Midterms 2018: Closing Arguments for the American Family

Source: NY Post.

Gross Negligence?

Fear-mongering the crisis at our southern border can’t hide the fact the fact that Trump and the Republicans have little to show for two years of total power.

The Republican majorities in Congress have done little more than shrug their shoulders as President Donald Trump continues to recklessly pursue an agenda based on his own personal gratification: handing out tax breaks to his rich friends, siding with the Koch Bros. and oil and gas magnates in denying climate change, engaging in trade wars just because he can and undermining lawful health care protections because they was achieved by his predecessor, Barack Obama, a man who makes Trump look very small.

David Corn of Mother Jones makes a good summary statement:

Donald Trump has waged a war on the norms of governance, the rule of law, productive discourse and the media, as he has set a record for making false statements, overseen a regime riddled with corruption, given comfort to racists, misogynists, and wacko conspiracy theorists and displayed a disturbing affinity for autocracy.

If Congress continues to let this hate-filled and low-information president set the agenda, the United States of America could conceivably turn into some form of “banana republic:” shunned by the world, massive inequality with no safety net, a return to Jim Crow for all people of color, an authoritarian president and rampant corruption the norm. Who would have believed this was remotely possible two years ago?

It’s definitely not a good world to leave to our children.

Family Separation at our Southern Border

The Trump administration is once again considering plans to separate children from parents at the US-Mexican border. White House senior adviser Stephen Miller is said to be the primary advocate, believing that family separation is a deterrent to clandestine border crossings. It is estimated that over 400 immigrant children have still yet to be reunited with their families in the first round of family separation.

Is it just me, or is the devil’s bargain of deterrence versus children crying (and possibly damaged) an outright villainous way to make policy?

In yesterday’s (Oct. 30) paper, it was reported that Trump is sending 5,200 active duty troops to the southern border in anticipation of a “caravan” of Central American asylum-seekers making their way through Mexico on foot. This gathering of migrants, diminishing daily to around 3,000 with the majority of them women and children, has taken on mythical proportions in right-wing media, which portrays the travelers as a menacing crew hell-bent on muscling their way through the US border. That is, of course, ridiculous.

It’s a disgrace that our men and women in uniform are being used as props to stoke election turnout of Trump’s anti-immigrant base.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Anita Hill. Source: Elle Magazine online.

Prominent Republicans proudly point to two accomplishments in the two years of unified government under President Trump: The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as Supreme Court justice and the tax “reform” bill that passed in late 2017. They tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act but couldn’t get it done, thanks to a recently deceased veteran American hero.

Shaming Women

Women empowered by the #MeToo movement were plainly disappointed when Kavanaugh was chosen as the possible fifth and deciding vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade, in spite of some courageous testimony and a display of women’s righteous indignation. Women have to wonder:  When the president of the United States brags, “You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy,” will that be acceptable “locker room talk?” How can I feel safe?

It was definitely a step backwards for women’s right.

Source: former Labor Secretary Robert Reich & moveon.org

Tax Policy, the National Debt and the Safety Net

No wonder the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which passed without a single Democratic vote, polls miserably for Republicans (anywhere from 34-39% approval). Its main feature was the largest one-time reduction in the corporate tax rate in US history. It scaled back how much state and local taxes Americans can deduct. The plan lowered tax rates for each income bracket, but Republicans voted to make tax cuts on families temporary and reductions for corporations permanent.

The bill eliminates the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act. The CBO estimates that this will lead to 13 million fewer Americans with health insurance.

Here’s the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities:

The major tax legislation…will cost approximately $1.5 trillion over the next decade and deliver windfall gains to wealthy households and profitable corporations, further widening the gap between those at the top of the income ladder and the rest of the nation. By shrinking revenues, it will leave the nation less prepared to address the needs of of the retirement of the baby boom generation and other national needs…

This could all end very badly for the American family…unless we win back some power in Congress and erect some roadblocks to this destructive course. This coming Tuesday, Nov. 6, is election day. You’ve got to vote. Please vote.

Andrew Goutman

Andrew Goutman is the editor of The Record.

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