Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Trump violates his bargain with voters and with GOP Congress

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Jennifer Rubin is a conservative Republican columnist for the Washington Post. She writes:

President Trump struck an explicit bargain with voters, at least those he dubbed the “forgotten men and women”: He’d be for them (primarily white working-class men), returning the sense of economic security and cultural status that dastardly elites (not to mention foreigners) had stolen from them. Trump also struck an implicit bargain with Republicans such as House Speaker Paul D. Ryan: Ignore or rationalize away my personal defects (narcissism, misogyny, xenophobia, ignorance) and the GOP will get its dream agenda (tax cuts, Obamacare’s repeal). Trump faces political ruin because he’s in danger of breaking both of these deals.

With regard to voters, Trump’s health-care plan was not “coverage for everybody” or lower premiums for better care. It was a massive tax cut for the rich, a rollback in Medicaid, and in the case of many of his voters, more expensive insurance. There was nothing populist (or even humane) about it.

Now along comes the budget. Ticking off the list of steep cuts to domestic programs and to Medicaid (which Trump said he would never make) Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) argued on the floor: “When you add it all up, Mr. President, the Trump budget is comic-book-villain bad; and just like comic books, it relies on a fantasy to make all the numbers work. It’s the kind of budget you might expect from someone who is openly rooting for a government shutdown. Haven’t we heard the president say that?” He added, “It is the latest example of the president breaking his promises to working Americans. This budget breaks promise after promise after promise that the president made to what he called the forgotten America, the working men and women of America. He said he’d help them, and this budget goes directly against them.” There you see the case against Trump Republicans for 2018: He’s broken faith with voters.

Moreover, the budget contains the same smoke-and-mirrors accounting Washington pols have been trying out for years. The Peterson Foundation warns in a news release: “This budget relies on optimistic economic assumptions, projecting materially higher growth rates than many other economists and forecasters. It must be acknowledged that if these growth assumptions do not materialize, deficits would be substantially higher than the administration projects.The budget also does not address the key drivers of our long-run spending: Social Security and Medicare. Our nation’s most significant long-term fiscal challenges stem from America’s aging demographics and rising healthcare costs.” These defects look all the more problematic now that economists are confirming  his rosy scenario of 3 percent growth is utterly unrealistic. (“To make a credible case for 3% growth, Mr. Trump has to identify some wellspring of workers or productivity, that is output per worker, that his predecessors have missed.”)

It remains an open question as to whether Trump voters will abandon him when he does not deliver or whether they will rationalize the slow progress as the fault of Congress or the press. That said, he has handed Democrats the opportunity to steal the populist mantle back and assume the role of protector of the average American.

Meanwhile, Trump is not delivering on his main promises to right-wing House and Senate Republicans. . .

Continue reading.

Politicians of all stripes often forget their promises, but to promise one thing and then, when in office, actively promote the exact opposite: that is going too far. The backlash will be severe.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 May 2017 at 1:01 pm

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