Parents as a whole will sacrifice to do
well by their children, including going into debt. A Rhode Island School district is sending debt
collectors after families who haven’t paid for their children’s lunches. This
in turn hurts their parents’ credit scores and thus ability to rent or buy a
The American Dream is waning as the
hope that their children will have a higher standard of living than their
Ninety percent of children born in 1940 made more than their parents at age 30, but only 50 percent of those born in 1984 had higher incomes than their parents did at age 30.
Parents are borrowing more money than in the past to pay for their kids’ college education and they’re struggling more to repay it. Parents rarely borrow for just one year; they typically take out multiple loans to put their children through school. Parents can borrow up to theirchild’s cost of attendance and the government will allow them to borrow even ifthey have relatively poor credit.
Parents are making less progress repaying their loans than in the past. Parent borrowers defaulting on these loanswithin five years was 7% in 2000 and by 2009, it had jumped to 11%. So for parentsin the latter half of their working career it can be a real burden, Parents whostarted repaying loans in 2000 paid down 56% of their loan balance within fiveyears, but those who started repaying their loans in 2009 only paid down 36%during the first five years.
In states hardest hit by the
negative consequences of Trump’s tax cuts for his favored interests, residents
of Idaho, Maine, Missouri, New York and North Carolina can expect less help
from their state governments.
The rise of for-profit colleges has
contributed to the problem. Some of the worst outcomes, the study found, were
among parents who borrowed for their kids to attend for-profit colleges that
later collapsed amid allegations they lured students with inflated job
placement and graduation rates.
Trump and his cronies are daily undoing the government to make the lives of the poor nastier, more brutal and shorter.
Steve Ferrara, running for Arizona’s 9th Congressional District, declared in an audio: It’s worse than a child, you’ve relegated them (the poor) to the status of a pet. Right? I mean, honestly, because if you can’t feed yourself, like — we all love our pets. But if you don’t put the food down for them, you don’t put the roof over their head, they would starve, right? And that’s essentially what you’ve done to poor people with these programs.”
The Oklahoma Republican Party posted on Facebook that food stamps compare to people feeding the animals at national parks.
Jobs are not the main economic issue if the jobs available don’t pay enough to live on. Almost all the US jobs created since 2005 are temporary.
Most Americans are still living in the shadow of the Great Recession.
On December 21, the Dow suffered its deepest weekly plunge since 2008and the Nasdaq is officially in a bear market.
A record 95.9 Million Americans are no longer in the labor force. Can I land a job? The answer is almost certainly, Yes, you can. Instead, the question is, what kinds of jobs are available to people without much education? By and large, the answer is jobs that do not pay enough to live on.
Not only has real wage growth in the United States declined by the most that we have seen in 6 years most workers haven’t seen any rise in their wages, adjusted for inflation.
Many are worse off due to the escalating costs of housing, health care, and education. And the value of whatever assets they own is less than in 2007.
Last year, about 40 percent of American families struggled to meet at least one basic need—food, health care, housing or utilities, according to an Urban Institute survey.
It was similar in the years leading up to the crash of 2008. We may be careening toward the same sort of crash we had in 2008, and possibly as bad as 1929. Between 1983 and 2007, household debt soared while most economic gains went to the top. Had the majority of households taken home more income, they wouldn’t have needed to go so deeply into debt.
Some 44% of people said their expenses exceeded their income in the past year and they used credit to make ends meet. Another 42% said they have no retirement savings at all.
Unemployment is at a 48-year low, so why are only 28% of Americans considered ‘financially healthy’?
Clear away the financial remains from those two former crashes and you’d see they both followed upon widening imbalances between the capacity of most people to buy, and what they as workers could produce.
The same imbalance has been growing again. The richest one percent of Americans now take home about 20 percent of total income and own over 40 percent of the nation’s wealth.
For a time, the middle class and poor can keep the economy going nonetheless by borrowing. But, as in 1929 and 2008, debt bubbles eventually burst.
We’re getting dangerously close. By the first quarter of this year, household debt was at an all-time high of $13.2 trillion. 78% percent of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck. In a recent Federal Reserve survey, 40 percent of Americans said they wouldn’t be able to pay their bills if faced with a $400 emergency. They’ve managed their debts because interest rates have remained low. But the days of low rates are coming to an end.
The underlying problem isn’t that Americans have been living beyond their means. It’s that their means haven’t been keeping up with the growing economy. Most gains have gone to the top.
47 percent of Americans say their spending equaled or exceeded their income in the past 12 months.
More than a third (36 percent) are unable to pay all of their bills on time.
45 percent of Americans do not have enough savings to cover three months of living expenses.
37 percent are not confident they are taking the necessary steps to meet their long-term financial goals.
1 in 3 Americans (30 percent) say they have more debt than is manageable.
And 4 in 10 do not agree with the statement “My household plans ahead financially.” According to the report in 1973, middle-income Americans could “live comfortably,” put their children through college and invest in the future. Today, the high cost of basic living expenses puts that lifestyle out of reach for millions of Americans.
Loan defaults are inching up and credit card debt is at an all-time high.
Total household debt is higher than it was before the financial crisis. Boomers are nearing retirement with insufficient savings. And Americans of all ages are struggling under mounting student loan debt. The median wealth of U.S. households has not yet recovered to pre-recession levels.
Trump’s actions that could lead to the next economic crash are sabotaging Affordable Care Act, rolling back overtime pay, putting burdens on labor organizing, tax reductions for corporations and the wealthy but not for most workers, cuts in programs for the poor, and proposed cuts in Medicare and Medicaid.
U.S. national debt rises $2 trillion under Trump
The economy has expanded and corporate profits have risen, but real wages have remained flat for workers without a college education. Since 1973, American productivity has increased by 77 percent, while hourly pay has grown by only 12 percent. If the federal minimum wage tracked productivity, it would be more than $20 an hour, not today’s poverty wage of $7.25.
Home health care has emerged as an archetypal job in this new, low-pay service economy. Demand for home health care has surged as the population has aged, but according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2017 median annual income for home health aides in the United States was just $23,130. Half of these workers depend on public assistance to make ends meet. For example, a Florida home health aide earned $9,815.75 in 2015, $12,763.94 in 2016 and $10,446.81 last year. To afford basic necessities, the federal government estimates that families would need to bring in $29,420 a year.
When Americans see a homeless man cocooned in blankets, we often wonder how he failed. As Bill O’Reilly said of poor people: “You gotta look people in the eye and tell ’em they’re irresponsible and lazy because that’s what poverty is …” When the French see the same man, they wonder how the state failed him.
Homeless men and women, and increasingly children are the collateral damage of the takeover of government by Trump. The massive transference of wealth upward, deindustrialization and the slashing of federal investment in affordable housing begun during the Reagan administration has ruined their lives. The lack of stable jobs that pay a living wage in the gig and temp economy, the collapse of mental health and medical services for the poor, and gentrification are turning large parts of America into a third world country.
Cities believe the number of home people is three times the federal estimate of 554,000. Many homeless students, because they often drift from one temporary space to another, never appear in the official statistics.
The stress of living on the streets takes a toll on mental health and often pushes those who already have mental health issues over the edge.
A top priority for the Trump administration is expanding work requirements for some of the nation’s biggest safety-net programs. In January, the federal government announced that it would let states require that Medicaid recipients work.
If all states inaugurated Medicaid work requirements, as many as four million Americans could lose their health insurance.
By executive order, President Trump ordered federal agencies to review welfare programs, from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to housing assistance, and propose new The Congressional Budget Office estimates that work requirements could deny 1.2 million people a benefit that they use to eat.
In July, the White House Council of Economic Advisers issued a report enthusiastically endorsing work requirements for the nation’s largest welfare programs. The council favored “negative incentives,” tying aid to the labor-market effort, and dismissed “positive incentives,” like tax benefits for low-income workers because the former is cheaper. The council also claimed that America’s welfare policies have brought about a “decline in self-sufficiency.”
With Vice President Mike Pence’s tie-breaking vote, the Senate voted to overturn Obama era protections for Title X providers. Trump signed the bill, which allows states to block Title X funding.
Funding provides critical reproductive, educational, and counseling services related to family planning and contraception to 4 million clients each year.
Women earn about 80 cents for every dollar a man earned; their incomes grew slower than they did in the previous two years, and all the income growth mostly benefited the richest 10 percent of US families.
The bottom 10 percent of US households saw their average income their incomes all compared to the previous year to $14,219 — adjusting for inflation. It’s upon these people that the main economic impact of federal entitlement programs, such as food stamps and housing subsidies, have on low-wage workers. More than 38 million people are on food stamps. The government shutdown hits them hard.
Standard &Poors Global Ratings estimates that the longest shutdown in U.S. history cost the economy “at least” $6 billion, due to “lost productivity from furloughed workers and economic activity lost to outside business.
During President Donald Trump’s first year in office, income from safety net programs like as food stamps and housing subsidies directly kept 44.9 million people out of poverty in 2017. That’s 200,000 more people compared to 2016.
Trump has tightened food stamp access, forcing hundreds of thousands of Americans out of the program.
US students were healthier school lunches as a result of Obama requirements for improved meals. Now Trump has eliminated those requirements and is allowing cheaper, processed foods with salt. Big food processors are major donors to Republican campaigns.
Of all the social safety net programs, Social Security had the biggest impact on poor people last year, keeping 27 million people above the poverty level, which was $12,060 for an individual in 2017. Refundable tax credits, such as the earned income tax credit, helped another 3 million people. Food stamps (a.k.a. SNAP), disability insurance, and housing subsidies each kept about 3 million people from falling into poverty.
