Trump’s America. A Few Thoughts on Home and Foreign Policy

One thing no one can doubt. There never would have been a Peace Corps under Donald Trump. I thought this as I listened to a fervent Trump supporter decrying spending any American money to help any foreigner. She asked: “what about the American homeless and others.”  

Apparently the money we spend in foreign nations like foreign aid to help foreigners is wrong. But in truth it is not that she wanted that money to be spent on the homeless. She wants on the other hand to cut back on government spending which would include money for the American  homeless.

I can’t but be amused by those who want less spending on others and less government spending in general. I find many are happily benefitting from the benefits of Medicare. I’ve yet to hear any of those asking for that program to be cut back. The idea of helping others, foreigners or Americans, seems to be disappearing.

Another objection my friend had was that our car makers had to pay tariff’s to sell their cars in other countries while those  countries, she specifically mentioned South Korea and Japan, don’t have to pay tariffs on their cars sold here. She said that was a great disadvantage to American car makers. I pointed out there was another side to this. If you imposed a tariff you may be helping the car makers and their stockholders but you had to disadvantage the Americans who would buy those cars since the price would be increased by the tariff. Things aren’t always as simple as they first appear.

Speaking of South Korea I’m reminded me of Tillerson’s recent speech beseeching  North Korea to come to the bargaining table. It must have provoked lots of laughter in Pyongyang among Kim Jong-un and his buddies as their belief in the emptiness of Trump’s threats was born out.  He said: “ We do not seek a regime change, we do not seek the collapse of the regime, we do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula, We do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th parallel. And we’re trying to convey that to the North Koreans. We are not your enemy. We’re not your threat, but you are presenting an unacceptable threat to us, and we have to respond. And we hope that at some point, they would begin to understand that and then we would like to sit and have a dialogue with them about the future that will give them the security they seek and the future economic prosperity for North Korea.”  (my emphasis) 

This statement given this week after North Korea sent aloft its second ICBM runs afoul of his Fourth of July statement: “We intend to bring North Korea’s provocative action before the UN Security Council and enact stronger measures to hold the DPRK accountable. The United States seeks only the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the end of threatening actions by North Korea. As we, along with others, have made clear, we will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea.” (my emphasis)

Tillerson in less than a month has gone from boldness to begging and offering bribes. This is because he knows that North Korea is already nuclear-armed with ICBMs. He knows his threats and Trump’s have been ignored by the North Koreans. He doesn’t seem to know that you don’t negotiate by weakness. So much for the “Art of the Deal.”

After they calm down from their big laugh they’ll continue to build ICBMs and nukes. Offering them bribes (future economic opportunities) won’t cut the mustard.  The North Koreans see our weakness and will take advantage of it.  We’re going to have to accept that the Trump approach will ensure we will live under the threat of a heavily armed North Korea clinging to the hope our deterrent nuclear force will  stop North Korea from strking first.

Meanwhile one wonders that having gotten Putin’s permission to sign the new sanctions bill on Russia what is Putin demanding in return. We know Putin is throwing out some 700 American embassy people (without a response from Trump). To pacify him I’m sure Putin had more demands. Russia is moving over 100,000 of its troops into Belorussia. Is this the prelude to  a Trump approved attack on Western Ukraine?  Doubt Putin will move on Baltic States because of NATO commitment but Ukraine being outside of NATO remains as one of his first targets.

Putin needs a face saver after Trump let him down. What will it be?

 

23 thoughts on “Trump’s America. A Few Thoughts on Home and Foreign Policy

  1. You must have forgotten about Obama’s line in the Sand.the Iranian deal and a host of other mishaps from the previous administration… China needs to step up

  2. All the money given in foreign aid must be spent with American companies. For example: If a foreign nation builds a dam with US aid, it must contract the construction with US firms, and, buy the components from our companies. Foreign aid takes American tax payer money, and, distributes it to US corporations. The money moves in a circle.

    The Korean threat will subside, as it always does. A real war would finish Kim, and, he knows it. Nuclear weapons will remain unused as poison gases were during WWII. All the major belligerents had stock piles of weaponized poison gases, but, didn’t use them.

    Putin will continue to nibble away at eastern Ukraine. Invading, and, occupying, western Ukraine would be too big a bite. The Russians want to reduce Ukraine to a rump state. They don’t want western Ukraine. Most of the industry, and, natural resources, are in the east. Also, there’s a pro-Russian element of the Ukrainian population in the east that doesn’t exist in the west. Most of the anti-Russian agitation takes place in west of Ukraine. The west has a long history of resistance to Russian hegemony. A Russian occupation of the west would be problematic for Moscow.
    The only move the US has is to send more “little blue men” to Ukraine.

