Sunday, April 30, 2017

WIll it get worse for incompetent Trump? Probably

Really good article today from Stan Collender in Forbes- a guy who does great work if you want to see the nuts-and-bolts of the federal budget and the process that goes into passing fiscal bills in Congress. Collender notes today that the real benchmark for Donald Trump's administration may not be his (generally failed) first 100 days, but the next 150 days.

Collender says that the next months will make-or-break Trump's campaign promises of repealing/replacing the Affordable Care Act, and getting some kind of tax changes and infrastructure package through Congress. He also points out that the already-bad news on issues such as the increasing budget deficit and Russia investigations
This period will also be when the Trump administration supposedly will submit its first full budget -- complete with its first deficit and debt projections and economic forecasts – to Congress. That will set off the traditional political firestorm on Capital Hill when its released. (For the record, I still refuse to call what the administration released in March a “budget.")

In addition to the 12 fiscal 2018 appropriations that will be needed by October 1, one of the reliably most difficult bills to pass – an increase in the federal debt ceiling– will also have to be enacted in September.

May-September is also when the various congressional investigations on Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. election are likely to result in potentially very damaging hearings for the White House.
And oh yeah, all this is assuming the government doesn't shut down at the end of this week after being given a one-week reprieve on Friday. That's no guarantee, given that there's still 5 months of spending appropriations that have to be figured out, and good luck having this crew of GOP clowns getting that sorted out, let alone have any Dems going along with any radical changes to the ACA or major shifts in spending priorities.

Collender says that a lot of the problems Trump has had in DC comes from his lack of governmental experience, and how he doesn't understand that running a country is much different than being a CEO in the corporate world. Mostly because in government, people can tell you NO, and still keep their jobs.
Since he took the oath of office, Trump has treated House and Senate Republicans as employees he can fire if they don’t do what he wants.Trump has been acting as if GOP representatives and senators shouldn’t just be obeying his directives but, rather, anticipating his every wish and thanking him for the privilege...

He didn’t [know that Congress could be independent of Trump], and congressional Republicans will make his political life miserable over the next few months because of it. The substantively and politically much tougher decisions immediately ahead will be considerably more difficult than they should have been at this point in his presidency.
Oh, but Trump and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus have solutions to this- just remove the checks and balances and opposition!

.@POTUS on getting things done in government: "It's a very rough system. It's an archaic system...It's really a bad thing for the country."

— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 28, 2017

The fiasco known as the Drumpf Administration is exhibit A why that whole "business people should be in charge" thing often doesn't work so well in a democracy. The only exception to this rule is if that business person understands that you have to listen to other people in the public sector, instead of just shouting orders, and that person needs to know something other than maximizing profit and buying influence. That is certainly NOT the person that lifetime con man Donald Trump is, and we are all suffering this joke as a result.

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