The “greatest economy ever” was actually during the post–World War II economic expansion, where the male of the household had one high paying career as his wife stayed home raising the children. That was enough to buy a home, auto, and experience the “American Dream” of consumerism without massive amounts of debt. Those days are gone not because it is politically incorrect to say women should stay home, but instead, today’s gig economy in a failing economy provides households with low skill/low paying jobs (not careers). How times have changed.
Some 82 percent of Americans now say their “American Dream” is financial security for themselves and their family, three-quarters say it is owning a home, and 71 percent believe it is achieving financial independence. And here is the shocker: One-third of Americans believe the American dream has vanished. Why? They have too much debt. Dow plunges more than 600 points in another day of losses, officially wiping out its 2018 gains.
Almost 2 out of 3 people have a home mortgage of those surveyed (3,200 people during January and February 2018) and 56 percent said they have credit card debt, 26 percent have student loans. A majority of those surveyed said they do not feel financially secure. More than 25 percent said they regret not being fiscally responsible.
The evaporation of the American dream seems to be correlated with increasing debt loads. There is a lot of hopelessness and a lot of concern, simply because the Great Recession isn’t that far in the past.
Consumer credit just hit another all-time record high, surpassing $1 trillion in the US for the first time, according to the Federal Reserve. Another $1.5 trillion in student loans, $1.1 trillion in auto loans, and $15 trillion in mortgage debt outstanding.
In the second quarter of 2008, total consumer credit reached a grand total of 63 trillion dollars, and now ten years later that number has soared to 3.87 trillion dollars. That is an increase of 48 percent in just one decade.
Consumer debt or euphemistically, consumer “credit” – jumped 4.9% in the third quarter compared to the third quarter in 2017, or by $182 billion, to $3.93 trillion (not seasonally adjusted), according to the Federal Reserve this afternoon. As befits the stalwart American consumers, it was the highest ever. Consumer debt includes credit-card debt, auto loans, and student loans, but does not include mortgage-related debt: Auto Loans and LeasesAuto loans and leases for new and used vehicles in Q3 jumped by $41 billion from a year ago, or by 3.7%, to a record of $1.11 trillion. These loan balances are impacted mainly by these factors: prices of vehicles, mix of new and used, number of vehicles financed, the average loan-to-value ratio, and duration of loans originated in prior years.
Many people still struggle to pay bills — even for something as basic as food. That’s the troubling conclusion of a new report released this week by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit policy group based in Washington, D.C., which surveyed almost 7,600 adults last December.
For most U.S. workers, the hourly wage has the same purchasing power as in 1978. MassMutual’s survey also said many Americans are in poor financial health. Some 18 percent said they had less than one month of expenses saved for an emergency. Another 26 percent said they have one to three months’ expenses saved. And 21 percent said they had three to six months’ expenses saved.
Many people have figured out their existence is meaningless as the institutions of what made this country great are being systematically dismantled. Today we do not have the “greatest economy ever.”Some 39.4% of adults said their families had trouble meeting at least one basic need for food, health care, housing, or utilities last year. Nearly 24% of respondents reported two or more hardships in 2017 and 14% said they experienced at least three of these.
The most common hardship Americans said they faced was food insecurity, with 23.3% of respondents saying they did not have reliable access to a sufficient amount of affordable and nutritious food. Other basic needs Americans had trouble meeting included paying medical bills (18% of respondents), getting medical care (17.8%), missing utility bill payments (13%) and missing rent or mortgage payments (10.2%).
Adults under the age of 35 were 8.6 percentage points more likely to report a financial hardship, which echoes recent research that has suggested young adults experience more difficulty staying afloat financially.
The Urban Institute’s “Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey” tracks individual and family health and financial security at a time when the economy is improving and unemployment is falling, but the researchers said the social safety net for low-income Americans “may be undergoing significant changes.” In fact, almost two-thirds of families with incomes below the federal poverty level — currently $25,100 for a family of four — had problems meeting their basic needs.
Once again, moneyed elites got the gold mine, working families got the shaft. As Bloomberg News reports, far from enjoying their promised $9,000 income boost, the workaday majority of Americans now find that their hourly earnings are lower than they were a year ago.
The 45 million Americans now living below the poverty line. That line means they’re trying to make ends meet on only $25,000 a year — not per person, but for a family of four.
Yet pay gains have been disappointingly moderate and employers are slow to increase hours and benefits — the primary reason why workers continue to rely on a patchwork of jobs.
Women, black Americans, Hispanic Americans and single adults are also more likely to struggle to make ends meet. Close to 20% of people whose household income was 400% above the federal property level also experienced some sort of difficulty meeting a basic need.
These results are supported by previous research. Earlier this year,43% of households said they couldn’t afford a basic monthly budget for housing, food, transportation, child care, health care and a monthly smartphone bill, according to an analysis of U.S. government data released in June by the United Way Alice Project, a nonprofit based in Cedar Knolls, N.J. that aims to highlight the number of people who live in poverty. (Alice stands for “asset limited, income constrained, employed.”)
Believe Republicans when they say they’re coming after your health care
The U.S was one of 18 countries in which people said they were actually worse off than half a century ago. Some economists point to growing inequality in the U.S. and say the rich get richer, while the poor are stuck in low-paid jobs.
Economic growth that is produced by unendingly increasing the amounts of debt is not a positive thing. People understand this basic concept just as individuals if we max out our credit cards, we’re just more in debt than before. The size of the official U.S. budget deficit is up 21 percent under President Trump in 2017 and 17 percent to $779 billion in the fiscal year 2018.
Personal tax receipts are up on their own, but corporate tax receipts are down by about a third from a year ago. That overall drop looks worse when you consider inflation. A dollar today buys about 2 percent less than it did a year ago.
Only 28% of Americans are considered “financially healthy,” according to a CFSI survey of more than 5,000 Americans. “Financial health enables family stability, education, and upward mobility, not just for individuals today but across future generations.” “Many are dealing with an unhealthy amount of debt, irregular income, and sporadic savings habits.”
Some 44% of people said their expenses exceeded their income in the past year and they used credit to make ends meet. Another 42% said they have no retirement savings at all.
Meanwhile, 17% of Americans are “financially vulnerable,” meaning they struggle with nearly all financial aspects of their lives, and 55% are “financially coping,” meaning they struggle with some but not all aspects of their financial lives.
10% of U.S. jobs will be lost to automation in 2019. Robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) will create digital workers — software that automates tasks traditionally performed by humans — for more than 40 percent of companies next year, and a full one-tenth of future startups will employ more digital workers than human ones. Moreover, in 2019 roughly 10 percent of U.S. jobs will be eliminated by automation, which will also be responsible for creating the equivalent of 3 percent of today’s jobs.
Trump’s tariffs are ill-founded as is Congressional spending wasted on war.
Here are potential catalysts for a major recession or worse:
Junk Bond Bubble Bursting
Equity Bubble Bursting
Social and Safety Programs
Safety net programs have long been despised by Republicans. Now they are chipping away at the social safety net. It’s no secret that Trump and Republican leaders in Congress want to gut the government’s anti-poverty programs.
This popular GOP solution to deal with poverty conveniently leaves out an important fact: Millions of full-time workers qualify for welfare because businesses pay them poverty wages. Wages are hardly rising, and these social welfare programs could be the only reason millions of low-wage workers have food on the table.
So while this year’s census data shows that safety net programs helped millions of low-income Americans pay their bills and feed their families, if Trump and his fellow Republicans get their way, that might not be the case next year.
The official poverty rate (which is based on outdated, limited economic factors) dropped from 12.7 percent to 12.3 percent. And the Supplemental Poverty Measure, which includes more forms of income, showed a more modest drop from 14 percent to 13.9 percent.
Yet the White House tried to make the case that these social programs are doing more harm than good. This is surprising since many programs already require recipients to work.
One program that has work requirements is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, often known as food stamps. Beneficiaries who are not disabled, and have no children, must work 80 hours a month or show they’re meeting other similar requirements.
For the first time in a decade, the number of uninsured children in the country has increased.
Other programs that don’t require beneficiaries to work, such as Medicaid — most of the recipients work anyway. Two out of three Medicaid recipients have jobs, and the rest are mostly people who are ill, disabled, retired, or taking care of a family member.
In January, the Trump administration let states to impose work requirements for Medicaid, which provides health care to Americans who are poor and disabled. Then in April, Trump told his Cabinet to find other social services on which they could add work requirements or make existing rules harsher.
The loss of the Affordable Care Act will be provisions that combat fraud and abuse in Medicaid and Medicare. Gone would be provisions for coal miners suffering from black lung and their survivors. Gone would be efforts to improve health care provider quality, medical innovation, and data collection efforts to reduce health disparities.
Work requirements barely caused poverty rates to budge, partially because even people who found work weren’t earning enough to lift themselves out of poverty. In addition, at half the experiment sites, work requirements caused more people to be in deep poverty.
The fact that work requirements don’t seem all that effective in helping keep Americans out of poverty hasn’t discouraged Republicans from pushing for more work rules, or from trying to slash millions of dollars in spending on the social programs that seem most effective in preventing economic hardship.
The president’s budget proposal for the fiscal year 2019 would slash spending on Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and housing assistance over the next 10 years. It includes a1 percent cut to Medicare, a 22.5 percent cut to Medicaid and Obamacare subsidies, a 27.4 percent cut to SNAP, and a 20.1 percent cut to Section 8 housing aid.
Trump has finally gotten his way and gotten a federal court to overturn the Affordable Care Act, putting at risk the 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions and the 20 million Americans who rely on the ACA’s consumer protections. Now the ruling of this Texas court goes to the Supreme Court stacked with Trump appointees.
