The United States of Chaos

I don’t know about you folks, but personally I am beginning to feel very irrelevant, inconsequential when it comes to the current administration and the republicans in Congress.  You will notice, those of you who are employed, that during the 35-day shutdown, federal income taxes continued to be withheld from your paycheck.  Every pay, like clockwork, we pay our taxes, and most of us don’t grumble about it, for we understand that it is our taxes that are used to build roads, maintain the military, provide food and shelter for those less fortunate, and pay the salaries of those who serve in our government.  It is as it should be.  BUT …

I don’t think there is a single person reading this blog who appreciates Donald Trump spending $50,000 for a toy to keep him entertained on rainy afternoons, during his 60% “Executive Time”.  What, you ask, am I prattling on about?  This …

Trump plays a lot of golf, as we all know.  When he was on the campaign trail in 2016, he criticized President Obama for the amount of time he spent playing golf, and said this …

“I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to go play golf.” – Donald J. Trump, August 2016

And yet, absorb this:  President Obama played 306 rounds of golf during the entire 8 years he was in office, which averages to approximately 38 rounds of golf per year.  But Donald Trump, the ‘man’ who said he would be working so hard that he wouldn’t have time for golf, has averaged 70 rounds of golf per year for his first two years!  Where’s all that hard work, eh?  But back to his latest toy …

During the 35-day government shutdown when nearly a million federal workers were either furloughed sans pay, or were expected to work without being paid, Trump’s advisors were apparently able to convince him that it would look really bad if he were out playing golf instead of working to come to an agreement to re-open the government and pay our people.  And thus, he went … wait for it … 69 days without playing golf!  And thus, the above toy … a room-sized golf simulator game at the cost of what, for most of us, is an entire year’s salary or more.  It is said by an anonymous White House staffer that Trump paid for the toy with his own money, but frankly, until I see a canceled check drawn on his personal checking account, I am skeptical.

It was recently reported that Trump spends 60% of his time doing ‘executive time’ … time that he spends watching television, tweeting and talking on the phone, and that he doesn’t leave his residence to begin work until around 11:00 a.m.  Now, you can add another hour to his ‘executive time’, for that is the time it takes to play a round of golf on the new toy.  I wonder … will he get all hot & sweaty and have to take another 20 minutes for a shower after he plays?

trump-golfing


And in other news … again on the campaign trail, Trump promised this …

  • In his official campaign launch address, Trump promised to “reduce our $18 trillion in debt,” which will not happen if annual deficits hit $1 trillion in two years.
  • On the campaign trail, Trump said he would “freeze the budget,” which has certainly not happened.
  • Shortly before his inauguration, he told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he would “balance the budget very quickly… I think over a five-year period. And I don’t know, maybe I could even surprise you.”
  • Previous to that, in March 2016, he told Bob Woodward that he could get rid of the debt “fairly quickly.” When pressed, he said, “Well, I would say over a period of eight years.” Since Trump took office, his own budget director called that promise “hyperbole.”
  • Trump asserted during the second presidential debate that he would bring back energy companies, which would make so much money that they could pay off the national debt. This has not happened.

None of those things have happened but guess what DID happen.  On Tuesday, 12 February 2019, the national debt hit a record high of $22 trillion, nearly $3 trillion higher than when he took office just over two years ago.  Never before in our history has it topped $21 trillion.  For perspective, that is $22,000,000,000.  And climbing.  Why?  While there is no single reason, the biggest reason is the reduction in revenue as a result of the tax cuts for the wealthy that Congress passed, and Trump signed in December 2017.  As tax filers are finding out this month, those tax cuts were truly for the wealthy, and the average taxpayer got shafted.  And still, he presses on for his unnecessary, useless border wall.

Over the course of the last two years, we have gone from a democratic-republic to a plutocracy, a government by the wealthy.  We have ceased to matter to the current administration.  And while Trump’s supporters may crow about the low unemployment rate and the stable economy … a change is coming.  We cannot continue to exist on high deficit spending and an increasing national debt without paying the consequences which I believe are waiting just around the corner.  A rising national debt has been compared to driving your car with the emergency brake on.  Trump’s house of cards may well be about to come tumbling down around us, but he’s having fun playing with his new golf toy, so … no worries, right?

