Give even more to the rich and steal more from the middle class and the poor.

Trump has proposed a $4.8 trillion election-year budget that would slash major domestic and safety net programs, setting up a stark contrast with all the Democratic presidential primary candidates.

Trump’s draconian budget would cut Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and also wring savings from Medicare despite Trump’s repeated promises to safeguard Medicare and Social Security.

Trump also takes aim at domestic spending with cuts that are sure to be rejected by Congress, including slashing the Environmental Protection Agency budget by 26.5 percent over the next year and cutting the budget of the Health and Human Services department by 9 percent. HHS includes the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which will see a budget cut even as the coronavirus spreads.

It would target the Education Department is for a nearly 8 percent cut, the Interior Department would be cut 13.4 percent, and the Housing and Urban Development Department would be cut 15.2 percent. The State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development would be cut by 22 percent.

Not all agencies would face cuts, though. Trump proposes to increase spending for the Department of Homeland Security (presumably for his wall) while keeping Pentagon spending mostly flat. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration budget would increase by 12 percent as Trump has said he wants the agency to prepare for space travel to Mars.

Even with all these draconian spending cuts, the budget would fail to eliminate the federal deficit over the next 10 years, missing a longtime GOP fiscal target. Instead, White House officials plan to say their budget proposal would maybe close the deficit by 2035. The caveat being it would only achieve this if the economy grows at an unprecedented, sustained 3 percent clip through 2025, levels that the bungling Trump administration has failed to achieve for even one year so far. The U.S. economy grew 2.3 percent in 2019, a very weak level of growth according to “2016” Trump

During Trump’s first year in office, his advisers bragged that their budget plan would eliminate the deficit by 2028.

This new trend shows what a dismal failure the Trump regime is in dealing with ballooning government debt, something GOP party leaders had made a top goal during the Obama administration. Trump’s first budget projected the deficit in 2021 would be $456 billion. Instead, it is projected to be more than double that amount.

Trump has shown little interest in dealing with the deficit and debt, though some GOP leaders falsely insist it remains a priority. The $4.8 trillion budget for 2021 would represent a $700 billion surge over levels from 2018.

As a presidential candidate, Trump said he would eliminate not just the annual federal deficit but all debt held by the United States after eight years in office. Trump’s new budget proposal expected to show how far he has moved away from some 2016 campaign promises

Trump’s budget aims to cut spending on safety-net programs such as Medicaid and food stamps, cutting food stamp spending by $181 billion over a decade. It proposes to squeeze hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare over a decade through so-called cost-saving proposals such as supposedly reforming medical liability and modifying payments to hospitals for uncompensated care.

The Trump budget cuts Medicaid spending by about $920 billion over 10 years, a change critics warn would lead to reductions in benefits and the number of people on the health care program. “This is a budget that would cause many millions of people to lose health care coverage. That is unambiguous,” said Aviva Aron-Dine, a former Obama official and vice president at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Democrats such as Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, said early reports indicate the budget includes “destructive changes … while extending [Trump’s] tax cuts for millionaires and wealthy corporations.”

The budget is expected to request $2 billion in homeland security spending for the southern border wall. The administration has siphoned billions more from the Pentagon budget ever since declaring a national emergency at the border following last winter’s government shutdown.

Note: The federal debt has already grown by about $3 trillion under Trump.

 

This is an edited story from the Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/02/10/trump-budget-program-cuts/

Time to shut off the spigot feeding Trumpism

Unregulated Capitalism has brought us the dictator bully Donald Trump, It’s time to fix it or throw it out

Local nonprofit Cooperation Humboldt will host the third annual Artists Dismantling Capitalism conference on Saturday, Feb. 29 at the Creamery District in Arcata from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

This Symposium will be highly participatory, offering 16 workshops facilitated by artists, community members, and others. Workshops will focus on a wide range of topics including theater, hip hop, artist spaces, spirituality and more. In addition to local community members and artists, the conference will feature visiting facilitators including Kwame Braxton and Abrianni Perry of Cooperation Jackson, MS. and Ali Meders-Knight and Mel Figueroa from Chico.

“The aim of Artists Dismantling Capitalism is to bring together artists, culture workers, social change agents, and anyone and everyone who knows that we can collectively create a society that is loving, compassionate, inclusive and beautiful,” said Cooperation Humboldt organizer Ruthi Engelke. “We are very excited that for the third year, we are able to offer a wide variety of workshops to the community that explore how we may create that society through the power of creativity and art.”

