Fricke column: America’s worst nightmare has begun
I have been a fan of Bill Moyers, the longtime political analyst, for many years. Quoting Moyers: “In just a few days, Donald Trump seems to have set out to wreck government and turn over the remains to his plutocrat friends.” Moyers defines plutocracy: “Plutocracy means government by the wealthy, a ruling class of the rich and their retainers.”
It has been two weeks since Trump’s inauguration. Trump gave a very patriotic speech about putting America first and giving Washington back to the people. That lasted 5 minutes.
Things got messy early. One of Trump’s first acts as president was issuing an executive order to initially repeal some of Obamacare regulations. Next, it was putting the flow back into the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines. Trump wants to jump start those environmental nightmares again. Expect more oil and natural gas drilling on your children’s school playground and in your backyard. Trump’s immigrant/Muslim ban has created a tremendous amount of chaos in America and around the world.
Trump’s proposed wall at the Mexican border is causing bad relations with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. Trump will not be able to recover the $12-$15 billion of taxpayer money spent on his wall. The 20 percent tariff could backfire. Mexico could boycott American products and divert their trade elsewhere.
The wall could cause serious damage to America’s already-anemic economy. This action could trigger trade wars all over the globe. I believe that we should protect American jobs, but Trump and his tycoon Cabinet are definitely not foreign affairs-savvy. Let’s see how many Republicans and Democrats will own the wall with Trump.
Where are Trump’s infrastructure plans? Who is going to pay for this? Will America’s crumbling infrastructure take a back seat to the wall? Will Trump tax the poor to pay for the wall? Obviously, Trump has his priorities all wrong.
Just a side note on America’s economy: In the fourth quarter of 2016, America’s economic growth was a weak 1.9 percent. If it had not been for a surge of consumer spending during the holidays, the economic growth would have been closer to zero. Other than automobiles, we don’t manufacture anything of great significance. The entire economy is a Wall Street/bank-owned debt-fueled (credit card) economy. It’s a fake economy.
Speaking of a fake economy, Wall Street is swallowing everything that Trump is dishing out. The stock market was recently skyrocketing to its highest levels ever. This does not mean much to those of us who live on Main Street America where economic recovery never happened. What happens if the stock market takes a hard fall? What if Trump pushes for the repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act? We may see all of the economic safety nets disappear. The middle class will definitely disappear and the poor will become poorer.
Trump’s tax policies remain unclear. Originally, Trump was giving huge tax cuts to the wealthy 1 percent and was going to raise taxes on the lower-income groups. He has been working on new tax rates and other reforms, but some Republicans in Congress may not be on the same page with Trump on tax reform at this time.
Trump shut down the EPA last week. According to an EPA staff person in Grand Junction, all information and research is to be frozen and not to be distributed to the outside world. This includes any research, data or reports on climate change. The Superfund division may be gone. A recommendation has been made to cut half of the EPA’s 15,000 employees. There may be more cuts coming to the EPA, or the entire agency may be gone soon. Many other federal agencies and programs are on the chopping block as well. Will Trump cut the National Security Agency, which employs 30,000 people to spy on all of us everyday?
Colorado desperately needs an EPA, especially with all of our leaky mines and natural gas wells. Colorado will need to form its own EPA with a Superfund of its own.
I want to thank all of the women and men all over the nation and the world for the Women’s March on Jan. 22. It is the beginning of many marches and many demonstrations to protect and fight for our freedoms.
Don’t be surprised if Trump closes the Statue of Liberty and tears it down. He is not my president.
Randy Fricke lives in New Castle. He is an environmental advocate and political activist and the author of “If I Were President/Saving Main Street America.”
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