Best government money can buy
President Obama told us he would expand health care, restrict financial institutions ability to deal in high risk investments, fight climate change, improve air and water quality, end the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, save the auto industry, and control immigration.
He expanded health care (not as much as I would like and it isn’t single payer, which is cheaper and covers everyone but has its flaws so private insurance must be maintained for those who can pay). We got Dodd-Frank which puts regulations in place to protect consumers and government insured investment banks from over investing and having to be bailed out. We got more solar and wind power. We got a cleaner Chesapeake Bay and filters on coal and oil burning power plants. We reduced troops in Iraq to 10,000 and in Afghanistan to 5,000. The auto industry was saved and other economic band aids has put us at 5 percent unemployment. He deported 3 million and increased vetting of refugees to 18 to 24 months. Some things worked well and some didn’t. I’m not a fan of his foreign policy.
President Trump told us he would do 12 things when he was elected. Lock her up. Repeal Obamacare. Reinstitute waterboarding. Build the wall. Deport all illegals. End Syrian refugees. Renegotiate the Iran Nuclear deal. Rebuild the military. Decrease the federal workforce. Renegotiate NAFTA. End climate change regulations. And increase use of oil and gas.
So far, we aren’t even talking about locking her up. We are still talking about repeal. His advisers have stated that we won’t be waterboarding anyone (thank God). Wall building may happen someday, but there is no talk of Mexico paying for it. Deportation has been going great (have to see if he deports as many as Obama did). I don’t know that we are allowing any Syrian refugees to enter (I don’t think eliminating a group of refugees based on nationality is a road I want to take. It strikes me as fundamentally un-American). Not hearing any renegotiation of the Iran nuclear deal. There has been significant decrease of some portions of the federal work force. There may well be more of that. Personally, history is full of stories about the corruption of private contractors who do government work, particularly when there are insufficient government workers to oversee the contractors. A smaller IRS has resulted in less investigations of tax fraud and the contracting out of the collection functions, which I guess some people think is a solution to the problem of income tax. We are talking about NAFTA and I favor revisiting that, as well as every other trade treaty. As for climate change, no surprise that I think climate change is the biggest problem we have and we are foolish to imagine that it will go away if we do nothing about it.
The increased use of oil and gas really profoundly illustrates the fact that we have the best government money can buy. That’s true ever since Eisenhower warned of the military-industrial complex, and it has been a problem since Revolutionary times but it has been ever more insidious until now when big oil and big coal are getting proportionate federal subsidies in the billions while increasing profit margins and becoming multibillionaires while shrinking the workforce. Fewer people work in those industries than ever while the owners and executives are richer than ever. I think it is evidence of how smart those people are. I am afraid it doesn’t show the voters to be as smart.
One more thing: The law literally subsidizes businesses to move overseas. Not merely tax breaks but actual law allows for hiding income. Democrats sponsored legislation a few years back to end that law but it was overwhelming defeated by Republicans and other Democrats.
The best government money can buy.
William Wetmore, Waldorf