Sunday, September 25, 2016

Notification From The Speaker






Sometimes things fly under the radar- even on "Face the Nation," as was the case Sunday.

Donald Trump has said he would like to implement "stop and frisk" nationally, a sentiment seconded by his running mate. However, given issues of constitutionality and the lack of a national secret police force (so far), a President Trump would be unlikely to be able to have much of an effect on police procedures in local communities.

The Republican nominee has vowed to impose "extreme vetting" of refugees attempting to relocate to the USA. However, it is unclear how, if at all, such a policy would differ from current procedure.

Determining the direction of a Trump Administration- other than an active effort to turn Americans against each other- is nearly impossible. As these Washington Post reporters explain it

To fight the Islamic State terrorist group, Donald Trump would “bomb the s--- out of” their oil fields or “bomb the hell out of ISIS.” Or maybe neither of those things.

The GOP presidential nominee has called for “very few troops on the ground,” but also 20,000 to 30,000 troops. Or he might just let Russia handle the fighting.

He proposed banning all foreign Muslims from entering the United States until we “figure out what is going on” with terrorism. Or maybe just people from certain countries.

Trump has signaled a retreat from the free trade policies of his predecessors but, given that as a businessman he is a champion of outsourcing, and he has not specifically advocated labor or environmental protections, it is unlikely his actions would even approach his rhetoric.

As Salon's Simon Maloy pointed out at the time, in a radio interview in March Trump said of Social Security and Medicare that Republicans "want to really cut it, and they want to cut it very substantially, the Republicans, and I'm not going to do that."

It seems to be attracting little attention,  but Donald Trump- privately- has changed his tune, assuming Paul Ryan is not engaged in wishful thinking.  Asked about the GOP nominee's spending plans- including for "entitlements"- Speaker of the House Ryan maintained

Congress writes these laws. Congress is the one that writes the laws that puts them on the president’s desk.

And our Congress is offering very specific solutions. And I know, from talking to Donald Trump repeatedly about these things, that we have someone that is going to work with us on putting these reforms in place.

So, I have every bit of confidence that we have a president we can work with to get these things done. I know for a fact Hillary Clinton’s not for any of these things. So, to me, it’s a pretty clear choice.

And I know, from talking to Donald Trump repeatedly about these things, that we have someone that is going to work with us on putting these reforms in place.

Ryan didn't say what "reforms" he had in mind. However, given his past support for privatization of Social Security (below, speaking to the Atlas Society in 2005) and the approach toward Social Security and Medicare in the GOP platform, we have a pretty good idea.    "Of all the many reforms being proposed," one plank read, "all options should be considered to preserve Social Security." A tax increase, which would most effectively preserve Social Security benefits, of course was ruled out. Medicare is to be slashed as crafters of the platform, choosing their words judiciously, recommended the federal government "set a more realistic age for eligibility in light of today's longer life span."








Donald Trump once labeled Social Security "a Ponzi scheme" and recommended it be privatized. And now the most powerful Republican in the nation (a confirmed Ayn Rand acolyte) says Donald Trump, who earlier in his campaign pretended he was not hostile toward earned benefits, is "someone that is going to work with us on putting these reforms in place."

There aren't many courses of action- especially in regard to the most controversial proposals- we can predict with any degree of certainty about a Trump Administration. But when it comes to those things the GOP leadership disparagingly refers to as "entitlements," we have a very good idea, indeed.









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