The title of this article is pretty strong. Unfortunately it is deadly accurate as Donald Trump proved again over the last few days. Let’s explore.
Last week Donald Trump took his tax cut program on the road to Indiana where he tried to sell it with a series of flat out lies. Today I want to concentrate on just one. He called it a, “Middle Class Miracle,” and said he would not personally profit. That was a lie! I can refute that statement on several levels but I will take a look at just one today – the Alternative Minimum Tax or AMT.
Without getting too far into the weeds, the AMT is a tax imposed on high earners who would otherwise avoid paying taxes by virtue of loopholes that benefit them. Remember the “leak” to David Cay Johnston of part of Trump’s 2005 tax returns? (Unless it is proven otherwise I will think that the ultimate source of the “leak” is Trump.) The AMT increased Trump’s tax liability by over $30 million. Trump has proposed to eliminate the AMT. How is that a middle class tax break? Better yet, how is that not a benefit to Trump?
That brings us to the fool part.
This weekend it was reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was engaged in direct contact with the North Koreans. While I come from the “just give peace a chance” generation I do not believe that negotiations are a panacea. That being said, it sure beats the hell out of not talking. It should be part of an all-encompassing strategy that also includes economic sanctions and planning for the use of military force (which happens to be a particularly bad option in the case of North Korea). Carrots and the threat of using sticks can be, and usually are, effective. Only a fool would completely disregard the diplomatic option; enter President Trump.
Trump took to Twitter to mock Tillerson’s efforts, saying it was a, “Waste of time,” and sarcastically wishing him, “Good luck”. I’m far from a cheerleader for Tillerson and he certainly wouldn’t have been my choice for Secretary of State, in fact if I were in the Senate I would have voted against his conformation. All that being said I compliment him on his efforts and sincerely wish him good luck. If he is successful in negotiating a halt to the escalation of North Korea’s nuclear program all the world is better off!
Evidentially in what passes for Trump’s mind diplomacy is a waste of time but sophomoric tweets where you call the leader of another sovereign nation, “Little rocket man,” are an effective strategy to keep America and its allies safe. Fool may be a polite description; insane may be more accurate.
Trump lies almost as naturally as he breathes and he repeatedly proves he is a fool.
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