In July, House Republicans passed a farm bill that imposes strict work requirements on food stamps, but the Senate took them out before passing its version.
Trump tried to cut his own taxes by millions of dollars while taking health insurance from tens of millions of Americans. Based on President Trump’s leaked 2005 Tax Return Form 1040, repealing the ACA could give Trump a personal tax cut of more than $2 million. At the same time, the House legislation to repeal the ACA would have taken health insurance from 24 million Americans.
The top one percent and big corporations could reap hundreds of billions of windfall profits in version 2.0 and 3.0 of their tax scam.
President Trump’s reneged on his promise to disclose his tax returns. His refusal leaves Americans in the dark about whether any tax reform he proposes will benefit him or working Americans. Trump repeatedly stated before and after he was elected that he would disclose his tax returns. While initially, he said he could not release them because he was being audited—a fact that does not prevent anyone from releasing their returns—his counselor, Kellyanne Conway now says, “He’s not going to release his tax returns.”
By executive order, he repealed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, This required that federal contractors comply with worker protection laws before receiving government contracts.
Trump banned forced arbitration in the case of sexual assault, harassment, or discrimination claims.
Attacked neutral budget analysts so that lawmakers ignore negative effects from their policies. The Trump administration attacked the nonpartisan CBO in an attempt to preemptively discredit their estimates related to legislation repealing the ACA. These attacks continued after the CBO estimated that the House ACA repeal bill would take coverage away from 24 million Americans by 2026. This is part of a larger attempt by the Trump administration to discredit independent data and analysis in order to obscure the negative impacts that their agenda will have for working families.
They’ve set up the 2019 budget bill so that require $302 billion in mandatory program spending cuts, mandatory programs being things like Medicaid and Medicare. The budget bill would allow the Senate to pass the bill with a simple majority, preventing a Democratic filibuster.
When the nation was transfixed by the Kavanaugh nomination, House GOP votes to give the rich another $3 Trillion in tax cuts. This is yet another shameful tax law that would swindle working families and siphon even more funding from the programs that help our communities thrive. At least 90 percent of Americans will end up poorer thanks to that cut.
With the nation’s attention rightly transfixed by the Senate GOP’s outrageous efforts to ram through a Supreme Court nominee who has been credibly accused by multiple women of sexual assault, House Republicans on Friday voted overwhelmingly to approve another $3 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans just weeks before the November midterms.
In less than a year, House Republicans have handed out trillions of tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations. Now, middle-class families are on the hook for higher healthcare costs, and Medicare and Social Security on the chopping block.
Speaking at a conference of state legislators hosted by the anti-government American Legislative Exchange Council (“ALEC”), Mick Mulvaney, the Trump administration’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, revealed that he plans, presumably after Trump is in his second term, for the administration not just to cut these programs but to end them as we know them.
Republicans are asking ‘Is curing patients a sustainable business model?’
Trump has handed Medicaid over to an enemy of Medicaid.
CVS won approval for a $69 Billion merger with Aetna Insurance. This is where US healthcare is headed. Expect Walmart and Amazon to start the same kind of endeavor sooner rather than later.
The most neglected aspect of health are mental, emotional and psychological, long wait times, restricted access to providers, high deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses, third-party bureaucracy, system consolidation (i.e Aetna + CVS) and increasing use of non-physician providers.
Science and medicine are getting very close to big and meaningful breakthroughs on diseases and maladies that were once only somewhat treatable with very expensive routines of medications. Most Americans believe that one of the things our government should help to do, besides funding the arts and education, is to foster scientific research and innovation. The current Republican-led government does not believe in that, having already laid out massive cuts to scientific research.
Social underfunding probably has more long-term implications than underinvestment in medical care. If the underspending is on early childhood education — one of the key socioeconomic determinants of health — then there are long-term implications.
About 1 in 5 Americans age 65 or older have untreated cavities, and 2 in 3 have gum disease, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
Forgoing dental care can have serious long-term consequences Poor oral health affects your ability to speak, eat healthy foods and feel confident in how you look. More importantly, perhaps, taking good care of your teeth can decrease your risk of serious problems such as heart attack, stroke and poorly controlled diabetes. Putting off care will likely cost you money — and pain — down the road.
Slow income growth could also play a role because poorer health is associated with lower incomes. It’s notable that, apart from the richest of Americans, income growth stagnated starting in the late 1970s.
In 2017, out-of-pocket medical costs, which includes health insurance premiums, copays, and prescription drug costs, pushed the incomes of 10.9 million people below the poverty threshold. That’s 400,000 more people who were impoverished by medical bills in 2017, compared to last year.
The Trump budget proposes a $50 million reductionin funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, which works with organizations across the United States to implement evidence based, proven programming.
President Trump’s health care bill, the AHCA, would defund Planned Parenthood, which served 5 million patientsin 2014.
Repeal of the ACA would cause significant stress and anxiety for millions of families who rely on it for coverage. The AHCA would have resulted in 24 million more people being uninsured in 10 years—breaking President Trump’s promise to cover “everybody.” It would also have broken Trump’s campaign promise not to cut Medicaid.
The Trump administration has already undermined the ACA marketplace by refusing to officially abandon its efforts to repeal the law. In addition, its refusal to commit unequivocally to paying the cost-sharing reduction subsidies is generating massive uncertainty for insurers. This uncertainty is having a direct impact on the marketplace by encouraging insurers to quit the market in 2018 or raise premiums.
In a letter to governors by Secretary of Health and Human Services, the administration encouraged states to pursue harmful changes to their Medicaid programs, including work requirements and increased cost-sharing.
In the final days of the most recent open enrollment period, the Trump administration cancelled Healthcare.gov TV ads and email outreach, which are critical in helping people remember the deadline and enroll in time. Although some of this was restored after a backlash, a former Healthcare.gov chief marketing officer estimated that the administration’s actions reduced enrollment by 480,000 people.
We’re dying sooner. America just registered its second straight year with a decline in life expectancy. That last happened more than a half-century ago. There is some good news: heart disease and cancer death rates are down.
Trump made Americans more vulnerable to pandemic diseases such as Zika and Ebola. Massive cuts in aid, diplomacy, and health proposed in President Trump’s FY 2017 budget would end the Global Health Security account, which works to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks around the world, including Ebola. In his proposed budget, Trump has also called for the eliminationof funding for the Fogarty International Center, which supports global health research initiatives, including for infectious diseases research in developing countries.
Trump has move to weaken protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. His administration also has refused to defend the Affordable Care Act against a lawsuit that would undermine these protections. The Trump administration no longer supports a provision of Obamacare that makes it possible for people with preexisting health conditions to buy insurance.
The United States is still the only developed country on the planet — and just one of a handful overall — that doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave. We also don’t guarantee paid vacation time — most countries in Western Europe guarantee weeks— and there’s no guaranteed paid sick days. Insurance companies profit from government contracts but are subject to little oversight of how they spend the money.
52 percent of Republicans said they supported universal healthcare in the United States. Twenty-fiver percent of the GOP voters said they “strongly” backed Medicare For All, which would offer healthcare to ever American at a lower cost. The poll also foundthat 92 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of independents support Medicare for All.Alcohol
We drink too much. With alcohol cheaper today as a percentage of income than at any time since 1950, Americans are drinking a lot more, per Bloomberg. A follow-up study done by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism saw risky drinking behavior jump to 12.6% among American adults in 2012-2013 from 9.7% in 2001-2012. That increase amounts to about 7 million more Americans binge drinking each week.Opiods
America’s opioid crisis has become an “epidemic of epidemics. Rising intravenous drug use has created new public health epidemics of hepatitis C and deadly bacterial infections.
The opioid crisis is shocking. The CDC reports that sales of opioids almost quadrupled from 1999 to 2010 without any change in the amount of pains reported by Americans. Now, 91 people in the United States die every day from an opioid overdose. The U.S. has 4% of the world’s population but 27% of its drug overdose deaths.
Trump attempted to bring back the war on drugs.The outdated strategy was ineffective and caused long-term devastation to thousands of families. Attorney General Sessions is implementing a tough-on-crime approach that would increase federal prosecutions and long prison sentences even for low-level, nonviolent offenders.Homicide and Gun Violence
A 2016 study found that US homicide rates were 7 times higher than in other high-income countries, driven by a gun homicide rate that was 25 times higher.
The Onion’s continuously re-upped headline says it all: “‘No Way to Prevent This,’ Says the Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.” And research from the period 2000-2014 shows that the United States has had more mass shootings and more people killed in those mass shootings than 10 other developed nations combined.
Triump signed a law that weakens the firearms background check system and undermines enforcement of the current law that prohibits certain individuals with a serious mental illness from gun possession.
Using the shortcut process of the Congressional Review Act, PresidentTrump repealed a Social Security Administration regulation that formalized the process by which the agency could provide to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, the names of beneficiaries who—because of serious mental illness—are prohibited from gun possession under federal law. This action represents a significant step backward from recent efforts at the federal and state level to better enforce current law by ensuring that all records of prohibited purchasers are provided to NICS.
Trump made it easier for fugitives to buy guns. Under federal law, anyone who is “a fugitive from justice” is prohibited from buying and possessing guns. Since at least 2006, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives have disagreed over the proper scope of this law, with the FBI adopting a position that it applies to all individuals with an outstanding arrest warrant while the ATF argued for a narrower interpretation that it applies only to individuals who had left the state where the warrant was issued. Because the FBI is the agency that operates the background check system, that agency’s interpretation prevailed. However, in February 2017, the Department of Justice issued new guidance resolving this dispute by adopting ATF’s interpretation and dramatically narrowing the category of individuals with active criminal warrants who will be prohibited from buying guns.Education – Our Education System Is Middling
While the United States has some of the world’s best higher education, its elementary, middle, and high schools are positively average compared to other developed nations. Data from the Pew Research Center shows that U.S. STEM education is especially lacking. In 2015, only 38% of fourth-graders, 34% of eighth-graders and 22% of 12th-graders were rated proficient or better in science based on the government’s National Assessment of Educational Progress.
