Friday, October 13, 2017


We know how vindictive President Trump is -- all we have to do is watch his mistreatment of Puerto Rico, which I assume is primarily payback for the humiliation he's suffered at the hands of San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz -- or see what he's doing to Obamacare:
President Donald Trump plans to cut off subsidy payments to insurers selling Obamacare coverage in his most aggressive move yet to undermine the health care law.

The subsidies, which are worth an estimated $7 billion this year and are paid out in monthly installments, may stop almost immediately since Congress hasn’t appropriated funding for the program.

The decision, which leaked out only hours after Trump signed an executive order calling for new regulations to encourage cheap, loosely regulated health plans – delivered a double whammy to Obamacare after months of failed GOP efforts to repeal the law. With open enrollment for the 2018 plan year set to launch in two weeks, the moves seem aimed at dismantling the law through executive actions.
But there's another side to Trump: He doesn't just want to stomp enemies into submission -- he wants to seem magnanimous to his supporters. Yesterday, he sold the Obamacare executive order as a great deal for Americans.
“They will have so many options,” Trump said Thursday. “This will cost the United States government virtually nothing, and people will have great, great health care, and when I say ‘people’ I mean by the millions and millions.”
It's also been reported that Trump was upset to learn that a tax change he's advocated actually hurts middle-class people:
Months after the White House proposed ending a tax break for people in high-tax states, President Donald Trump grew angry when he learned that the change would hurt some middle-income taxpayers, according to two people familiar with his thinking.

Trump’s concerns led him to say this week that “we’ll be adjusting” the tax-overhaul framework, the people said....

But Gary Cohn, the director of Trump’s National Economic Council, said Thursday that the president is not rethinking his position on the state and local tax deduction, which allows households to deduct state and local taxes on their federal returns.
Does Trump literally not understand that what he's doing to Obamacare, or what he's proposing to do to middle-class taxes? I think he understands the vindictive part -- he wants to destroy everything left over from the Obama administration -- but I don't think he understands that the wingnuts and corporatists who are shaping the proposals he champions are selling him on ideas that don't even seem to have positive benefits for ordinary Americans.

Trump is an empathy-deficient sociopath, but I think he really wants the policies he sells to be -- or at least to appear -- excellent for Americans. He's not a drug dealer working on a filthy street corner and telling the addicts he sells to that, yes, the drugs are cut with baby powder and cost more than they did the last time, but hey, take it or leave it. He's Trump. He sells swank (Trump hotels and golf courses). He sells get-rich-quick (Trump University). The properties may be no better than piss-elegant and the hotel restaurant may be godawful, but a lot of work goes into making everything seem dazzling.

He wants it known that he delivers excellence. Those paper towels he tossed in Puerto Rico? The best!
U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out at the “fake” journalists who criticized him for tossing rolls of paper towel to Puerto Rican hurricane victims.

The paper towels, he said, were beautiful. And soft.

“They had these beautiful, soft towels. Very good towels,” Trump said in a conversation that aired Sunday on Christian television network Trinity Broadcasting. “And I came in and there was a crowd of a lot of people. And they were screaming and they were loving everything. I was having fun, they were having fun. They said, ‘Throw ’em to me! Throw ’em to me, Mr. President!’”
On policy, he really wants Congress and his advisers to give him more to work with. Maybe he even believes their completely implausible selling points for a time. But Fox News taught him that conservative rule would lead to utopia, and he either believed it or believed it would be an easy promise to sell. Poor Donald. It's harder than it looks.

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