What is the president willing to sacrifice to “Make America Great”?
by Sparta Live | April 17, 2017 6:30 am
Democratic Dialog – By Debra Wines
The mainstream media was falling all over itself about Mr. Trump acting “presidential” by using 59 Raytheon-made Tomahawk cruise missiles for his “attack” on Syria. The glow has been somewhat diminished by reports of the cost versus the “success” of that mission. The Pentagon has estimated the total cost, including the missiles, was approximately $93 million. The “success” was being questioned within 24 hours of the attack, since it was being reported that particular air base was up and running again in a day after Mr. Trump authorized the attack. Several national and international news agencies reported the damage was minimal, and the runways were undamaged.
Eric Trump has been quoted as saying his sister, Ivanka, had some influence with her father for the attack on Syria because of pictures of the children that were killed or injured during the chemical attack on them. You would have to be completely heartless if you were not moved by those reports. We have seen them over and over again during the past few years of Syria’s civil war. We have also seen the reports of the refugees in camps because their homes and cities were destroyed. We have seen the videos of Syrians trying to escape to other countries and dying in their desperate attempts. Where was Ivanka’s compassion when her father was trying to ban those refugees from seeking asylum in America?
Mr. Trump and his administration, along with Congress, have been proposing and passing legislation that is extremely harmful to the American men, women and children. They proposed budget cuts funding for social programs, like Meals on Wheels; after school programs for children; free meals for children during school; reduced funding for SNAP and WIC; reduction in benefits for Social Security and Social Security Disability recipients and Medicare and Medicaid. They are asking the poor, disabled, working poor, members of the military rank and file, and middle income families to make tremendous sacrifices to “balance” the budget. At the same time, there are proposed cuts for the Department of State; Department of Education; Department of Labor; Department of the EPA and numerous other departments and programs. In the meantime, the Department of Defense will get a huge increase and corporations and the very rich will get additional tax reductions.
I understand the need for efficiency and cutting government waste. My feeling is that perhaps Congress and the White House administration should take a look in the mirror if they want to cut government waste. They had six-plus years to come up with a viable and “improved” health care plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. They tried to repeal it over 60 times at an estimated cost of $87 million, according to HealthInsurance.org. Over the past couple of years, I have also seen reports that estimate the cost around $60 million, either way, because they didn’t succeed after the first few times, it was a waste of taxpayers’ money. That is just one example. Even after all that, they still failed to produce a replacement program that was any better than the ACA, for the American people. Mr. Trump made the same promises that former President Obama did. i.e., everyone could get affordable health insurance coverage, and it would cover more and be less expensive. To get a better picture of the failure of making those promises come true, one needs to look at Congress and ask what have they been doing for the past six years?
In the meantime, not only has our Congress failed at their jobs, Mr. Trump’s administration seems to be in constant turmoil and chaos. It is as if the right hand has no idea what the left hand is doing, and the owner of those two hands has no clear vision of the details that are necessary to follow through on his numerous campaign promises. I think we all accept and understand that promises made on the campaign trail cannot always be fulfilled because of circumstances beyond the candidate’s control, but there are some that Mr. Trump made that were in his total control, and once he was elected he had no intention of keeping those promises.
The very first one was releasing his tax returns. He promised he would do this, repeatedly, even after being told by the IRS that an audit was not a valid reason to withhold this information from the public. Mr. Trump also promised to divest himself from his businesses or, at least, put them in a “blind trust.” He claims he has turned over the day-to-day running of his businesses to his sons. Mr. Trump also promised he would not be taking vacations, and he would be working hard while he was in the White House. Not only has he spent most weekends at his “private club,” Mar-a-Largo, it has costs the American taxpayers roughly $21.6 million for those working/golfing weekends, and the tab will keep increasing as he continues to travel to his “Winter Whitehouse,” and he is making money on the deal.
Then there is the issue of Mrs. Trump and their son staying in New York City so Barron can finish out his current school year, costing the taxpayers millions. Now another question, after school is out will Mrs. Trump and Barron be moving into the White House and reduce the costs for Americans? The “immediate” Trump family has Secret Service protection that costs the American taxpayer millions. I understand the necessity, but that money is also coming from the taxpaying public, while budget proposals are indicating the average American is going to have to tighten their belts in order to maintain a billionaire and his family’s lifestyle. I understand they are the “First Family,” but what sacrifices are they willing to make for the good of the country.
Since the initial acceptance of Mr. Trump’s attack on Syria, tensions with leaders in the Middle East, Russia and our allies have grown. ISIS has called Mr. Trump “stupid.” As much as we can try to disregard or diminish whatever ISIS says, the problem is, what will they do because of their feelings towards Mr. Trump? Will they try to wage more terrorists’ attacks on American soldiers serving in the Middle East or other areas of the world? Will they try simultaneous attacks in multiple locations, just to see what Mr. Trump will do?
Now Mr. Trump is sending additional ships toward North Korea. Even China’s President Xi Jinping was not pleased with Mr. Trump’s behavior or his ultimatum regarding North Korea. Upon his return to China after meeting with Mr. Trump, President Xi Jinping called Donald Trump dangerous. One could question the timing of the Mr. Trump’s attack on the Syrian air base. Did he do it just before his meeting with President Xi Jinping thinking he could impress him with his decision-making or was it pressure from his daughter, Ivanka? President Xi Jinping has reason to be concerned about Mr. Trump’s chest beating when it comes to how he wants to deal with North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un.
I hope our military and intelligence agencies leaders will be able to make Mr. Trump understand that getting into a “pissing contest” with someone as unpredictable as Kim Jong-un is not going to end well. Even if North Korea’s nuclear missiles cannot reach our Western shores, they can reach South Korea. Best estimates of South Korea’s population are 50.6 million people; over 10 million live in and around the capitol of Seoul, and we have over 28,000 U.S. troops in the country. If Kim Jong-un wants to test Mr. Trump, one nuclear missile hit in downtown Seoul is all it would take for Mr. Trump to retaliate and possibly start World War III.
I certainly hope that even the die-hard supporters of Mr. Trump could see this is not a direction we should be taking. As much as Mr. Trump sees himself as a strong leader with a great military mind, his behavior and his rhetoric indicate his lack of understanding of world politics. He has failed to have advisors with practical experience and enough political knowledge to help him avoid the numerous pitfalls of being the leader of the United States of America. Again, I must say, running the country is not the same as running a family business. As president, he cannot stomp out of a meeting or negotiations or threaten another country as if it was a competing business. That kind of behavior has serious repercussions, not just for our country, but also for every other country in the world.
Is Mr. Trump willing to sacrifice our safety, security, economy and possibly our existence so he can play chicken with an unstable, immature and extremely dangerous dictator who happens to have nuclear missiles in his stockpile of weapons? Are we, the American people, willing to sacrifice our children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, wives and husbands to another non-nuclear war because our president wants to flex his muscles and his daughter gets emotional about seeing images of dying children in another country, but has no expressed concerns about the children in our own country?