Friday, November 11, 2016
What We Can Expect From Our New GOP Government
The Democrats do have enough senators to stop (by filibuster) the worst things the Republicans try to do, but they will not be able to stop everything. The Republicans will now be able to get most of the things done they have been trying to do for years (but were stopped by President Obama).
So, what will they try to do? Here's what I think.
* SUPREME COURT -- Trump will nominate a right-wing justice to replace Scalia. This will return the court to the slightly conservative majority that existed before Scalia's death. Democrats and other progressives will have to hope that the four liberals on the court (and the swing vote -- Kennedy) don't die or resign while Trump is in office, because that would give the right-wing a clear majority -- and it would mean individual rights would be thrown back to what they were in the 1950's. This would be disastrous for women, minorities, and the LGBT community.
* MINIMUM WAGE -- The minimum wage will not be raised to a livable wage. Trump thinks wages are already too high, and he won't raise the minimum wage because that would put an upward pressure on all wages. The Republican Congress has blocked a minimum wage increase, and we can expect they will continue to do that. In short, the working poor are going to remain poor -- no matter how hard they work.
* WALL STREET -- We can expect the regulations put on Wall Street early during the Obama administration to be repealed (probably including the bureau created to protect consumers from the big banks). Sadly, I believe this will propel us toward another (and probably worse) recession.
* WORKER WAGES -- Since the last recession, corporations (owners and management) have gobbled up 95% of the rising productivity. That will continue to happen because that's what the Republicans want. Worker wages will remain fairly flat, and any increase will be tiny.
* TAXES -- The rich and the corporations will get massive new tax cuts. The rest of America will not, although they may get a tiny cut (so the Republicans can claim to have cut taxes).
* DEFICIT AND DEBT -- The massive tax cuts for the rich and corporations will balloon the deficit and keep the national debt growing ever larger.
* UNEMPLOYMENT -- Unemployment will remain about where it is now (4.9%). We'll be very lucky if it falls to about 4.5%, but full employment (considered about 3.5%) will not happen. Trump claims his massive tax cuts for the corporations will create massive amounts of new jobs. It won't. Tax cuts don't create new jobs -- rising demand is the only job creator. And since the masses will not have more money to spend, demand will not significantly rise.
* GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE -- Trump has called global warming a "Chinese hoax", and the GOP Congress refuses to believe that the warming is caused by human misuse/overuse of fossil fuels. Nothing more will be done to correct global warming, and this country might even renege on its agreement with the rest of the world to do its part to fight global warming. Global climate change will probably just get worse.
* OBAMACARE -- Both Trump and the Republican Congress have said they will repeal Obamacare. I think the Senate Democrats will filibuster that and stop it, but that doesn't mean Obamacare is safe. The GOP can, and probably will, defund it if they can't repeal it. They have said they will replace it with something better, but so far, they have no plan that will save health insurance for the 20 million covered by Obamacare. We can expect the number of uninsured Americans to rise substantially. We can also expect health care costs to continue to rise, because the GOP will do nothing to make the insurance companies or the medical providers rein in their costs.
* EXPORTING OF JOBS -- Trump has said he will stop this, but the Republican Congress is wholly owned by the corporate sector. They will stop any effort Trump makes in this area. American jobs will continue to be shifted to other countries, where workers can be abused and underpaid.
* GENDER PAY GAP -- This will NOT be fixed. The Republicans have blocked all efforts to fix it, and they will continue to do so. And don't expect Trump to try to change their minds. He made it clear during the election campaign that he does not consider women to be first-class citizens.
* INCOME GAP -- The gap between the income and wealth of the rich and the rest of America will continue to grow wider. In fact, it may grow even faster now that the Republicans are completely in charge.
* ENVIRONMENT -- Republicans will remove many regulations by the EPA that protect our air and water from being polluted by corporations. We can expect dirtier air and water.
There's more, but making the list above has depressed me. We're in for a very tough few years.