RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Rather writes: "'Cruel and unusual,' the phrase rings in my head as I read the press reports of President Donald Trump's proposed budget."

Dan Rather. (photo: USA TODAY)
Dan Rather. (photo: USA TODAY)


Donald Trump's Cruel and Unusual Budget Proposal

By Dan Rather, Dan Rather's Facebook Page

18 March 17

 

ruel and unusual," the phrase rings in my head as I read the press reports of President Donald Trump's proposed budget.

But to even talk about it as a budget is to miss the point. It is not a budget. It is a philosophy, and one that may come as a surprise to many of the people who voted for Mr. Trump. They will hurt in real ways. Meanwhile it confirms the worst existential fears of those who see his presidency as a threat to the very being of the United States they know and love.

This is a man who made a lot of promises on the campaign about helping those struggling in society, about leading the United States to greatness in such things as fighting disease. If anyone had any doubt about the hollowness of his words, this philosophy is all the evidence one would need.

This is a philosophy that doesn't believe in helping the poor, rural or urban, or the power of diplomacy or the importance of science. It is a philosophy that doesn't want to protect the environment. It doesn't believe in the arts. This is about putting a noose around much of the United States federal government and hanging it until it shakes with life no more. In the name of reining in waste, it rains pain and suffering amongst the Americans who already are the most vulnerable. It must be remarked that many of these programs are really small budget items in the greater scheme of things, rounding errors in the federal budget. The purpose is to send a message, not to save money.

Rather than investing in what truly will make America great, this philosophy pounds its chest with false bravado. People will die because of this budget. People will suffer. Diseases will spread, and cures will not be found (really? slash science research?) Our nation will be darker and more dangerous. You know it's a philosophy because the budget has few details really in it. And here is where I see its saving grace.

This philosophy is not the United States I think a majority of Americans would recognize. I believe that we are not so cruel, so shortsighted, so dark. It's easy to rail against the federal government on the campaign stump, but cutting programs that people rely on, that is the kind of thing that can break through the fake news into reality very soon. We have already seen the mess that has become of the health care efforts.

This philosophy is no longer theoretical and it will be a rallying cry for a reverse philosophy. Those who champion an empathetic America, an America prepared for the challenges of the modern world, will have plenty of evidence to point to. Mr. Trump has already put many Republicans in Congress on a defensive footing, on Russia and on healthcare. Wait until the constituents start calling about how they won't be able to heat their homes in the winter or the agricultural programs that were slashed.

"The administration's budget isn't going to be the budget," Senator Marco Rubio told the Washington Post. "We do the budget here. The administration makes recommendations, but Congress does budgets." You can expect to hear a lot more of that kind of rhetoric.

Mr. Trump's philosophy is an opening salvo in a battle for the soul of America that is only beginning. This will be a battle fought trench by trench. But I think it is winnable and America will reconfirm a governing philosophy that is hopeful, compassionate, and wise about the role of government in making our world a safer, fairer, and more just place to live.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

We are going to return to our original fully-moderated format in the comments section.

The abusive complaints in the comment sections are just too far out of control at this point and have become a significant burden on our staff. As a result, our moderators will review all comments prior to publication. Comments will no longer go live immediately. Please be patient and check back.

To improve your chances of seeing your comment published, avoid confrontational or antagonistic methods of communication. Really that is the problem we are confronting.

We encourage all views. We discourage ad hominem disparagement.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+63 # Giantkiller 2017-03-18 22:07
Thanks for your wisdom, vision, humanity, and consistent integrity, Dan. It is a battle for the soul of America and I'm betting on that soul to save us in the long run.
 
 
+6 # Caliban 2017-03-19 01:52
A fine vision well-stated, #Giantkiller.
 
 
+8 # ddd-rrr 2017-03-19 07:02
Quoting Giantkiller:
Thanks for your wisdom, vision, humanity, and consistent integrity, Dan. It is a battle for the soul of America and I'm betting on that soul to save us in the long run.


