Wednesday, December 23, 2020

"Trump: It’s a 'Disgrace!'”

"Trump: It’s a 'Disgrace!'”
by Brian Maher

"A spending bill has passed the chambers of Congress - upper and lower, Senate and House - by runaway majorities. By the deal’s terms, total 2021 spending would run to $2.4 trillion. It would rate the second-largest spending bill in the annals of the United States. This behemoth runs to 5,593 pages. The St. James Bible, meantime, goes to 1,200. That is, God can tell the world’s story in 1,200 pages, all of it, alpha through omega.

Yet the government of the United States requires 5,593 pages to blueprint one year of spending. The print is not large… incidentally.

House rules allot each congressman 72 hours to look it through — three days. How many congressmen have suffered through the 5,593-page eye-glazer... page one... through page 5,593? Or pages one through two? We wonder.

Pork, Pork and More Pork: Pandemic “relief” totals $900 billion of the $2.4 trillion package. Most Americans would receive only $600 if equally rationed - for a total of $198 billion. Who collars the rest? The Economic Policy Journal (EPJ) has run the tally:

There's $5 billion in military aid to Israel.

Here is aid other countries are getting for various projects:

• Egypt = $1,300,000,000
• Sudan = $700,000,000
• Ukraine = $453,000,000
• Israel = $500,000,000
• Burma = $135,000,000
• Nepal = $130,000,000
• Cambodia = $85,500,000

Unlisted is the $15 million Sri Lanka would receive to repair a vessel... Or the $505 million Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama would receive to “address key factors that contribute to the migration of unaccompanied, undocumented minors to the U.S.”

We believe we could save the United States government $505 million. We can penetrate the $505 million mystery. Unaccompanied, undocumented minors migrate to the United States to break free of poverty. Perhaps, in certain cases, to accept gratefully the generosity of the United States taxpayer. But there is more…

Something for Everyone: Continues the EPJ:

• There's $1.4 billion for "Asia Reassurance Initiative Act"

• The bill will establish a new Smithsonian American Women's History Museum and a Smithsonian National Museum of the American Latino.

• The bill creates a commission tasked with educating “consumers about the dangers associated with using or storing portable fuel containers for flammable liquids near an open flame."

• Representative Thomas Massie reports that $10 million is designated for gender programs in Pakistan.

• The bill mandates new hiring measures to ensure diversity in the intelligence community.

• The bill decriminalizes unauthorized use of the Swiss Coat of Arms or Smokey the Bear.

• The bill spends five pages laying out the process for determining who will be recognized as the next reincarnation of the Dalia Lama.

• The bill outlays funds to address gender inequality amongst statues.

• The Covid relief bill stipulates funds can’t be used for accessing pornographic websites unless it’s “official business.”

“Vocal Bipartisan Support”: A personal note: We are pleased beyond description that the United States government is at last tackling gender inequality among statues. We were aghast this past summer - not one lone female statue was hauled down in anger. We are also heart and soul for gender equality in Pakistan. $10 million is dreadfully inadequate to the crying need.

Meantime, $35 billion would fund wind, solar and other “clean energy” initiatives under this legislation. That is because these energies require subsidies. Most are not otherwise profitable.

We learn by The New York Times that these give outs received “vocal bipartisan support, with senior senators from both parties hailing the breakthrough as overdue and key to creating jobs of the future.” Just so. Yet what about the jobs of the present? The bill extends little relief to drinking houses, eateries and other small businesses currently trembling under lockdown. Will a $600 cheque see the jobless waiter through the winter? Or the idle barkeep? We hazard it will not. Ah, but a sunray cracks through the gloom…

Trump to the Rescue: The tribune of the plebs - President Trump himself - has taken to the Forum Americanum, pleading the people’s case. $600 is a “disgrace,” he thunders. Cut away the pork and feed it to the American people. Give them $2,000 each. $4,000 for married couples, argues the President of the United States: "I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple… get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation and to send me a suitable bill."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is with him this one time: "At last, the President has agreed to $2,000 - Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let’s do it!" Here is our question: Has the president at last agreed to $2,000… or have Democrats at last agreed to $2,000?

Election Year Politics: There are the politics to consider. A man receiving a $2,000 cheque bearing the signature of Donald J. Trump might feel tender towards Donald J. Trump. Might he even yank a lever for Donald J. Trump in an election booth? We must admit it is possible, yes. Would Democrats allow that possibility prior to November 3? We are not convinced they would. Yet now that the fellow is (ostensibly) out… let the Treasury doors swing wide open. Let the $2,000 cheques go out.

And so Signore Machiavelli glances upward from his fiery cauldron… admiringly. We speculate, admittedly. Perhaps we are too far gone in cynicism. Perhaps all hearts are pure. It is better to be occasionally fooled than perpetually suspicious, as someone said once. Regardless…The federal government would “shut down” December 29 should the President fail to sign a bill.

Why Stop at $2,000? But why stop at $2,000 cheques? Why not $5,000… $10,000… $100,000? The nation floats along in $27.5 trillion of red ink. It is unlikely a few trillion more will drag it under. Hand-wringers have yelled wolf about the national debt for years and years… At $5 trillion. $10 trillion. $15 trillion. $20 trillion. $25 trillion. Now an impossible $27.5 trillion.

Yet the show runs on. Where is the cataclysm? You say there is a limit. You say the straw will snap the camel’s spine. But which straw? The 29th trillion? The 32nd trillion? The 41st trillion?
We request a square answer.

The Greatest Show on Earth: Do not remind us that we have likewise yelled wolf about the national debt for years and years. Or that we have failed to identify the fatal straw. We will not listen! We prefer to delight in the spectacle of it all - delighting in the bread, delighting in the circuses, paraded out daily in half a dozen rings.

Is there another country on Earth that offers comparable entertainment? We have yet to discover one. We have searched. Is it responsible to pile up $27.5 trillion of debt? Perhaps it is not. Will the circus tent one day collapse? Well, maybe it will. But this you must admit: What a show while it runs..."

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