Blog 8: Trump Administration for the Common Man Don’t Believe It

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President Trump has made 10,796 false or misleading claims as of June10, 2019. (Washington Post Fact Checker). It would be interesting if there was a list of how many times he has told the truth. Since climate change is an important topic for discussion (you wouldn’t know it listening to some “News” broadcasts), I would like to mention an article “Trump Bungles Climate Change in UK” (FactCheck.org by Jessica McDonald on June 7, 2019.). I am not quoting the entire article here and it is interesting reading.

In an interview with “Good Morning Britain” with host Piers Morgan he stated:

  • Trump said the United States has “among the cleanest climates,” adding that he wants clean water and air. But what’s relevant to climate are greenhouse gas emissions, and the U.S. is the second-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world.
  • When asked whether he believes in climate change, Trump said, confusingly, that there is “a change in the weather” that “changes both ways.” Weather will always be variable, but long-term shifts in weather refer to climate. And the global average trend is for temperatures to increase.
  • He also falsely stated that the term “global warming” shifted to “climate change,” and has now switched to “extreme weather.” Each of these terms has a different specific meaning and is in current use by scientists.

Trump went on to give examples of extreme weather, including tornadoes and hurricanes that he says were worse in the past. The science isn’t clear on whether tornadoes are changing because of climate change, but there is evidence to suggest hurricanes are likely to get worse in the future because of greenhouse emissions. In any case, the examples don’t refute the overwhelming evidence that climate change is happening.

In an interview that aired June 5, Morgan asked the president what Prince Charles, a known environmentalist, had told Trump about climate change. The meeting, Trump said, was originally supposed to be only 15 minutes, but lasted an hour and a half.

Trump: [Charles] wants to make sure future generations have climate that is good climate, as opposed to a disaster, and I agree. I did mention a couple of things. I did say well, the United States right now has among the cleanest climates there are based on all statistics, and it’s even getting better. Because I agree with that, I want the best water, the cleanest water. Crystal clean … air. I have problems with grammar but in comparison …………….

The article, in detail, then showed that the United States has many environmental problems. The US comes in 10th in the world in air pollution, 1st. in a ten way tie for drinking water and 29th in water and sanitation. In Ireland, Trump echoed that statement, again responding to a question about his stance on climate change by referencing water and air. “But, you know,” Trump said, “we have the cleanest air in the world, in the United States, and it’s gotten better since I’m president. We have the cleanest water; it’s crystal clean.”

It seems that the 1 page fact sheet given him by his staff left out a few details. I am glad our water and air are both crystal clean, but I haven’t air described this way before. It is beyond me why this is not commented on by some Republicans in Congress. I guess they feel if false statements are ignored enough they suddenly become truths. All this under the leadership of Mitch McConnell.

It’s bad enough that the President doesn’t understand facts and consequences of climate change, but to do what he is doing to destroy environmental laws that protect the people places our sustainable future in question. All this to help his wealthy friends. An article in the New York Times by Nadia Popovitch, Livia Albeck-ripka and Kendra Pierre-Louis on June 7, 2019 titled “83 Environmental Rules Being Rolled Back Under Trump” is a must read or at least a look at. What he is doing to society and the environment is almost criminal. Finding people to work for him that has limited ethics shows the greed that is prevalent in Washington. Their reasoning for doing this is that the environmental rules that were in place constituted too many regulations they felt was unnecessary for the power and mining industries that The rules were there, inadequate as they were, to help the people living now and in the future. The rich became richer and inequality took another leap higher.

Another summary was made by National Geographic by Sara Gibbons, 2-1-2019 “15 ways the Trump administration has changed environmental policies.” National Geographic has been tracking the decisions that will impact America’s land, water, air, and wildlife. A summery is as follows: (does not include descriptions)

  1. U.S. pulls out of Paris Climate Agreements
  2. Trump EPA poised to scrap clean power plan
  3. EPA loosens regulations on toxic air pollution
  4. Rescinding methane-flaring rules
  5. Trump announces plan to weaken Obama-era fuel economy rules
  6. Trump revokes flood standards for sea level rise
  7. Waters of the U.S. Rule revocation (also may try to roll back clean water act)
  8. NOAA green lights seismic airgun blasts for oil and gas drilling
  9. Interior Department relaxes sage grouse protection
  10. Trump officials proposes changes to handling Endangered Species Act
  11. Migratory Bird Treaty Act reinterpretation
  12. Trump unveils plan to dramatically downsize two national monuments
  13. Executive order calls for sharp logging increase on public lands
  14. Trump drops climate change from list of national security threats
  15. EPA criminal enforcement hits 30-year low
  16. Includes longer list of actions taken

New York Times article, “The Real Life Effects of Trumps Rollbacks,” 12-17-2018 by Lipton,Elder and Branch investigated 5 areas and summarized them as follows:

Progress is slowing — but there’s still progress. At the core of the fight between environmentalists and the Trump administration is a debate over a simple question: How much improvement is enough? By some measures — such as overall emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, two major air pollutants that cause smoke and haze and a variety of health ailments — environmental quality in the United States has continued to improve in the Trump era. That is in large part because of the rapid closure of more coal-burning power plants. But the pace of those declines would almost certainly have been greater had Obama-era policies continued. So what is happening in the United States is a slowing of the pace of progress — not a return to the era, before the E.P.A. was created in 1970, where a river in Ohio caught fire. Another factor is that environmental change happens slowly. So the real impact of the Trump-era policies may not be fully apparent until years after Mr. Trump leaves office.

However what is happening to our environment is exponentially getting worse and the effect of Trump’s changes may prevent us from putting in place the necessary steps needed to prevent several environmental crises.  What could happen is noted in the book “Falter” by Bill McKibben.  Naomi Klein’s review; “A love letter, a plea, a eulogy and a prayer.  This is Bill McKibben at his glorious best.  Wise and warning, with everything on the line. Do not miss it.”  This is such an important book; I will discuss it in another blog.  It shows what could happen to us if we don’t put environmental safeguards immediately. 

One of the main problems is that the EPA has been gutted and formal personnel have been replaced with Trump’s sympathizers.  A person familiar with the situation stated that a new administration would need a truly environment-focused agenda to reverse much of the damage to the agency.  To put things in place, coal is the most polluting of the energy sources and Trump’s reduction of the coal regulations will slow our ability to control air pollution and will increase climate change. 

The “Hill” noted that Social Security’s annual Trustees Report came out recently, and it showed Social Security ran a gigantic $9 trillion deficit between last year and this year.  The system’s long term unfunded liability is now $43 trillion, up from $34 trillion last year.  It tells old people they’ve been promised won’t likely get paid in full, and it tells young people that they could be saddled  with up to $43 trillion in extra taxes whose payment will will provide absolutely nothing in return.

Add to this the problems that pension funds are having with deficits it seems that people in the future will be obligated with debts that will provide hardships to them, especially if the economy slows or environmental problems catch up to us.

Chris Martenson of Peak Prosperity, wrote in the Premium Report “2019: The Beginning of the End,” 1-1-2019, that for ten long years, the world’s central banks have dragged everyone along for one last attempt at scaling Mount Credit. I will note a few comments but the entire article should be read.

  1. Roughly 85% of all trading is on autopilot.
  2. Electronic traders are wreaking havoc in the market.
  3. Until and unless the central banks reverse course, once again, and make the next round of QE even larger, we will see lots of declines in financial asset prices. Only this time it won’t be constrained to falling stocks – it will envelop everything.
  4. The economy is based on credit cycles and not logical business cycles.
  5. Houses are a liability and not an asset. How this affects homebuyers.
  6. What we are doing is piling up debt at a fast pace and this shouldn’t go on forever. See charts. Credit will dry up and goes in reverse. Until and unless the central banks do something very, very different in the months ahead it’s over. See the following historical debt information.
  7. Historic U.S. National Debt since 2001 per President:
    Obama: 2017 – $20,244,900,016,000. Debt per Year: $900,369,180,000
    Trump: June 2019 – $22,495,822,965,000.
    Total Debt: $ 2,250,922,949,000.
    Obama: 2009 – $11,909,829,003,000. Debt per Year: $1,041,883,877,000.
    Total Debt: $8,335,071,013.
    G. W. Bush: 2001- $5,807,463,412,000. Debt per Year: $762,795,699,000.
    Total Debt: $6,102,365,591,000
    Total Debt Increase: 2001 to June 2919: $16,688,359,553,000.
    June 2019: Total U.S. Debt. $73,748,470,980,000.
    From 1780 to 2001 (221 years) we only accumulated 5.8 trillion dollars in debt and then it increased 16.6 trillion dollars to today.
  8. The article also discusses how building blocks of ocean food web in rapid decline as plankton productivity plunges. They are the basis of the ocean food system. Scientists say local testing reveals a 50% loss today due to warmer waters.

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Understanding the Trump tax plan is important to understand how big business will be hoped most. It will also increase the debt. See the article by Kimberly Amaded on June 25, 2019 in the Balance. It’s titled “Trump’s tax plan and how it will affect you.” It notes, increase in sovereign debt dampens economic growth in the long run. Investors see it as a tax increase on future generations. That’s especially true if the ratio of debt-to-GDP is near 77%. That’s the tipping point, according to a study by the World Bank. It found that every percentage point of debt above this level costs the country 1.7% in growth. The U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio was 104% before the tax cuts. It may add $1 Trillion to the deficit. What will happen if the economy turns south? All government predictions are based on a steady high economy.

Trump is waging a battle with Mother Earth and Nature is winning much to man’s detriment. For now he is also losing with the public. A Gallop Poll dated April 4, 2019 “Preference for Environment Over Economy Largest Since 2000.” (By Lydia Saad). By 65% to 30% more Americans prioritize environment than economy.

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By George Hunt