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Trump's Presidency

The Trump Budget Plan: Populism or Elitism?

Emanuel L. Paparella, Ph.D.

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[yt_dropcap type=”square” font=”” size=”14″ color=”#000″ background=”#fff” ] W [/yt_dropcap]e don’t have all the details yet, but the broad outlines of Trump’s Budget Plan have already surfaced. As it was to be expected it enlarges the pie for the rich, for the military, for corporations, and shrinks it for the poor and the underprivileged.

The CDFI (Community Development Financial Institutions Fund), which is an arm of the Treasury Department created for the purpose of helping economically distressed places, has had its founding slashed to practically nothing.

The CDFI Fund’s budget of $258 million budget, then, is only a fraction of an already small portion of all federal dollars. It only costs about $0.79 taxation per American per year.

The CDFI Fund runs a number of different programs that encourage investment in poor communities around the country. For instance, the program has doled out $120 million in awards and assistance to various credit unions and loan funds through “Native Initiatives,” which helps Native Americans get a mortgage or a small business loan.

Another effort is the New Market Tax Credit Program (NMTCP), which provides tax credits to investors who provide capital organizations in low-income communities. Every $1 in tax credits generates $8 in private investment, and the program has helped create or save almost 200,000 jobs since 2003, according to the CDFI Fund.

In order to pay for increased military spending, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Internal Revenue Service will have their budget reduced. Foxes in charge of the chicken coops are well placed on top of those agencies. There will be little push back from them.

The overall purpose of those cuts is to eventually eliminate discretionary spending over the next decade to the tune of $ 10.5 trillion. The federal government spent $3.9 trillion in 2016, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office—about $600 billion more than it took in.

Mandatory spending, which includes entitlement programs and interest on the federal debt, consumed about $2.7 trillion. That means the largest share of government spending (69%) will be left alone. Discretionary spending accounted for the other $1.2 trillion, about $600 billion of which was spent on defense, which Trump wants to increase. The rest—roughly $600 billion, or 15% of all spending—is where the Trump administration is wants to draw blood.

The ultimate goal, however, is becoming more and more apparent: to cut entitlements such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security (programs that provide health care and monthly income to the nation’s poor and elderly) as Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has repeatedly declared, albeit Trump has promised not to touch them. It’s like having the cake and eating it too.

So much for concern for the poor and the disadvantaged, populism and the championing of fairness and equal opportunity. As the con-man of the art of the deal now occupying the White House has repeatedly proclaimed: “you will be happy.”

Professor Paparella has earned a Ph.D. in Italian Humanism, with a dissertation on the philosopher of history Giambattista Vico, from Yale University. He is a scholar interested in current relevant philosophical, political and cultural issues; the author of numerous essays and books on the EU cultural identity among which A New Europe in search of its Soul, and Europa: An Idea and a Journey. Presently he teaches philosophy and humanities at Barry University, Miami, Florida. He is a prolific writer and has written hundreds of essays for both traditional academic and on-line magazines among which Metanexus and Ovi. One of his current works in progress is a book dealing with the issue of cultural identity within the phenomenon of “the neo-immigrant” exhibited by an international global economy strong on positivism and utilitarianism and weak on humanism and ideals.

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Trump's Presidency

Comey treated in Thuggish Mafia Style by the White House

Emanuel L. Paparella, Ph.D.

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Former FBI Director James Comey is furious at the lack of respect the White House has showed him by the way he was fired, worthy of a Mafia operation, sources confirm.

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Trump's Presidency

Trump’s Dumb Ideas for Economic Growth

Emanuel L. Paparella, Ph.D.

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[yt_dropcap type=”square” font=”” size=”14″ color=”#000″ background=”#fff” ] I [/yt_dropcap]f there’s an economic idea that Donald Trump and his economic advisers continually reiterate it is that slashing taxes inevitably leads to economic growth. Let’s see how true this idea is.

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Trump's Presidency

The Demeaning of the Office of the President

Emanuel L. Paparella, Ph.D.

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[yt_dropcap type=”square” font=”” size=”14″ color=”#000″ background=”#fff” ] C [/yt_dropcap]NN has recetnly reported that President Trump’s latest anti-media attacks “are beneath the dignity of the office of the President.” In an interview with Time magazine, Trump insulted CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon and criticized MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough. He also called CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert a “no-talent guy.”

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