Well, what do you think? Republicans are raving about the “marvelous” speech trump gave last night. Democrats are somewhat less than enthusiastic about the speech.
Republicans say that the speech was a “uniting speech”. But I am not sure they were listening to the same speech I was. Especially when you look at the very few policy details that he brought up.
For one thing, he started his speech talking about how terrible anti-Semitism crimes are. He talked about the two Indian-Americans murdered in Kansas by a racist, but only vaguely. What he did not say a word about is the huge increase in anti-Muslim crimes in the country.
He did not mention Mosques being burned to the ground by arsonists. He did not talk about Muslims being attacked in the street just because they are Muslims. He did not talk about the racist who was recently convicted of planning to murder all Muslims and burn down the Mosque and Community Center in an upstate New York town.
How can you talk about a “unifying” speech if he leaves out all of these incidents? How can you be a “unifying” figure if you pretend that none of these things ever happened?
Before the speech, he supposedly told news anchors that he would be “open to legal status for undocumented immigrants who are already here.” Yet, in his speech, he said nothing about that. He did talk about the deportations that are ongoing. Of course, he says they are only “criminals” who are a threat to our country being deported.
Only, can you please explain to me how someone caught up in a “sweep” intended to get some of those “bad dudes” as he likes to call them, whose only crime is being pulled over for a broken tail light and getting deported. Or the mother of two U.S. citizens who was deported after self-reporting to ICE as per an agreement to allow her to stay who was deported.
One of the biggest lies of the night came when he said:
According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted for terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country.
The fact of the matter is that more American Citizens have been killed in terrorist attacks since 9/11 by “domestic white terrorists” than by foreign-born terrorists. But, if you don’t consider white domestic terrorists as being terrorists, I guess you have a claim for truth in the statement.
Trump appears to be citing a 2016 report from Jeff Sessions, Trump’s attorney general, who was then an Alabama senator, claiming that “at least 380 of the 580 individuals convicted of terrorism or terrorism-related offenses between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2014, were born abroad.” But, as Alex Nowrasteh of the Libertarian Cato Institute pointed out, only 40 of those convictions were in fact for terrorist attacks planned on U.S. soil, and 241 were not even for terrorism offenses.
To emphasize this abandonment of reality, he told us about a great new piece of the Department of Human Services. This agency is supposed to support victims of violent crimes. The name? Victims of Immigrant Crime Engagement!
What this does is say that only immigrants commit crimes and we need a group to help those victims. The KKK, Aryan Nation, and other White Supremacist groups that commit several acts of terrorism in our country are not mentioned. This VOICE group would do nothing to “support” the victims of the South Carolina church shooting. Or, the Planned Parenthood shooting victims in Denver. Now that is “unifying”.
Then he went on and on about tax reform. Yes, we need tax reform. But, the type of tax reform that trump is planning will not help the average American very much if at all. From what we have seen so far, the major tax breaks will go to corporations, the very rich, and the upper end of the middle-class.
That “massive tax break” for the middle-class he talked about isn’t all that massive. On average, you might save $1,000 in taxes under his plan. Of course the upper 1 percent will average over $200,000 savings on their taxes.
Of course, your $1,000 will also depend on which tax loop-holes that most Americans take advantage of and he wants to cut. Like the interest on your home mortgage or your charitable contributions. If those deductions are removed, you will not save $1,000, but rather according to the tax experts, your taxes will go up on average of $2,000.
In trump’s and Republican plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and trump mentioned it last night, if you currently get subsides to help to pay for your insurance, you won’t get them anymore. Instead, you will get “tax credits”. That means you will be able to deduct some of your health care coverage costs on your taxes. But, as I asked yesterday, if you don’t make enough money to pay federal taxes, how is that going to help you get insurance? It won’t.
There was one point where I was absolutely stunned. That came when our beloved leader informed us that a full one-third of the adult population in our country have dropped out of the job market. WOW! That was headline making information. Only, it won’t hit the headlines because it was another lie.
Our beloved leader says that 94 million people are out of the workforce. Partly correct is the best description of that lie. See, he failed to mention that those numbers include high school students, retired senior citizens, the disabled, and people who choose to stay home as primary caregivers. Many of these people have no intention of actually being part of the job market.
