SNAP & CHIP

“The budget will recommend tightening restrictions on eligibility for assistance programs — like food stamps — in an effort to increase the number of people
in the workforce and grow the economy. The SNAP program better known as food stamps is up for a $193 billion cut.

“We need people to go to work,” Mulvaney said. “If you’re on food stamps and you’re able bodied we need you to go to work. If you’re on disability insurance
and you’re not supposed to be — you’re not truly disabled — we need you to go to work. We need everybody pulling in the same direction.”

 

Could we get just one thing straight here?  SNAP (food stamps) serves a large number of people who work;  CHIP is for children of people who work and still live in poverty or near poverty.

 

Social Security Disability is based on earned income called quarters of coverage and is not all that easy to get on.  Once enrolled, each beneficiary is re evaluated every other year, so staying on if not “truly disabled” is pretty difficult.

 

In short, the number of people who live in or near poverty in the United States WORK!  … Or did:  They’re retired and barely making it on Social Security Retirement Benefits.  Many of these people get SNAP, Meals on Wheels ( another program Trump wants to eliminate) and Medicaid (Medicaid will pay the premium for Medicare if a person’s income is low enough.)

 

The notion that people receiving “food stamps” and other assistance are lounging around, sucking up benefits when they could be supporting themselves  Is the unfortunate result of a propaganda campaign in the 1980’s to paint a picture of Welfare fraud that has never existed.  Yes, there are people who take advantage of the system, but let’s not give them more clout or press than we have to.  Instead, let them be dealt with according to the provisions in place.

 

I have known a lot of people who are enrolled in SNAP and/or other poverty relief programs.  Of all of them, there are maybe 2 or three who were “mooching.”  At that, there is something about these people that isn’t quite right…they never seem to get on their feet.  I’m not sure I would want to kick them out of the system.

Defunding services most certainly is not the answer.

 

One idea I have:  Hire people who live in or near poverty to work on a solution that works.  The fat cats trying to make the policies don’t know what they’re talking about.  Mulvaney and Trump are two great examples of that.

 

One more point about SNAP:  The part that the Trump budget would eliminate is a provision that was included during this last recession.  It allows people who live in parts of the US where unemployment is high to receive benefits.  Many of these people are under employed or unable to find work, in spite of their efforts.  If the Trump Administration wants to help, find ways to create jobs in these regions.

Trump’s First 100 Days

This is a list from a memorandum produced by the White House, touting Trump’s accomplishments in his first 100 days as President.  I found it on

http://www.cnn.com

Let’s have a look:

•Energy Independence Executive Order
•Revocation Of Federal Contracting Executive Orders
•Reexamination Of CAFE Standards
•Review Of Waters Of The United States Rule
•Creation Of Regulatory Task Forces
•Eliminating Stream Protection Rule
•Eliminating Regulations On Extraction Companies
•One-In-Two-Out Regulation Reform
Hmm, accomplishment?
JOB CREATION

•Buy American, Hire American I would say he tore things down, instead of building them up.
A lot of Trump’s activity is more about dissing Barack Obama than it is creating forward momentum.

•Dakota Access Pipeline
•U.S. Material In Pipeline Construction
•Partnering With Private Sector

I would say that Trump is taking credit for things he didn’t do.  Companies have largely made their choices, regardless of what he says; many things were already in place when he took office.
The Keystone Pipeline was largely finished, except for the stretch through Native American lands.  I don’t know how it got that far without being thwarted, but Trump only contributed the last nail to the coffin.

TRADE

•Withdrawal From The Trans-Pacific Partnership
•Trade Enforcement
•Comprehensive Reports On The Causes Of U.S. Trade Deficits

I’ll give him withdrawal from the TPP.  That was a no-brainer.
ETHICS

•Federal Hiring Freeze
•New Ethics Commitments On Political Appointees

Okay, I have to laugh at this one.  A freeze on hiring has nothing to do with ethics and and “new ethics commitments”?  Yeah.  That’s why we have Bannon, Flynn and Trump’s own conflicts of interests.  Right…

•Strike On Syrian Airfield
•Travel Restrictions On Select Countries
•New Iran Sanctions
•Defense Spending In Budget
•F-35 Cost Savings

