Republicans are busy engineering a debt-financed tax cut. That’s right; the federal government will be borrowing to pay for tax cuts that mainly benefit the wealthy and cash-rich corporations. GOP politicians spent eight years lambasting President Barack Obama for deficit spending. But they have no concern about running up huge deficits under President Donald Trump. They just casually lie and say the tax cut will pay for itself with economic growth even though tax experts scoff at their claim.
This is what I want to know: Why should our children and grandchildren be saddled with more debt in order to give corporations a tax cut? Interest rates are relatively low. If the demand for products and services is there, why shouldn’t companies be willing to borrow to expand their businesses? I’m betting that House Speaker Paul Ryan and his caucus don’t have a good answer.
With unemployment around four percent and the economy perking along, Wall Street economists are concerned that more economic stimulus will result in higher inflation and Fed rate hikes. This would increase interest payments on the national debt and add to the deficits. But here’s the thing; runaway deficits don’t concern many conservatives. They will use them as a pretext to slash spending on entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. But that’s another story.
Fortunately, the tax cuts can be fixed in the future; and unless the GOP is able to fill Congress with senators like Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore, I don’t think they will be able to accomplish their goal to decimate the social safety net. But Trump’s Friday night speech in Pensacola, Florida raises concerns of a much higher level. And it should chill all democracy loving Americans to the bone.
Trump’s ramblings were mostly to support Roy Moore. This is the guy who allegedly preyed on teenaged girls while he was in his 30’s. If true, this alone should bar him from the Senate. But there are many other good reasons to make sure Moore is never elected to Congress:
He was twice-removed from the Alabama Supreme Court for refusing to obey a federal court order and a law regarding gay marriage. Over the years he has expressed his beliefs that homosexual conduct should be illegal, that kids in drive-by shootings are acting like animals because evolution taught them they come from animals, that Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) should not be allowed to serve in the U.S. House because he is a Muslim, and that Obama was not born in the United States. Another statement he made mirrored one made by Trump; he put the U.S. on the same level as Russia in doing “bad things” and praised Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Of course, Trump didn’t highlight any of Moore’s faults. But he did mock Hillary Clinton — which of course prompted the crowd to chant, “lock her up! lock her up!” In that context he told the crowd, “Look, it’s being proven we have a rigged system. Doesn’t happen so easy. But this system, there will be a lot of changes.”
Referring to Washington he said, “They will lie and leak and smear, because they don’t want to accept the results of an election where we won by a landslide.”
He criticized the Democratic “resistance” to his presidency saying, “They’re resisting the will of the American people — that’s what they’re resisting.” Later he said, “They are resisting progress. They’re resisting change. Because the only thing they really care about is protecting what they have been able to do, which is really control the country and not to your benefit.”
But worst of all was Trump’s disgraceful take-down of American institutions: “This is a rigged system. This is a sick system from the inside. And, you know, there’s no country like our country, but we have a lot of sickness in some of our institutions, and we’re working very hard. We’ve got a lot of them straightened out, but we do have — we really do — a rigged system in this country, and we have to change it. Terrible. Terrible.”
It is difficult to know what Trump is talking about when he speaks. His mashed-up logic and fractured sentences defy analysis. At rallies like Pensacola he likely says whatever pops into his head. And his mouth is as disorganized as his thoughts. So when he talks about sickness in “our institutions” is he referring to the courts, the media, the Congress, what? Well, I think he’s referring to any institution that challenges his will.
David Brooks, the well-known conservative columnist and talk-show guest, published a column last week entitled, “The GOP is rotting.” In it he wrote, “There is no end to what Trump will ask of his party. He is defined by shamelessness, and so there is no bottom. And apparently there is no end to what regular Republicans are willing to give him. Trump may soon ask them to accept his firing of Robert Mueller, and yes, after some sighing, they will accept that, too.”
Brooks may be right about firing Mueller. And if so, I think our only chance to remain a democracy is if the GOP becomes so rotten it crumbles. Let’s pray that Trump and his Republican enablers don’t destroy our republic before that happens.