Open thread April 24, 2018 Dan Crawford | April 24, 2018 6:58 am Tags: open thread Comments (12) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
Gonna be a long, long day in AZ today, mostly knocking on doors as and working the polls. Tiny chance of success, but the payoff…..
” If President Trump hates Bob Mueller so much, why doesn’t he have him fired?
For most Republicans, the concern over firing Mueller is that it would incite a backlash in the 2018 midterm elections, costing them unified control of Congress and imperiling their policy objectives.
But for the president, the concerns are much more personal. A Democratic takeover would be catastrophic. Instantly, the House would be converted into a hive of investigatory bodies. In a Democratic House, the grand Washington battle will no longer be Trump versus Mueller. It will be Trump versus 21 subpoena-wielding House committee chairmen, played out in public on a 24-hour televised loop…..
The Ways and Means Committee could sharpen the national discussion around tax fairness by subpoenaing President Trump’s tax returns. As the 2018 elections draw near, that committee could convene hearings to educate the public on how Trump’s sabotage of Obamacare will send consumers’ health insurance premiums soaring.
The Financial Services Committee, chaired by Rep. Maxine Waters, a favorite target of Trump’s invective, could exercise its authority to investigate the phenomenon of foreign oligarchs laundering ill-gotten gains through purchases of luxury condominiums in hot markets, including through Trump-owned buildings in New York and Miami.
The Judiciary Committee might parcel out the most compelling topics to its subcommittees. Subcommittee chairs could empanel Parkland students to attest to the impact of gun violence on schools and administrators to advise on the idiocy of arming teachers, explore the cruelty and shortsightedness of withdrawing DACA protections, and of course, explicate the authority of a special counsel to indict a sitting president.
The Armed Services Committee could convene proceedings on the dangers of sharing state secrets with White House employees who have been denied security clearances.
The Oversight and Government Reform Committee could shine a light on the administration’s profligate spending of taxpayer dollars at Trump-owned properties.
A reawakened House Foreign Relations Committee could initiate hearings on Trump’s erratic courtship of North Korea and his excessive affection for Russia.
The Education and Workforce Committee could call Midwestern factory owners and assembly-line workers to testify on the jobs that will be lost due to Trump’s steel tariffs.
Committees with jurisdiction over the Interior Department, EPA, and Treasury could hold hearings on their leaders’ extravagant travel and personal office expenditures.
Cabinet secretaries like Betsy DeVos and Ben Carson could be compelled to account—in public, under oath—for policy decisions they seem barely to understand.”
And he has only been in office 16 months……
I love this thought:
” The new secretary of Homeland Security could be forced to justify her department’s leisurely response to Russia’s ongoing efforts to sabotage American elections.
Now imagine a pajama-clad President Trump gazing in horror at the trio of TV monitors in the presidential bedroom, one showing Jared Kushner being grilled on his never-ending security-clearance-application corrections and amendments, while the second displays Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin attempting to defend his addiction to first-class flights, and the third presents a tableau of heartland factory workers displaced by the Bush steel tariffs of 2002. Consider the president’s unbridled anger as he watches a cable-news version of This Is Your Life, a procession of Cabinet secretaries, disgraced former White House officials, unpaid construction contractors, disqualified eligible voters, terrified Dreamers, abandoned factory workers, and colorful NDA signatories, all led by Democratic House committee chairs, many of whom Trump has traduced in nasty personal terms.
With that image in mind, you can see why Trump stops short of firing Mueller. If a rash decision to dispatch the special counsel costs Republicans their House majority, the president will subject himself to a ceaseless barrage of charges, confessions, and revelations. For Trump, that’s the nightmare scenario.”
This WaPo OpEd has an interesting message: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/red-america-and-blue-america-depend-on-each-other-thats-how-it-should-be/2018/04/23/834021f8-470a-11e8-9072-f6d4bc32f223_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.5a90ef4a2931 “Red America and blue America depend on each other. That’s how it should be.”
“The red-blue, rural-urban dichotomy has solidified into a basic fact of American politics. The Democrats are now the party of diverse, urban areas, which also constitute the nation’s hubs of cutting-edge financial, technological, medical and entertainment activity….”
