In December, Trump signed into law an ignominious tax bill that gave massive tax cuts to the wealthy, and the peanut shells that were left over were tossed downwind to the working class. Those of us who have brains and use them to occasionally think, screamed “FOUL”, not because we are not gaining a benefit, but because these ‘donor tax cuts’, are absolutely certain to raise the federal debt as well as the deficit to unprecedented levels. That, for those who wonder, is an extremely untenable situation. We reminded Congress that, just like your household budget, the goal is to increase revenue, not decrease it! We argued that this would give a huge boost to the already-wealthy, and would ultimately hurt the little guy – US!
Well, I don’t want to say, “I told you so!!!”, and so I won’t … but I just did. The announcement came yesterday: Trump told Congress he was canceling government pay increases scheduled for next year. Now mind you, this is not the high-paid, alread-in-the-top-1% gang whose pay is being frozen. Oh no! No, the wealthy directors, secretaries and members of Congress are fine, as is Trump himself. (And no, don’t fall for the “but, he donates his pay b.s.) This is your mail carrier, the person who scans your luggage at the airport, the nice lady who takes your Social Security application. This is the nurse that is taking care of your dad in the V.A. hospital. This would affect some two million people! These are the people who must sacrifice their paltry annual 2.1% increase (that amounts to an average of $850 per annum) so that Trump can give million dollar tax cuts to his wealthy cronies who have millions and even billions of dollars in their investment portfolios!
It becomes painfully obvious that Trump has no viable financial advisors, else he would have realized from the beginning that the budget was in trouble when he reduced revenue last December. And now, he has no qualms making up that deficit from the people who are making a small percentage of what he makes?
“We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases.”
In 2017, inflation was 2.1%, and in 2018 thus far, it is at 1.9% and likely to climb higher by the end of the year. Oh, but the budget can sustain all of Trump’s golf weekends and campaign rallies? Let’s look at some other ways the tax cuts might be offset instead of punishing the working class …
- $26.98 million for flights to Mar-a-lago
- $13 million for security at Mar-a-lago
- $8.48 million for flights to Bedminster, New Jersey, for golf games
- $103,000 for golf carts for the Secret Service (note that this cost goes to Trump’s company)
- $3.4 million for Palm Beach law enforcement during Trump visits
- $155,000 for police, fire & emergency services for each and every campaign rally
- $147 million for personal travel
In addition to Trump’s, Melania’s and Barron’s protection by the U.S. Secret Service, Don, Jr. and Eric also receive protection at a cost of approximately $230,000 per month, or $2.8 million per year. And Trump was considering an ego trip military parade at a cost of $92 million, until his financial advisors told him “NO”! And he wants to build a useless wall on the U.S.-Mexico border that would cost upward of $67 billion! Yes, billion, as in more than everybody reading this post combined will ever see in a lifetime. Billion as in … you and I cannot begin to imagine what it would even look like. Billioin, as in numbers that Donnie Trump sneezes at … unless it is coming out of his own pocket.
My best guess is that Trump had this planned from the beginning of the year, ever since the tax bill passed and he was told the revenue reduction would need to be offset by reductions in spending. He signed a 2.6% pay raise for troops into law as part of a larger military spending package earlier this year. Oh yes, must keep the military strong, and to heck with everybody else.
The possible good news is that Congress has the final say and the authority to override Trump’s decision. Unions representing government workers are begging them to do so, as should we be. If you aren’t certain whether to contact your member of Congress over this, compare these two table settings:
And while we’re at it … let’s cut spending for those rich cabinet members! They truly do not need to jet-set all about the world, but next time they feel the urge to, let them pay for their own travel expenses. We, after all, have a budget to think of.
Congress needs to put a stop to this … pronto! Will they? Time will tell, but I’m not particularly trusting of them, for this wage freeze doesn’t affect them, and they could vote themselves a raise anytime, and no doubt Trump would sign it. Plus, remember that this is the wealthiest Congress in the history of the nation.