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How Republican Cuts Would Devastate Security For America’s Poor

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How Republican Cuts Would Devastate Security For America’s Poor

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Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Just weeks after lambasting the Affordable Care Act repeal and replacement efforts as “terrible” and “mean,” President Trump is now calling for something even meaner: repealing the ACA entirely and replacing it at a later date.

Repealing the ACA without replacing it would leave 32 million more uninsured by 2026.

Though delayed, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, the Senate version of the repeal, survives. It empowers states to apply for waivers to opt out of offering essential health benefits, defunds abortion providers like Planned Parenthood for one year, and offers smaller subsidies. Perhaps most devastatingly, the plan discontinues the Medicaid expansion and caps the Medicaid funding distributed to states to deprive the program of nearly $800 billion over the next decade.

Repealing and replacing the ACA with the Better Care Reconciliation Act would lead to an estimated 22 million more uninsured Americans by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Withdrawing funding from abortion providers almost ensures that low-income Medicaid recipients will receive less medical care and be at heightened risk for unplanned pregnancies. Although the Senate bill offers more generous subsidies to poor Americans than those included by the House, the subsidies are still lower than those provided by the Affordable Care Act and are based on a less generous “benchmark plan” than that established by the ACA. As a result, Americans will pay more for less coverage.

Without the funding necessary to maintain the expansion, states will have no incentive to maintain the enhanced levels of participation and certainly no incentive to further expand their eligibility settings for Medicaid candidates. Additionally, the capped Medicaid funding per person would only be permitted to grow along with the medical component of the Consumer Price Index. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has indicated that the actual Medicaid costs will likely outpace those accounted for by the medical consumer price index (CPI) calculation. By 2025, the capped funding would grow only in accordance with the general CPI. Actual Medicaid costs far outpace those accounted for by the general CPI, amounting to major cuts to the program.

On top of all this, the Trump administration has separately proposed $610 billion cuts to Medicaid.

If congressional Republicans have begun to take a hammer to the social safety net, the Trump administration has complemented their work with a hatchet. The administration’s budget calls for $191 billion in reductions to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, colloquially referred to as food stamps, and $21 billion in cuts to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families over the next decade under the guise of fiscal responsibility. The reality is that such reductions wouldn’t even make a dent in the deficit: In fiscal year 2015, only around 10 percent of the federal budget went toward financing SNAP, TANF and other social safety net programs.

When it comes to sustaining the social safety net, every dollar is critical. In the absence of sufficient funding for SNAP and TANF, states will be forced to either tighten their eligibility standards, rendering currently eligible families and individuals ineligible, or reduce their benefit packages. The administration has already laid the foundation for such adjustments: The budget intends to limit SNAP benefits provided to families exceeding six members to those offered to families of six. As a result, a family of nine would be forced to live off of a little over $3 per day per person.

A number of Republicans have offered unrealistic advice to poor Americans in preparing for these drastic reductions. Representative Jason Chaffetz framed the situation as a matter of choices: “And so maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love… maybe they should invest in their own health care.” Such comments betray a misunderstanding of the nature of the health care landscape. Cell phones cost a few hundred dollars. Health care costs can run into the hundreds of thousands, potentially bankrupting families without insurance.

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway advised those worried about losing Medicaid simply to find jobs; however, most able-bodied Medicaid recipients are already employed.

There exists a vast network of nonprofit service providers across the country that supports low-income Americans in their times of hardship. Charitable support for the vulnerable is a part of a long American tradition that dates back to the country’s founding. Almshouses offered refuge for poor, homeless, elderly and physically and mentally disabled Americans well into the 20th century. Bread lines and soup kitchens stretched across the country to aid those ravaged by the Great Depression. The New Deal and the Great Society developed and reinforced the welfare state, respectively, building off the charitable work begun by private organizations. By the middle of the 20th century, public welfare had become a fully entrenched responsibility of the federal government.

However, the services of nonprofit providers can only supplement the social safety net, not replace it. Speaker Paul Ryan warned of the social safety net’s potential to become “a hammock that lulls able-bodied people into lives of dependency and complacency, that drains them of their will and their incentive to make the most of their lives” as compared to the dignity afforded to those either gainfully employed or who only ask for help when contending with truly dire straits. Senator Mike Lee alluded to the existence of this network of service providers in his calls for “a voluntary civil society” to temper the excesses of “big government.”

