable regional tensions.

The missed opportunity was the result of FDR’s mishandling of his historic meeting with King Abdel Aziz Ibn Saud of Arabia on Great Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal on Feb. 14, 1945. FDR’s actions here essentially created the 70+ year economic and political tensions and conflicts regarding oil that continue to afflict international relationships and define the national security and oil acquisition strategy of virtually every developed country in the world today. Most of the damaging international energy related circumstances in the present-day world were set in motion by FDR’s actions at that meeting.

https://www.realclearhistory.com/articles/2019/04/11/another_fine_mess_in_the_middle_east_431.html

And then there is another view……

But again, the European powers were the ones who actually divided the region that once existed as the Ottoman Empire. After the first World War, the victors went on to partition the large Islamic State into several smaller nations. The problem was not only that there was no natural boundary, such as rivers and mountains, that separated the very similar groups of people, but also the direct and indirect colonization of those states by Britain and France. People who shared a common history, religion, language and culture had to live within those arbitrarily drawn boundaries, and under foreign control. In addition, the British promise to establish a national home for the Jews in Palestine, as well as the free movement of a large number of Jews from Europe to the region, further infuriated the Arab people. The Jews were seen as rivals who took Arab’s land and jobs.

At this point, the United States had a benevolent image in the Middle East, because it had restrained itself from interfering in the region in the name of national and economic interests. Instead, the U.S. entered the region as a diplomatic ally with several lucrative characteristics, such as industrialization, economic expansion and western systems of market and economy. The Middle Eastern nations believed these would improve their lives. The Arab nations saw hope in the United States in the aftermath of WWI and leading into WWII.

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/the-middle-east-mess

Yada….Yada…..and then there is Donald Trump and he had/has a plan (put a invoice his son-in-law in charge of finding a Middle East peace)……with tht said what is Our Beloved Supreme Leader’s “Big” plan?

That’s not to say their respective policies are remotely the same. Beneath these continuities lie significant shifts in emphasis that, unless corrected, risk doing serious damage to America’s interests and position. As Trump embarks on his first trip to the Middle East as president and the region wonders what to expect, I see four trends—one encouraging, and three worrying—that have emerged:

https://newrepublic.com/article/142764/know-donald-trumps-middle-east-policy

https://warontherocks.com/2017/04/trumps-middle-east-policies-boorish-and-belligerent-but-surprisingly-normal/

There are some that think they have the answer to a region that has few true answers……(I do not agree with most of this op-ed)…..

This is how the United States can pursue its interests in the Middle East and make the region safer for America and its allies.

The United States is a global power with global interests and responsibilities. Protecting these interests hinges on access to the commons (sea, space, air, cyberspace) and stability in Europe, the Middle East and the Indo-Pacific region (the great trading centers).

In some ways the Middle East is the most important of these three regions. It is the intersection of commercial air and sea travel between the other key regions. It is a global energy hub, a lynchpin of international financial networks and a crossroads for human migration. Much of what is good (and evil) in the world is based in the Middle East or passes through it.

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/5-sustainable-solutions-middle-east-security-54282

One of the most out there solutions was one that the MSM overlooked to focus on something else……Trump will ask the Saudis to pay for his “deal of the Century”……

For an administration not exactly famed for strategic patience and deliberative policymaking, President Trump’s push for an impending Middle East “deal of the century” could be a notable outlier.

Trump administration officials have spent the past two years quietly pursuing back-channel communications with wealthy Gulf Arab powers and Palestinian business leaders in preparation for the much-anticipated rollout of a major peace plan aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once and for all.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/apr/23/trump-asks-saudi-arabia-pay-middle-east-peace-deal/

Just a short look at what is the Middle East and why it is such a complicated mess.

Learn Stuff!

Peace Out!

Closing Thought–10May19

Keeping with the economic trend I started a couple of posts ago……

Have you filed your taxes yet?  Did you get a refund?

I have filed and I had to pay.

What about the rest of America?

I mean us real people not those stiff criminals that we call the top 1%.

Did those lovely tax cuts that Trump gave the country benefit the rest of us or were the benefits for his rich buddies?

A new six-month analysis of President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax cuts details how workers received little benefit from the plan, despite the savings many of their powerful corporate employers received.

The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) interviewed independent tax analysts and officials who were involved in the Republican Party’s effort to sell the so-called American Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to the public—and within their own party ranks. Progressive critics have consistently called the law nothing nothing more than a “tax scam.”

The GOP’s insistence on a tax law which included the largest corporate tax cut in U.S. history—from 35 to 21 percent—resulted in companies saving about $150 billion in the first year after the passage in December 2017.

Trump and then-House Speaker Paul Ryan had spent months telling Americans they stood to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in taxes, with Trump telling one crowd that the average family would see a pay raise of about $4,000, a benefit that would “trickle down” from employers’ corporate tax cuts.