    1. Jeff: I hear that. Any criticism of Glorious Leader is met with cries of Obama did this, and, Hillary did that. The fascist cheer leading squad never defend Trump head-on, they can’t, his activities are too dastardly to risk drawing attention to them. Trump’s down to 33% approval. As he continues to slide, his die-hard adherents will just become more shrill in their evasions of the truth about him. Donald Trump is just NG, no good. Mueller will finish him. I’m worried about the coterie of generals he surrounded himself with. That’s a bad trend. They might decide to make the trains run on schedule. The last time the generals slipped the bit, they gave us the VN War. Taylor and Ridgeway, famous WWII generals, were tasked with coming up with a “win” in VN. They completely misread the liberation struggle, laying the ground work for political disaster, and, military humiliation. We are still in Afghanistan after sixteen years, because, at the moment, it’s the only war they’ve got. Mattis, who has been mentally war-gaming attacks on Iran for years, would like to change that. It’s hard for up-and-coming lieut. colonels to achieve stardom without commanding a maneuver battalion during their careers. If they don’t get slots, they’re retired as chickens or, in grade. Field command of a battalion is essential to getting that first star.
      Think of Nick Nolte’s character in the “Thin Red Line.”

  3. Good to have Matt’s ideas! Even though we disagree!

    First: two follow-up comments from yesterday’s Immigration issues:

    1. When Emma Lazarus wrote “give me your huddled masses”, the US population was 50 million (1880). Today, it’s getting crowded.

    2. Whether you take a skilled or unskilled immigrant, an American worker’s job may be lost. Two differences: (a) The skilled immigrant is less likely to be on Welfare; (b) there’s a demand for many skilled positions: engineers, high-tech, primary care physicians: less chance of jobs being lost; more chance needs will be met.

    MEDICARE:

    1. Medicare is going broke. Social Security is going broke. Government “solutions” often fail.

    2. One in four seniors (with Medicare or not) will go completely broke (bankrupt) due to Medical costs.

    3. If you let the average worker keep his Social Security/Medicare deductions (6.2% employee/6.2% employers) they’d be better off. Average worker makes $40,000 year; invest $4,000/yr for 40 years at 5% (stock market/bonds) he’ll have over $500,000 at 65 = enough for modest income and pay health care insurance for remaining years of his life (men average 17 years post 65 today.)

    NORTH KOREA:

    North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in October 2006. Obama as Senator and then eight years as President did nothing about it. Under Clinton, the US was fooled into helping North Korea develop “peaceful” nuclear reactors. Clinton and Bush bear some responsibility, too.

    Anyone want to put in writing what the solution is to North Korea having nuclear armed ICBMs? On the one hand, North Korea has not attacked anyone since 1950s. On the other hand, North Korea’s leader, Kim, is a lunatic.

    Without Russia and China, we likely cannot solve the North Korean problem, yet Congress is driving Russia into a corner, renewing Cold War animosities.

  4. The Nebula
    A Politcal Murder Traces back to NWO’s Absolute Power
    By WALTER J BAEYENS, Foreword by Wayne Madsen
    Providing deep insights into the unseen but real forces that shape the course of history, this investigation exposes a cabal which controls most of the money transfers worldwide as well as the highest political authorities. The spider in the web, according to the investigators, was Felix Przedborski, a selfmade millionnaire of Polish-Jewish descent who held both Belgian and Costa Rican nationalities. By 1990, ‘Don Felix’ was Grand Master of the Lodge B’Nai B’Rith, called US presidents by their first names, and had excellent contacts with the Holy See, Mossad, CIA, and various heads of state. In order to understand this cabal one must to abandon the conventional logic of economics and politics.

    Walter J. Baeyens was born in 1952 in Aalst, Belgium. He trained in the Belgian Air Force and served as a NATO E3A AWACS Command Post Officer and NATO Air Defense Ops Officer. His first Dutch language book titled Scum Deluxe was published in 2012, followed by the The Elites of Power in 2015. He is now a retired Belgian Air Force Pilot and former self-employed intellectual property consultant.
    Wayne Madsen

  5. BilL: “Medicare is going broke. Social Security is going broke. Government “solutions” often fail.” Prove it. Both programs are doing fine. If trouble develops, we’ll bleed the rich, until, they faint. Income tax is a government program that works just fine. The corporate scum owe it to us for making themselves wealthy off our labor.

