Thinking maybe I should title this the "Make It Go Away" edition. The past year has been such a political nightmare for not only citizens of this nation but worldwide. Once upon a time the word of America was honored. Once upon a time you could, pretty much, trust in the direction and the leadership of our county. Once upon a time our allies knew we would have their backs. In two years all of that has changed. The person who occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is now a conman who lies about everything to our peril. It truly is astounding and to think some 37% of Americans still trust this guy. Anyway, come on, we've got coffee to drink!
The Pay Raise
So, "45", feeling the pressure of not visiting our troops as previous Commander in Chiefs would do, took a flight to Afghanistan where he spoke, took photos but didn't, as far as I can tell, throw out rolls of paper towels. While there he boasted about signing off on a ten-percent pay raise for the military the first that they had received in a decade. Trouble was he didn't and it wasn't.
The reality is that troops will get a 2.6% pay hike in 2019 and they received a 2.4% hike in 2018. And, in fact the troops have had a pay hike every year for decades. So, no...he lies yet again. But, the reality is he does not care one damn bit and that is sad.
There is a big bash tomorrow at Mar-a-Lago and you are paying for it. The federal government just dolled out $54,000 for party tents. Party tents...while hundreds of thousands of federal workers are not getting paid. Oh, we also coughed up another $41,000 for generators and tower lights. Meanwhile "45" rakes in the cash. It costs non-members $1,000 to attend while members pay only $650 for a ticket. If you are interested in membership grab your checkbook, the annual club membership is $200,000. Isn't it nice to know how the "other folks" live? Besides it takes lots of cash to employ people who are not legal residents of the U.S. Oh, wait...you had not heard?
You Play By The Rules - Me? Not So Much
It seems that the attorney general for New Jersey has evidence that undocumented workers at the Bedminster Golf Course owned by "45" were given false social security numbers and green cards. All of this was brought to light when several workers came forward because they were, "...tired of the abuse, the insults, the way he talks about us when he knows that we are helping him make money. We sweat it out to attend to his every need and have to put up with his humiliation.” Oh my...not"45"...say it ain't so. Here is the story from Newsweek.
A day of reckoning is coming early next month and "45" has got to be shaking in his fancy shoes. Democrats take control of the House and have already said they will pass legislation that will end the political shutdown of the federal government and pay the people who have been out of work and without pay for nearly two weeks. Meanwhile, never at a loss for being unable to string together a sentence that makes sense, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and attorney for "45" said the other day the shutdown is the result of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) not willing to pay out $5 billion for a wall at our southern border. Whoa...last time I checked, and I do it often, the GOP is in charge, Majority Leader Paul Ryan (R-WI) is the Speaker of the House, the guy overseeing the Senate is Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the dude in the White House is also a Republican. Come on Rudy.... Weary.
Speaking of Mitch
There is one person in the United States that holds the future of "45" in his hands and it ain't Robert Mueller. That person is the Majority Leader in the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Follow this line for just a moment: Mueller is about to take his findings to the Justice Department. There it may be under wraps but, given the gravity of the situation and the fact that Mueller has hundreds of hours of testimony and thousands of pages of tax returns you know it will leak. Let's say it does. The House can vote to impeach but the Senate must concur. That would be unlikely unless...unless McConnell strolls over the the White House and has a serious conversation with "45" about leaving on a jet plane. If he doesn't, and the evidence is so overwhelming, he risks placing his party in ice in 2020. Hang on kids....
More Tax Cuts!
Meanwhile, in Iowa, the call from the business community is for more tax cuts so they can create thousands of jobs and get the economy of the Hawkeye State rolling. Yes, I have seen their "wish list". So let's take a look at how well that works and who really benefits.
We are now celebrating (?) the one year anniversary of the massive federal Tax and Jobs Act of 2017. You know the bill signed into law last year that handed out $200 billion in tax savings to large corporations that promised to raise wages, hand out bonuses and undergo some major growth projects. Remember? While some did the vast majority of the tax savings for these public corporations did not go to employees or to expansion but to stock buybacks. In fact, stock buybacks neared $200 billion in the third quarter for S&P 500 companies. Goldman Sachs analysts have predicted that the total amount of buybacks across the economy could top $1 trillion for the full year. So, thank you. Thank you for gutting families incomes and government services while fattening your collective wallets.
Of course the Iowa GOP signed on to more tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy. The result? Shrinking income for the state and cuts in services. Want proof? How about that 1% raise for AFSCME employees while, at the same time, the state throws money at already successful companies. Trickle down does not work...has never worked but yet some people believe it.
Bottom line: The growth of the economy is not predicated on how much more money the wealthy and the corporations have it is, however, the result of millions of American families having the cash to buy stuff. How is that so...hard to understand?
Early next month I get to go to the first of several legislative receptions. It's going to be nice to be among so many friends that have made it into the Iowa House. They are sworn in on the 14th and on that same night we'll enjoy the prelude to 2020 because it is coming my friends...I think we've seen quite enough of the disaster. You?
Happy New Year and thanks for reading!