It has not been an easy first few months for the Trump man, our president who still may not realize that his desires are not the be all and end all in Washington. There are other power centers that he has to deal with and get them to acquiesce to his wishes. The defeat of the Republican health care debacle is just the latest evidence of Trump’s inability to solve the Washington puzzle. He came riding into town on what he thought was a big white horse, promising to chase the bad guys out of town and change the way “business” was done in Washington.

Well, he certainly has not chased out the bad guys, commonly known as lobbyists, and the politicians who are willing to sell themselves if the price is right. Instead, he brought in some billionaire businessmen to help him shake things up, and gave important posts to people hell bent on destroying their agencies or departments. And it appears that his main adviser, Steve Bannon, wants to destroy the federal government itself, a man with little knowledge of how Washington works and not caring.

Trump’s defeat in passing the Republican health care bill, was a big loss, though the president does not see it as a failure on his part, blaming the Democrats for what happened. Then, it appeared as if Trump might be open to working with the Democrats to craft a health care bill in the future, bringing his GOP posse in the House along for the ride. Was Trump sincere in what he said, or merely trying to scare the Freedom Caucus and other conservatives into following him?

But health care appears to be off the table for the time being, though it is unclear what is next on the agenda. The Democrats would probably like to see infrastructure legislation come up, as they could probably deal with Trump and moderate Republicans on that. And the nation is in dire need of infrastructure repair and expansion. The question is where will the funds be coming from: the trillion dollars that The Donald was talking about during the campaign?

The conservatives and Freedom Caucus do not want to see an increase in the national debt and don’t want to raise taxes, so it will be up to the Trump man to pull a rabbit out of his hat. Privatizing infrastructure would not be the right answer, as there are too many things that need to be done that are not fit for generating revenue. Having multi-national corporations bringing revenues home to be taxed at a lower rate will also not produce enough funds for infrastructure repair.

Republicans are talking about tax reform as the next legislation to address, with an interest in cutting taxes for the wealthy. (Can’t get that old trickle-down mantra out of their minds.) But tax cuts of any sort would mean less revenue for the federal government and further growth of the national debt, the latter a no-no for the conservatives.

On the campaign trail, Trump spoke of health care for everyone at affordable prices and no one losing their insurance or the benefits they had. He also promised tax cuts across the board and a trillion dollars for infrastructure repair and expansion. He was also going to cut the national debt. There is no way these pledges can be realized without increasing the national debt, even if Trump has a few rabbits ready to be pulled. And by the way, there’s also a wall to be built at our southern border that will cost ten to fifteen billion, along with deportation of immigrants. And the deportation will cost a number of additional billions and reduce the nation’s GDP. So how is all of this going to get done, no matter what schedule of legislation Congress pursues? It just ain’t doable. There is more thumping ahead for Trump, assuming that conspiring with the Russians doesn’t get him first.

Resurrecting Democracy

www.robertlevinebooks.com

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ROBERT A. LEVINE, TMV Columnist
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