Donald Trump Is Playing ‘Bad Cop’ With His Extremist Budget Proposal

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(Photo: Shutterstock)

An ambitious opening bid is a basic tactic of negotiation, basic enough that Donald Trump (or his ghostwriter, at least) wrote about it in The Art of the Deal: “My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward. I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing … Sometimes I settle for less than I sought, but in most cases I still end up with what I want.”

Trump’s draconian budget proposal has all the signs of a gambit designed to get what Trump, and his negotiating partners in Congress, really want, which is a slightly less draconian budget. So it’s cold comfort to its intended targets – the poor, the sick, many in rural red states Trump won – that the budget plan won’t pass in its current form. No president’s budget plan ever does. “Dead on arrival” is how John McCain described it, though his objection was that it does not shift enough money from welfare recipients to defense contractors.

Make no mistake: Trump’s budget will be horrific no matter what form it takes in an eventual appropriations bill. Some of the highlights – these are things the White House sees fit to brag about – include cutting children’s health insurance, disability insurance, farm aid, food stamps, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and the coup de grace: halving Medicaid spending by over $ 600bn.

This is a betrayal of Trump’s campaign promise, to working class voters who will bear the brunt of these cuts, not to touch Medicaid. It’s made possible by our lack of universal healthcare, instead of which we have a patchwork of targeted health programs for those who can’t or mostly don’t vote – children and poor people – and are thus politically easy to cut.

Congressional Republicans are already feigning shock at some of the more egregious cuts Trump has in mind, including money for cancer and Alzheimer’s research, and Meals on Wheels, calling them “a bridge too far”; elderly people, after all, actually do vote. Don’t be fooled, though. The same lawmakers fanning themselves and reaching for the smelling salts have been pushing the same austerity program for decades. Cutting Medicaid is something Paul Ryan said he’s been dreaming of since he was “drinking at a keg”, while Mitch McConnell has complained that Americans are “doing too good with food stamps, Social Security, and all the rest”. The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Endowment for the Arts have been Republican targets for elimination since the 80s.

Read the full article on The Guardian.

 

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Hong Kong’s ‘Prince of Toys’ Playing Up to High-Tech Tastes – swissinfo.ch

Hong Kong's 'Prince of Toys' Playing Up to High-Tech Tastes
swissinfo.ch
China cranked out 70 percent of all toys globally, according to researcher IBISWorld. Chinese manufacturers such as Goldlok Toys Holdings Guangdong Co. and Alpha Group are increasingly moving into making interactive toy robots, as well as animation …

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What Game Is Greece Playing? – Bloomberg View


Bloomberg View
What Game Is Greece Playing?
Bloomberg View
The creditors, including the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, insist that they can't provide any more debt relief or loosen their austerity demands any further. Greece pushes for more, suggesting that it is
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Europe playing risky game with climate change targets

Europe playing risky game with climate change targets

Today EU Environment Ministers agreed the official EU emissions reductions pledge for the United Nations climate talks in Paris at the end of the year, backing an "at least 40%" emissions reduction target and failing to provide clarity on whether loopholes could water down the offer.

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Playing Chicken – Investing Daily

Playing Chicken
Investing Daily
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Being born with one arm hasn’t stopped Dawson Batts from playing baseball – Fayetteville Observer

Being born with one arm hasn't stopped Dawson Batts from playing baseball
Fayetteville Observer
So on Oct. 11, 2001 – after 13 hours of labor, an emergency cesarean section and the birth of her son, Dawson, at 8:31 p.m. – she and her husband, Shane, had a difficult time comprehending their doctor's next question. "Do you want to see him? We have

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Playing for Keeps Instagram Challenge

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Fair trade: Study shows some companies are better at playing fair

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Playing the Pundit

Many entertainment figures, like George Clooney, have entered the world of punditry. But what happens when a pundit goes the other way?

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A Fairer Playing Field for London 2012 Olympic Workers

The research identified child labor, excessive hours, poverty pay, Clothes Campaign and the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation.
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