Defense spending in budget?  So what else is new????
The only thing in this list would be the F-35 cost reduction.
As for the rest, they caused much more damage than benefit.  As a matter of fact, Trump’s “ban on select countries” is still hung up in court because it violates the US Constitution.  Perhaps worse than that, it alienates people at home and abroad and weakens relationships with allies.
Trump’s “strike on the Syrian airfield was more of a kneejerk reaction than a strategic move.
•Immigration Enforcement, Including Constructing A Wall
•Sanctuary Cities Funding
•New Hiring To Enforce Immigration
•Prioritizing Criminal Immigration Enforcement And Hiring More Immigration Judges

Could we define “accomplishment?”
Trump has not built a wall…yet; may he never succeed.
His “crack down” on immigrants has hurt innocent people and stands to bring down producers of food, meat and meat products and other industries in the US.  IT also strains our relationship with Mexico – I don’t think we want Mexico for an enemy.  By the way, there goes more food supply:  Most of our winter produce comes from there.
He hasn’t succeeded in defunding sanctuary cities yet, either; in fact, two of them have sued his administration.

There is permission to hire more immigration workers; however, ICE has not been able to fill positions that existed before Trump’s order.  Moreover, Trump pretty well emptied out the Department of Justice, so there are no judges to hear all those immigration cases.

I would call these ideas or wishes; not accomplishments

Here’s the rest of the list…before it gets redundant, that is:
PUBLIC SAFETY

•Commission On Opioid Crisis
•Protecting Law Enforcement Officers Crime
•Tackling International Cartels

HELPING WOMEN AND MINORITIES

•HBCU Initiative
•Canada-United States Council For The Advancement Of Women Entrepreneurs
•Promoting Women In Entrepreneurship Act
•Women And Space Exploration

SUPREME COURT

•Nominating And Confirming Gorsuch

Nominating Gorsuch…Trump didn’t confirm him; the Senate did by bending the rules.  Okay, accomplishment, but a bit soft.
“Protecting Law Enforcement Officers Crime”?
What on earth is this about???????

The rest of the list?  Again, more wishes and ideas; more taking credit that Trump doesn’t deserve
But not really accomplishment.

So, what does this reduce his list to?
Ruining a number of people’s lives by deporting them, even though they were contributing to the prosperity of the US and by separating parents and children
Promoting racism and bigotry by villifying Mexicans and Muslims
Withdrawal from the TPP
Nominating Gorsuch
Partially dismantling and weakening environmental research and protection at a time when we really need both
Hurting women and minorities by defunding such programs as Planned Parenthood and wanting to do away with agencies that help honeless and low income Americans
Gutting Federal agencies so that work can’t get done.

I’m not sure I call these accomplishments.

Russia and Trump

This is from the Washington Post:

The FBI and CIA have concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election in part to help Donald Trump win the White House.
I can’t help wondering….
Why does Russia want Trump for President so badly that they’ll hack in order to get him?
What is TRUMP’s part in all of this??????

RED ALERT

Here are some of the headlines from the past few days:

McConnell announces Senate probe of suspected Russian election interference: ‘The Russians are not our friends’
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday strongly condemned any foreign interference with U.S. elections and announced that the Senate intelligence panel will investigate Russia’s suspected election interference.

Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win …

Prominent senators say Russian election interference should alarm all …
32 mins ago – Tensions erupt between Trump and the CIA over Russia’s hacking during the 2016 campaign. Trump is poised to pick an oil tycoon with ties to Russia as secretary of State, reports say. … In a rare joint statement Sunday morning, four high-profile Republican and Democratic senators said .

Electors want briefing on Russian interference
Why Vladimir Putin’s Russia Is Backing Donald Trump – Newsweek
Meanwhile, Trump mocks intelligence reports, indicating that the matter of Russian interference is nothing but sour grapes on the part of Democrats.
He also said, “I’m a smart person…”  “I don’t need daily security briefings.”
I have only just begun to recognize the far reaching ramifications of this.
*Hacking American systems is an act of war.  It is an invasion.
*Tampering with an election undermines the democratic process.
*If political systems can be hacked, what else is vulnerable:  Power grid?  Defense?  Transportation??
*That we might have someone for President who fraternizes with enemies while destroying alliances is gravely distressing.

I am encouraged to learn that Congress is taking this seriously, to the point of an investigation.  I also like that the electors want a briefing before they vote.

Personally, I would like to see Trump’s inauguration postponed until this whole thing is straightened out.

What would you want done at this point?  I strongly encourage you to contact senators and representatives to let them know.