“Before other Democrats commit themselves to this line of analysis, they might want to consider an important fact about urban areas: They consume far more food and energy than they produce. And guess where food and energy come from. … “They provide the life blood to cities for their survival.” ”
“Trump rode flyover country’s grievances against big-city elites to the presidency. … The truth is that the United States’ regions are interdependent, and that interdependence is a good thing.”
“One of the Constitution’s many purposes, in fact, was to facilitate economic interdependence among a diverse population spread across a giant continent. For more than two centuries, the benefits of those constitutional arrangements have generally outweighed the costs. That’s cause for appreciation, not resentment. “
To go with the above editorial
“red america” supplies the food and energy to “blue america”. Um, that would mean that red america consists of 3 million people.
I do not support the WAPO so I can’t read the whole thing (and I don’t want to), but that is a fairly stupid basis of a column.
But they somehow make it worse with ““One of the Constitution’s many purposes, in fact, was to facilitate economic interdependence among a diverse population spread across a giant continent.”
“Across a giant continent” indeed. Well, except that there were only 13 states…..
Somebody should tell Bernie that we don’t need gov guaranteed jobs — we need to turn most $10/hr jobs into $20/hr jobs (some exceptions like fast food). Pay people enough to work they will quit street gangs and opiods and computer games and will show up for work. The economy will expand to absorb today’s recalcitrant worker just like it expands to absorb any kind of additional workers.
“The Democrats are now the party of diverse, urban areas, which also constitute the nation’s hubs of cutting-edge financial, technological, medical and entertainment activity….”
Financials like R Rubin and the great recession US has not climbed out of is a blue thing?
Technology a blue thing?
Medical, the blue thing is the most expensive medical system in the supposed first world (by twice) with less than median results for the population…..
I am not sure I would rather have a heart attack in Boston than Kokomo!
WaPost also says US should dump Assad so Jaish al Islam, can fight it out with the dozen or so other teroro groups the US and Saudis sponsor to make Syria safe for terrorists.
Do you suppose the blue house will find anything new about Russiagate, that has not been disproved since it started in July 2016? If so what?
When US and its Salafis cannot “win the hearts” and minds cut off the heads!
US sponsored Syria terrorists’ false flag “sarin events” are in and out of the headlines ……. a US sec state may get a chance to lie to the general assembly like Powell in 2003!
Your tax money is going to assassinating the opposition in Yemen.
Another US liberal interventionist (so many more coming from a blue congress!) plan to break up a culture to make the world safe for Salafis.
Why any country would give up WMD’s and lose the chip to defend against US aggression is a mystery.
So, a back door to SS “reform”? Once you get a program that changes SS you have taken a huge step down a slippery slope.
“Perusing my LA Times this morning, Michael Hiltzik brings me up to speed on the latest GOP plan for paid family leave:
The idea of government-sponsored paid family leave is gaining popularity at the state level and in Washington, where Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ivanka Trump are “strategizing” to bring more Republicans into the fold….It’s a good idea that would finally bring the United States into line with every other high-income nation on Earth, as a recent analysis by the Urban Institute points out. But the Urban Institute also observes that the Rubio-Trump idea for financing the program through Social Security is a terrible idea.
Wait. Social Security? What does that have to do with paid family leave? Here’s a previous Hiltzik column on the genesis of this proposal from Kristin Shapiro and Andrew Biggs:
Shapiro and Biggs propose offering mothers and fathers the equivalent of Social Security disability for up to 12 weeks of leave….But unlike traditional Social Security disability coverage, the recipients would be required to pay the money back by delaying their Social Security retirement benefits.”
all this nonsense depends on the ‘big Lie that SS is paid for by the government and is an driver of huge deficits/debt.
this is a lie. SS is paid for by the workers who will get the benefits.
the Truth is not helped by democrats calling of “make the rich pay their fair share”… which depends on another lie (this one from the left, i will not try to explain here0 which amounts to a demand to turn SS into welfare as we knew it…turning rhw Big Lie into “the new truth.”
Readers of AB ought to know better. God knows i have tried to tell you.
sorry for typos. i seem to be going blind.
