Mourning The Morning Papers

I was a day ahead on my writing and intended to take Tuesday off from writing. I woke up and read the New York Times and the Washington Post; all that changed. Let’s explore.

It seems that the Trump administration was entertaining skirting Congress and lowering the tax rate on capital gains via the Treasury Department. This would mark the second time in weeks they had pulled one off via that method. In July they changed a rule and suddenly the NRA no longer was required to disclose its donors. Interestingly that came the same week that allegations that the Russians donated to the 2016 Trump campaign via the NRA became more credible.

The big “achievement” of the Republican Congress with its compliant Republican president to date is the Trump Tower Tax Cut. That “crown jewel” has been so ineffective that Republicans are not even campaigning on it. The reality is that the average American is worse off than they were before the tax cut and they are starting to realize it.

Don Trump knows he is going to have, at best, a difficult time getting another tax cut through Congress before the mid-term so he is exploring if he can do something via his Capo at Treasury Steven Mnuchin. If successful they will try to sell this as something else they have done that is great for the economy. In truth it will benefit a few at the very top while ignoring their Heartland and Rust Belt faithful again. A lower rate for capital gains income only benefits those with significant investments and favors money earned by doing nothing to that earned by labor. I have a term for that – sweat inequity. If you sweat when you work you are taxed at a higher rate than if you simply let inherited money do your work for you.

As if that were not enough that wasn’t the only terrible news in Tuesday morning’s papers. There had been reports that the children seized from their parents at the border were being given psychotropic drugs by their overseers. That appeared to be little more than a rumor. Well that changed with Tuesday morning’s papers too. Federal District Judge Dolly Gee found that the Trump administration had been giving detainee children held in a Texas facility psychotropic drugs without the knowledge or consent of their parent(s) or guardian in violation of state child welfare laws.

While I’m at it I may as well vent on a few other topics.

Trump announced that he was willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani with no preconditions supposedly to renegotiate an in his mind better Iran Nuclear Deal. Trump said he was willing to meet with anyone; I’m certain the exception is Robert Mueller!

Trump constantly touts his deal making ability. He loves to cite the 1987 book The Art of the Deal that he co-authored with Tony Schwartz. (Swartz wrote every word; Trump told stories about how great and smart he was.) In the late ‘80’s I read a lot of business books and that was among them. I found it to be almost complete malarkey and regret the time and money I spent on it. 30+ years later my opinion hasn’t changed.

Perhaps I’m not the one who should be casting the first stone but what is the story with the repeated and multiple typos coming out of the White House? I read my article each of the five mornings it is published. Too often I catch a typos or flat out misspelling and correct it. I know for a fact that some still slip by. I have a staff of one, me. Trump has a huge staff and many are six figure people. Is it too much to ask that they spell “United States” correctly?

More recently Trump met with Kim Jung-un. After the summit in Singapore Trump proclaimed victory and the North Korean nuclear threat to be no more. Monday the Washington Post reported that the intelligence agencies have detected via photos (among other methods) that North Korea is working on ICBMs. I don’t think they want them as a delivery system to rival Amazon.

Of course, if I listened to Trump I wouldn’t believe anything I read in the Times or the Post. Perhaps there is something to the old saw: ignorance is bliss.

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