President Trump’s budget proposed more than $5 billion in cuts to valuable programs, including the Pell Grant program and the work-study program, which provide needed funds to help low-income students afford the rising cost of college. The cuts also target important college-access programs—including TRIO and GEAR UP—that provide supports such as tutoring, mentoring, and research opportunities to low-income and first-generation students.
Robert Eitel, senior counselor to Secretary of Education DeVos, joined the administration well before he even left his job at Bridgepoint Education—a for-profit college company facing multiple federal investigations. And Taylor Hansen, a former lobbyist for for-profit colleges—whose father’s student loan debt-collection company sued the Obama administration—served on the department’s “beachhead” team.
In President Trump’s budget, the administration zeroed out the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which provides $1.2 billion to districts across the country for after-school programs that support students and working families. This funding serves more than 1.6 million students participating in these programs.
In President Trump’s budget, the administration zeroed out Title II of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which provides $2.4 billion to states and districts for teacher recruitment, training, retention, and support. This cut translates to a loss of 40,000 teacher salaries.
Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education’s only experience with education is as a lobbyist and mega donor pushing private school voucher schemes in states across the country. Instead of working to support public schools and the students that attend these schools, she has called public education a “dead end.”
Through the Congressional Review Act, Congress and President Trump eliminated key protections and guidance for states and districts to implement the law, leaving significant confusion at the state and local level. The Trump administration has also signaled that it will take a very lax enforcement stance with states, opening the door for states to ignore their responsibilities to protect vulnerable students.
Through the Congressional Review Act, Congress and trump eliminated requirements for states to make sure that teacher preparation programs are helping prospective teachers gain the skills needed to be successful in the classroom and support student learning. Without these regulations, states will continue to struggle to improve teacher preparation programs and support the most effective programs.
This proposal includes harmful private school voucher schemes and the creation of a new $250 million federal program that will allow taxpayer dollars to flow to private schools, which are not accountable; can discriminate in admissions and discipline; and are not subject to basic monitoring, oversight, and civil rights laws.
By zeroing out support for the AmeriCorps program, President Trump would undercut many of the most successful education organizations—from KIPP Public Charter Schools, to Teach For America, to City Year—that have had positive effects on students across the country and rely on that program.
The Trump administration supported education policies that harm students of color and cuts to Pell Grants and tuition assistance programs as well as cuts to after-school programs that would affect 1 in 4 African American students. The administration also supports voucher programs that do not encourage the success of students of color.
Congress is now taxing college endowments and in doing this hurting the U.S. ability to compete in the innovation war with China.
One in five women in the U.S. doesn’t have children. As a result of the declining birth rate, for the first time in U.S. history, there may soon bemore elderly people than children.
The cost of raising a child in America has soared, Between 2000 and 2010, the cost shot up by 40%. American parents spend, on average, $233,610 on child costs from birth until the age of 17, not including college, raising their kids. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services deems child care affordable if no more than 10% of a family’s income is used for that purpose. However, parents currently spend 9% to 22% of their total annual income on child care, per child.
It’s plain why many families are choosing to have fewer children — or in some cases, no children at all; others don’t have children because of the demands of their career. Due to the rising costs of sports,the number of children who aren’t physically active has increased to 17.6%, resulting in their being less physically fit and without the structure for their time sports and opportunities provides.
Allowed a dangerous pesticide to stay on the market, despite it being a threat to children’s health. Chlorpyrifos a common agricultural pesticide that causes neurological harm in children exposed in utero. In 2016, the EPA’s scientists concluded that the agency should ban chlorpyrifos after finding unsafe levels of the chemical on apples, peaches, oranges, strawberries, and other fruits.
The Census Bureau’s annual report on income and poverty highlights this depressing fact. Among bachelor’s degree recipients, roughly 3.6 millionor 4.8% were living in poverty in 2017, according to the Census Bureau. That’s up from 3.3 million and 4.5% in 2016. Bachelor’s degree recipients were the only educational cohort to see the number or the share of people in poverty rise among their ranks.
What’s more, the mere fact that millions of college-educated Americans are living in poverty adds another data point to the increasingly complicated picture of a college degree’s value in the labor market. On the one hand, a degree is more necessary than everto succeed in today’s economy — those with a bachelor’s degree or above are the least likely to be in poverty, according to the Census Bureau; on the other hand, getting a degree still involves some risk.
Trump wants to eliminate federal funding for public libraries that millions of Americans depend on for information and educational services. Free libraries are an American tradition.Student Debt
Student debt is piling up. College costs continue to soar, jumping 6.1% from 2013 to 2016, but the median income for those with college degrees only rose 2.1% over that same period. As a college degree becomes a requirement for entering an increasingly competitive workforce, many young people are doing so with a pile of debt. Student debt hit $1.46 trillion this year, compared to just $243 billion back in 2003. This is more than the GOP’s tax giveaway.
Trump rescinded protections for student loan borrowers.On March 16, the Trump administration withdrew measures to protect struggling student loan borrowers and made repayment more difficult by allowing debt collectors to charge a 16 percent fee—even when the borrower agrees to make good on their debt within 60 days. On April 11, the Trump administration stripped away important measures that would hold student loan servicers accountable when their actions are not in the best interest of students. It has been well-documented that servicers sometimes place borrowers in repayment programs that could ultimately make it more difficult for them to repay their debt.
In March 2017, with no advance warning, the IRS and U.S. Department of Education disabled a key web-based tool that helps millions of students apply for aid and repay their loans. Failure to notify students put financial aid applicants at risk of losing access to grant aid that helps pay for college and put student loan borrowers at risk of seeing their payments jump by hundreds of dollars.
A new rule makes it harder for defrauded students to seek debt relief. Currently, students may be eligible for federal loan forgiveness if their college closed or was accused of fraudulent activity. More than 130,000 borrowers have applied since 2015, a majority of whom attended for-profit colleges.
Gamblers and reality TV stars can claim bankruptcy protections when in financial trouble, but 44 million student loan borrowers can’t. Unemployed, underpaid, destitute, sick, or struggling borrowers simply aren’t able to start anew.
With a default rate approaching 40 percent, one would expect armies of distressed borrowers marching in the streets demanding relief from a system that has singled out their financial anguish. Distressed student debtors, however, seem to be terror-struck about coming forward to a society that, they say, ostracizes them for their inability to keep up with their finances.
Financial shame alienates struggling borrowers. Debtors blame themselves and self-loathe when they can’t make their payments, explains Colette Simone, a Michigan psychologist. “There is so much fear of sharing the reality of their financial situation and the devastation it is causing in every facet of their lives,” she says. “The consequences of coming forward can result in social pushback and possible job–related complications, which only deepen their suffering.”
Debtors are isolated, anxious, and in the worst cases have taken their own lives. Simone confirms that she has “worked with debtors who were suicidal or had psychological breakdowns requiring psychiatric hospitalization.”
With an average debt of just over $37,000 per borrower for the class of 2016, and given that incomes have been flat since the 1970s, it’s not surprising that borrowers are struggling to pay. Student loans have a squeaky-clean reputation, and society tends to view them as a noble symbol of the taxpayers’ generosity to the working poor. Fear of facing society’s ostracism for failure to pay them back has left borrowers alienated and trapped in a lending system that is engulfing them in debt bondage.
Alienation impacts mental health issues. As long as debtors they blame themselves within the system, they’re lost. Student debtors can counter despair by fighting back through activism and political engagement.
While workers with a college degree in general have lower unemployment rates, higher earnings, lower poverty rates and, on average, they have much better outcomes, those are averages. “It’s a worthwhile reminder that there are people with college degrees that are living in poverty — they can’t find a job with good wages, they can’t find a job at all.”
Prelude to a crisis: student debt passes $1.5 trillion and 65% of borrowers have less than $1,000 in the bank
Retirement is becoming more and more expensive
Future generations may have to abandon the idea of a single home altogether. So what kinds of jobs will we do when we’re old and grey? Will we be well enough to work? And will anyone want to employ us?
Revenue from independent and assisted living couldn’t compensate for the losses incurred by the nursing home. Nearly one nursing home bed in five now goes unused. In 2015, the National Center for Health Statistics reported that more than a third of beds were empty in some states, including Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Utah. Texas wasn’t far behind.
Occupancyis now down to 81.7 percent, the lowest level since the research organization began tracking this data in 2011, when it was nearly 87 percent.
The median cost for a private room in a nursing home now tops 1.6 times the median national household income.
Nationally, “200 to 300 nursing homes close each year. The number of residents keeps shrinking, too, from 1.48 million in 2000 to 1.36 million in 2015, according to federal data.
So if you become ill or disabled and can no longer live at home, don’t expect there will be a nursing home available for you.
Seniors can’t afford nursing home care to the tune of $8000 + a month. If you think you’re going to care for grandpa at home? Few people can handle the cost, time, and effort required.
More Seniors Fillng homeless shelters
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, in 2008 seniors made up 22 percent of the national population. In 2016, that number jumped to 28 percent, and as the Baby Boomer population gets older, those numbers are only expected to grow.
Typically homeless seniors do not fit the overall homeless stereotype. Most are not mentally ill or dealing with addiction. They no longer have an income that will allow them to live independently or in a nursing home.