While I agree with this (and with Dan Rather's excellent comment - and I do fervently
hope that your comments prove to be true), there is a new element in all of this that
is troublesome. That "new thing" is "the con" with which Trump and company were
able to manipulate people's beliefs sufficiently to make "the good look bad, and the
bad look good" for enough voters to swing the presidential election in a direction
that can only be described as "evil". There have been skilled con-men in the past
who were able to sway large numbers of people toward actions that they would not
normally have taken, but those were not cons that were "computer-assis ted" on a
large scale, as it appears that they were during this last presidential election.

More on this is in the links, below:

https://scout.ai/story/the-rise-of-the-weaponized-ai-propaganda-machine

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/42539-focus-trumps-money-man

--DR
 
 
+7 # Robbee 2017-03-19 09:40
Quoting Giantkiller:
I'm betting on that soul to save us in the long run.

- in the short run dems are our only hope
 
 
+20 # chemtex2611 2017-03-18 23:31
There's a ring in Hell for Trump and Ryan. I am wondering how long before the Pope speaks out about the cruelty of Trump and Ryan and reminds all the Catholic Representatives and Senators that it would be a sin to take food from the mouths of the hungry and health care away from the sick simply to give more money to the ultra rich.
 
 
+8 # DongiC 2017-03-19 05:32
It is a dark time when one considers Trump's proposed budget., the one that will make America great. The President meams the "opposite" of what he says and his words are full of deception. What did America do to deserve this disaster?
 
 
+8 # ddd-rrr 2017-03-19 21:00
Quoting DongiC:
It is a dark time when one considers Trump's proposed budget., the one that will make America great. The President meams the "opposite" of what he says and his words are full of deception. What did America do to deserve this disaster?


They watched Fox "news", listened to Rush Limbaugh, and hadn't yet learned how to
recognize and resist a con-job...
 
 
+11 # Wordslinger 2017-03-19 05:43
If your purpose was to destroy trust in the American government, and to destroy the government itself, with the direct help of the Russian president, you would do all the things Trump has set in place.

How long will it take for the American people to understand just who their enemies are?
 
 
+16 # kalpal 2017-03-19 06:44
No sane/educated human believed this 70 year old con artist and snake oil salesman's silly promises. How could they? Must have been religious faith. Could not be anyone whose education included critical thinking skills. Trump has bilked investors, cheated contractors and stuck close to the NY & NJ mafia during the past 50 years. Investing trust such a person is certainly inane and insane.
 
 
+1 # JCM 2017-03-19 07:18
And who did you vote for?
 
 
+7 # Femihumanist 2017-03-19 10:56
I meet a lot of wealthy Trump supporters. I always know before they tell me that they voted for Trump. They start by saying "I voted for Obama twice". I always state that I only voted for him once. I know from eight years ago, that they voted for Obama to show the world that we're not a racist country and that fact would help American businesses (i.e., make them richer).

Now, they are the people who love Trump. Everything he has done has been positive and the proof is how much the stock market has gone up. The idiots (like me) would make them lose money; nothing else matters. They can't understand why I am willing to lose money for the sake of the future of this country and the world and for the sake of my grandchildren.

BOO HOO -- I may never be as rich as I want to be.
 
 
+15 # REDPILLED 2017-03-19 11:50
Trump's True Believer supporters STILL think he's doing a great job.

Facts and evidence mean nothing to those so emotionally and irrationally deluded.

Just wait: once they start hurting, most will blame the Democrats, liberals, and media.
 
 
+3 # lfeuille 2017-03-19 13:58
This is true, but the true believers didn't put him over the top. It was the ones that knew Hillary wouldn't help them and figured they had nothing to loose by going with Trump. They can be won back with a truly progressive agenda, as opposed to the faux progressiveness offered by the corporate Dems.
 
 
+13 # Michaeljohn 2017-03-19 13:22
We have to change the reference frame. Bannon's "Deconstructing the Regulatory State" means "Establishing the Permanent Corporate State".
 
 
+5 # gwynflynn 2017-03-20 10:59
Bannon uses the word “deconstruction ” to show how with it and intellectual he is, but deconstruction doesn’t mean breaking things down; it means exposing the contradictions in a written text--or policy, and Trumpism is full of contradictions.
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN