Saturday, February 11, 2017

The huge budget deficit because of that damn foreign aid we give!

When discussing alternatives to carbon, students suggested--and correctly--that alternatives are either expensive or cannot serve the huge demand.  The class seemed pretty confident that the way forward is to aggressively pursue clean energy.

But then this is Oregon and these are wonderfully young people who have not been tainted by alternative facts.

One student, from the back, slowly raised his hand.  "Even a ten percent cut in the military budget can pay for a lot of this stuff."

This president and his minions are in serious trouble if more Americans are like the students in that class.  But, here's what is working well for this president and his adopted white supremacists party:
Fortunately for Trump, most voters have no real idea how the government spends its money
Which is why when this president presents his alternative facts about federal workers being a waste, the crowd applauds thinking believing that he will make America great again!
The sociologist Arlie Hochschild, in her recent book “Strangers in Their Own Land,” about working-class Republicans in Louisiana, documented wider misconceptions. Many of the people she talked to believe that the federal government employs forty per cent of American workers; it’s closer to two per cent. “They think that the government is full of waste and freeloaders,” Hochschild told me.
Think about it.  The reality is a number that is close to two percent.  It is not as if the loyal Republican white working class thought the number was four, or five, or even ten percent.  They thought the federal government employs forty percent of American workers.  40 versus 2!

It is the same case with everything that the party beats up on, which the loyal base applauds, and treats as god-given facts.  Which is why they beat up on foreign aid, or NPR, as if these are the reasons why we have deficits.  You ask them about the military budget and they will repeat the party line that the damn Democrats have weakened the military by repeatedly shredding the budget.  And, therefore, the Democrats are traitors!

This president and his falsehood-peddling minions can talk all the shit they want, but they won't be able to balance the budget.  Simple math:
Most federal spending is nondiscretionary, meaning that it goes to entitlements (such as Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance) and to pay the interest on the national debt. Discretionary spending totals just $1.2 trillion a year (out of a budget of almost four trillion), and roughly half of that goes to national defense, which Trump insists that he won’t touch. The federal budget deficit is around six hundred billion dollars a year, and analysis by the Tax Foundation suggests that Trump’s proposed tax cut would reduce federal revenue by another half trillion or so. So it’s simply impossible for Trump to balance the budget while protecting defense and entitlement spending.
The theatre of endless discussions over foreign aid or PBS will entertain the masses, yes, but the budget hole will continue to get bigger and bigger and bigger.

Such insanity--and remember that this is an administration that is only three weeks old--is also why no economist of any decent reputation wants to go anywhere near being an adviser to this president:
Other than Mr Navarro, Mr Trump struggles to find economists who will support him. Perhaps as a result, his cabinet will be wonk-free.
Seriously, 63 million Americans voted for this man?  The Republican Party kowtows to this nincompoop?  There is simply no way that there can be anything good about a Trump voter!  Assholes, all of them!



Ramesh said...

What is fascinating me is the utter GOP silence on two issues they regularly beat Obama up with

- Increasing the deficit
- Executive Orders

On both these counts the current administration is already far worse than Obama ever was and yet, there is utter silence. If Obama had suggested infrastructure spending, can you imagine the howls of protest of how the deficit is killing the country. And yet, they will gladly pay for the border wall.

The current stated intention is to increase military spending, cut taxes and spend on infrastructure. And not a word on the deficit from the GOP. Can any party be as brazen as that and still win elections ??

Sriram Khé said...

"Can any party be as brazen as that and still win elections ??"
Yes, it can, and it will!! :( :(

The one thing that these elections have made clear to the rest of the world: America is not any shining beacon of any damn thing; instead, we are as messed up as any other country. Not only will it contribute to legitimizing unprincipled politics around the world, those countries will also openly tell the US to fuck off if/when the US tells them what to do. One of the many results from this elections is that the US has lost any high ground it had and it has been brought down to the same level as even a Zimbabwe!

Sriram Khé said...

Hey, I re-read your comment at this old blog post ( where you had written:

"The President, if you will pardon the bluntness, is of little consequence to the US in a positive sense. Your system of checks and balances has resulted in total gridlock. Virtually nobody can achieve anything if the underlying philosophy of both parties is "Hell No"."

Ahem ...

Sriram Khé said...

Read this NY Times report, and you will throw up!

After three weeks in the White House, Mr. Trump has made clear that he is going to continue promulgating conspiracy theories, flinging personal insults and saying things that are plainly untrue. And the Republican-controlled House and Senate seem to have made a collective decision: They will accommodate — not confront — his conduct as long as he signs their long-stalled conservative proposals on taxes, regulations and health care into law.

“There’s a widely held view among our members that, yes, he’s going to say things on a daily basis that we’re not going to like,” said Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the third-ranking Senate Republican, “but that the broad legislative agenda and goals that we have — if we can stay focused on those and try and get that stuff enacted — those would be big wins.”

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