Budget Swamp Trump Truth

Another Budget, Another Load Of Boulders On Our Children’s Backs

Rod Thomson

We should not be sleeping well at night, but not for the reasons you are thinking. 

Yes, there is the threat of socialism and open borders and unnecessarily fanned racial strife amongst other general insanities. But there is the reality that every single year we are binding our children as indentured servants. Right now. It’s happening. And it is shameful.

You may not have seen it, but D.C. is entering into another irresponsible and immoral budget agreement where the politicians, the bureaucrats and the D.C. establishment get what they want — and future Americans get the shaft.  

I warned that “draining the swamp” was going to be far, far bigger than a single president or a single election. It will take a change of who we send to Washington on an ongoing basis, which means that Americans need to think differently than we’ve been trending. That’s a tall order and it’s a challenge to be optimistic about it. 

Even after promising last year to never again bust the budget in a compromise agreement that piles on the debt, President Trump appears ready to do just that with the support of both Republicans and Democrats. When everyone agrees on spending, you know that the American taxpayer is about to get nailed — or more specifically, future taxpayers. But hey, it’s for two years, which pushes it past the next election as per the normal arrangement, so the hacks get to skate on the issue.

Yet it appears that by all polls, the national debt barely ever even shows up even at the bottom, and probably the number of views this article will likely get, that no one really gives a rat’s hiney about the budget and the debt. It’s just not all sexy and loud and Us versus Them. Too bad. Because eventually it’s fatal. And it’s immediately immoral.

I keep using that word. It does mean what I think it means.

In 2018, the per capita debt for Americans was $65,600 — about 50 percent more the national average income for a year. So if you took all of everyone’s income for an entire year, you wouldn’t come close to erasing the debt — plus you wouldn’t fund the government that year. And everyone would die.

But worse, it was $62,100 in 2017. For every trillion-dollar annual deficit, the per capita debt load increases about $3,400 per year. That actually does come due, and it won’t be Nancy Pelosi or Mitch McConnell paying it. So by the end of this budget deal, the debt per capita will be $72,400 — $10,000 more per person than in 2017.

Yes. That’s immoral.

Of course this comes about because of the decades of irresponsible spending and spending and spending, and the constant brinkmanship of the Continuing Resolutions that allow for larded up pork projects and no cuts because of the threat of a government shutdown. The GOP should have figured out by now that the shutdown issue is a media creation that virtually no Americans outside of some government employees and contractors notice even with the incessant media coverage.

And there is the deadline for the U.S. missing debt payments in September because of the spending cap, which is obviously not worth the piece of paper it was scribbled on in crayon as they just lift it every year, or in this case, every other year. The budget is not about spending or taxing, it’s about whether we use the “crisis” of a government shutdown or the “crisis” of not making a debt payment that requires whatever spending free-for-all we have to swallow.

Here’s the gist of yet another horrible deal.

The spending increase that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin agreed to would raise current budget caps by $320 billion over two years. The increase is a paltry $30 billion less than Democrats sought. They got 90 percent of what they wanted.

Further, Noah Rothman wrote on Bloomberg: “If split evenly over two years, that would equal a $17 billion increase for defense and $17 billion increase for domestic programs in 2020 over 2019 levels, giving Democrats the parity they sought for increases in both categories of spending.”

The Trump team wanted to partially offset the increases with savings from entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid that are not subject to annual budget caps. But of course, that did not happen. And don’t be fooled by the $320 billion number. That is the budget cap issue. The deficit is expected to be about $1 trillion each year. Because the Swamp always wins.

So the Democrats got essentially everything they wanted. This is what I meant when saying that one election of one president could not change the corruption level of the D.C. establishment.

But whatevs — just another trillion dollars dumped on our children and grandchildren while we debate the really big issues of rats in Baltimore, Trump’s tweets and who had the best sound bite at the Demcorat debates.

A few lonely Republicans have remained opposed to the irresponsible spending. 

“I paid off a third of the state debt when I was governor of Florida,” Sen. Rick Scott said on CNBC Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s vote. “There’s no focus up here on the debt. We can’t have $22 trillion worth of debt and growing a trillion dollars a year and it not have a consequence at some point.”

That’s right. But obviously we’re doing it anyway. The vote was 67-28. Scott went on.

“We’ve got to have a legitimate conversation about how do we spend our money up here, let’s stop the waste, let’s live within our means, we do it at the state level,” he said. “I paid off $10 billion worth of debt and cut $10 billion worth of taxes. We cut 20 percent of our regulations. And we added 1.7 million jobs. This is all doable, but you’ve got to make choices. Up here what happens is everyone gets everything, so there’s no tough choices made.” 

