he has shown himself to be swayed with remarkable ease: He said he was rethinking his position on Obamacare after a post-election talk with President Obama, revised his views on NATO after speaking with Europeans, softened his views on China after a chin-wag with the Chinese, shifted on NAFTA after talking with the Mexicans and switched his budget views after hearing from Chuck and Nancy.
.. This raises the tantalizing prospect that Trump could be a better president if he were not surrounded by the likes of Stephen Miller, as well as the alarming possibility that he could be even worse if the last voice he heard before making a decision were that of, say, Vladimir Putin, or Alex Jones
.. But this all depends on what is going on in Trump’s head when he repeats the last words he hears: Is he actually internalizing the views, or is he merely echoing? Is he a chameleon or a parrot?
.. Clearly, Trump is merely echoing, not embracing, the words he hears. No mind could possibly assimilate as many diametrically opposed ideas as Trump’s appeared to in those 55 minutes.
.. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told Trump that DACA legislation to protect immigrant “dreamers” had to be done “in a matter of days — literally of days,” referring to a Jan. 19 budget deadline.
Replied Trump: “I agree with that, Dick. I very much agree with that.”
A few minutes later, Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) took exactly the opposite view, suggesting that DACA action could wait until March and that instead there had to be an immediate Pentagon budget increase: “Those who need us right now before the January 19 deadline is our military.”
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), paddled Trump back the other way, saying more military spending would have to be accompanied by similar hikes for domestic programs such as infrastructure.
What the past tells us as the GOP enacts a historic tax overhaul
After taxes were cut in 1981 and 2001, the Congressional Budget Office crunched the numbers some years later to see what had happened.
.. In 1985, they went back and looked at how much revenue the government actually collected. They sought to separate the effect of economic changes, such as the 1982 recession, from the effect of tax changes implemented under President Ronald Reagan. They figured that economic and technical changes caused revenue in 1985 to be about $187 billion lower than it was in the baseline projection, made in 1981 — a shortfall of about 18%.
But the Trump administration has proposed nearly tripling the entrance fees to select national parks, to $70.
.. Trump administration wants to jack up the price of admission to our most spectacular public lands while moving to cut the Park Service budget by almost $300 million. The new fees would add $70 million.
.. he also plans to take away land already protected in ways similar to national parks.
.. You’d pay $107 to get into Disney World. But national parks are not theme parks, market-driven to match the latest entertainment blockbusters.
.. In the bizarro world of this administration, taxpayers are being asked to subsidize a dying industry, coal mining, while their government is slashing the budget for a growing one that is responsible for four times as many jobs.
.. Trump’s budget would drastically cut money for historic preservation, and eliminate more than 1,200 full-time employees.
.. National parks are “as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence and just as radical,
.. We could, for instance, not build Trump’s nonsensical border wall, which looks like it will cost upward of $20 billion, more than eight times the entire proposed budget for the Park Service. (Wait — wasn’t Mexico supposed to pay for that?)
.. Or we could keep the estate tax, which affects only about 1 out of every 500 people who die every year, and raises $20 billion as well.
Just 16 states have adequate backup money on hand, with Alaska having almost three times as much as the state would need to keep its economy buoyant.
STATE EXTRA CASH ON HAND NECESSARY BACKUP FUNDS DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EXTRA CASH AND NECESSARY BACK-UP FUNDS Louisiana 3.10% 27.20% -24.00% North Dakota 0.70% 20.10% -19.40% Oklahoma 4.00% 16.00% -12.10% New Mexico -1.10% 10.00% -11.10% Illinois 0.40% 11.10% -10.70% Colorado 5.30% 15.10% -9.80% New Jersey 1.40% 11.00% -9.60% Pennsylvania -1.80% 6.90% -8.80% Missouri 5.40% 13.80% -8.40% Kansas 1.60% 9.20% -7.60%