by Mark Angelides
Whatever the final result of the budget bill was, both sides were planning on spinning it as a victory for themselves and a defeat for the opposition; this is the nature of modern politics and is frankly irrelevant to most people who will just look at what the sums are assigned to. But it is still worth examining the “noise” coming out, as it gives a useful indication of what the areas of concern (in terms of image) are for the administration.
A surprising voice for team Trump has made some of the major sound bites: Vice President Mike Pence. He has taken to the virtual realm and begun the unenviable task of presenting the government’s interpretation of the budget. Whilst Pence is well-respected and considered “his own man”, he does still have a job to do, but many are suggesting that he is unlikely to compromise himself and his integrity with too much spin.
His first announcement came with: “We achieved the largest increase in border security funding in 10 yrs, w/ enough money to make a down payment on the border wall.” This is of course about the $1.5 billion that has apparently been earmarked for repairs to existing structures and light fencing. At present, the entire cost of The Wall looks to be around $20 billion, so this (if it is even all spent on The Wall), represents less than 10% of the final figure. It is however a sign that “some” spending is going towards border security. However, if Trump does not get a significant chunk of cash directly allocated for “Trump’s Big, Beautiful Wall” in October, a lot of voters are going to be very unhappy.
Next out was: “This budget bill, under @POTUS‘ leadership, also includes important health care resources for our great coal miners,” which is a little known, but very important piece of spending. The miners of America are not just real people in need of better health care, they are also symbolic of the nation as an industrial power. They are the epitome of blue collar workers who have been ignored for far too long.
His final Tweet was a bitter sweet pill: “There is no long-term bailout for the insurance companies that the Democrats wanted to subsidize the badly failing Obamacare.” It is wonderful news that there is no “long term” bailout for the greedy insurers, but the fact that short term payments to subsidize their losses are taking place is an unhappy aspect of the whole Obamacare deal. Major insurance companies all over the country are pulling out as there is no money to be made for them, and in fact is costing them much more than they anticipated. It was a doomed system from the start, and the sooner it is taken behind the barn with a shotgun the better.
Hi final words on the Budget were “After years of partisan bickering and gridlock, this budget bill is a clear win for the American people.” I’m reserving my judgment for now, but please let us know what you think in the comments section.
by Mark Angelides