Meanwhile, the Trumptanic keeps chugging toward the iceberg …iceberg

40 thoughts on “The United States of Chaos

  1. Hopefully, WE THE PEOPLE, have learned a lesson. Democracy does not just happen. It needs to be nurtured and protected. How many of the American voters participated in the 2016 election? I will always credit trump with waking up the American sleeping giant – the voting public.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I recall, it was under 70% or eligible voters who voted in 2016. Voter apathy was, indeed, a large part of the problem. And unfortunately, it isn’t much better … in fact, may even be worse … today, as so many feel that their vote doesn’t count for much. Gerrymandering, the electoral college, voter ID laws, and other methods of disenfranchisement are giving people the sense of hopelessness, the sense that we don’t have fair elections and their vote is worth very little. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Once the government shutdown ended, they started to rise. And then … some people, believe it or not, viewed his State of the Union address as “brilliant”, though it was naught but a propaganda event. So, for today they are up. I think, though, as we wade into tax season, some of his followers may come to realize they were shafted in the tax cuts of 2017 and they may begin to jump ship. I hope, anyway.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. no matter how much the government increases taxes, they will never, ever balance the budget until their addiction to discressionary and wasteful spending is brought to a hault. Remember when Obama called George Bush unpatriotic because he had gotten the debt up to I think it was 8 or 9 trillion “all by his lonesome”? And by the end of his two terms in office, it was double that but no one called him unpatriotic for doing the same thing. In other words, this isn’t just donnies fault, it lays at the feet of presidents before him and a congress of both democrats and republicans who don’t give a damn about the American people because none of them are willing to address the issue. Clinton comes to mind as the only president in recent history who, when he left office, there was a government surplus. Bush took care of blowing that out of the water with his stupid wars in the middle east and the legacy is carried forward.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What is it with your attempted defence of el dumpo, Scott? Sure, Trump didn’t start the deficit, but he is certainly increasing it. The real question is, who is benefitting from this increase in the deficit? Trump is. His pets are. And so are his psychophants.
      Obama at least tried to help the American people. He tried to give them better health, better safety nets, better air to breathe, better water to drink. A better future!
      Trump is a greedy slimeball, an egotitical slimeball. And for what. He already has more money than he will ever use in his lifetime. But he is hellbent on getting more, and using his position as POTUS to do just that.
      Unless I miss my mark, Trump is never going to hit his mark–the richest man in the world. But he is trying his damndest to do so…

      Liked by 2 people

      • rawgod, for the 8 millionth time, I am not a defender of trump and I’m sure other people, though they don’t agree with me, at least try to give me the benefit of the doubt of trying to be fair. Yes trump is responsible for increasing the national debt, yes, he does a lot of stupid things but why is it when I call out other politicians who do equally stupid stuff, you assume that I am a supporter of this narcissist? think about that before you come back with a rational answer to the question.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I guess I cannot imagine anyone trying to be fair in favour of Donnie Junk Truck. He is not fair to anyone, not even to his own supporters. He curries the favour of those with big bank accounts, but he lies in the face of the poor who support him. Being “fair” sounds like defence, and he is offensive to all living beings. He is happily destroying the world. He won’t be around to see how bad global warming is going to make it, so why should he care! As long as he gets what he wants, nothing else matters. Fairness? Normally I would agree with you. When it comes to Trump, I’ll be as fair to him as he is to the American electorate–not at all!

          Liked by 1 person

        • Scott, it’s not your fault. In this sensitive political environment, too easy getting triggered. Rarely does the blame game help anyone. My suggestion – step back and detach, analyse the situation from a rational standpoint.
          *Peace Everyone*

          Like

    • True, but it’s all in how one defines ‘discretionary and wasteful spending’. Remember the expression, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”? Personally, I see the border wall and building up of the military as both discretionary and wasteful. But my priorities … healthcare for all, food stamps, housing, job training, education, infrastructure and the environment … are seen by most republicans as wasteful. Who decides what is important vs what is a political maneuver? Not We the People, that’s for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

      • The pentagon is one of the most wasteful in this regard, I think I read somewhere that they spent something like $350000.00 on coffee cups. Even if my figure are wrong and it’s $35000 or even $350, that is what I classify as wasteful and unnecessary spending. And how about the federal grants to study things like where is it most painful to be stung by a bee and the like? I totally agree with you that his silly wall won’t work, after all, countries like Japan, as far as I know don’t have a wall and they’re doing okay.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I agree … I remember the great toilet-seat fiasco a few years back, that they were paying something like $700 for a single toilet seat that I can buy at Target for $20! And, I also agree about some of the studies they subsidize … money that could be much better spent. Sigh. Where does it end, I wonder? Or does it?

          Like

  3. Dear Jill,

    What’s amazing is that his followers continue to stick to him by glue. The ones who are leaving this party are the ones who counted on him to bring back manufacturing jobs that pay at least, a living wage. Those avg Americans who are not getting their expected tax refunds and farmers who bought his tripe are waking up to what his promises were worth, but the rest are sticking.

    For example, about 56% of US voters would believe the FBI’s Mueller findings regarding the Trump-Russia probe but only 17% of republicans would. So when the president lies about anything, no matter how patently wrong, they buy it.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jill, Gronda, I put my comment here, as Gronda’s final point summarizes the gist of the problem. On my friend Lisa’s blog, she and I both reacted to a commenter that Trump was admired for his honesty. To me, she confused frankness with honesty, as the data is overwhelming, even well before his candidacy, that Trump has a hard time with the truth.

      Back to your post, whose title is pertinent, Trump has said he prefers a management style which pits people against each other. As a retired consultant, this is a horrible approach to management as it creates dysfunction. So, chaos is a word we here often to define his Presidency. David Brooks, a conservative pundit, said the White House is “equal parts chaos and imcompetence.”