Older Americans are filing for bankruptcy at more than double the rate of just 25 years ago, a sign of a “coming storm of broke elderly,” a new study finds.
The rate of people 65 and over filing for bankruptcy grew nearly 204 percent from 1991 to 2016, a study published by the Social Science Research Network found, and the percentage of seniors among all U.S. bankruptcy filers increased by nearly five times over the same period.
Protection for Those Retiring
Ended the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which would have required retirement advisers to act in their clients’ best financial interest. Delayed enforcement of a rule to reduce workers’ exposure to deadly silica dust for three months.Our Infrastructure is Falling Behind
President Trump has promised a massive infrastructure package sometime early in 2018. That couldn’t come soon enough, as the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the United States’ infrastructure a D+ grade for 2017.Housing
Raised housing payments for new homebuyers by about $500 in 2017.On its first day, the Trump administration reversed an Obama administration action to lower Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, mortgage insurance premiums for new homebuyers by 25 basis points, which could have lowered mortgage payments for 1 million households purchasing or refinancing their home this year alone.
11 million Americans spend more than half their paychecks on rent for homes they don’t own, in counties that aren’t the ones they work in. More than 550,000 people in the U.S. are homeless altogether. For those Americans who can afford to buy a home, they’re paying a larger percentage of their wages for the same property than they would have in years past, since pay increases aren’t coming as fast as price increases.The problem is worst for people at the lowest end of the market. America’s housing stock is laughably depleted, and affordable units are demolished all the time to make way for more lucrative luxury condos. Just 57 percent of homes sold between April and June of this year were affordable to Americans making the median U.S. income of $71,900, according to HousingWire. For the renters most in need, there are only 35 units available for every 100 extremely low-income households.
First-time homebuyers accounted for 34% of all home purchases in 2017, which neared a historic low, per CNBC. Chalk that up to sky-high home prices and those massive piles of student debt, which the New York Fed said accounted for a noted drop in homebuyers amongst millennials this year, making home out of their reach.
The Trump administration wants to shift the way it enforces an aspect of fair housing around the US, pivoting away from efforts to integrate lower-income housing into wealthier neighborhoods in favor of promoting more housing development overall. The Obama administration took steps to encourage the development of low-income housing in high-income neighborhoods.
President Trump’s budget would eliminate the $6.7 billion that funds the Community Development Block Grant, which is used by 1,265 local communities for important initiatives such as Meals on Wheels, neighborhood rehabilitation, the development of affordable housing, job training, and business expansion. The Housing Choice Vouchers program will also experience deep cuts in funding, as will other programs providing supportive services for the elderly and persons with disabilities. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, about 200,000 families will no longer receive a housing voucher to pay for their rental costs and could eventually face homelessness in a housing market where there is a severe shortage of affordable housing.
White House Says Cutting Meals on Wheels Is ‘Compassionate’
The proposed budget would eliminate the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, which supports billions of dollars in financing across low-income communities, including more than $300 million inrural and NativeAmericancommunities, as well as the Economic Development Administration and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, costing another $300 million or more that is annually invested in community growth. Without federal support, economic development in these locations will suffer, including small-business development.
Trump suggests that protesting should be illegal.
President Trump’s empty claims of widespread fraud undermine the integrity of our elections and lay the basis for voter suppression efforts that attack our constitutional right to participate in self-government. When government officials spread lies that call into question the legitimacy of our elections, people lose faith in the democratic process. Instead of responding to the clear and present dangers of foreign interference and discriminatory efforts to keep some American citizens from casting their ballots, Trump chooses to spread baseless slander while calling for a witch hunt against American voters.
Trump undercut students’ civil rights by naming skeptics to top civil rights positions. The nominee to serve as general counsel in the Department of Education, Carlos Muñiz, defended Florida State University against allegations that it protected a star quarterback from rape charges. And the new head of the Office for Civil Rights, Candice Jackson, has claimed she experienced discrimination for being white and called the women who accused President Trump of assault and harassment “fake victims.”
Trump promises to destroy the Johnson Amendment, which prevents nonprofit organizations—including houses of worship—from endorsing political candidates. A leaked draft executive order indicates plans to insert religious exemptions in federal nondiscrimination protections, revealing a pattern of attempts to redefine the foundational value of religious freedom so it will only protect people of faith who share conservative Christian beliefs.
President Trump’s January 27 executive action on refugees and revised March 6 executive action both aimed to prohibit travel to the United States for nationals of Muslim-majority nations and fundamentally reshape the refugee admissions program to prioritize the claims of Christians. Trumps actions have alienated the Muslims communities not only within the United States but also around the world, damaging critical relationships with national security allies.
From the anti-Muslim travel bans to disturbing Holocaust-denying remarks, the administration is a threat to religious minorities, many of whom are already vulnerable to rising incidents of anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim bigotry.Consumer Protection
The administration’s de facto financial deregulation, systematically gutting of consumer financial protection punishes the least well off, since poor families and less educated workers are the most likely victims of exploitative bankers.Banking
The rate of people 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991.
2 percent of American consumers paid their credit card bill late “at least once in the last year”, and 24 percent of Americans consumers paid their credit card bills late “more than once in the last year”. According to the Federal Reserve, the credit card default rate in the U.S. has risen for 7 quarters in a row.
Two more hard-right Supreme Court justices. There are 12,000 migrant children in detention centers today – it could be 24,000 next year.Trade
The trade wars Trump has tempted with China and the EU don’t seem like they’re going anywhere any time soon.. The economic leverage Trump promised has not yet become clear. But neither has the world economy imploded. The administration has had to pivot to help some farmers being hurt by retaliations from other countries.Rural America Loses Ground
President Trump’s budget would eliminate programs that support rural jobs, housing, infrastructure, health care, and economic development. If implemented, these budget cuts would eliminate affordable housing for tens of thousands of struggling rural families; eliminate community service jobs for 18,000 senior citizens living in rural areas; and eliminate critical support for airline connections serving 175 small and rural communities.
Japan is the top market for U.S. beef, but Australia’s products could now take over America’s spot since foreign beef tariffs in Japan will be cut by 27.5 percent for Australian producers.
Canadian and Australian wheat exports to Japan now immediately benefit from a 7 percent drop in the Japanese government’s mark-up price, which will become a 12 percent reduction in April, By April, American wheat will face a $14 per metric ton resale price disadvantage to Australia and Canada. The wheat market a faces “imminent collapse” in JapanJob Training
Job training programs would be slashed and worker wage and safety enforcement. President Trump’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget could result in 2.7 million adults and youths losing access to job training and employment services in 2018.Cuts in Public Transportation
Proposed budget cuts that would increase roadway congestion. The budget calls for eliminating the TIGER grant program at the U.S. Department of Transportation, or USDOT, which funds innovative surface transportation projects. Additionally, the budget calls for the phased elimination of the New Starts program within the Federal Transit Administration, which funds major public transportation projects. Rail and bus rapid transit projects help to reduce roadway congestion and air pollution while spurring economic development.Justice
An independent and vigorous Division of Enforcement at the SEC is vital to preserving free and fair financial markets for investors. After the Bernie Madoff scandal, Obama administration SEC Chair Mary Schapiro made it easier for Division of Enforcement staff to open investigations and issue subpoenas to protect investors and get to the bottom of suspected malfeasance. The new chair inexplicably rolled back this change, hindering the SEC’s ability to protect the average investor from financial wrongdoing. He has also proposed rolling back key advances in corporate transparency, including regarding human rights risks in supply chains and the pay ratio between CEOs and the median worker. In so doing, he undermined investor protection by making it harder for the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, to hold Wall Street accountable.
Nearly every other justice on the Court had bipartisan support and crossed the 60-vote threshold at some point during their confirmation process, but many senators objected to President Trump’s nominees. The nuclear option means Senate leaders can now confirm Trump’s ideologically driven judges with a simple majority.
As a candidate and as president, Trump has attacked judges whose rulings he does not like and undermined the legitimacy of these courts. He called a judge who ruled against his discriminatory Muslim ban a “so-called judge.” During the campaign, he said that a Mexican-American judge could not be impartial in a lawsuit against Trump due to his ethnicity. These attacks on the third branch of government undermine the founders’ separation of powers as well as the very rule of law.
The Trump administration is already vetting conservative ideologues to appoint to federal courts. President Trump’s nominations, particularly for seats on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, signal an aggressive push to bend the federal judiciary ideologically. Trump has well over 100 seats to fill—thanks to Senate obstruction during President Obama’s term—and Trump recently announced that the administration would no longer seek the recommendation from the nonpartisan American Bar Association.
Already scarce access to justice will be put even further out of reach for 60.6 million low-income Americans under President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the Legal Services Corporation—the nation’s main funding stream for civil legal services.
Attorney General Sessions asked a court at the last minute not to accept a consent decree that was supported by the Baltimore police commissioner, mayor, community members, and career Department of Justice attorneys. The federal court rejected Sessions’ motion, allowing needed police reforms that would build trust between the police and the communities they serve to proceed.
Attorney General Sessions should be focusing on the need for police reform; supporting innovative crime-reduction strategies; and ensuring drug treatment and alternatives to incarceration are available. Yet, instead, he has ordered a review of current pattern and practice cases of police misconduct where evidence and a clear record has shown a police department has acted with systemic misconduct. He has also questioned decades of research and science rejecting a tough-on-crime approach.
Private prisons create a perverse incentive to incarcerate more people since these companies are motivated to increase profit, which is generated only if there are more inmates filling their facilities. Private prisons that contracted with the Department of Justice were found by the department itself to be less efficient and have more issues with security and management.
