Tag Archives: Trump Adminstration

Trump’s Budget Wants USA to be Kansas, Meanwhile Reality Calls

Oakland   The devil is in the details, not on Saturday Night Live, and his footprints are becoming clearer as the top notes become louder on the Trump Administration’s true plans for the country as revealed by their more detailed budget proposal. Tremendous cuts are being proposed for entitlements, some $800 billion over ten years in Medicaid, because, hey, they have to take money from poorer Americans in order to propose huge tax cuts to richer Americans and cut down taxes for corporations now enjoying record profits. Food stamps, which are now called SNAP, will have forced work requirements. States will be given more flexibility to lard on other impediments to receiving actual benefits and making the process of accessing benefits even more draconian. Hardest hit may be people on SSI disability payments. Trump promised not to cut Medicare or Social Security, but SSI for some reason seem like fair game to them, even though these payments are lifelines for many. Early, rough estimates are that 10 million poor people will be hammered by the budget, if it actually emerges in this form.

What’s the rationale? Well, if corporations and the rich are given carte blanche then supposedly jobs will be created and that will solve everything.

Where have we heard that recently? Yes, Kansas, which is on most lists in the USA of what counts as a “failed state.” Former Senator Brownback became governor of Kansas several years ago and with a whooping, red state legislature, cut state taxes to the bone with the same rationale. Jobs were going to grow in like wheat in Kansas and the volume of new jobs and business would replace the lost revenue. We can only wish that President Trump and his people had looked at how this had worked out in Kansas. State revenue plummeted. Cutbacks to public education forced one court action after another with the state legislature now under court order by the Kansas Supreme Court to come up with the money to fund the schools under constitutional mandate or face the consequences. People are being hurt in Kansas and the economy is a wreck, but “message to the men from Mars,” there is a political backlash. Some legislators who touted the plan have been defeated. Even Republicans are wary of Brownback’s proposals, and the rare Democrats in the state of Kansas are in resurgence. There are lessons that could be learned in Kansas, if anyone at the White House bothered.

But, there are also lessons that could be learned everywhere, if the President and his people, actually talked to people in the neighborhoods. Yesterday, our Home Savers Campaign team was again on the doors in Detroit. We were focusing on Vision Property Management, and the visits were grim. A Latino family had bought a Vision rent-to-own next door to where they lived for their mother to live in. They were now coming to decision point on the agreement where they have to either make a $15,000 balloon payment, sign another long term extension of their agreement, or walkaway. They were unsure where to go next. Another family had successfully negotiated a change with Vision from rent-to-own to a land contract, but then the roof had collapsed on them within months after they signed and they were also uncertain. Other families had no clue what was in their agreements.

These are all working families with jobs trying to find affordable housing, and often depending on SSI, food stamps, subsidized school lunches, and the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Why are their lives not as valuable as the rich? Why can’t they get a break?

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Please enjoy Oxford, MS from Davy Knowles. Thanks to KABF.org.

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The Women are Coming to Washington

New Orleans    The number of bus permits issued for the Women’s March in Washington on the Saturday after the Inauguration has passed 1800 and reportedly all the seats on Amtrak between DC and New York City are booked. Police and other city officials, rather than the march organizers, are saying that from their experience, the numbers will exceed the 200,000 estimated in the march permit.

One-thousand fewer bus permits have been issued for Inauguration Day itself, yet the Metro, the DC subway, is running a rush hour schedule from 4 AM until on that date. On the Saturday of the march despite the huge expected crowd, they have thus far announced that they are only running a normal Saturday schedule beginning at 7 AM. I talked to two young women planning to attend who are planning to drive in on a Thursday in the middle of the night just to beat the crowds and are debating exit plans for Saturday afternoon. One of the co-owners of the bar next to Fair Grinds Coffeehouse on St. Claude surprised me by saying she was absolutely going to attend.

In the age of Trump, if these are the kinds of crowd estimates coming into the nation’s capital then it won’t be long before the Chamber of Commerce starts to apply a multiplier for how much the tourism and visitor revenue delivers to the city. Mass protest may become big business.

It’s not just DC. There are local marches popping up everywhere.

There are four marches in super-red state Wyoming in Cody, Cheyenne, Sheridan, and Casper. In Montana, over two-thousand women have signed up on a Facebook page that they are marching in-state so that they can be heard. In New Orleans there is a women’s march on Saturday at 3PM, and events throughout the state. They even have a name for this spreading phenomena: sister marches.

And, that’s not all. More than twenty countries are listed as having marches to show solidarity and stand with American women from Australia to the Netherlands to our neighbors in Mexico and Canada. I was surprised not to see Google ads, jumping on the website for comfortable shoes!

God knows what the new President and Tweeter-in-Chief will have to say, but who cares, really.

Solidarity, sisterhood, resistance or whatever you want to call it. The issue is not whether or not Trump is President, but is more about the world being assured that human rights, all rights are important to Americans.

In this case, women are going to lead. There’s an opportunity for all of us to follow.

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Please enjoy Sheryl Crow with Burt Bacharach Dancing with Your Shadow

Thanks to KABF.

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