Alicia Wilson, executive director of La Clinica Del Pueblo, called the idea of asking charities to replace government funding “laughable.” For nonprofit service providers like La Clinica Del Pueblo, DC Central Kitchen and Martha’s Table that are already at or near capacity, accommodating a flood of people newly deprived of the critical benefits that keep their families afloat will be difficult if not impossible.

Access to nutritious food is the orienting principle of DC Central Kitchen, which distributes 7,300 meals every day to poor children, delivers locally sourced, freshly prepared food to corner stores in DC’s low-income food deserts and converts food that would have otherwise been wasted into healthy meals for homeless shelters, halfway houses and other nonprofits. The nonprofit provides these supplemental food services in addition to operating a job training program that prepares adults with histories of job instability, mental health challenges, homelessness, and incarceration for employment in the culinary industry. Alexander Moore, DC Central Kitchen’s chief development officer, estimates that the organization serves 6,000 school children and corner store consumers, all of whom struggle with food scarcity and food insecurity.

SNAP figures critically into DC Central Kitchen’s mission of providing nutritious meals to those who need them the most. DC Central Kitchen works with a local SNAP office to identify candidates for its job training program, and in kind, to refer eligible trainees to access SNAP benefits. Furthermore, the program empowers participants in DC Central Kitchen’s corner store program to afford healthy food options that otherwise would be out of reach.

DC Central Kitchen views SNAP as a “critical lifeline.” The organization, according to Moore, is proud to work with SNAP to help vulnerable Americans “get back to work and earn a living wage” and cautions that cuts to SNAP would pose a serious challenge to DC Central Kitchen and its clients. DC Central Kitchen’s programs are at capacity now. It regularly gets between 60 and 80 applications for its job training program which only has 25 spots. Meals are served daily in 15 schools and distributed to 80 partner organizations throughout the District. Physical limitations to the organization’s infrastructure make a major increase in demand for services impossible to satisfy.

DC Central Kitchen and Martha’s Table work with communities in Wards 7 and 8 in Washington, DC, where three grocery stores feed 150,000 people, an arrangement that gives new meaning to the term food desert. Lack of access to fresh, healthy food can have devastating effects on families, especially children. To this end, Martha’s Table offers a continuum of services to support children, including early childhood education, after-school programming and arts and technology workshops. Martha’s Table has a well-established presence out in the community as well: The organization operates a thrift store and a no-cost shopping program at a Martha’s Outlet. McKenna’s Wagon, the organization’s daily mobile food truck, serves meals at Martha’s Table and then makes different stops throughout the area to feed between 315 and 400 people every day. An emergency grocery market opens every day to support families in need. During the 2015-’16 school year, Martha’s Table distributed more than 550,000 pounds of food to 24,000 families. The organization estimated that its food programs served a total of 1.1 million meals in this same span of time.

Ryan Palmer, director of external relations at Martha’s Table, struck an optimistic tone. Should the cuts be implemented, Martha’s Table plans on learning from and listening to the families that live them. The Joyful Food market, for one, was the result of families telling Martha’s Table that there were few places to get fresh food. As it stands, however, the organization has seen a 25 percent increase in demand for its lobby market between the first half of 2016 and the first half of 2017.

La Clinica Del Pueblo functions as a multipurpose community health center that offers primary and special care, mental health and substance abuse care, language access services, HIV counseling and testing, nutrition workshops, and healthy eating and lifestyle training workshops in partnership with other community-based organizations. According to Alicia Wilson, the organization serves patients who are mostly members of the Latino community in Washington, DC, and Maryland, specifically immigrants and their first-generation children. These patients are well represented among the denizens of the working poor: Wilson estimates that 50 percent of those serviced by LCDP are at or below the federal poverty level with 90 percent of that population living below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Seventy percent of La Clinica Del Pueblo’s clients are insured; 10 percent are insured through the Affordable Care Act, 20 percent have insurance via a program unique to the District called the DC Healthcare Alliance for Americans regardless of their immigration status (immigrants are barred from accessing public benefits for five years), and between 25 and 30 percent are Medicaid enrollees.

La Clinica Del Pueblo provides long-term primary care to almost 4,200 patients every year. Patients currently on the organization’s roster are well taken care of, but the possibility for expansion is limited. Ideally, according to Wilson, La Clinica Del Pueblo wants to supply care to residents of seven zip codes in the Washington, DC, Metropolitan area. There are 40,000 residents in these zip codes without any primary care providers. Even with a recently opened location in Hyattsville, Maryland, La Clinica Del Pueblo is not able to make a dent in addressing that care gap: The facility only has the means to support 1,000 patients.