Another shocker was when he said:
My administration wants to work with members in both parties … to promote clean air and clean water.
Really? If that is true why did he roll back the rule that keeps mining companies from polluting rivers and streams? Why, yesterday, did he rollback another rule that prevents rivers from being polluted by oil companies? Why is he planning to rollback the rule cutting back green house gases? Why does his budget call for a 25 percent spending cut in the EPA budget and a 20 percent cut in jobs?
To me, one of his most divisive talking points is his call for “merit based” immigration. What, exactly, does that mean? What is merit based immigration? Is merit based immigration based on things like his son Donald, Jr., needing immigrants to work at his vineyard instead of Americans? Does it mean that mean that immigrants are needed to work at trump’s spas instead of Americans?
He keeps using the words, “Buy American, Make American”. Apparently, he doesn’t believe that includes his own family’s businesses. All of their products are made overseas, and he and his son would rather apply for visas for immigrants to work at their facilities in America instead of hiring Americans. Here’s one for you. Boycott everything sold under the name of Trump. That way you won’t be buying something not made in America.
He brought up his “infrastructure” plan again. Only, he didn’t say what that would entail. He mentioned “public/private” partnership. The only way to get private money to invest in our infrastructure is for the private sector to make money off of the project. Meaning, if you need new roads, private money might be invested if they can make those new roads “toll roads” so the private corporation can make money.
Is that what we really want for our infrastructure? Do you want to have to fork over lots of money to pay for using the roads that your per gallon tax dollars are already supposed to pay for? If that is the case, we shouldn’t have to pay any taxes on our gasoline at the pump.
Another untruth was when he said:
We have begun to drain the swamp of government corruption by imposing a five-year ban on lobbying by executive branch officials — and a lifetime ban on becoming lobbyists for a foreign government.
Yes, he did “change” the rules that President Obama put in place. Instead of two-year ban on lobbying the agency you left, trump cut that back to one year. But, you can still lobby any other part of the government. Plus, Obama was far more strict on allowing lobbyists to enter the administration. Now, lobbyists can enter the administration without any questions asked. So, the “swamp” isn’t being drained. When you couple this with all of the Wall Street bankers in his administration, the swamp is getting deeper not being drained.
Finally, let’s look at the manufacturing jobs that trump says he will bring back to our country. Here is a very little known statistic about manufacturing jobs. Since 1987, we have lost approximately 5.8 million manufacturing jobs. That is a big number.
However, the flip side is that since 1987 our manufacturing production has increased over 87 percent. We have fewer manufacturing jobs, but we are making more products. How can that be if China and Mexico are stealing our jobs? The answer is simple – automation!
We have lost more jobs to automation than to other governments. That is a very simple fact. But, instead of creating job training to help assembly line workers get better skills that will allow them to continue to work in automated factories, we ignore them and let them wallow in despair and give them false hope by saying “we will bring your jobs back”.
We must be honest with our people. The days of the 1950s where thousands upon thousands of people work on the assembly line are over. Those jobs will NEVER come back. We need to be honest and convince these workers that they can be retrained to other careers so they can get good paying jobs and support their families.
I grew up on the South Side of Chicago in the Blue Collar area of the city. I saw these jobs start disappearing back in the 1906s. It wasn’t because of unions or anything else that trump blames. It was because the factories were old and the owners refused to update them and make them more modern and efficient. It was all about the bottom line.
Today, as new manufacturing starts up in America, it isn’t assembly workers that go to work in these factories. It is robots and other automation that makes our products. If you don’t believe me, just watch the television show “How It’s Made” on the science channel. You will see far more machines making products than people.
I’m sorry folks, but last night’s speech was not “unifying”. It offered no solutions to the real problems that face our people. It only offered tax cuts to the rich, more deportations, more limitations on immigrants, and nothing else.
It may have sounded better in tone than his inauguration speech, but the fact is it was still a doom-and-gloom prognosis of our country. If you think you heard something positive last night, I suggest you watch his actions in the coming weeks.
I believe you will see the same old shit we have seen since inauguration day. As we used to say in the Coast Guard “Same shit different day”. That is what I heard last night. Nothing positive. Nothing creative. Nothing about solutions. Only more of the same hate-filled blame game.
And, the shirts keep marching along.