      Two-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Bob Woodward reported in “Fear,” about the chaos and sabatoging of ideas, as well as the late starting day of the President. The best example is a group of generals with Secretary Mattis waited downstairs to brief him at 10 am, on four options to the transgender issue, with pros and cons. Trump knew they were waiting on him, so he sends out two tweets at 9:10 am saying transgenders will be banned from the military and the Joint Chiefs are in agreement. This is vintage Trump – he made an annoucement without knowledge of its impact, he lied about the agreement part and he insulted everyone who has taken the time to develop options to consider.

      If I worked for him, I would have looked for another job, if I had not already. Wasting someone’s time is offensive. And, offensive is the best word to define this President’s modus operandi.

      Keith

      Liked by 4 people

      • That’s an interesting bit of information Keith about Trump’s choice of management style which bits people against each…..That was Hitler’s preferred style and look how well that worked out for him and Germany.
        When I think of Trump; one perfect American word springs to mind… ‘klutz!’

        Liked by 2 people

      • It never ceases to amaze me when I hear someone say that he is admired for his ‘honesty’. Back in the beginning, all I ever heard was “he tells it like it is”, and I wanted to scream, “NO, HE DOESN’T!!!” But, they don’t get it. They hear what they want to hear.

        I agree that pitting people against each other is terrible management style. I always felt that building camaraderie and teamwork brought about much better results. Everyone who has left his administration, then written a book or even an OpEd, has used the word “chaos” to describe the administration. Where there is so much smoke, there’s got to be a fire somewhere. Sarah Huckabee Sanders can deny it until the cows come home, but I think we all know the truth.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I am continually amazed when I hear people speak in support of him … the very people that his policies are destined to hurt! Some have referred to it as a cult, and I am beginning to believe it is so. I just hope they wake up in time to stop the bleeding!
      Hugs!

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  4. The farce which is the Whitehouse has tipped over way beyond the acceptable levels of confusion and hasty decisions. It has even set a new level in incompetence. And worse was not even voted in by a majority of the voters.
    At this stage the ordinary person can either give up and hunker down, hoping it will pass.
    Or can just ignore the garbage being produced at the Department of Truth, refuse to acknowledge the person in the Oval Office as anything worth their time and carry out small person acts of charity and kindness then when the next election comes apply boot to excessively large buttocks.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I agree with all you say … but doesn’t there have to be a third option? One where people can actively fight against him, can make it clear that he has no business bringing his incompetence to the highest position in government and keep pressing the idea that we want him out? I think that either of the first two options make us sitting ducks for the takeover by Trump who, being largely ignored, decides to take all power for himself and become King, rather than president.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The very great danger for the USA at the present Jill is a complete fracturing of the nation.
        This has been building up for sometime. In the long view of history it could be argued there is still unfinished business from both the War of Independence and the Civil War (in long history they are not so far away).
        You are only a few social steps away from civil armed conflict, as the pre-civil war era warns.
        Trump is an incompetent vainglorious oaf who can only blunder and bluster. To take control as you suggest requires some deft skill and manoeuvring (read ‘The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich’). As the fool has no skill in manipulating folk he can only fail in any attempt, which itself would be a tragi-comedy.
        On the cautionary side, it’s not only his followers who have access to firearms…..
        Time to dial down, let the due processes have their say and save the powder for the 2020 election. Get those Non-voters out.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You are, as always, the voice of calm, of reason, and of wisdom. His latest move, the declaration of a ‘state of national emergency’, which everyone with half a brain knows is a manufactured, fictional ’emergency’, reeks of authoritarianism. He even admitted that there is no emergency, but he wanted to do it this way to get the money for his wall. And if Congress and the Courts are unable to stop him, then what will the next step be? Interestingly, I happen to be about mid-point in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich!!! I hope you are right, but to be honest, I fear for the future of this nation, for it is not only Trump, but the wealthy and the fools who put him there, and who will be searching for another tool once he is gone. Sigh.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Trump has over-played his hand this time Jill, even if he took that step he would be hit on so many sides by so many folk his vested interests would deserting him in hordes for being a bad investment.
            At the end of the day he is a third-rate medician huckster.
            As for someone else taking his place. Well that is in the hands of the American people. So all the folk who think they are being astute or clever by not voting had better get mobile hadn’t they? They are one of the reasons why Trump is where he is.

            Liked by 1 person

            • That is something I definitely worry about … voter apathy. And eve though the same people who were too lazy or disinterested to vote in 2016 are among the biggest complainers of the status quo, they are unlikely to be any more motivated to vote the next time around. I don’t understand it … it’s all we have, really, to make a difference. Why anybody would simply throw it away is beyond me. But you’re right … it was the non-voters as much as anything that caused this mess and I’m not sure how we convince them to do otherwise. It’s a cinch that mandatory voting would not even be considered, for the GOP really don’t want everybody voting. Ah well, the sun is shining today for the first time in weeks, so I shall enjoy the day and put this mess out of my mind for a day! 🌞

              Liked by 1 person

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