Monday, February 20, 2017


      Trump’s approval ratings have dropped since the election. They now vacillate between 40% and 38% on Gallup’s daily tracking poll. Clearly, some of the voters who chose him on election day are having second thoughts. For Democrats, the importance of reaching out to these voters is too obvious to debate. But first, of course, they must be identified. So, I ask you to consider the following question.
     Are these disenchanted voters, in the main, drawn from the evangelicals who voted for Trump, the southern whites who voted for Trump, the white, working-class northerners who voted for Trump, or from college-educated, country-club suburbanites who voted for Trump?
      Bernie Sanders proposes that Democrats adjust their policies to attract the white, working-class voters who chose Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. He’s not alone. The two main candidates to Chair the Democratic National Committee, Keith Ellison and Tom Perez, are pitching their messages to these same working-class voters. They’re trying to restore the coalition assembled by FDR. Good luck.
      Myself, I believe the Republican voters currently experiencing buyer’s remorse are from the last category. These doctors and lawyers and small-business owners are not happy to be associated with a party that appeals directly to the racists, misogynists and xenophobes among us. If not for the two years of relentless attacks on her character and Comey’s interventions, they would have voted for Hillary. If we can convince them of the obvious, they’ll come to us.
      The obvious? That the Democratic Party is the centrist party in American politics today. The Democratic Party is the sane party.


          Trump in the course of a recent FOX interview: "A balanced budget is fine. But sometimes you have to fuel the well in order to get the economy going. I want a balanced budget eventually, but I want to have a strong military."

      By the close of WWII, our national debt had risen to 120% of GDP. It dropped steadily over the next thirty-five years until it stood at 32% of GDP when Jimmy Carter passed the baton to Ronald Reagan. In the first year of Reagan’s administration, Republicans passed an enormous tax cut without offsetting cuts in spending. Twelve years later, when the first George Bush presidency gave way to Bill Clinton’s, the national debt, as a percentage of GDP, had risen to 62%, nearly doubling. Clinton began his administration with a tax hike and produced a budget surplus in his second term. As a result, our national debt had dropped to 55% percent of GDP by the time he left office. His successor, George W. Bush, passed another huge tax cut in the first year of his first term, then fought two unfunded wars. By the time his administration gave way to Barack Obama’s - who in the depths of a terrible recession inherited both wars - our national debt had risen to 80% of GDP.
      Don the Con campaigned as a budget hawk, condemning both the deficit and the debt. Now he boasts of a tax cut he expects to pass, of increased defense spending (to make our military great again) and of an infrastructure program costing several trillion dollars. All without offsetting budget cuts.
       Don the Con isn’t enacting the definition of insanity. He’s not doing the same thing, over and over again, all the while hoping for a different outcome. Trump knows the deficit and debt will both grow if he gets his way. He doesn’t give a damn. It’s boom time, kids, financed on tomorrow’s dime.

       And by the way, the figures I’ve cited can be verified by a search on Google Images for “US national debt as a percentage of GDP.” They’re not controversial.

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