    1. JPC

      Humanity has done without them during periods in the past. It has no need of the corporate heads in the future. There’ll be managers a plenty, but, no private capital. First off, we’ll liquidate the hedge-fund traitors and, the banksters, then, we’ll settle with their lawyers. All power to the dialectic.

      1. All right, let me rephrase that to reduce the quibbling.

        Forced collection of wealth for redistribution is not charitable giving.

        Khalid, I would be more than happy to distribute your wealth to recipients of my choice under whatever illusion you prefer. How much are you freely offering for distribution?

        1. Long ago, I realized that gaining more money than everyone else wouldn’t lead to as much personal satisfaction, as, making everyone’s money worthless. Annual Zakat is three percent of a believing Muslim’s working capital, if some Muslims want to give more, hamdulillah! They are blessed, but, not obligated. The masjid directs the accumulated funds to the needy in the Islamic community. Off course, I pay all the regular taxes, too. Taxed twice, authabillahi!! My excess income, spare as it is, gets well distributed.

  6. Khalid: Written like a true big government socialist. As JPC said you wouldn’t have taxes without a private sector, which big government saps. The Private Sector creates the jobs and wealth to tax.

    Tax the rich and they’ll move, or stop producing! Remember, your Communists (Trotskyites, Soviets, Chinese) seized the rich’s property. How did that work out?

    2. Proof that Big Government Fails: Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society that destroyed minority families, increase illegitimacy rates to 80%, and entrenched poverty in urban and rural areas. Illegitimacy soared in all races, hitting minorities hardest.

    3. Proof that Medicare and SS are going broke: One of four elderly will be bankrupt by Medical Costs; Medical Costs used to consume @6% of GDP when Medicare was established in 1965; now Medical costs consume @18%. Medicare can’t keep up.

    Further expert proof: Forbes articles: https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2016/06/22/surprise-social-security-and-medicare-are-going-bust-dont-say-you-werent-warned/#4c6e8fc2101d
    This is an expert’s opinion. (Tim Worstell, Senior Fellow at the neoliberal Adam Smith Institute, London.)
    “A new forecast shows that Medicare’s hospital-insurance trust fund will be depleted in 2028, two years earlier than estimated last year, according to a government review released Wednesday. Wednesday’s report also showed that Social Security will exhaust its reserves in 2034, an estimate that is unchanged from last year. After that, beneficiaries would face an across-the-board cut in their monthly payments if Congress doesn’t act.”

    Worstell warns: The bureaucrats and politicians will semantically quibble about the definition of “going broke”, but don’t fall for the con. When Medicare and Social Security are busted, Washington will merely cut benefits and raise skyrocketing taxes on all. P.S. They don’t dare tell you that now!

    4. _”U.S. health care spending grew 5.8 percent in 2015, reaching $3.2 trillion or $9,990 per person. As a share of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, health spending accounted for 17.8 percent. In 2016, another $4.3% increase or $10,345 per person.”

    5. Now, here’s historically what health care cost per person in U.S. (PPP) $356 (1970), $1,100 (1980), $2,800 (1990), $4,700 (2000), $7,500 (2008) and @$10,000 2015-16. The costs are going up!

    Now, here’s the most telling numbers: Health Care Expenditures as percent of GDP (PPP: adjusted for inflation etc.): (Remember Medicare adopted in 1965) 1970 7%; 1980 9%; 1990 12%; 2000 13%; 2008 16%; 2015 17.8%; and today >18%.

    Tomorrow: Health Care Costs will soar, until corporate taxes are lowered, the government gets off the back of the private sector, and some creative geniuses in the private sector’s biomedical fields find cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s and other dementias, as long ago at a private charitable hospital one inquisitive man working alone in his lab late one night discovered penicillin.

  7. In Central America, most consider the Peace Corps a cover providing appendage of the CIA . Like AID, it fronts for the Company, allowing station chiefs to place CIA operatives among its’ personnel. Glorious Leader would heartily approve of the deception

    1. Trump might approve or he may not. The fact is the Peace Corps in Central America is not a over for the CIA. Why would they need a cover?

      1. Abe: US embassies don’t carry CIA personnel on the books. Even the station chief has a cover job, could be diplomatic, AID, or, even the Peace Corp.