Turned a blind eye to illegal anti-transgender discrimination in schools.The Trump administration revoked Title IX guidance issued by the Department of Education clarifying schools’ long-standing obligations under federal civil rights law to treat transgender students equally and with dignity. Transgender students face pervasive harassment and discrimination in schools, impeding these students’ ability to learn. Nearly 1 in 6 out transgender K-12 students have been forced to leave school because of this harassment.
Erased LGBTQ people from federal surveys, making it impossible to know if government programs serve them fairly. The Trump administration removed questions about LGBTQ people from key federal surveys about programs that serve seniors and people with disabilities, without which policymakers and advocates cannot ensure LGBTQ people have equal access to key government services such as Meals on Wheels. The administration also appears to have included—but then gone back and omitted—questions about LGBTQ people from the American Community Survey, an annual survey that gathers information about Americans’ educational attainment, housing, and health coverage.
Appointed longtime opponents of LGBTQ rights—including members of anti-LGBTQ hate groups—to key administration positions.Many of President Trump’s appointees, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, made their careers standing in the way of LGBTQ rights—and now, they’re in charge of agencies that enforce those very rights. The appointments get even more disturbing the closer you look: Trump tapped Ken Blackwell, a former fellow at an anti-LGBTQ hate group, as a domestic policy adviser; selected leaders of the hate group C-FAM for the president’s delegation to the United Nations; and appointed Roger Severino, a longtime opponent of transgender civil rights, to run the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights.
Proposed slashing funding for research to cure HIV/AIDS.President Trump has proposed devastating cuts to health research, including $6 billion in cuts to the National Institutes of Health in the budget and a $50 million cut to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s HIV research and prevention programs. The administration has also pushed a $300 million cut to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR—an extraordinarily successful program that provides lifesaving treatment to 11.5 million people worldwide and has broad bipartisan support.
Supported economic policies that are detrimental to communities of color. Many of the budget cuts proposed by President Trump would cut key social service programs. For example, 41 percent of the 9 million. Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC, recipients are people of color. The budget also eliminates the Minority Business Development Agency, which promotes business development for people of color—the fastest growing segment of the population.
Proposed funding cuts for programs that support and encourage small business development.
The federal government shutdown is blocking almost $200 million in small business loans per day: 7(a) loans for working capital and 504 loans for commercial properties. Usually, the SBA manages about 200 loans for working capital and 120 loans for commercial properties per day, amounting to roughly $200 million worth of loans every day for small and midsize businesses. Currently, only funds for disaster-related loans remain active. As the longest government shutdown in U.S. history drags on to day 24 with no clear end in sight, small business advocates are urging the president to restart the SBA’s lending program.
President Trump budget cuts funding for several programs that help groups with historically low business ownership rates overcome barriers to becoming entrepreneurs, including the PRIME technical assistance grants for low-income micro-entrepreneurs; the Minority Business Development Agency, and the Economic Development Administration.
Attempted to make it harder for entrepreneurs to get access to affordable health. The ACA helps millions of entrepreneurs obtain access to health care without relying on a spouse or employer, which allows them to take one of the necessary risks associated with starting a business. The proposed American Health Care Act, or AHCA, would reduce access to health care and make it more expensive for many people to get comprehensive health care coverage.
President Trump’s skinny budget proposed eliminating the Corporation for National and Community Service, which would also eliminate AmeriCorps, a vital service program that plays a critical role in mobilizing volunteers to aid with disaster preparedness and response. Thus leaving 23,000 calls for help unanswered from Americans in disaster-struck areas.
President Trump’s proposal to slash funding for the WIC program puts basic food security at risk for thousands of families. At an annual food cost of about $513 per person, the $200 million cut could help pay for a year’s worth of food and formula for nearly 390,000 participating women, children and infants.
Trump proposed eliminating HOME Investment Partnerships Program. To date, HOME has helped more that 1.2 million families gain access to safe and affordable housing. But this successful program is also on President Trump’s budget chopping block, thereby threatening housing security or thousandsof families.
NeighborWorks America provides grants to community development organizations that help build and maintain affordable housing. The program created 53,649 jobs and assisted 360,009 families with affordable housing in the last year alone. Trump proposed eliminating NeighborWorks America.
Whopping 62 percent of jobs don’t support middle-class life after accounting for cost of living.Environment
Several studies have found evidence that the rising seas levels are eroding coastal property values, and owners may not be fully aware of the rising threat to their lives.Energy
The Trump budget blueprint calls for a 5.6 percent cut overall to the U.S. Department of Energy. This cut, along with calls for additional funding to nuclear security and waste cleanup, mean that there will be steeper cuts for programs designed to develop household appliances that save families money. President Trump’s budget proposal also eliminates programs such as ARPA-E, which helps entrepreneurs develop clean, affordable energy, and the Weatherization Assistance Program, which upgrades the homes of low-income families with insulation and cost-effective energy efficient improvements to help reduce utility bills. Trump eliminated pollution standards for power plants and oil and gas facilities.
Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid. The president blamed California’s environmental policies for the “deadly and costly” toll of the wildfires. In contrast, California Governor Jerry Brown unequivocally blamed climate change for the devastation.
The Office of Science and Technology Policy has a fleet of empty desks. The staff has dropped to 45 people, a substantial decline from President Obama’s OSTP, which had a staff of 135 people. Another difference from the Obama years — the majority of Mr. Trump’s OSTP staffers do not have a background in science.Clean Water
Proposed cutting EPA programs to clean up water sources by 31 percent and its staff by one-quarter. The proposal targets popular programs, such as regional efforts to clean up the Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico, Chesapeake Bay, and other iconic bodies of water.Exposure to Lead-Based Paint
Proposed eliminating programs at the EPA dedicated to preventing children’s exposure to lead-based paint, which can cause neurological delays. An estimated 38 million U.S. homes contain lead-based paint, and in 2015, the Centers for Disease Control found that 243,000 children had elevated levels of lead in their blood. Lead is a neurotoxin that causes permanent nerve damage.Coal
One of the Trump administration’s first actions was to nix the Stream Protection Rule put in place by the Obama administration to prevent coal companies from polluting nearby streams. Scrapping this environmental protection was a top priority of the coal industry at the expense of clean drinking water in coal communities.
President Trump eliminated an anti-corruption rule that had required oil and gas companies to disclose payments to foreign governments. When he was still the CEO of Exxon Mobil, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had lobbied to remove the rules established under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to the delight of the oil industry.
The Trump administration moved to preserve a loophole the Obama administration closed that allows coal companies to rip off taxpayers by allowing them to sell coal mined on federal lands to their own subsidiaries at artificially low prices and shirk royalty payment responsibilities.
Halted the first comprehensive review of the federal coal program in more than 30 years while simultaneously opening public lands for new leases to mine coal. Federal coal lease sales only bring in, on average,$1 per ton in bids, and taxpayers are estimated to be losing $1 billion annually in lost royalty payments on undervalued coal sales.
EPA formally unveiled the details of its new plan to devolve regulation of coal-fired power plants back to the states, one that is expected to give a boost to the coal industry and increase carbon emissions nationwide. The move would reverse Obama administration efforts to combat climate change and marks the fulfillment of a campaign promise at the heart of his appeal in coal-producing states like West Virginia — an appeal embodied by Trump’s 2016 campaign stops in the coal country of West Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania, where Trump supporters waved “Trump Digs Coal” signs and where the President-to-be donned a coal-mining helmet. This specific move by the EPA move will cause an additional 36,000 deaths per year. Trump dislikes renewable energy and greatly prefers coal and has tried to prop that industry up.
Global warming exacerbates world conflicts, says Red Cross president – “It’s very obvious that some of the violence that we are observing is directly linked to the impact of climate change and changing rainfall patterns.Climate Change
Catastrophic climate change is not a problem for economic royalists, sometimes called fascists — it is a solution. History’s most perfect, lethal, and efficient one means of genocide, ever, period. Who needs to build a camp or a gas chamber when the flood and hurricane will do the dirty work for free? Please don’t mistake this for conspiracies: climate change accords perfectly with the foundational fascist belief that only the strong should survive, and the weak — the dirty, the impure, the foul — should perish. That is why neo-fascists do not lift a finger to stop climate change — but do everything they can to in fact accelerate it, and prevent every effort to reverse or mitigate it.
Proposed major cuts to the Department of the Interior’s budget that would impair critical maintenance of our national parks while making a public show of supporting them. A few weeks after proposing to cut $1.5 billion, or 12 percent, from the Department of the Interior’s budget, President Trump had Press Secretary Sean Spicer ceremoniously hand a $78,000 check—Trump’s first-quarter earnings—to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to help the National Park Service. Here’s the rub: Trump’s check only covers 0.01 percent of $1.3 billion in “critical systems deferred maintenance” that the National Park Service urgently needs.
Climate Trauma is continually triggering many of our traumas, creating a psychological milieu of perpetual powerlessness, what does healing our trauma look like in this toxic culture?
Trauma is a multi-valent phenomena. It happens at the individual level when the trust we have placed in someone with power over us is fundamentally ruptured. When we lack the emotional tools to deal with such a violation, we ‘check out’ (dissociate) and end up storing the trauma in our bodies (so-called ‘somatic memory’). It happens at the epigenetic level, when the members of our tribe have been severely traumatized, or have perpetrated mass traumas, stunting the RNA passed onto us in our genes. It happens at the cultural level, when we bring to mind the shock of social upheavals like the attack on the World Trade Towers, the assassinations of JFK, MLK, and RFK, or more recently the institutionalized separation and imprisonment of children from their families. In a very real sense, all the problems we face are the result of past traumas.