Kicking people off of Medicaid, Wilson cautioned, does not mean that they have other sources to turn to for health care. Clinics like La Clinica Del Pueblo rely on Medicaid reimbursements to fund their operations. But even with these reimbursements, La Clinica Del Pueblo has reached capacity and is often forced to refer new patients to other organizations. Without Medicaid funding, La Clinica Del Pueblo’s capacity for growth will be diminished, thus reducing the availability of its services. Turned away from Medicaid and charitable clinics, many will seek help from emergency care centers, but only when they need it the most. Some hospitals, Wilson predicted, will go under because of the loss of Medicaid reimbursements, and as a result, some patients will die.

When asked how she would respond to those who suggest clinics simply find other sources of funding, Wilson offered this choice word: naïve. La Clinica Del Pueblo searched for every dollar it could find and stretched every dollar to its maximum potential in the days before it received reimbursements from Medicaid and the DC Healthcare Alliance. Once those investments started coming in, the positive effects were tangible: When buttressed by the power of the government social safety net, the clinic observed a multiplier effect through which it was able to provide more care.

 

Reflecting on the impact of the proposed cuts, both DC Central Kitchen’s Moore and La Clinica’s Wilson painted a picture of families engaged in a struggle for survival. Many families in America “are struggling to do everything right,” according to Moore–everything from satisfying “the needs of their children” to working grueling hours to fighting “to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.” Federal benefits like SNAP, TANF and Medicaid factor significantly into empowering these families to face daily obstacles.

Without health insurance, Wilson argued, families live in fear with toxic levels of stress and uncertainty looming over them. Their lives are characterized by tradeoffs that are neither socially nor economically fair. They’re forced to choose between paying out-of-pocket for pricey doctor’s appointments or hoping that their illness or pain goes away on its own.

Budget cuts that force families to go without, Moore argued, “will make it that much harder for [them] to achieve the American dream.”

To be sure, nonprofit service providers go a long way in helping families begin to realize the American dream. Martha’s Table helped increase food security among the families that visited its Joyful Food Markets from 29.5 percent to 74 percent during the 2015- ’16 school year. Last year, DC Central Kitchen delivered 1.8 million meals to its nonprofit partners and one million meals to low-income students, while boasting an 88 percent job placement rate among graduates of its culinary job training program. La Clinica Del Pueblo provides 35,000 services to thousands of patients each year.

Such impactful service is a testament to these nonprofits’ years of dedication and sheer will. But their work can only reinforce the social safety net. These benefits, in Moore’s words, “need to be available for people who need them when they need them.”

Ebony Slaughter-Johnson is a freelance writer, a former research assistant at the Institute for Policy Studies, and a recent graduate of Princeton University. Her work has appeared in AlterNet, U.S. News and World Report, Equal Voice News, and Common Dreams.

This article was made possible by the readers and supporters of AlterNet.

IMAGE: Women dressed as handmaids from the novel, film and television series The Handmaid’s Tale demonstrate against cuts for Planned Parenthood in the Republican Senate healthcare bill at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, June 27, 2017.  REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

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44 Comments

  1. Jim Samaras July 10, 2017

    How about beginning with some oversight on who receives benefits? With a budget for that we would actually see how much money we would save

    Reply
    1. Eleanore Whitaker July 11, 2017

      Well, let’s see now..You walk into a grocery store, pick up a can of tuna that is so overpriced but you’re hungry for a tuna sandwich. You walk up to the counter, the clerk rips the can out of your hand and stuffs your money into the register.

      Samaras, I paid for Medicare, Medicaid and SS for the 44 years they took those deductions out of my paycheck. Get off your lazy bum ass and work for what you want like we all had to do. No one is going to hand it all to you for free nutboy.

      If I don’t get what I paid for, I sue for those payroll deductions of 44 years. How much will that cost you hicks then?

      Reply
      1. Jim Samaras July 11, 2017

        Ellie, you’re talking through you’re, I’m certain, ample a$$ as usual! If you pay for a can of tuna you receive a can of tuna. Not certain what your point is other than on the top of your pointy head.

        The oversight I’m referring to is not on people such as ourselves who have paid into SS, Medicare and Medicaid over the years. I’m talking about those who those who pop kids out for a living, those who get SNAP cards and Obama phones then walk out to a Lexus. I know you’ve seen it before so don’t bullshite me!

        Those cats need attention dearie. Get off the computer and tend to them instead of insulting those who want what’s right in America.

        Reply
        1. Eleanore Whitaker July 11, 2017

          I already paid for state and federal Medicare and Medicaid. The can of tuna was hypothetical but as usual your crooked mind doesn’t get it.

          Those who “pop” out kids are popped “in” by irresponsible MEN who refuse to suffer the consequences of sex.

          First of all, President Clinton began a program, “Workfare” that is still in effect here in NJ. Why isn’t it in MS? TN? AL? In fact, back in 2010, NPR interviewed an Alabama state chieftain who had the gall to brag about how much AL saved by putting their unemployed on SSDI for things people up north go to work with every day: high blood pressure, Adult Type II diabetes and high cholesterol. According to that AL chieftain, AL was saving over $2 billion in state funds by getting doctors to take their unemployed off the unemployment rolls and putting them on SSDI.

          I am sure that like the voter fraud the right continues to say is 5 million but in reality is less then 1,000th of a percent across the US, the same distortion of facts by the very states who are the ones who have the most bone idle on Medicare, SSDI and Medicaid are also the ones least likely to own up.

          Reply
          1. Jim Samaras July 11, 2017

            Please be clearer when using metaphors Ellie. My “crooked” mind nor anyone else will take away our earned benefits.

            Many women have been conditioned to pop out those kids with the expressed intent to receive welfare benefits and don’t care who the father is.

            These workfare, job corps programs are well intentioned but are, for the most part ineffective. I have a friend who works for these programs and tells me most who apply drop out in the first few months because A) The program isn’t a cakewalk and they are forced to perform and B) it’s much easier to receive free benefits rather than work hard. BTW, this friend is a hard working black veteran that can see the injustices going on in front of his eyes.

            If no voter fraud is going on why are so many states against investigation of the situation? This, by rights, should be a bi partisan issue. Why is it not?

            Reply
          2. Eleanore Whitaker July 11, 2017

            Like so many of today’s bully males, you seem to find the need to tell me what I should and shouldn’t do. Not that your judgments mean a hill of beans to me.

            Now, As to workfare in NJ. Wrong again, hot shot. In NJ, you can only remain on welfare for only 18 months. During that 18 months, you are required to apply for job training if you have none. After the 18 months, the workfare recruiter discusses jobs with you. If you are a single mom abandoned by the irresponsible sperm donor, you are provided with affordable child care geared to the wages you will be paid.

            Sorry if you can’t get a grip on how many Republican states are in the top 10 for Welfare. MS is No. 1, all the rest excepting Maine (which is a purple state) are Republican states.

            As for states against the investigation, all 50 SOS in states have stated quite clearly they percentage of voter fraud your Lard Ass is stating, 5 million is not even possible.

            This is not a partisan issue. It is a Commie issue. First of all, no one has the right to collect en masse the last four digits of our SS numbers as Lard Ass is demanding. Second, he has given NO assurance of any protections of this datamining of voting information he has no real right to in the Executive Branch of government.

            Korbach’s own state of KS refused the request stating the legal reasons for their refusal…no protection of the data to be handed over.

            As you know, over 500 millions bytes of data was stolen from the VA some years back complete with private information like addresses of relatives.

            I’ve already contacted my SOS and my NJ Board of Elections and warned them if they turn over my voting history going back 10 years to Trump, I’ll sue their asses. I would be within my Constitutional right to do that.

            The US government cannot confiscate personal information so they can hand it to Putin. And, a former member of the US Board of Elections has already stated publicly that a formal written request must be made to SOS in states providing not only the reason for the datamining but also HOW that information will be protected.

            Sorry if you voted for a Putin loving traitor. You don’t get to know who I voted for. When I walk into the voting booth, they pull the curtain so I can cast my vote IN PRIVATE.

            Reply
          3. Jim Samaras July 11, 2017

            Please apprise me of your solution to voter fraud Ellie assuming as an American citizen you would like our elections to be free of voter fraud.

            Reply
          4. Eleanore Whitaker July 11, 2017

            There isn’t sufficient evidence by the US Board of Elections, the FEC or state Boards of elections that mass voter fraud has occurred across ALL 50 states.

