Hitting the reset button
The Obama administration once tried to improve relations with Russia and, to do so, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton actually held in hand a red button for her and her Russian counterpart to press to refresh their international relations. While that reset did not work out at all, clearly President Donald Trump needs a reset button and he needs to be pressing it over and over until his administration finds its way forward.
Instead of tiptoeing through the tulips (a 1929 song made famous by performer Tiny Tim) your administration has been setting off political IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) almost daily.
This column hopes to turn you toward the tulips and away from your self-imposed explosions.
Press the reset button with Russia. You cannot befriend a murderous dictator whose most recent American engagement was to influence the 2016 American presidential election to help elect you. Befriending Putin seems to suggest you are fine with the Russian interference because it aided your bid for the presidency. All polling shows Americans do not think you ae managing the Russia relationship correctly.
Press the reset button with your Muslim ban. How many judges have to tell you your ban is unconstitutional before you accept the obvious? You campaigned for the ban as a Muslim ban, you still argue the current executive order is simply a “watered down” ban you ran on. The American people, by all polling, do not support the ban, and economists predict the ban would cost the U.S. $18 billion in tourism over two years.
Press the reset button with health care. The bill you supported did not fail because of Democrats, the Freedom Caucus, or any of the multitude of folks you have since blamed. It failed because it was a stunningly terrible bill that would cause 24 million Americans to lose their insurance. The bill would also have raised the costs of healthcare for older Americans and poorer Americans and rural Americans, many of whom voted for you and trusted you to serve their needs far better than this destructive legislation. A new poll (AP-NORC) says 62 percent of Americans think your health care plan was unacceptable.
Press the reset button on protecting the environment. You signed an EO encouraging coal companies to pollute our streams; you are attempting to reverse U.S. leadership in worldwide climate control efforts; your EPA Director, your appointment, does not believe in climate change; you are reversing clean air emission controls from coal fired power plants, emissions that kill Americans from an obsolete technology that has no future. A recent Quinnipiac poll cites 63 percent of Americans want you not to change climate regulations. This is an IED you planted and then stepped on purposefully.
Looking forward to your plan to revise our tax code, cutting taxes and adding to our deficit. You need to press the reset button now, before you once again go against the American people and those who voted for you by proposing a huge tax cut for the richest Americans.
A new University of Maryland Program for Public Consultation (PPC) survey concludes Americans want tax changes that increase revenue and do not raise the deficit. None of the tax reductions proposed by Trump are desired by voters according to the survey, and voters overall preferred increasing tax revenues by an average of $118.5 billion per year. According to the Tax Policy Center and other tax analyses the Trump tax changes would reduce taxes by at least $441.9 billion.
Mr. President, we want you to succeed, and tiptoeing through the tulips, emphasizing programs that build America, is so much better for your administration and the nation than your current plan of stepping on IEDs daily.
Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.