Trauma lives in memory and in our bodies, and perpetuates increasing dysfunction the longer it goes unresolved. When it is repressed, we recreate it in the dramas of our personal relationships, we perpetuate it in our family dysfunction, we institutionalize it in our social structures, and we encode it in our cultural memes. It is the troublemaker in our lives, revealing itself in cyclic patterns that get repeated over and over. And the longer it goes unaddressed, the more trouble it causes – just like a troubled child who demands attention. In fact, the stubborn persistence of trauma first revealed itself when researchers discovered, much to their surprise and puzzlement, that the offspring of survivors of the Holocaust were more traumatized then their parents. This phenomena, of course, comes as no surprise to Native Americans.
So climate trauma is calling on each of us individually, and all of us collectively, to face our traumas. Our natural psychological inclination is to turn away, because trauma is painful and raises fundamental identity issues. But we cannot turn away from Climate Trauma any longer. It poses an existential threat to the survival of all species, including the human species. The Earth is our Witness. The earth is calling on us to acknowledge some harsh truths about all our relations. Trauma is rooted in relationship, and thus can only be resolved through healing relationships. She demands reconciliation, and such a process begins with fully acknowledging difficult truths.
Pulled the rug from under private investors backing conservation efforts.As part of a sweeping executive order aimed at gutting actions the Obama administration took to address climate change, President Trump rescinded the presidential memorandum that encouraged private investment when developers work to mitigate impacts on natural resources. This action undercuts the economic and environmental gains that the fast-growing restoration industry has made recently to the tune of $1.15 billion between 2014 and 2015 in private capital invested in habitat conservation and water management. These relatively new environmental marketplaces rely on regulatory consistency that President Obama’s memorandum bolstered.
President Trump overturned a rule that had protected black bear mothers and their cubs from being hunted in their dens. The Obama administration’s “Fair Chase” rule, which applied to national wildlife refuges in Alaska, also limited baiting, trapping, and the use of aircrafts to track and shoot bears and wolves.
Ozone pollution is a key contributor to smog, which can cause more frequent asthma attacks and exacerbate lung diseases. President Trump’s EPA is moving toward changing air quality standards established under the Obama administration to allow greater ozone pollution. Ground level ozone pollution can increase the frequency of asthma attacks, cause shortness of breath, aggravate lung diseases, and cause permanent damage to lungs through long-term exposure. Elevated ozone levels are linked to increases in hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and premature death, and can cause pronounced health impacts in children and the elderly.
President Trump essentially determined that climate change has no cost by eliminating a critical metric used to measure the benefit of cutting carbon pollution.He was in effect nullifying the “social cost of carbon.
Trump’s EPA is stopping rules that would limit the dumping of toxins, such as mercury and arsenic, and pollution from power plants into public waterways. These would have been the first protections in more than 30 years to curb toxins and other pollutants in power plants.
Secretary of the Interior Zinke reversed a ban on using lead bullets for hunting in wildlife refuses. Lead content in these bullets can poison water and wildlife, thereby changing the standard for protecting water and wildlife from lead poisoning.
The president signed an executive order directing the EPA and the Bureau of Land Management to review the methane pollution standards for oil and gas drilling facilities and determine whether to rescind or revise them, opening the door to reducing methane pollution standards. Methane pollution supercharges global warming 86 times as much as carbon pollution.
President Trump signed an executive order rescinding previous executive orders related to preparing the U.S. for climate change; encouraging private investment in efforts to mitigate pollution; and ensuring our national security plans consider climate change impacts.
The President’s appointees deny scientific proof of climate change. EPA Administrator Pruitt told the media that he does not think carbon dioxide is the primary contributor to climate change. His statement is the climate science equivalent of saying the world is flat.Heating Bills
Proposed budget cuts to that will cause 5.7 million low-income residents to lose assistance with their heating bills and about 673,000 to lose cooling assistance.President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, will be especially dangerous as more states experience extreme weather.
Climate change is reshaping aspects of our environment that many of us thought were static — from where deserts begin and end, to what we can grow in backyard or community gardens. Climate change is literally redrawing lines on the map, like “the line of where wheat will grow, or where tornadoes tend to form, where deserts end, where the frozen ground thaws, and even where the boundaries of the tropics lie.”Democracy and Government Reform
The Trump family continues to promote their private business interests at home and abroad while profiting off of the presidency. Corruption, or even the appearance of corruption, diminishes trust in government and increases cynicism toward democratic institutions. At a time when 75 percent of Americans already believe that corruption is widespread in government, President Trump’s blatant disregard for ethics rules and constitutional prohibitions on presidential enrichment further undermine democratic norms and threatens our democracy, economy, and national security.
Undermined transparency and accountability by continuing to hide his tax returns and withholding White House visitor logs. Due to his refusal to release his tax returns the full extent of President Trump’s indebtedness and foreign entanglements remains unknown. As a result, Americans cannot be sure that Trump is not providing favors and special treatment to his business partners or that foreign states and businesses are not leveraging influence over the Trump administration and its decisions. It is impossible for Trump to lead an effort to revise the tax code without Americans knowing how his proposals would line his own pocket. Changing the practice to stop disclosing White House visitor logs prevents the public from knowing who is accessing federal officials on a daily basis and keeps special interest influence shrouded in secrecy.
The administration wants to freeze a rule mandating that automakers work to make cars substantially more fuel efficient. It called its plan a “50-state fuel economy and tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions standard for passenger cars and light trucks.” The administration also proposed a withdrawal of California’s Clean Air Act preemption waiver. California and about a dozen states that follow its rules account for about a third of all the passenger vehicles sold in the United States. California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, called the proposal “reckless.”
Pushed environmental policies that will negatively affect communities of color.As noted above, the EPA wants to eradicate programs dedicated to reducing exposure to lead paint, which disproportionately affects communities of color. The EPA is also cutting funding for the environmental justice office that had just been set up to specifically deal with lead, pollution, and other issues facing communities of color.Military and National Security
The Trump Administration announced creating a Space Force by 2020, while also announcing immediate steps the Department of Defense would take to reform how the military approaches space… In June, President Donald Trump said he was directing “the Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.
The anti-Muslim bigotry of the Trump administration makes every American less safe by helping IS and other terrorist groups recruit followers. As one IS commander in Afghanistan put it, the Trump administration’s “utter hate towards Muslims will make our job much easier because we can recruit thousands.” The original Muslim ban included Iraq, where Iraqi soldier fighting alongside U.S. forces against IS called it a “betrayal.”
President Trump has taken no actions to achieve more balanced trade with China. He recklessly toyed with overturning nearly 40 years of official policy recognizing “one China” but backed down during his first call with the Chinese president, showing that his threats were hollow. Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson claimed they would stop China from building on disputed islands in the South China Sea, but China proceeds to do what it wants, where it wants. Trump’s summit with President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago resort resulted in no progress on any difficult issues. Beijing sees Washington as hot air with little substance. Trump’s all talk, no action approach is encouraging repression over freedom and making authoritarian leaders confident that repression will be tolerated.
After years of decline, civilian deaths from U.S. military operations have surged under Trump, destroying families, undermining strategic aims, and providing a propaganda boon to U.S. enemies. U.S. military spokesperson Col. Joseph Scrocca said “[More civilian casualties] is probably detrimental to the strength of our coalition. And that’s exactly what ISIS is trying to target right now.” Civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria have spiked in 2017, already far surpassing the total for all of 2016. Trump’s first major raid as president, in Yemen in January, was decided over dinner in the White House—far outside the regular process—and resulted in dozens of civilian deaths.
Trump has threatened national security and hurt the integrity of America’s democracy by an ongoing lack of transparency and refusal to disclose details about his finances and ties to Russia. Americans cannot know who President Trump might owe money or what obligations or commitment he and his team could have to Russia or other foreign powers. Trump’s refusal to condemn the Russian government’s interference in the 2016 elections; release his tax returns; step away from his business; and support an independent commission and special counsel to get to the bottom of Russia’s influence over the 2016 election are a green light to Russians and others who want to meddle in U.S. democracy. All Americans from all political parties are vulnerable when foreign influence, money, and hacking can run roughshod though America’s democratic institutions.
President Trump has announced the United States plans to withdraw from the U.S.-Russian Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
This list is just a sample of the ways in which President Trump and his administration have already broken their promises to Americans and revealed their true priorities. As this list grows, real damage is being done to communities and working families across the nation. Trump should heed their calls to put the needs of ordinary Americans ahead of corporations and the wealthy. Our unfunded liabilities are well in excess of 200 trillion dollars right now and the U.S. went 17 trillion dollars further into debt during 2017 due to the loss of revenue from tax cuts.
If individuals, corporations, state and local governments and the federal government all stopped going into more debt, we would plunge into the greatest economic depression in U.S. history immediately.
The system is deeply, deeply broken, and the only way that we can keep this debt bubble going is go keep accumulating even more debt.
Anyone out there that believes that the U.S. economy has been “fixed” is completely deceived. NOTHING has been fixed. Instead, our long-term financial imbalances are getting worse at an escalating pace.
Unfortunately, the attitude of the general public is so similar to what it was just prior to the great financial crisis of 2008. Most people seem to assume that just because we have not experienced great consequences for our very foolish decisions up to this point that no great consequences are coming.
And many also assume that since control of the White House has switched parties that somehow things must magically be better as well.
Of course the truth is that the only way that our long-term problems are ever going to be fixed is if we start addressing the issues that caused those long-term problems in the first place, and that simply is not happening.
As I have traveled extensively over the course of the past year, I discovered that most Americans do not want to make fundamental changes to the system, because they are under the illusion that the current system is working just fine. So it will probably take another major crisis before most people are ready to consider fundamental changes, and when it finally arrives we will need to be ready to educate the public.
The system that we have today is not fundamentally sound at all. We desperately need to return to the values and principles that this nation was founded upon, but until things start getting really, really bad it is highly unlikely that the American people will be ready to embrace those changes.
One of Trump’s first actions as president was to reinstate the Global Gag Rule, which prevents recipients of U.S. foreign aid from offering any information, referrals, services, or advocacy regarding abortion care—even if they do so with separate funding sources. The Global Gag Rule will lead to more maternal deaths, more unintended pregnancies, and higher rates of unsafe abortion.Restructuring the Veterans Administration
An informal council is exerting sweeping influence over the US Department of Veterans Affairs from President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club. This group of three, led by Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter, was very open about the fact that they had been “anointed by the President and had his full support to influence policy at the VA” despite never being appointed or installed as formal advisers.Reduced Job Opportunities for Veterans by Instituting a Federal Hiring Freeze
Veterans receive a strong hiring preference for federal jobs, and roughly one-third of all newly hired federal employees in 2015 were veterans. Even if many jobs at the Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA, are exempt from the hiring freeze, other vacant jobs will still be unavailable at other federal agencies.Loans for Veterans
The Trump administration plans to eliminate routine audits of lenders for violations of the Military Lending Act, according to internal agency documents. The interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, plans to terminate the supervisory examinations of lenders, arguing proactive oversight is not laid out in the legislation, according to the report.Immigration
White House adviser Stephen Miller is pushing to expedite a policy that could penalize legal immigrants whose families receive public benefits and make it more difficult to get citizenship, three sources familiar with the matter tell CNN. The White House has been reviewing the proposal since March at the Office of Management and Budget, which is the last stop for regulations before they are final. But concerns over potential lawsuits have delayed the final rule, and the draft has undergone numerous revisions, multiple sources say. The crux of the proposal would penalize legal immigrants if they or their family members have used government benefits — defined widely in previous drafts of the policy.
In January, and then again in March, President Trump signed executive orders banning immigrants from seven—and then, subsequently, six—Muslim-majority nations for at least three months and halting the refugee program for four months. The January executive order sparked widespread protests at airports all across the country and was quickly blocked by a federal court in Washington state and then by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. In early March, Trump signed a barely revised version of the original order, which courts in Hawaii and Maryland rightly acknowledged still constituted a Muslim and refugee ban. The core parts of the ban were once again put on hold.
The Obama administration focused its immigration enforcement on serious threats to national security and public safety, as well as recent border crossers. Within days of taking office, Trump signed an executive order eliminating the Obama priorities, effectively making all unauthorized immigrants a priority for deportation, regardless of how long they have been in the country, their ties to families and communities, or other equities. In practice, this has meant that thousands of people have been deported.
Aggressive immigration enforcement by the Trump administration—including a case in El Paso, where immigration officials arrested a victim of domestic abuse at a courthouse after she received a protective order against her abuser—has made immigrants and Latinos, regardless of immigration status, increasingly reluctant to come forward to report crimes. Prosecutors in Denver have been forced to drop four domestic violence prosecutions because immigrant victims no longer wish to cooperate. Another domestic violence case in Austin hangs in limbo under similar circumstances. Since last year, Los Angeles has seen reports by Latinos of sexual assault decline by 25 percent, and Houston has seen reports by Latinos of rapes decline by nearly 43 percent. By making everyone a priority, the administration has made no one a priority to the detriment of public safety.
Even though Trump has said that he will deal with young unauthorized immigrants with “great heart,” and even though Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly has said that he is “the best thing that happened to DACA,” the Department of Homeland Security has detained at least five recipients of DACA—which grants eligible young people a two-year reprieve from deportation and a work permit—since taking office.
As part of the January 25 executive order on interior immigration enforcement, President Trump threatened to take away federal funds from more than 600 so-called sanctuary jurisdictions that limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement. On March 27 Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened to revoke Department of Justice grants that, among other purposes, help local law enforcement to eliminate barriers to processing rape kits, combat gang and gun crime, and stop human trafficking. The attorney general’s comments were swiftly denounced by the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Research shows that counties with sanctuary policies have lower crime rates and stronger economies than those without the policies.
Not long after the Trump administration took office, a draft executive order leaked, illustrating that the administration was looking to target even legal immigrants living in the United States. Among other provisions, the draft order would make lawful permanent residents, or green card holders, eligible for deportation if they use any type of means-tested benefit. The mere possibility of the order, as well as increased immigration enforcement, has had a chilling effect on communities across the nation. In California, for example, the Alameda County Community Food Bank saw 40 families cancel their food stamps and another 54 eligible families choose not to apply for food stamps. Other reports indicate that some immigrants are taking their names off of the list to receive baby formula or keeping children away from child care centers.
The dominant immigration story from the summer has been the administration’s decision to separate children of undocumented from their families at the US border. Repercussions from that decision earlier this year, the decision to reverse course in June and the ongoing process to reunite children with their families has been a serious problem for the administration that has involved every branch of government from the HHS to the DOJ.
President Trump’s refugee suspension blocked LGBTQ Syrian and Iraqi refugees from finding protection in the United States, leaving them stranded in countries where they are persecuted. His policy of detaining all immigrants who enter at the southern border and expanding the populations targeted for deportation traps LGBTQ asylum seekers in dangerous immigrant detention facilities and increases the risk that they will be wrongly deported to countries where their lives are at risk. The administration also decided to close the only dedicated transgender immigrant detention pod in the country, leaving transgender immigrants in detention at risk.Foreign Tourism1. The rest of the world is noting what happened to the U.S. Tourism is down across the board. Fewer British travelers come to the United States. Tourist centers like Las Vegas and Orlando saw double digit declines in U.K. visitors in 2017. The Trump administration has increased barriers to entry for foreign guests, cutting the revenue they spend in the U.S.What Else Trump Has Done1. President Donald Trump had a clear message for supporters that drew many comparisons to George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 about a totalitarian regime that wields ultimate power over its people through psychological manipulation: “Just remember—what you are seeing and what you are reading is not what’s happening.” Once again, Trump is back in the headlines claiming that a video of him from an NBC interview is somehow not what it appears, due to “fudging my tape on Russia,” suggesting that the video was somehow doctored using advanced technology to make the president look bad. This is despite the fact that NBC had put out a full transcript of the interview accompanied by a full video of it uninterrupted.This tactic of getting people to question their direct experience is a type of psychological manipulation scientists call “gaslighting”. A person who is gaslighting an individual or group that they have chosen to target does so by getting them to doubt their own memory, perception, and reality. Through persistent lying, misdirection, and contradiction, the gaslighter attempts to delegitimize the victim’s beliefs by confusing and destabilizing them.2. Gaslighting on a national level is terrifying, but the best thing we can all do right now is stay calm, collected, and confident in our reality and direct experiences. When someone is making statements like, “What you are seeing and what you are reading is not what’s happening,” red flags should immediately go up, because those are the words of an intentional gaslighter.
The Government shut down is hurting Americans:
Families in public housing have no one to call about their health and safety problems.
Our national parks are in chaos.
TSA agents are calling in sick since they are not being paid
Your tax refund check won’t be in the mail. The funds are frozen.
You might have problems getting your tax refund.
Food stamps are at risk; funds run out in January or February.
Mike Pence and other senior executives gets a raise!
No transcripts from IRS needed for home loans
In the first nine months of his presidency, Trump made 1,318 false or misleading claims, an average of five a day. But in the seven weeks leading up the midterm elections, the president made 1,419 false or misleading claims — an average of 30 a day. Combined with the rest of his presidency, that adds up to a total of 6,420 claims through Oct. 30, the 649th day of his presidency, according to The Fact Checker’s database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement uttered by the president. Here are 30 specific lies he has told:
He told you he’d cut your taxes, and that the super-rich like him would pay more.
He promised that the average family would see a $4,000 pay raise because of the tax law.
He promised to close special interest loopholes that have been so good for Wall Street investors but unfair to American workers. it.
He promised to bring an end to Kim Jong-Un’s nuclear program.
He told you he’d repeal Obamacare and replace it with something “beautiful,” including “insurance for everybody.”
He told you he wouldn’t “cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.”
He promised to protect anyone with pre-existing conditions.
He said he’d build a “wall” across the southern border..
He told you he’d invest $1 trillion in our nation’s crumbling infrastructure.
He said he’d drain the Washington swamp.
He promised to re-institute a five-year ban on all executive branch officials lobbying the government for five years after they leave government.
He said he’d use his business experience to whip the White House into shape.
He told you he’d “bring down drug prices” by negotiating “like crazy” with drug companies.
He told you he’d “stop foreign lobbyists from raising money for American elections.”
He promised “six weeks of paid maternity leave to any mother with a newborn child whose employer does not provide the benefit.”.
He said he’d create tax-free dependent care savings accounts for younger and elderly dependents, and have the government match contributions low-income families put into their savings accounts.
He said that on Day One he’d label China a “currency manipulator.”
He said he “won’t bomb Syria.”
After pulling out of the Paris accord, he said he’d negotiate a better deal on the environment.
He promised that the many women who accused him of sexual misconduct “will be sued after the election is over.”
He said he would not be a president who took vacations, and criticized Barack Obama for taking too many vacations.
He vowed to “push colleges to cut the skyrocketing cost of tuition.”
He said he’d force companies to keep jobs in America, and that there would be consequences for companies that shipped jobs abroad, especially government contractors.
He promised to end DACA.
He promised to revive the struggling coal industry and bring back lost coal mining jobs..
He promised to protect American steel jobs.
He said he’d make America safer.
He promised to make two- and four-year colleges more affordable.
He promised to eliminate the federal deficit and bring down the debt.