            What you slugs of the Trump ass kisser brigade don’t is what Trump is really after: Massive data on who we all voted for. Ironically and most predictably those Confederate states’ rights states are the first to refuse. You can figure out why. Since they are also the states with the greatest number of welfare and SSDI frauds, to hand over that information opens up their personal lives to Trump scrutiny.

            Now..Trump claims 5 million people voted illegally. You want to explain how of the undocumented workers in the US at present who do not vote, that would mean half of all undocumented workers voted illegally and got away with voting without registering at their county board of elections, going to the polls where the same voting clerks have worked for decades and would immediately spot the fraud and then being given a voter ID then and there? Here in NJ, you can’t vote if you don’t register 90 days prior to an election.

            And, you don’t get to register in NJ illegally because of E-Verify which is checked by voting clerks.

            There is NO voter fraud. What that Lard Ass is trying to do is gain total control of who we vote for and very stupid men like you go along with that.

            Now, he is saying that when people move from one state to another, they must notify their country board of elections of the move. Good. Since Iskanka, Bad Ass Bannon and Not so Spicey Spicer are all registered in two states, does Trump plan on counting them as voter frauds?

            It is up to local, county and state boards of elections to continuously update their records. They can do this very easily by simply contacting the local tax offices to discover which people are no longer paying local and state taxes because they moved to another state.

            Reply
          5. Jim Samaras July 11, 2017

            I see any discussion with you must be a degrading one Ellie. Did you miss out on hugs from your very own sperm donor daddy?

            You must believe the bs that there are only 11 million illegals in this country. I do not. Your fear of reprisal from Trump is unfounded as his only wish is to verify the legal voting status of every vote not who they voted for. What are you REALLY afraid of Missy? That he’s right to be skeptical?

            Reply
          6. Eleanore Whitaker July 11, 2017

            I can see you were a fatherless child who grew up with a pathetic need to tell others what is right and wrong.

            There are 11 million undocumented workers. They are NOT illegal human beings anymore than you are.

            I am the daughter of an Italian immigrant.

            Trump has no reprisal asshat. He is a liar. How many people have to prove his lies over and over before a little coward like you admits what we here in NJ have known since Daddy Fred and Mommy MaryAnn Trump spawned that diabolical bastard?

            So, moron. Let me appraise YOU of what a Republican Senator from SC, Lindsay Graham, told a CNN reporter yesterday when asked why Trump keeps insisting there was NO hacking by Russians, “Trump is the ONLY Republican who can’t admit the Russians hacked the 2016 election.

            Now get your head out of your ass. Trump committed treason more times than any other American ever has. When he takes the side of Putin like you do versus our own US Intel, it only proves that you and Trump as assholes.

            Reply
          7. Jim Samaras July 11, 2017

            I’m certain a rather embarrassed Italian at that! LOL, you make me laugh lil girl.

            11 million undocumented WORKERS! How many criminals and gang members after that?

            Lindsay Graham along with John McCain are a$$hats imo and hope they lose to a moderate. Be that a dem or rep. Now he never said that that I can find but being the suckhole that he is I can see him saying something similar.

            I bet JFK wishes he wouldn’t have listened to our vaunted “intel” or for sure George Bush with the WMD hand job.

            You are a hoot girl. A misguided one but a hoot nonetheless.

            Reply
          8. Eleanore Whitaker July 11, 2017

            My father was always proud of me. YOu don’t even know your father’s name. After all, we do know those Greekie ladies have peculiar sexual proclitivities like your Mommy has don’ twe?

            You can deny, lie, distort and you’ll still be a POS who has NO balls and will end up like Trump.

            Most of us have already figured out how to take right wing pricks down. Simple as doing until you as you pricks do unto us before you do it.

            Prepare for table turning where you guys end up with hacking into your social media sites and viruses like you guys love to plant on anyone who won’t kiss your lard asses.

            Reply
          9. Jim Samaras July 11, 2017

            Yadi Yadi Yadi…..you’re still a hoot little girl

            Reply
          10. 788eddie July 11, 2017

            The only voter fraud is disenfranchisement.

            Registered Republicans are in the monority, and they way they have decided to compensate is to claim as loudly as possible “Voter fraud” while they take away the right to vote from U.S. citizens who are, themselves, minorities.

