Donald Trump is like one of those bobble-head dolls when it comes to issues. You don’t know from one day to the next what he believes in. He’s like a semi-truck driver coming down a mountain and downshifting through 12 or 13 gears. Yesterday he changed his mind on NATO, China’s role with North Korea, his accusation that the Chinese were manipulating currency, the head of the Federal Reserve, the import/export bank and he had to double clutch on Steve Bannon who may as well pack his bags and head back to Breitbart.
Donald Trump is slowly learning how much he doesn’t know. When dealing with the repeal of Obamacare he said, “Who knew how complicated health care was?”
Who knew? Everyone knew except you, Mr. President. Then after talking with the President of China about North Korea, he said the same thing, “Who knew how complicated that is?” How about all of your predecessors Mr. Trump. Everyone knew.
The President is in so far over his head he has to look up to see the bottom. Not only does he keep shifting positions, his staff is at war – with one another. At last count, there were at least three warring camps within the White House, all worried about who would emerge as the President’s favorite. None of them are worried about you and me. So not only is the President bewitched, bothered and bewildered his staff is doing little or nothing to help him and in the process, we the American Public, are left in the dark.
Speaking of trying to navigate the darkness –this administration has a huge credibility problem. Not only is the President constantly caught in lies but we get mixed messages from his top officials. We don’t know who to believe. On Syria, we got one position from the Secretary of State another from the U.N. representative and a third from the Press Secretary and you wonder why Russia is confused. On the issue of Syria we now know that when he spoke of the “Beautiful babies” being injured and killed we were seeing crocodile tears. He said he attacked that airbase because of them. Since then he has done nothing to help them. Bombing is retribution. Food, clothing, healthcare and safety are compassion. We’ve not only seen none of that, we haven’t even seen an attempt made or a plan offered. But now we learn that the U.S. launched still another attack in the country he swore not to get involved in.
If you are among those who believed candidate Trump and voted for him, you are probably aware by now that you are slowly being betrayed. One promise after another is lying in ashes. He told you Mexico would pay for “The Wall” but he’s asking congress for the money – our Congress. He told you Obamacare would be gone, it’s still here and not because of Democrats. He told you he would investigate Hillary, he didn’t and won’t and he said he would make great “Deals.” Some deal he got with Russia, huh? Or, how about China, or maybe Japan. His biggest lie though was criticizing Obama for taking too many vacations. Trump said, “He would be so busy he likely would never leave the White House. Ha! He has left it almost every weekend for his golf resort in Florida and at this rate will spend more of your tax dollars on vacations in one year than Obama did in eight.
Reversals are becoming the rule not the exception in the Trump White House. Besides those already mentioned in this post, here’s a partial list of others you may have missed or forgotten:
- On Medicaid (He promised no cuts during the campaign, then backed the House Republican health care plan that would change its financing)
- On unemployment numbers (He once consistently called them “a complete fraud”; now he cites them favorably)
- On the “One-China” policy (He said he was a skeptic, then told President Xi he would honor the policy)
- On Putin (He frequently praised the Russian president during the campaign but has lately taken a much harsher tone)
- On the stock market (He previously warned of a “big bubble” and now lauds the market’s show of “confidence” in him)
- On a federal hiring freeze (he implemented but then lifted it)
- On a border adjustment tax
- The numerous changes to his travel ban
- On whether Congress should tackle health care or tax reform first https://tinyurl.com/kk3tr39
In writing any story on the Trump administration one needs a spreadsheet to keep track of what position it has taken most recently on any given issue.
There’s a huge issue that has yet to find its way before the congress and that’s Mr. Trump’s promise to add over $50 Billion to the military budget. It’s really subtraction, though because we simply can’t afford it. There’s not enough tax revenue. That means that we rob Peter to pay Paul. To fund the defense increase there will have to be massive cuts in other budgets so the Trump people are planning on cutting the budgets for food stamps, children’s breakfasts, pollution control, and diplomacy to name a few. Public Pressure, though, could cause individual elected officials to re-think these proposals.
When you look at the numbers, it is really hard to justify any increase in military spending. Actually, a decrease might be in order but that’s about as likely to happen as President Trump saying he loves CNN.
Trump’s proposal to increase defense spending would modernize everything and strengthen our nuclear deterrent – but why? The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute tells us that in 2015, the United States accounted for 36% of all military spending in the whole world. That’s as much as the next 8 countries combined. http://tinyurl.com/zqgq6cf
- China (13%)
- Saudi Arabia (5.2%)
- Russia (4%)
- K. (3.3%)
- India (3.1%)
- France (3%)
- Japan (2.4%)
- Germany (2.4%).
In order to pay for that increase, Trump plans to cut everything else including a huge part of the State Department’s budget. Few think that’s a good idea including the military. More than 120 retired U.S. generals and admirals urged Congress to fully fund U.S. diplomacy and foreign aid, saying such programs “are critical to keeping America safe.” http://tinyurl.com/j4qqake
Trump not only has no military experience he knows nothing about it. For example, he sees a Navy with fewer ships and calls that weakness, but if you look closely it is the opposite. More ships do not mean a better Navy especially when you don’t need them. The ships in service now in the U.S. Navy are more versatile and much deadlier than the ships of old.
Trump likes to point out that our Navy has the same number of ships that it had in 1916. What he conveniently leaves out is the fact that we don’t have the same ships or the same needs. We don’t have battleships because they are obsolete and they didn’t have missile firing submarines because they hadn’t been invented.
The proponents of spending more money on defense don’t tell you that our own Defense Department says that our Navy is already bigger than the next 10 Navies combined. And…they don’t tell you that each of a Trident Submarines 24 missiles carries eight nuclear warheads. Each warhead can be sent to a different target. Just one Trident sub carries the power of 5,000 of the Hiroshima type bombs that ended Word War two.
One more example on why we don’t need a larger Navy. Warships produced today are far more versatile and deadly. The USS Zumwalt is a destroyer. It looks like something the Klingons might fly on the old Star Trek TV show. It is huge for a destroyer at 610 feet long and even has an 11,000-square foot flight deck for helicopters. That’s about 100 feet longer than other destroyers and displaces 50 percent more water than the next biggest destroyer in our Navy. But that’s just part of the story. Despite its colossal size, Zumwalt is stealthy so the enemy can hardly see it coming. And, boy does it pack a punch. It’s “Advanced Gun System” fires warheads at a range of about 63 miles with impeccable precision, three times farther than current destroyers can fire. Its massive electrical capabilities are also expected to support future laser weapons. It’s been said that one Zumwalt type destroyer is equivalent to as many as a dozen of the world war ll variety. It’s bigger, faster, deadlier and you can’t see it coming.
Trump’s military buildup may sound good to some but he’s making apples to a-bombs comparisons. It’s like comparing the muzzle loading revolutionary war army to the automatic weapons carried by today’s warriors. Just one of today’s soldiers has the firepower of almost an entire company of George Washington’s troops.
So, when you hear that our Navy is ineffective, the Army needs to be bigger and the Air Force needs upgrading you can know that you are hearing just a very small part of the truth. There isn’t a nation on earth that can come close to even seriously threatening us unless they want to risk total annihilation. But when your stock in trade is fear, you need a frightened population to back you up. Americans, though, are smarter than Trump and smarter than he thought we were. We see through the bluster and incompetence. I only hope we last long enough to see him run out of office. These are dangerous times and the captain of our ship doesn’t know how to steer.
And from where I sit, that’s the truth