Opinion: Folly on a grand scale

(AP)

We have 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring each and every day in this country, almost all of them going on Medicare and Social Security. Every day, the financial strain on the federal budget grows larger and larger.

We also have a Republican House, a Republican Senate and a Republican president about to enact a tax-cut bill that will slash federal revenues by an estimated $1.4 trillion over the next decade.

Think about the stupidity of that.

Think about the consequences of that.

Do not fear, though. Having created a massive new deficit, the Republicans have a plan to deal with it.

“We have to do two things,” as U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio explained this week. “We have to generate economic growth which generates revenue, while reducing spending. That will mean instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare for the future.”

Got that?

Let me review it, just to make it all clear:

  • As a country, we won’t be able to afford continued Medicare and Social Security benefits.
  • However, we will be able to afford massive tax cuts to corporations already racking up record after-tax profits, and to the wealthy. Next year alone, as another 3.6 million boomers move onto Social Security and Medicare, we will be handing $34 billion in tax cuts to households that are already making $1 million or more a year.

It is absolutely ridiculous.  The additional $1.4 trillion that we’re going to have to borrow as a result of this tax bill over the next decade will have to be repaid by our children and grandchildren. Basically, we’re stealing money out of their pockets so that people and corporations who are already rolling in riches can become richer still.

But here’s the part that really gets me angry:

In a speech in Missouri Wednesday night, President Trump repeated his claim that this tax bill will somehow, magically cost him a lot of money, yet as the patriotic American that he is, it’s a sacrifice that he’s willing to make.

“This is going to cost me a fortune, this thing, believe me. This is not good for me,” Trump said, smiling like a cat with canary feathers in its mouth. “I have some very wealthy friends, not so happy with me. But that’s OK.”

That is of course a ridiculous lie — there is no plausible means by which this bill could increase Trump’s taxes, and a huge number of ways in which it will reduce them. If you believe the president’s estimate of his net worth, the elimination of the estate tax alone will save his heirs some $4 billion.

But a statement like that is also more than merely a lie. It is a direct insult to the intelligence of the Trump base. Trump is playing them for fools; he knows it and many of them probably sense it as well, but it’s apparently part of their mutual understanding that being played for fools is the price of cult membership.

I do not understand it. I do not understand what psychic benefits could possibly justify the abandonment of rationality and basic self-respect that we see playing out en masse these days. But I suspect that as a nation, we’re going to have one helluva hangover after all this is over.

 

 

Reader Comments 0

1964 comments
FIGMO2
FIGMO2

If you wanna look at violators of The Logan Act, look no further than these two:

https://www.commentarymagazine.com/politics-ideas/ted-kennedy-and-the-logan-act/ 

WALLACE: OK. Senator Rockefeller, the president says that Democratic critics, like you, looked at pre-war intelligence and came to the same conclusion that he did. In fact, looking back at the speech that you gave in October of 2002 in which you authorized the use of force, you went further than the president ever did. Let's watch:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROCKEFELLER: I do believe that Iraq poses an imminent threat, but I also believe that after September 11th that question is increasingly outdated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Now, the president never said that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat. As you saw, you did say that. If anyone hyped the intelligence, isn't it Jay Rockefeller?

ROCKEFELLER: No. I mean, this question is asked a thousand times and I'll be happy to answer it a thousand times. I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that George Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq, that that was a predetermined set course which had taken shape shortly after 9/11.

Kennedy's was for political gain...I dunno WTH Jay Rockefeller was thinking.

I'm giving Pelosi a pass on her violation. Carter's too!

So is The Logan Act worth the effort that's put into it or not?

I say NOT!

Modern communications have put it to rest. 

Time to retire the ol' political battleship.

Come on, Feinstein! You know better than to suggest Flynn may be prosecuted under The Logan Act.


kitty72
kitty72

@FIGMO2 Figgy, Figgy, Figgy. That had nothing to do with Foreign Powers messing with our elections now did it? 

LilRichie
LilRichie

I think Chump will look very nice in orange.

gotalife
gotalife

Lock them all up and the gop must disband.


The reckoning is here.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

Philo does not know how closely a national security adviser works with the President.  He's trying to down play Flynn's role with Trump, must be the new wrong wing talking point.

elgrunir
elgrunir

Something that was nothing turned into something, which became “no big deal.”