Milton Friedman said a lot of things, many hard to swallow, but……
he said “deficits are a delay of taxes” which I think makes sense but his followers ignored that.
He also said “inflation is always a monetary outcome” or such which I am not sure.
But the first one: The SS Trust Fund has just shy of $2.83T in “special treasury” assets ( https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-18-134 ) pg 32 print. That is up marginally from 2016. The marginal means that much of the interest and all the ss payroll taxes went out in benefits and did not reduce the annual cash deficit as if did up to W Bush.
The problem with SS is cashing the trust fund demands cash which should be raised as deferred taxes bit the good times income went to saving the Saudis from Tehran…. or whatever excuse they used to squander $7T on the global war for terror (GWOT).
If the US DNC liberal interventionists were not so in to ousting outlaw thugs so US replacement thugs can kill civilians…….
Cash would not be so scarce to pay back the SS population.
i like you and i respect your opinions about defense and defense spending, but you just don’t know how social security finances work.
since you have been here at AB as long as I have been trying to explain it to everyone, maybe you can tell me where i have gone wrong.
i will try again: short version
Social Security has nothing to do with fthe Federal Budget, the Debt or Deficit, in fact and by law.
Social Security is paid for entirely by the people who will get the benefits. It avoids the problems of inflation and interest rates by a pay as you go finance system. Simply, the workers pay about 12% of their wages (counting the “employer’s share”) while they are working. When they retire (or are disabled etc) they get a pension worth about 40% of their average working wage. The total pension is more than they paid in because the following generation is bigger and has higher wages, so the same percent of wages (12%) is bigger than the 12% of wages was for the previous generation.
This is essentially no different from saving your money in a bank and then taking out more than you paid in (because of interest), but the money you take out is being paid in by someone else even as you take out yours… that someone else is saving for his own future.
None of this has anything to do with the federal government’s money. Even the adminsitration of SS is paid for out of worker savings (the F”ICA “tax).
Because the experts in 1983 (Reagan SS fix) foresaw the baby boom generation costing more in retirement (because of it’s size) than the then younger workers would be able to pay without a largisih increase in their FICA tax, it was decided to raise the tax a smaller amount on the boomers themselves, to generate more cash than the then older generation needed (because smaller) in order to build up enough reserves to help pay for the boomer retirement without an undue burden on the (now) younger people. That reserve is what we call the SS Trust Fund. The money was invested in government bonds, earning interest, until it was needed (starting about now). the Trust Fund is currently being paid back (to the boomers.. who largely paid it in) with no problem. NO effect on the national debt or the congressional deficit.
The Trust Fund will run out of money at about the same time the boomers are disappearing from the scene.
But meanwhile the younger generation (now) expects to live longer than previous generations, moreover they are not expected to make as much money (as much MORE money over time) as previous genrations have. This is what is causing the “actuarial deficit”… not a debt, not a real deficit… just an acturrial prediction that it will take a larger tax, or a benefit cut, to pay for the now younger generation’s longer retirement. A benefit cut would cost about 20% of current scheduled benefits. By contrast, a tax increase of about 2% will pay enough so no benefit cut would be needed.
This is not a “looming” debt or deficit or even staggering burden on the young. 2% of your wage would not even be noticed, especially since wages will be rising 20% to 40% or more over the same time.
You’ll have more money, but you’ll need to pay a small part of the extra pay to pay for your longer retirement.
That’s the Truth.
Friedman was wrong about the deficits too. The national debt is normally paid for out of a rising GDP. I’d think Friedman was too dumb to know that, but it’s more likely he was just being dishonet.
But in any case the national debt has NOTHING to do with Social Security.
To the extent that SS taxes REDUCED the annual deficit, that was BORROWED MONEY…borrowed FROM SS BY “the government.” Of course it has to be paid back (borrowed from someone else), and it IS being paid back. There has been no theft YET.
\But there will be if the people don’t learn how SS workds and let themselves be bamboozled out of it by scams like that “borrow from you SS to take parental leave” which makes as much sense as mortgaging your house to take a vacation in Las Vegas.