But even Scott, when pushed gently, would not name the big dogs in the debt — the ever-growing entitlement trifecta of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. We can eliminate entire agencies and squeeze out waste, fraud and abuse, but it won’t close the trillion-dollar annual gap. The Swamp knows what needs to be done, and has no intention of doing it.

No, we should not be sleeping well at night. We are loading up our offspring to pay off debts they did not incur.

Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. 

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Culture Swamp Truth

John McCain — A Once Great Man Made Very Small in Washington

Rod Thomson

Washington, D.C. does not create great men and women. It can sometimes reveal greatness. But for those who stay too long, Washington makes great people small and petty; and small, petty people unsightly shells.

In Lord of the Rings terminology, it is the one ring to rule them all. And John McCain has worn the ring too long. It has distorted the courageous and selfless airman and POW he once was into a mere shadow of that man, driven to maintain the power, influence and affirmation of the entrenched power structure in D.C. — and in doing so undermining the country.

It is tragic to have watched. And it’s a cautionary tale.

The latest revelations will unfortunately cement McCain’s status for many Americans as one submitted to the demanding lure of D.C.

McCain, who is 81 and dying from an aggressive brain tumor, has invited former presidents Obama and Bush to his funeral, along with many of Washington’s leaders, but pointedly not the current President of the United States, who is even from his own party. McCain hates Trump, and while it is his prerogative to invite who he wishes to his own funeral (people do that?) this reveals how small Washington has made him.

Trump has been accomplishing amazing successes for Americans and around the world, from the booming economy to North Korea, Israel, Iraq and so much more, Trump has made America stronger, more respected and safer. But McCain does not like the way he comports himself, his personal life, his unpresidential tweeting or his insults. In a sense, he does not like the way Trump refuses to conform to the the ways of Washington.

Second, and far worse, McCain proudly admits in his new book coming out that he was the person who gave the now-infamous Steele dossier to FBI Director James Comey. The dossier was opposition research funded by the Clinton Campaign and Democratic National Committee and was mostly tawdry fiction from a guy who also possesses a deep dislike of Trump. This ungrounded smear job apparently formed part of the basis for the FBI surveillance on the Trump team and for the now-fizzling Trump-Russia investigation.

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That McCain passed that attack piece on — and was seen by the DNC operatives as just the man to do their dirty work — speaks volumes of how far he has fallen after 35 years as a D.C. politician, 30 of those as a U.S. Senator. The power, the attention, the “ways of Washington” are intoxicating.

Finally, its been clear for quite some time that McCain was not up to being a functioning Senator — which, frankly, is not that high a bar. But rather than step down and allow a special election to likely put in a Republican who could make votes, he hung on to his seat. But he could not attend votes. So basically, he reduced the Republicans numbers by one, putting them at the barest 50 required to pass a bill. This had the affect, likely intended, of making passage of any Trump-supported bills (also supported by fellow Republicans) even harder.

This is, again, tragic to watch.

Because it’s worth remembering at this point that John McCain was a bona fide war hero. His opponents of today don’t like that, but it’s the truth. On his 23rd Vietnam War bombing mission over Hanoi in 1967, his A-4T Skyhawk was shot down by a Soviet-made ground-to-air missile. He fractured both arms and a leg when he ejected, was captured by the North Vietnamese, who crushed his shoulder with a rifle butt and stabbed him with a bayonet.

He was imprisoned in the infamous Hanoi Hilton without being treated for his injuries by his captors, and tortured daily. He did not get medical treatment until his captors discovered he was the son of an Admiral. When his father was made commander of all Vietnam forces, the North Vietnamese offered to free him for propaganda purposes. McCain refused unless they released all those Americans captured before him. Needless to say, that did not happen and he was thrown into solitary confinement and the torture was ramped up. This went on until his release in 1973. He spent more than four more years being tortured as a POW when he could have been freed. More can be read here.

This all bears remembering, because those were the acts of a great and honorable and brave man — even though he later broke under the torture. Virtually every POW officer did and no person of caliber would hold that against him.

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But everyone changes over the years and McCain seems to have lost the largeness of his vision of sacrifice for the nation, for Americans, and fell into the attention-seeking pettiness of Washington. Sure, Trump may bring that out more easily, but McCain had become a media darling for repeatedly undermining Republican agendas long before Trump came down the elevator to announce his presidency. McCain seemed to lose his way over the decades. The last two developments make that plain.

His legacy is deeply tarnished as being one that concluded with the petty politics of division, personal ambition and desire for positive media attention — even when that meant undermining his own party repeatedly when it was working to do positive things for Americans.

And the primary influence on his life after his POW years was Washington, D.C. It seems to have come to own him, just as the One Ring eventually does all those who possess it too long.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.

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