  8. Not a bad idea to extend an olive branch to N. Korea provided they end their nuclear and icbm programs. This offer is comparable to the Cuban missile crisis proposal. Kim can stay in power with a guarantee of no invasion. If he turns down this offer all bets are off. If conflict arises the Seoul area will have to evacuated. ROK and Japanese forces would have to do provide all the ground forces. The U S would add the air force, cruise missiles and drones. As an American official at DARPA said the battlefield is no place for humans. The other alternative to conflict is help Japan become a nuclear power, That is the last scenario that the PRC wants. Faced with a nuclear Japan , China may exert real pressure on Kim to take the deal. 2. Stewart Alsop stated back in the 70s that the idea Nixon was some sort of a monster was an article of faith among the liberal politicians and journalists. The same attitude persists today regarding Trump. No liberal will give him credit for the good jobs report or the strong stock market. 3. Seventy thousand factories have closed in America over the last few decades costing millions of jobs largely the result of lopsided trade deals. Trump is trying to fix that. Remember Reagan imposed a 100% tariff on Japanese motorcycles and save Harley Davidson from bankruptcy. Protecting American jobs has to be the number one priority. Let the liberal Dems have the free trade issue. How did it work in the Midwest? Did anyone notice that Trump won all the states where college football is popular? Hillary won the pro sports states.

  9. 1. “Who governs least, governs best.” Admirable words we anti-Socialists and anti-Imperialists endorse.

    2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/merrillmatthews/2014/07/02/weve-crossed-the-tipping-point-most-americans-now-receive-government-benefits/#64bdb3223e6c
    The Title of the above article says it all. Thanks to Obamacare, more than 50% of American households now receive government subsidies. Thanks to the Neocons we’ve become an Imperialistic, interventionist State. Thanks to our Government Censors and the Trackers inside America’s Intelligence Community, we’ve become an Orwellian State.
    They tell us: You can still visit Internet Sites that disagree with American Policy, but we, the US Government, monitor all and tell you what’s good and bad.
    From the Ron Paul Institute:
    “The very Soviet-sounding “Alliance for Securing Democracy” project description ends with a suitably authoritarian warning, ripped from the pages of 1984, Darkness at Noon, or Erich Honecker’s “how-to” guide:
    “We are not telling you what to think, but we believe you should know when someone is trying to manipulate you. What you do with that information is up to you.”
    Chilling, no? And much of it is being done with your money by your government and in your name.”

    Paraphrasing: “We’re not telling you what to think; we’re merely telling you the “official” way to think about you’re reading.” For everything you read, the Ministry of Truth will append corrective commentary. “Don’t think, until you hear from us!”

    The US Government and Government Funded sites now monitor what you read and tell you when it is counter to State-Approved Thinking. Read this: http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/august/03/russia-sanctions-and-the-coming-crackdown-on-americans/

    and then consider Twitter recently censored Don Trump Jr.’s innocuous tweet about good job numbers: Twitter said, “This tweet is not available because it contains potentially sensitive content.” The Tweet simply said, “Drudge Report: July jobs – plus 209,000.” Too sensitive! And consider Twitter’s top dog was a big Hillary donor, and then consider America’s “allies” are trying to shut down Al Jazeera.

    Once again, reflect on a government-funded entity, the German Marshall Fund, telling Americans: “Hey, this article (from Al Jazeera, RT, Tolstoy or Pat Buchanan) is trying to manipulate you. The real “Truth” is so and so.” Signed, The Ministry of Truth.

  10. The point is, whether its Free Expression or Healthcare (Obamacare) or Medicare or Social Security, whenever the Socialists in Big Government get their hands on something the costs skyrocket, the programs metastasize and individual freedoms suffer. Socialists suffocate freedoms.

    Minimize governmental programs! Cautiously account for every dollar spent even in programs (army, police, fire, hospitals) necessary to safeguard human lives. Reduce government until we’re back to the 1950s standard where only 30% of GDP was taken by Federal/State/Local Government. Today, some say Gov takes 46%.

    Maximize alternatives to governmental mandates, ex: offer a multiplicity of health Insurance policies and a penalty-free option to choose no insurance. (If you get struck sick, and can’t pay fully, society has a built in penalty, after seizing all your assets: it’s called bankruptcy.)

    You can’t immunize or insure all Americans from all risks. It’s comical to try; it’s chimerical.

    Government should not be in the propaganda business nor in the anti-propaganda business. The remedy for propaganda is free-wheeling expression.

    The remedy for socialism is capitalism.

    1. Bill: How’s that going to work? Let’s examine the mechanics of the two systems. Let Smith, Ricardo, and, Sey (French)sing out! I’ll match you with Marx, Engels, Lenin, and, Trotsky. If you want to bring in the Austrian school, all cool. A contest of ideologies to liven things up! Imagine the long lists that could be created? Epic. A tautalogist’s dream.

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