– Editor’s Note:
As I have done for 12 1/2 years in publishing this blog and for ten years publishing the weekly Kleiner’s Korner newsletter, I post stories that affect residents here in Puget Sound, and did the same during the tenures of other Presidents, including Presidents Obama and Trump’s fellow Republican George W. Bush.
This blog has reported previously on the Trump Administration’s burgeoning debt issues that will begin to be felt by Puget Sound residents this Fall. As an example, last week’s decision by the President to cancel scheduled pay raises for most federal employees [as an example, this will impact 53,211 in WA. state]. The other two stories that this state will have to watch are:
1. loosening penalties on corporate violators (i.e. Wall Street, polluters, businesses shortchanging workers),
2. a report that Trump’s marijuana task force ordered to ignore data that shows positive impacts.
After an ill-advised $1.5-trillion tax cut 9 months ago and his signing a mammoth $1.3-trillion spending bill 5 months ago, President Trump all of the sudden wants to get fiscally responsible in reducing debt by placing this burden onto the backs of federal workers, As an example, he proposes to nix a 25.7-percent pay raise for localities costing $25 billion, a drop in the bucket compared to his tax cut and spending bill totals of $2.8 TRILLION, which are adding to the national debt. Then after that proposal, Trump announced plans to use his executive power to hand the rich another $100 billion in tax cuts by indexing capital gains to inflation.
This paragraph added September 2nd, 9:20pm, in response to a comment and for clarification.
The point was the explosion of debt that has occurred under President Trump where until last Thursday, August 28, he never previously mentioned government budget concerns, and then out-of-the-blue just before a Labor Day holiday weekend, decides to announce slashing $25 billion in pay raises for 1.8 million federal workers he says was meant to cut billions from the federal deficit, then announces that same afternoon he will propose give the wealthiest top 1% another $100 billion in tax cuts by indexing capital gains to inflation. That puts an undue burden on federal employees in cutting the budget deficit. We’ll see if he walks back this proposal after his announced weekend contemplation following much blow-back last Friday from Republican officials.
1. Pay raises for federal employees are canceled
“Trump cancels scheduled pay raises for most federal employees”
“In a letter to House and Senate leaders, Trump claimed “federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases.”
“President Donald Trump announced Thursday [Aug. 30] that he was canceling pay raises for most federal employees that had been set to go into effect in January, citing government budget concerns.”
“In the letter, Trump said a 25.7-percent pay raise for localities, as well as a 2.1-percent pay increase for across-the-board pay, both scheduled for January 2019, would add billions to the federal deficit. Specifically, he pointed to the scheduled locality pay raise as costing $25 billion.”
“The move comes just nine months after Trump signed his $1.5-trillion tax cut bill into law and five months after he signed a mammoth $1.3-trillion spending bill.”
“The combined effect of both bills is expected to send the government’s budget deficit toward the $1 trillion mark next year, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office. Deficits would grow to $1.5 trillion by 2028, the report projected, and could exceed $2 trillion if the tax cuts are fully extended and if Washington doesn’t cut spending,” by Adam Edelman, NBC News.
– “Just Hours After Ordering Pay Cut for Millions of Public Workers, Trump Proposes $100 Billion Gift to Richest 1%”
“Trump wants to send another kiss to the rich—unilaterally, without any approval from Congress. He ignores the law, governs for the top one percent, and doesn’t give a hoot about the rest of us.
“Hours after he launched yet another “direct attack” on workers by canceling a modest pay raise for around two million federal employees, President Donald Trump told Bloomberg on Thursday [Aug. 30] that he is considering a regressive and possibly illegal plan to use his executive power to hand the rich another $100 billion in tax cuts by indexing capital gains to inflation,” by Jake Johnson, Common Dreams.
– “Trump says he’ll ‘study’ his decision to cancel federal pay raises”
“The comments come after his Thursday pay freeze announcement was met with heavy criticism from several lawmakers, including some Republicans.”
by Adam Edelman, NBC News.
– “President Trump’s cynical pay freeze”
Op-Ed in the Washington Post.
2. Trump Admin. easing penalties for businesses that violate federal laws
– “Trump hits corporate violators — with a feather”
“Obama came down hard on offenders. But from Wall Street to polluters to businesses shortchanging workers, this administration is using a lighter touch.”
“A business that violates federal law — by failing to pay overtime, fouling the air, or committing financial fraud — could have an easier time avoiding the harshest penalties under the Trump administration if it agrees to come forward and cooperate with authorities.”
“But consumer advocates respond that the changes will give companies a bigger menu of options to avoid serious consequences when they break the law, by Suzy Khimm, NBC News.
3. New documents show Trump Admin. to wage fierce war against marijuana
– “Trump’s marijuana task force ordered to ignore data that shows positive impacts: report”
“New documents reveal that the Trump administration plans on waging a fierce war against marijuana”
“New documents reveal that, despite President Donald Trump saying in June that he would support a bipartisan bill which would allow states that have legalized marijuana to continue doing so without the US government getting in the way, the Trump administration very much plans on waging a campaign against the popular drug,” by Matthew Rozsa, Salon Magazine.
Editor’s note: Washington was the first state to legalize marijuana.