Familiar, isn’t it?

Paul42
Paul42

The Flynn flip?
Donald gives absolutely no loyalty to anyone outside his immediate family, yet he demands loyalty from subordinates.
He's finding out just how that'll work out for him.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

guess if Trump was in D.C.or Mar-A-Lago?  :-)

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

Feds do not cut a deal with anyone unless that person can deliver a big fish, Trump is Flynn's big fish.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Brosephus 

I've done that before.  When you live in states that vote (R) no matter what, you pretty much throw your vote away if you don't vote (R). 

I take that to mean you would NEVER vote (R)?

Interesting.

I live in a county that votes (D) within a state that votes (R).

I'm good to go. I experience both.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@FIGMO2 
For a sane (R) presidential candidate, yes.  Out of the norm for not voting for incumbents, I voted Bush 04 because I wanted him to clean up the mess he started in the ME.

In state and local races, I vote based on the party, not the person.  I tend to mix things up quite a bit, and I have always voted in the GOP primary since moving to Georgia in 2000.

Presidential elections are unlike any other one.  If your candidate does not win, your vote does not count if the state awards all their EC votes to the state winner.  That's what the quote you posted above means.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Brosephus @FIGMO2

EC votes?

Voters in the midwest and rural America are every bit as important as voters in the urban coasts in my opinion. They're not to be discounted. 

Brosephus
Brosephus

@FIGMO2 

Never suggested that.  They don't get discounted.  They have an outsized effect on elections as they are done now.

My point is that, if you voted Clinton in GA over Trump, and she lost 51-49, then your vote doesn't matter to the EC total when Georgia gives all their votes to Trump.

Voters in the midwest and Rural America do to Dem supporters what urban areas do to GOP supporters.


StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

Trump is still in denial that Flynn indictment won't affect him.  Seriously, Flynn was his national security adviser.  They were connected at the hip and when Sally Yates tried to warn him about Flynn he found a reason to fire her.

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

NSA for a whopping 3 weeks before Trump fired him.

Connected at the hip — lol

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Philo_Farnsworth He was his national security adviser, do you know how close a national security adviser and the president are?  Of course you don't, if you did you would not have posted such a stupid comment.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Philo_Farnsworth Was fired by Obama and Obama tried to warn Trump about him and told him not to hire him.  Go back to the drive thru Philo you still have a nothing burger.

honested
honested

Are the local cons suffering from sudden shrinkage?

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

Mueller saw how unhinged Trump has been acting and said enough of this mess, let's wrap this thing up before he blows the world up.

elgrunir
elgrunir

What’s yours called?

I got Blue Skittles.

elgrunir
elgrunir

Every day is Friday in Trumpistan:

1. Do something stupid.

2. Say something stupid.

3. Prepare for golfing.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

3, 2, 1 before td, Fan, Down's, JREB, and Philo start campaigning for Mike Pence.  I hope they do open their mouth and insert their foot on that one.  The whole Trump train is about to crash including Mike Pence.  We are still screwed because that will leave lying Ryan who has absolutely no morals and a black heart.

honested
honested

Somebody keep chump away from the football.

He's gonna need a major deflection and soon!!!

honested
honested

@ScubaSteve @honested 

Well, there's still the Israeli embassy but that one might do just enough harm to push more folks over the edge.

elgrunir
elgrunir

Cliffside sumo wrestling.

(Inspired by an author whose name slips my mind)

Menace
Menace

So, Rimsky's on the permanent list?  Who'd he insult this time? 

Brosephus
Brosephus

@Menace

It may have been Fan IIRC...

It wasn't nice Rimsky at all.  He looked like, for all intents and purposes, to have ran out of farks to give.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

So Flynn is flipping the Trump crime family, who didn't see that coming?  LOL

elgrunir
elgrunir

Answer: willfully blind Republicans.

honested
honested

@Brosephus 

"ORDERING HIM"

That does have a nice ominous ring to it, doesn't it.

elgrunir
elgrunir

About time for Brosephus’ “but her e-mails” meme...

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@Brosephus "financial toll" 


You mean, US froze his funds from being paid by Russia? 


Oh, the poor boy. . . 

honested
honested

@LogicalDude @Brosephus 

I imagine the National Embarrassment is shocked to find out quickly funds transfers can be stopped, no matter who they are going to.