            Reply
          11. Jim Samaras July 11, 2017

            Democrats in the “fly over states” are like lips on chickens eddie. They have seen the progressive agenda and want nothing to do with it. Voter fraud is rampant in the populated cities imo and will be revealed inside the 8 years you have to look forward to under a Trump administration

            Reply
          12. 788eddie July 12, 2017

            Not to my experience, Jim. I hike in the Southwest during the wintertime. I run into a lot of “snowbirds” from Minnesota and Wisconsin. Quite a few that freely comment seem to be at least very moderate in their comments, some even leaning liberal.

            This seems to match up with people I’ve met in either Terlingua, TX, or Ajo, AZ.

            The ones I’ve spoken to don’t even want anything to do with the border issue or, as they call it, “Trump’s Wall.”

            I’m just commenting from my own personal experience.

            Reply
          13. Jim Samaras July 12, 2017

            I suppose it depends on personal experience ed. I’m in the SE and occasionally travel to NC and even Illinois. I suppose I seek out and converse with mainly conservatives but they agree with most of his beliefs.

            Reply
          14. 788eddie July 12, 2017

            And, I think, fast becoming a minority.

            Reply
          15. Jim Samaras July 12, 2017

            Ummm, I’m not sure about that. I feel the pendulum swinging the opposite way you do. We’ll see who’s right for sure next year.

            Reply
  2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth July 10, 2017

    This nightmarish scenario is all due to a Party’s obsession with money, a one-dimensional glaucoma-like focus of “ECONOMY”, being essentially juvenile and petty in nature for the majority of its membership, and just plain old satanic at heart.
    There is no way that this current crop in Congress will ever transform itself from being ignoble to being noble in character, from being disconnected with the less advantaged to feeling empathy for all Americans regardless of rank and status, from being mean-spirited to having a radiant disposition, from being abased to being able to rise to loftiness.

    “O SON OF SPIRIT! My first counsel is this: Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting.”

    It has always caught my attention that of all the 153 aphorisms in Baha’u’llah’s “The Hidden Words”, He would make this the very first. As though to set the foundation for all the other “words” to follow.

    (NOTE: 1+5+3=9===>The abjad value of the Arabic word “Baha” is “9”; that Jesus asked the disciples one morning at the Sea of Galilee to cast their net into the sea, and 153 fish were hauled up. Just a curious set of coincidences).

    Reply
    1. Jim Samaras July 11, 2017

      Good morning Aaron,

      “Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting.”

      To the point of everyone, including our own citizens, take advantage of our generosity? I don’t believe that is what he meant.

      Reply
  3. yabbed July 11, 2017

    This is capitalism run amuck. The Republican Party is only interested in the rich and the big corporations, both of which are devoted only to their own enrichment at the expense of the rest of America. This is not the America of our Declaration of Independence or of our Constitution. It is not the Christian religion they have so perverted. We are going to sink beyond recovery on the world stage if we do not get the Republicans out of power.

    Reply
    1. Jim Samaras July 11, 2017

      Kind of like we did under the Obama administration?

      Reply
      1. 788eddie July 11, 2017

        No, Jim, it happened during the G.W. Bush administration, and was being addressed during the Obama administration.

        Reply
        1. Jim Samaras July 11, 2017

          I was referring to our stature on the world stage eddie. We looked like patsies to the world and they were right in my opinion. The problems began in earnest under the Clinton administration and the NAFTA agreement. How in the world could THAT be construed as in Americas best interest is beyond me.

          Reply
          1. yabbed July 11, 2017

            Nonsense. The thump-your-chest bullyboys do not portray strength. Look at GWB and Trump. No respect from anyone on earth. The world is a competitive place, you know. Either we have a president with rational intelligence who can manage power and leadership, or we do not. With Presidents Clinton and Obama we did. With President George W Bush we did not. Trump is nothing but a demented, unstable, know nothing buffoon who is a traitor to our country.

            Reply
          2. Jim Samaras July 11, 2017

            You’re entitled to your opinion but don’t believe CNN and MSNBC for facts regarding our stature worldwide. If they hate him it’s because he stands up for America unlike Obama and his attempt to bring us down to their level. The world took advantage of the community organizer and of course they loved him. Big daddy is in charge now and of course they’re gonna run to mommy

            Reply
          3. yabbed July 11, 2017

            What could be weaker than watching Donald Trump curtsy to the King of Saudi Arabia so he would like him and give his daughter money? What could be weaker than to see Putin take Trump to his knees? Trump groveled before Russia and it was embarrassing to watch him ingratiate himself before the old Soviet Union KGB master. Ronald Reagan surely thrashed about in his grave. It was humiliating to see Trump get ignored and ridiculed by the G-20 participants. First time ever the President of the United States was not front and center of the official photograph, as Presidents Obama and Bush were. No, the rejected wimpy Trump was at the far right of the second row behind India. Trump has no respect in the world because he deserves none. The man is a traitor to this country.

