October 23, 2018

21 Months Later, Nothing in DC Has Changed Under Trump

Publication1Despite 21 straight months of screaming headlines from both anti-Trump and pro-Trump media, virtually nothing about Washington, DC and it’s empire has changed.

There are still US troops and their suppliers voraciously consuming taxes all over the world. Not a single regulatory agency has been eliminated or significantly cut. Entitlements continue their headlong sprint towards fiscal oblivion. And federal spending continues to outpace inflation, faster under Republicans, as usual.

And honestly, neither Republicans nor Democrats voted against any of that.

Trump was able to win the 2016 election not because he was going to radically change Washington, DC, but because he was going to superficially change its marketing from “progressive” to “conservative.” To be fair, he never promised to cut anything. On the contrary, he promised not to touch Social Security or Medicare and to increase spending on the military. He’s kept both promises.

He did promise to eliminate two regulations for every new one, but that is a very vague promise. Suppose there was one regulation that said all construction workers had to wear hard hats and another regulation that said they all had to wear safety googles. Repealing both regulations and replacing them with one that says, “All construction workers must wear hard hats and safety goggles” is perfectly consistent with Trump’s promise. Is that what his regulators are doing? It’s hard to tell. It appears the federal register is smaller, but is the economy fundamentally less regulated? What happened to getting rid of whole federal departments, as Republicans promised to do just six years ago?

The truth is the so-called Swamp continues because most Americans don’t really want to drain it, despite overwhelming evidence that everything it does creates large-scale human misery. Just ask any ten neighbors if they’d support cutting Social Security or Medicare, much less eliminating either, or cutting the military by even 30% (which would still leave it by far the largest in the world). Ask them if they’d support getting rid of the Departments of Education, Agriculture, or even the completely useless Department of Commerce.

When push comes to shove, they won’t even support getting rid of the TSA, which is Oh-fer in seventeen years on preventing actual terrorist attacks and still has a well over 90% fail rate in detecting dangerous items on its own tests. That’s not to mention the nightmarish surveillance state, five years after Edward Snowden exposed it. Americans are only upset about it when it spies on politicians – a completely backwards position in a supposedly free country.

The mid-term elections are approaching and the usual “this is the last chance to save the republic” rhetoric is already reaching a fever pitch. In reality, nothing about the republic has changed or will change until a critical mass of Americans truly want less government. Right now, that’s hard to imagine considering who wins elections.

Tom Mullen is the author of Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Part One and A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.

Comments

  1. I can not comprehend how you don’t see the needle moving. This thinking is why I no longer identify with libertarians.

  2. Fairly obvious the president is a Russian operative, and how does that play out in the long run? New Detente? Red Dawn II? Ironically Russia has low debt, solid GDP, and and an ample gold reserve. They also wisely dumped their holdings in US T bonds. I would say they are winning.

  3. Aaron does not get it, ( granted, it is hard to believe: the Deep State considered Hillary Clinton and Donald trump as acceptable alternatives- each perfectly willing to feed the maw of the Military-Industrial-Complex with perpetual undeclared war. Considering that a single warplane can cost a billion dollars, you would think a woman, at least, would get it (and that may actually account for their increased numbers in Congress: you could pay for one hell of a lot of hospitals or day care centers, or college scholarships, not to mention food for elderly poor for a billion dollars).
    Some people (myself included) thought that the first Chief Executive with an MBA, George Bush, would take a business-like approach to government, balance the budget, and scrap the gas-guzzling jumbo-jet Air Force One for a business jet. Hah!- instead he jacked up the national debt by the SUM of all previous debt, had to kick every fire-ant mound he met- and Trump, who actually began by telling Boeing they were price gouging, has since gone into the tank, bent over and meekly accepted a billion dollar bill for a couple 747 Air Force Ones. Trillion dollar deficits no big deal. In other words, a 100% Gold-plated phony.
    Compare that to a Ron Paul (who is derided as an “isolationist.”) The modest life styles of a Truman or an Eisenhower are considered quaint. George Humphrey, who gave up a $300,000 salary to become Ike’s appointment as Treasury Secretary at $22,500/yr, was adamant about government spending, saying in a 1957 press conference that if it wasn’t curbed, “you will have a depression that will curl your hair.” The national debt was in the billions then. We are looking at the beginning of the next Depression for our sins.

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