Vegan lunch is included and child care will be provided by the Cooperation Humboldt Parent Hive on request with 5 days notice before the event. Donations are encouraged to help cover the costs of the conference but are not required.

To register, request childcare or find more info, visit https://cooperationhumboldt.com/adc2020/.

 

Time for Estelle to find another job

The North Coast People’s Alliance voted unanimously to endorse Michael McKaskle for Humboldt County Supervisor.

McKaskle, who is running for District 2 against incumbent Estelle Fennell, has a long history of civic involvement in Southern Humboldt, having served on the Redway Community Services District board for 6 years and as chair of the Redwood Region Economic Development Commission. One of his primary issues is preparation for the effects of climate change, which is one of the reasons he decided to run for the Board of Supervisors. “I jumped in at the last minute in large part because I felt the environment was not enough of an issue. We need to plan for sea-level rise. We need a more localized economy,” said McKaskle. “We need walkable towns and a world-class trail network between them, and through our world-class scenery. Much of this is land-use regulation, that is what we do as County Supervisors and we can do better.”
In addition to meeting the challenges posed by climate change and sea-level rise, as a Supervisor McKaskle would work to create officially sanctioned, sanitary campgrounds for houseless people. This, along with his support of public banking and renewable energy micro-grids, is why NCPA members voted to put their support behind him.

Let’s finally get rid of blowhard Rex

Ya Rex, you’ve had 8 years and you’ve FAILED!

Last Wednesday night, Rex Bohn was finally confronted directly about his bigotted comment that he made at a fundraiser last year. Bohn asked if a Mexican tamale dinner was authentic enough “to make you go out and steal hub caps,” using a tired old racist stereotype about Mexican people and crime.

Outrage has followed since Bohn’s racist slur, but he was adamant at the Wednesday night candidate forum that his “Hispanic friends” forgave him. “They know I don’t have a racist bone in my body,” he said.

Cliff Berkowitz, his opponent, was unforgiving of Rex’s half-ass apology, saying Bohn “should have apologized straight out.

Here are three great letters from the Times-Standard:

It is time to get rid of the 1st District incumbent

A county supervisor’s No. 1 job is to make decisions. Unfortunately, the 1st District incumbent has a long history of bad decisions. He supported such money pits as an untenable east-west Railroad, a potentially hazardous liquefied natural gas terminal, and an environmentally disastrous onshore wind farm. He appointed a climate denier to the planning department. When confronted on the incompetency

of a public defender, his response was to have lunch with the man and declare him a good guy. (He may be a good guy, but he was the wrong guy and letting him go cost the county $50,000. Other bad personnel decisions have cost us many thousands more.) He supports a plan that encourages large cannabis grows at the expense of mom-and-pop operations, which hurts our local economy (and benefits his son). He has failed to insist that the Humboldt County fair board comply with the Brown Act, which means the fair loses much-needed state funds. His motto of “Humboldt is open for business” risks turning our unique home into a sprawling mass of tract homes and chain stores.

I could go on. These are just a few of the reasons it is time to get rid of the incumbent and elect someone with integrity, someone who is fair, transparent, and has given 25 years of service to Humboldt County.

Please visit Cliff4Supervisor.com, then vote for Cliff Berkowitz on March 3. Debra Kaufman, Bayside

Vote Cliff Berkowitz for 1st District supervisor

I’ve heard it said many times that Rex is such a nice guy that he’d give you the shirt off his back — I cannot disagree with that. That very statement may be the reason for many of his decisions — he’s a pleaser and hates to disappoint.

I recall before a full municipal auditorium that he was touting the benefits of a Cal Pine liquefied natural gas plant on the bay — never mind the health effects of off-gassing or the fact that, if there were an accident, or in this day and age a terrorist attack, that most everything in a 5-mile radius would be incinerated. I believe that Cliff uses the “wisdom” of the people and not so much the promises of fast-talking out-of the- area lobbyists who have no skin in the game.

Eight years has been long enough to see we are getting nowhere; time to try a different perspective and approach.

First District voters — here’s your chance on March 3 to keep your eye on the ball, aim for the fence and hit it out of the park.

VOTE FOR CLIFF — more consensus, less drama. W.R. Engles, Eureka

Berkowitz has been champ for many local causes

I want to thank Cliff Berkowitz for running for first district supervisor. I first became acquainted with Cliff through his work with KHUM radio. He has been involved in our community and has been a champion for many local causes for more than 25 years.

During the power outages, he was a lifeline to my family and the community. The announcements that he made on KHUM helped us to stay connected to what was happening. We heard updates on where we could buy gas, get a generator, which grocery stores were open, etc.

