Archive | September, 2015

27. Trump Can’t Be Bought?

28 Sep

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump assures us that no rich donor can influence him by financial support. Hmmm. But why would that matter, since he is already one of the very rich ones. He already has their values, perhaps to an extreme.

In case this isn’t clear, just look at his proposed tax plan. True, a few more people at the lower end will pay zero tax, but the rich folk at the top will get a big tax reduction: from almost 40% to 25%. He says he will close some tax loopholes for rich people, but is very vague about the details except for hedgefund managers (not a very substantial part of the total tax income). He also substantially reduces tax rates for businesses.  He says he will make up for tax losses by making government more efficient.  Note that managing employes is not the same as managing congressmen, who make most of the important decisions.  Why should he better than any other politicians who have made such promises.  Where are the details?  He is not the first super-rich politician.

Trump would like to separate himself from other Republican candidates, but really just has the same party line: support rich people and throw a few insignificant bones to the rest of us. As for the “simplification” of tax code it only benefits rich people. Fewer tax categories is only a very minor simplification, but does not attack the major complications of defining “income” and “deductions”. Trump’s categories favor very-rich people since they are included in a category of generally more affluent people.

Trickle-down economics, the Republican way, has never helped the non-rich — even the Pope has said that.  The Congressional Budget Office provides supporting data.  This plan is very good at the first part, making the rich richer, but somehow fails in the “trickle down” part; maybe because those who implement the plan are the rich folks. I hope voters can see through the phony platitudes about winning and being the best.  We need a very competent and intelligent leader that will make the best decisions for all of our citizens, not just for our “royalty.”

26. Approve the Iran Nuclear Agreement

2 Sep

It is very important for Congress to approve the Iran-Nuclear deal created by an international coalition of major countries.  An article in the Boston Globe (August 6, 2015) authored by U.S. Senator George Mitchell is an excellent discussion of all the factors that are involved.  You can find the article by doing an internet search on:    George Mitchell on Iran Agreement, Boston Globe.

The following is a summary of my views on this issue and some of  Senator Mitchell’s main points in the Boston Globe.

1.  The United States, China, Russia, Britain, France, Germany formed a coalition to establish this agreement.  It is approved by the United Nations Security Council, and although some Israel leaders disapprove, many others in Israel do approve.

2.  If this deal is not approved, and Iran moves towards a nuclear weapon, to get international support for military action or further sanctions would be difficult.  If approved, and Iran violates the agreement, we would have good international support for any necessary actions.  Trying to create sanctions or military actions by the U.S. alone would be hopeless.

3.  The deal does have numerous provisions providing for inspection of facilities.

4.  The deal has corrective provisions that would greatly slow any move towards the making of nuclear weapons.

5.  Some money belonging to Iran has been frozen as a part of the sanctions.  This money would be returned to them as a part of the deal.  Iran is in serious financial trouble so we would anticipate that most if not all of this money would go towards domestic projects.  If we speculate that the money would be used to promote terrorism, we could also speculate that the enmity created by not following through on this international deal would lead other hostile sources to contribute more.

6.  Of course the deal is not perfect, but after many years in the making, it is the best we can currently do.  It is certainly better than no deal, because it has world-wide acceptance, and we cannot act effectively, alone.

7.  Failure to follow through on a deal like this would dishonor the U.S. and make us appear untrustworthy.

8.  Israel has been assured that if the deal is approved and then violated, the U.S. would provide necessary military support or other relevant action.  No matter what, the danger is always there, but this at least gives  us some hope for a peaceful solution.