My Comments on a Trump CPAC Fact Check

I am cheating a little here and sharing my morning Facebook post from earlier today.  

The president of the United States needs to be held accountable for repeatedly — and apparently intentionally — misinforming the public. I would say the same standard to should apply to your representatives in congress and state, but let’s start at the top.  We literally live in a fact-free political era when some people think slandering an argument as “fake news” is an acceptable response to uncomfortable facts.

I won’t bring up yesterday’s press briefing stunt…

Trump Speaking at CPACBy attacking the courts and the media, the president is deliberately attacking two checks on his power…and apparently it is working. There are too many people who think he is right! He isn’t. (We’ll delve into some of that shortly.) Perhaps just as significantly, he is also undermining the dignity and responsibility of the office for which he does not seem to possess the maturity to manage.

The New York Times fact-checked Donald Trump’s CPAC speech.  Facts matter and there are even some points from the president with which I agree. (Gotta take ’em when you can find them.) Although I think the president and I would disagree on the tenor and substance of the arguments.

The trillions squandered in wars, for example, has been shameful, especially in a country looking for more ways to cut programs that serve its own citizens. CPAC is a strange audience for these complaints. At CPAC, such statements are embarrassingly hypocritical. Indeed, even today, the call to destroy “radical Islamic terrorism” is likely to add only more of the same. And, while perhaps indirectly so, plans to build more military infrastructure allocates resources to foreign endeavors. (Less than 1% of the federal budget — about $35 billion — goes to US foreign aid, by the way, and most of that goes to Israel and Egypt.)Countries Scaled to the Economic Aid the receive from the United States

The numbers concerning declines in tourism is interesting, but whatever those numbers are, the way the president presents them is backward. He seems to be implying that if we don’t get a handle on immigration, tourism will decline in the United States. Well, up until this year, immigration had no negative effect on tourism. Indeed, Frommers reports that the travel industry has noticed a “Trump Slump” in bookings for US travel that could cost the US economy billions of dollars and thousands of jobs. Already travel from the Middle East, Mexico, Central America, and eastern Europe has declined significantly.

The Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare…well, just about everything you hear about this from the right is wrong. (Really.) Contrary to the president’s claim that fewer people are covered under Obamacare, more than 20 million more people have health coverage as a result of Obamacare. More is not less, not even 2017. Furthermore, for most people who had to change health care plans — and I say most, I know there are some of you out there where it is otherwise — they had to change plans because the plans they had did not meet coverage standards. Thus those people would have better, not worse, coverage. Typical examples would be high deductible, low coverage so-called “catastrophic” care plans.

The “crushing economy” is another interesting spin. By most measures, the economy is doing quite well, but also by most measures that economic strength doesn’t mean much to most Americans. The president’s solution is more supply-side economic policy that created this unbalanced economic distribution in the first place. There is a lot indifference to middle and working class in these plans.

The president’s cavalier drop 2 regulations for every new regulation order is thoughtless and absurd. It is an emotional — and political — response to objective conditions. That is hardly a smart way to govern. Initially it might work, however…there will always be the need to review regulations and that does not always happen as it should. But there is already a law in place — passed in 1980 — to address this. Enforcing that law would be a smarter approach. Plus, if you think about it, if you cull two regulations for every new one ad infinitum…eventually you’re stuck.  (And will have only two regulations…right?)

Lordy, I have rambled a bit. I didn’t want to write about the weather today — or maybe ever again! — so this will be it. A moment in Shane’s corner…

Shouldn’t we expect more truth and integrity from the person who has been elected to lead the country? Yes or no? What we have now is not acceptable.

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