Friday, 17 March 2017

The Art Of No Compromise

The fact that Donald Trump's Presidency is turning into something of an object lesson in legal and administrative incompetency, is perhaps not totally surprising. After all this is a man who has run his own business with little regard for the niceties of negotiated compromise for decades. This despite the fact that his ghost written book, "The Art of the Deal", was his one claim to fame before he started his TV shows ...

Skinny Budget .....

Well, apart from managing to negotiate a $916 million tax write off in 1995 on his busted business model. Which means he has paid lower, or no, taxes for at least a decade or so - technically he could have used this deal for up to 18 subsequent years, allowing him to legally avoid paying federal Income Taxes until 2013. Its not clear if the £103m tax write-down that Mr Trump recorded in 2005, is connected to those losses in 1995 .... but the latest tax leaks, shows that President Donald Trump paid $38m (£31m) in tax, on an income of more than $150m (£123m) in 2005. This is an effective tax rate of 24%, which is apparently higher than the average American citizen would pay, but below the 27.4% averaged by higher-earning US taxpayers.

The tax bill comprised $5.3m in Federal income tax, and an extra $31m in what is called alternative minimum tax (AMT). Now the AMT was set up nearly 50 years ago to try and stop the wealthiest people US citizens from using deductions and loopholes to avoid paying taxes .... guess what, President Trump has already called for it to be abolished ... so if he had his way, he would have paid just $5.3m in federal income tax in an income of $150m (£123m) income in 2005.

Now has come the first mini-budget from the Trump team .... its sometimes known in the US as the "skinny budget", as its limited to the $1 Trillion dollar portion of the $4tn annual federal budget, that pays solely for US agencies and departments.

As you might suspect Trumps is full of frankly dangerous policies:

  • The Environment Protection Agency budget could be cut by 31% - bang goes the neighbourhood.
  • The defence department budget will be boosted by 10%, and homeland security will get a 6% boost - why is not entirely clear, but its to be paid for by cuts elsewhere.
  • There is a $1.5bn request, for pilot schemes to determine construction methods and locations for the wall between Mexico and the US that President Trump's promised would be paid for by Mexico.
  • He is also requesting a 30% cut from the energy department office, the one that promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy - research into subjects including nuclear power and advanced materials for energy generation, storage and use that the US economy needs.

.......... oh and his final little side swipe at anything non-privatised. He is asking for a complete cut to funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the largest source of public broadcasting funding in the US. So Public Service broadcasting in the US will be dead and buried.

Public Broadcasting Is Dead ... If The Donald Has His Way

His proposed healthcare 'reforms' aka the American Health Care Act (AHCA), have also been predicted to have a nasty side effect, with an estimated 14 million US citizens losing their insurance coverage in 2018 under the Trump healthcare plan proposals .... it is also suggested that up to five million fewer people would be covered under the existing Medicaid, which covers low-income people. In all its been reported that analysis shows that by 2026, an estimated 52 million people would be uninsured for health in the US. This compared with the 28 million who would not have been covered that year under the existing Obamacare.

Now I was willing to wait and see how the Trump Presidency was going to turn out, after all the art of the deal is compromise, but lets be honest, its pretty obvious that unless its good for Trump and his rich friends, its of no interest to this administration. However many are predicting that the skinny budget is already dead on arrival, as there is so little support for the measures, and that similarly the healthcare plan is going nowhere as well.

What's the worst about all this is that this deadlock may simply be the start of the worst Presidency in US history, bar none.


  1. It's not just the fault of those who voted for him but of the establishment who were so sure of their position that they stopped listening to the people, even when they said that they'd prefer to shoot themselves in the foot than to reelected one of them.

    1. I agree with that as well. They were both awful candidates and the public preferred the one not then tainted by office .... unfortunately he's proving to be particularly unsuited to public office.

  2. The American Health Care Act was withdrawn before it could be defeated in the House of Representatives .... that's trumps first legislative bill submitted and defeated - the travel ban wasn't a legislative change. He's in deep trouble already if he cant get this through.

  3. The Trump Presidency is a train crash waiting to happen. What were the American voters thinking of?

    1. It looks that way so far. Thanks for comment.


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