Donald Trump has some pressing issues to deal with once he assumes office.
January 16, 2017
By: Bobby Casey, Managing Director GWP
2017 is off to a bumpy start, and being that there’s still a few days before Donald Trump takes office, we can’t exactly blame him… yet… however, he will have quite a bit to contend with once he assumes office. Congress and Obama have been busy getting Trump’s welcome basket of issues ready, and it’s no small bundle. By no means is this a comprehensive list, but it does touch on a few key and pressing issues.
One of the many cans kicked down the road by politicians (on BOTH sides) is Social Security. The unfunded liabilities are growing, and the projections are growing. Yes, we are currently at surplus levels in terms of straight pay out and intake. But that’s like the U3 unemployment numbers: it ignores a LOT of other red flags and paints a deceivingly bright picture.
There is a more comprehensive analysis that suggests we’re heading toward disaster (Source: CNBC): “A projection, known as the ‘infinite horizon’ takes into account all the program’s future liabilities, even those beyond the 75-year period that Social Security actuaries typically use in their calculations.
“Under the infinite horizon, Social Security will have $32.1 trillion in unfunded liabilities by 2090, $6.3 trillion more than last year’s projection.”
We can either do away with this Ponzi Scheme altogether or increase payroll taxes by about 3%. But you won’t find ONE politician that wants either of those proposals associated with their name. Ideally, if Social Security were put down, everyone would be given the money they put in, back. However, in practice, if we increased the payroll tax, we’d just be kicking the can further down the road.
Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare)
Conversely, Congress took a very BIG (and real) step in repealing Obamacare.
A budgetary resolution passed the House 227-198 and the Senate 51-48 which instructs four committees on Capitol Hill to draft repeal legislation by 27 January. Is there anything waiting in the wings to replace it? No. Not yet anyway. Thus far, we would simply be going back to pre-ACA conditions.
Has any law been passed or overturned yet? No. But in about a week’s time, something will become of the ACA.
It is clear Trump doesn’t have many friends in Washington. I think even his relationship with Mike Pence is at best strained. The establishment Republicans at best are going to hold his feet to the fire and try to find a “gotcha” moment.
Trump did indeed say he would repeal Obamacare, but he later back peddled a bit on that. It will be interesting to see what Trump does when his bluff is called on the ACA repeal.
Speaking of Congress, it should be noted that while they were conspiring to repeal Obamacare, they also managed to get a little something else passed. A little rule that slid through in the House Rules Package. It passed about a week ago, and it goes something like this:
“Records created, generated, or received by the congressional office of a Member … are exclusively the personal property of the individual Member … and such Member … has control over such records.”
Basically, the financial documents associated with members of Congress are their own private property, even those that involve taxpayer dollars.
That whole brouhaha with Hillary Clinton’s emails should at least come with a lesson, if not a full reprimand and penalties. Washington DC needs MORE transparency, not less! By saying a congressman’s financial records, at least as they pertain to taxpayer dollars, are their private property, opens the door to a LOT of corruption. More so than we’ve already seen. It’s tantamount to a blank check for members of congress to fill in as they see fit, and never tell us what it’s for!
Would anything be complete without some tribute to Russia these days? On a VERY serious note, 3,500 troops were deployed to Poland (some reports suggest as many as 4,000). While people are calling Trump “literally Hitler”, Obama pulls this?
“The armored brigade combat team arriving in Poland hails from Fort Carson, Colorado. The troops arrived last week in Germany and are gathering in Poland before units will fan out across seven countries from Estonia to Bulgaria. A headquarters unit will be stationed in Germany. After nine months they will be replaced by another unit.
“In a separate but related mission, NATO will also deploy four battalions to its eastern flank later this year, one each to Poland and the three Baltic states. The U.S. will also lead one of those battalions.”
The US deployment is budgeted at $3.4 BILLION. That nearly $1 Million per troop deployed. So in addition to everything else, we are mounting $3.4 billion per year to support these troops in Poland, if Trump decides not to draw down.
If Russia set up camp at the Mexican border, how would the US interpret that exactly? About as hostile as we are being toward Russia now, I’d wager.
Trump is walking into a thick amount of drama, to say the least. Not to say that any president walked into an easy situation. But like every president before him, he’s inherited the culmination of decisions from all his predecessors to date.
I don’t know what a Trump presidency holds. I remember some of the promises, I know he backed down from a few, but one way or another the first month is going to be quite a challenge. And now, we wait…
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