‘Stick it to them’ policies that have stuck

You didn’t expect a pre-test, but: Which presidential candidate coined the term “rigged economy”?

(A) Bernie Sanders; (B) Elizabeth Warren; (C) Jill Stein; (D) Donald Trump.

Answer: D.

OK, actual parentage may be in dispute. Patrick Henry might have uttered the phrase first. However, Trump – yes, him – is the one who plied it into a presidency.

Trump convinced a lot of working-class voters that the system was rigged against them and that (D) was the answer.

Were it not so tragic, it would be comedic.

This man has done everything in his power to keep America’s wealthiest and whitest in the percentile of their births, indeed to make them wealthier (can’t make them whiter – though their hero has shown how to be orange-er).

What about those tax cuts that were supposed to benefit everyman? The IRS reports that the average refund is just about the same as last year’s. Should this surprise anyone?

Asked about the general health of the economy, Warren Buffett points out that we are at the tail end of a growth period that started in 2009, and that many of the voters Trump courted in 2016 with his “rigged economy” spiel have benefited hardly at all throughout.

“I would prefer that the majority of the tax cuts go overwhelmingly to the people who are watching while the rest of the country prospers,” Buffett told CNN.

The big winners, he said, were the super-wealthy, mega-corporations and their shareholders.

Any boost from those tax cuts is starting to wane – the sugar high having left the economy drowsy.

The cost of this indulgence? It is much more than the $2.3 trillion that Trump’s own Treasury acknowledges over a decade. Project it across decades as the country pays down its debt, with interest.

The four-month federal deficit – $310 billion – is 77 percent higher than a year ago. And for what?

Nothing Trump seeks to do benefits those ripped off by the “rigged economy.”

He seeks to abolish the Affordable Care Act without any alternative in mind. He seeks to eviscerate budgets in education and housing.

As a candidate he said he’d never cut Medicaid and Medicare. And you believed him?

Over the next 10 years, his 2020 budget would spend $1.5 billion less on Medicaid, $25 billion less on Social Security and $845 billion less on Medicare.

Every one of these dollars is meant for people who can’t survive on the sugar-high economy – the people who don’t count in the Trump political equation.

By now anyone who has paid any attention should understand that Trump is not interested in serving the people in general. He is interested only in serving his base.

He’s not going to do a thing to help uninsured Americans. He’s not going to do a thing about the massive debts faced by college graduates and those to come.

Indeed, if you don’t support him politically, he’s going seek out ways to stick it to you.

Consider his brazenly childish threat to transport migrants to so-called sanctuary cities.

Consider his threat to cut off wildfire relief to California as flames leaped. Consider his unconscionable vendetta aimed at the leadership of storm-ravaged Puerto Rico.

Trump has cast his lot with voters who are fine with division and divisiveness.

Convincingly or not, George W. Bush sought to project himself as a “uniter not a divider.” No such pretense from Donald Trump. He is comfortable with an “up yours” presidency. So are his defenders.

By the way, talking about the winners and losers under the man’s stick-it-to-them policies – among the winners of his driving up the national debt are mega-investors, including the Chinese, who purchase the bonds by which our government continues to operate. They’ll get back their investment compounded by the interest you are paying. Sweet.

Longtime Texas newspaper editor John Young now lives in Colorado.


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