            Reply
          4. Jim Samaras July 11, 2017

            We must have been watching different video yab because nothing you mentioned ever happened except being photographed on right side. What was he supposed to do? Bully his way to the center then what would the libtards be saying? Can’t win

            Reply
          5. yabbed July 11, 2017

            There is only one official G-20 photograph and it’s Merkel as the leader of the free world with Macron and China. We’re downgraded radically. There is no respect for Trump in the world. He’s a laughingstock and that makes America a laughingstock. Say what you want about President Obama’s skin color, but the world had great respect and admiration for him. Putin didn’t dare try anything with President Obama. He just knew he had a weakling in Trump and he has proved it.

            Reply
          6. Jim Samaras July 11, 2017

            Merkel the leader of the free world? This globalism bs must stop. They laugh to the liberal press but I bet you couldn’t get a frogs’ hair up their a$$ when he’s dominating the room

            Reply
          7. yabbed July 11, 2017

            You can dream on while the world passes you by and the USA goes broke. The EU and Japan made a huge trade deal that is harmful to the best interests of the United States. Being left out will come back to bite our economy and our workers in the backside. Trump is a bloody fool.

            Reply
          8. 788eddie July 11, 2017

            I noticed that photo, too. And I don’t recall that ever happening before.

            Disturbing, to say the lest.

            And Sad.

            Reply
          9. Jim Samaras July 11, 2017

            Again, a battle not being worth the effort. Pick your battles

            Reply
          10. 788eddie July 12, 2017

            I disagree, Jim. It’s a sign of what the rest of the world thinks.

            It’s very sad what he’s done.

            Reply
          11. 788eddie July 11, 2017

            Trump DOES stand up for America; if you happen to be A male and white American.

            Reply
          12. Jim Samaras July 11, 2017

            When has Trump ever said he’s not in the corner of ALL Americans?

            Reply
          13. 788eddie July 12, 2017

            By his actions. I’m white, and male and relatively well-off, but this president likes to sew fear of anyone who is not like him.

            Reply
          14. Jim Samaras July 12, 2017

            If, by his actions, you’re referring to his preaching personal responsibility and accountability then I would admit that may sew fear into anyone who wants to take advantage of our system.

            Reply
          15. 788eddie July 11, 2017

            You’re absolutely right, Jim. We do look like patsies, But it has, unfortunately, been since our new administration has taken over.

            I just arrived back from a two week stay in the UK. A number of Scots (and Brits, too) were assuming that all Americans “hate” our new president, and were free to make comments that they thought would show sympathy for our situation. They didn’t realize that there were a few conservatively-minded individuals in our group. I felt badly for these individuals.

            One comment that I think hurt us all was to the effect that the United States was giving up its place of leadership in the world (I know I felt badly about that).

            Reply
          16. Jim Samaras July 11, 2017

            Why do you believe that the assumption was that we all hate him? Couldn’t be the left leaning media that predicted a Brexit defeat could it? I wasn’t there so know nothing of the conversation that ensued but it’s a battle that a thoughtful conservative could win I think when the facts are laid out. I would have welcomed the challenge

            Reply
          17. 788eddie July 12, 2017

            I was just going by their reactions and their comments, Jim. It was painfully obvious, and not just to me.

            Reply
          18. stcroixcarp July 12, 2017

            What is really sad is that there still conservatively -minded individuals who still haven’t torn off their conservative blinders and cannot see the evil that trump is doing to our country. One can be conservative without being cruel, bigoted, violent or stupid.

            Reply
  4. Eleanore Whitaker July 11, 2017

    There is a really great book out, “The In Between Times,” by Marta Moran Bishop. Although it is fiction, it is in the same vein as Solzshenitzen’s “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” and the books by muckraker, Ida Tarbell.

    If you want to see a visionary timeline of where Trump’s agenda will take the US and our government, see if you can get this book. Your hair will stand on end.

    Reply

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