I know that Cliff is concerned with climate change and are rising sea levels. He cares about our land, water and preserving the resources that may Humboldt County desirable. Cliff is a strong proponent of our trail systems. And Cliff will work hard for us to create jobs and housing.

This is his website: Cliff4Supervisor.com Thank you, Cliff!

Carrie Foster, Kneeland

 

Support of Cliff Berkowitz for Supervisor, District 1 grows

The North Coast People’s Alliance has unanimously endorsed Cliff Berkowitz for Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, District 1. Though Berkowitz has never held public office, NCPA members were impressed by his commitment to the community; he has spent the last 25 years building community relationships, working on domestic violence awareness, finding solutions to such issues as high gas prices, feeding the hungry, and helping the community through several crises using the power of radio.

Berkowitz also impressed members with his commitment to addressing climate change while acknowledging that not all “Green Energy” projects are created the same. In reference to the recent Humboldt Wind Energy Project proposal, he stated his dedication to respecting Native American needs and rights in all land-use decisions. Affordable housing, a living minimum wage, transparency and fairness in land use decisions and county road maintenance also feature largely in his platform.

“Cliff’s resolve to address sea-level rise and climate change, and his openness to declaring a climate emergency as a way to speed this process, is right in line with NCPA’s mission,” stated Treasurer Tamara McFarland. “He is the right choice for us in this race.”

The North Coast People’s Alliance organizes for social justice, economic justice, and environmental justice, with an emphasis on empowering everyday people to get involved in local politics and civic affairs. We believe that politics means much more than just voting and that our everyday actions can be political statements. We are striving for a just and truly democratic society where everyone’s voices are heard.

Campaign site for Cliff Berkowitz

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Ten years after: grim and getting worse

Ten years ago, in January 2010, the Supreme Court released its disastrous Citizens United decision. The court, either through remarkable naivety or sheer malevolence, essentially married the terrible idea that “money is speech” to the terrible idea that “corporations are people.”

The ruling put a for sale sign on our democracy, opening up a flood of corporate, special interest, and even foreign money into our politics.

Through Citizens United and related decisions, the Court made a bad situation worse. We saw the proliferation of super PACs, which can accept and spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections, and the rise of dark money, which is undisclosed political spending that can come from any special interest, including foreign countries.

In the 10 years since the decision, there’s been $4.5 billion in political spending by outside interest groups, compared to $750 million spent in the 20 years prior to the case.

From 2000-2008, there were only 15 federal races where outside spending exceeded candidate spending. In the same amount of time following Citizens United, this occurred in 126 races. Now, almost half of all outside spending is dark money that has no or limited disclosure of its donors.

That money isn’t coming from the farmers suffering through Donald Trump’s trade war or the fast-food workers fighting for a living wage. It’s coming from the wealthiest donors, people often with very different priorities than the majority of Americans. In fact, a full one-fifth of all super PAC donations in the past 10 years have come from just 11 people.

This has led to an unresponsive and dysfunctional government. With so many politicians in the pockets of their big donors, it’s been even harder to make progress on issues like gun safety, health care costs, or climate change.

Not to mention, we’re left with the most corrupt president in American history, who’s embroiled in a series of scandals that threaten our prosperity, safety, and security.

To name just a few of these scandals: Trump urged a foreign country to investigate his political opponents. His lawyer’s “associates” funneled money into Trump’s super PAC through a sham corporation. The National Rifle Association spent tens of millions of dollars in unreported “dark” money to elect him while allegedly serving as a Russian asset.

Trump and his accomplices should be held accountable, through congressional impeachment, the judicial process, or both. But we also need meaningful anti-corruption reforms.

Thanks to a class of reformers elected in 2018, we’ve already begun that process. Last year, the House of Representatives passed the For the People Act (H.R. 1).

H.R. 1 would strengthen ethics rules and enforcement; reduce the influence of big money while empowering individual, small-dollar donors; and, along with a bill to restore the Voting Rights Act, protect every American’s right to vote. It also calls for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

Sadly, this bill is being blocked by Mitch McConnell in the Senate.

These reforms are all popular with the American people. We can unrig the system and restore that faith by fighting for these priorities, and by pressuring elected officials to act. Join groups like End Citizens United or Let America Vote to push back against our rigged system and put people ahead of corporate special interests.

Together, we can restore trust in government, prevent corruption, strengthen our national security, and ensure Washington truly works for the people.

 

 

from Times-Standard by Tiffany Muller
Tiffany Muller is the president of End Citizens United. Follow her at @Tiffany_Muller.