Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Trump's cabinet

Robert Reich

Almost everything Trump "accomplishes" in his First Hundred Days -- or 2017, for that matter -- will be through his regressive cabinet appointees who'll be busy reversing regulations and shrinking agencies that are supposed to enforce laws. The Republican Congress itself won't get much of anything done.

1. Congress won’t repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) because it can’t. There’s no mathematical way to preserve coverage for pre-existing conditions without requiring younger and healthier people to get health insurance – which Republicans want to gut. And no way to cover the 80 percent of enrollees who need subsidized coverage without keeping the Obamacare taxes on the wealthy – which Republicans want to repeal. Already congressional Republicans are backing off this promise.

2. The latest reports are that Trump's 13-figure infrastructure plan has also been relegated to an election-year ruse. Republicans will instead try in 2018 to use a plan to rebuild roads, bridges and all the rest. Which means a building boom isn't going to happen. Congressional Republicans don't really want to do it, and congressional Democrats don't want to do it the way Trump does with tax breaks rather than direct spending. And no, Trump isn't going to bully them into it when they've already offered up their own plan.

3. Congressional Republicans want a big tax cut but Trump wants a huge military buildup, and deficit hawks won’t deliver both. Cuts in programs for the poor and the EPA won’t offer nearly enough savings to accomplish both.

4. So what does the Republican congress do? It will roll back the Dodd-Frank reforms of Wall Street. This will satisfy its Wall Street patrons. But will it satisfy Trump voters?

What do you think?


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