 
This tax policy has done nothing to end the inequality that this country has been plaguing the country for decades……in reality everything we were told about the benefits of the Trump tax cuts was a LIE!
 
If the “economy” is doing so well then why are there no movements in the Middle Class?  As a matter of fact the Middle Class is diminishing every year sinc e the 1990s.
 
And this economy is so good it is making most American miserable……
 
After running a campaign on the idea that America was an impoverished wasteland, Donald Trump has spent his presidency bragging about the economic expansion that began under Barack Obama but continued under him. Though he might be a glutton for credit, Trump isn’t wrong, exactly, when he celebrates the “record economy” in his tweets: Unemployment in the United States is at a 50-year low, the stock market is soaring, and GDP is growing at a brisk clip. Polls have found that people are confident in the state of the economy.
 
 
And yet Americans buy the crap and the lies EVERY TIME!
 
WHY?
 
Lear Stuff!
 
Then VOTE!
 
I want to start my weekend….the ‘honey dos’ are considerable….but with luck it will rain and they will have to wait….(he said with crossed fingers)…….

As Tariffs Come And Go

Is that the sound of brakes being applied to this “surging economy”?

Trump once called himself , well he has called himself many things none of which are accurate but this time he was close, “Tariff Man”…..as of midnight a 25% tariff was placed on some Chinese imports.

The trade war is heating up: China said Friday it “deeply regrets that it will have to take necessary countermeasures” after the tariff hikes threatened by President Trump kicked in at 12:01am. American and Chinese negotiators met in Washington, DC, Thursday but were unable to reach a deal to prevent tariffs increasing from 10% to 25% on more than $200 billion in products China exports to the US, the Washington Post reports. The White House said that after a “working dinner,” chief US negotiator Robert Lighthizer and China’s Vice Premier Liu He “agreed to continue discussions.” The tariff hike only applies to products that left China after the deadline, which gives negotiators more time to work out a deal.

Trump said Thursday that he had received a “beautiful letter” from China’s President Xi Jinping and while a deal is still possible, he is pleased that tariffs are bringing in “billions” of dollars for the government, the New York Times reports. The tariffs, however, are paid by American importers, who pass the costs on to the consumer. “It’s going to be a big shock to the economy,” Deborah Elms, executive director at the Asian Trade Center, tells the BBC. “Those are all US companies who are suddenly facing a 25% increase in cost, and then you have to remember that the Chinese are going to retaliate.” Despite the escalating trade dispute, world markets rose on Friday, with analysts predicting that a deal will be reached.

A Tariff?

How many Americans can define this economic tact?

No need for Google (but if you want to check my assertions then head to that magic button) the old professor will be glad to help with your refresher course.

What is a TARIFF?

The simple definition….. A tariff is a tax imposed by one country on the goods and services imported from another country.

How do Tariffs work?

Governments may impose tariffs to raise revenue or to protect domestic industries—especially nascent ones—from foreign competition. By making foreign-produced goods more expensive, tariffs can make domestically produced alternatives seem more attractive. Governments that use tariffs to benefit particular industries often do so to protect companies and jobs. Tariffs can also be used as an extension of foreign policy: Imposing tariffs on a trading partner’s main exports is a way to exert economic leverage.

Tariffs can turn into what some called a trade war…….

Tariffs can have unintended side effects, however. They can make domestic industries less efficient and innovative by reducing competition. They can hurt domestic consumers, since a lack of competition tends to push up prices. They can generate tensions by favoring certain industries, or geographic regions, over others. For example, tariffs designed to help manufacturers in cities may hurt consumers in rural areas who do not benefit from the policy and are likely to pay more for manufactured goods. Finally, an attempt to pressure a rival country by using tariffs can devolve into an unproductive cycle of retaliation,

But to help your education I have included a couple of short videos…..

One side effect that could come back to bite Trump in his massive ass is a bad jobs number and tariffs will produce that in most cases……

The tariffs will “drive down exports, and suppress job gains for the industry by as much as 400,000 over 10 years. It will also invite China to hit back at American businesses, farmers, communities, and families,” said Kip Eideberg, vice president of government affairs for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, which represents more than 1,000 U.S. makers of farm, construction and mining machinery.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-10/u-s-equipment-makers-see-trump-tariff-hike-costing-400-000-jobs

This is a TAX….do you get that? It is a TAX on the rest of us mere mortals…..then why is the entire GOP down with this attack on tax policies?

This is just a game to this president….he is trying to do something he promised so he has more to run on than his shaky positions elsewhere.

Hopefully his supporters are reading…..these tariffs are a TAX on you and your family.

Got IT!

Learn Stuff!

Then GO VOTE!