* Erik’s Editorial: The Guilty Parties Who Put American Democracy At Risk In The Name Of Donald Trump

US White House upside down (public domain).

I do not fault stupid people for making the stupid decision to elect Donald Trump in 2016.

I do fault smart people for making stupid decisions. These include:

1. Senators who voted to acquit Donald Trump in his no-witnesses-allowed impeachment trial, including primarily Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell:

* Impeachment of Donald Trump (2020-02-05)

* Mitch McConnell (2020-02-05)

2. Members of the GOP who voted to disenfranchise voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – before, during, and AFTER the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol – including Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Jody Hice (R–GA-10), Mo Brooks (R–AL-05), Scott Perry (R–PA-10), Josh Hawley (R–MO), and Louie Gohmert (R–TX-01).

* 2021 Storming Of The United States Capitol (2021-01-06)

* 2020 United States Presidential Election Electoral College Count (2021-01-06 – 2021-01-07)

3. Donald Trump’s cabinet, who could have invoked the 25th Amendment to remove POTUS at any time:

* Cabinet Of Donald Trump (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

4. Social media, including especially Facebook and Twitter, for allowing their social networks to be used as platforms for hate speech.

* Donald Trump On Social Media (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

5. Mainstream media, including especially CNN (on the left) and Fox News (on the right) for not doing their jobs – asking questions until they get answers – and allowing POTUS to lie unchecked.

* Veracity Of Statements By Donald Trump (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

6. Lawmakers at all levels, for failing to fix bad laws and for failing to enact good laws. Changes that must be made going forward include:

Limiting POTUS power:

  • Executive order power must be limited.
  • All cabinet members (acting/interim/actual) must be confirmed by Senate.
  • Treaties and tariffs must be the role of Congress so that POTUS cannot engage in trade wars.
  • War Powers Act must be updated to limit POTUS power to deploy the military.
  • Special Counsel Act must be updated to make clear that POTUS cannot fire special counsel.

Writing better and new laws:

  • Impeachment Act of 2021, to define how impeachment is conducted, including the requirement to have witnesses.
  • Follow the lead of The Restatements Of The Law project (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restatements_of_the_Law) and codify major SCOTUS cases, including especially Roe v. Wade.
  • Fix the Census.
  • Fix immigration.
  • Fix SCOTUS processes, such as limiting appointments to 2 per POTUS with the number of SCOTUS justices fixed at the number of Federal Circuits (currently 13).
  • Election reform, including who is qualified to run for POTUS and that tax forms must be disclosed to do so.

Just to name a few.

Stupid people, bad laws, and lies got us into this mess.

Smart people, good laws, and the truth can get us out of this mess.



Trump Proposes Larger Holes in Safety Net for Low-Income People

The Trump administration says that it plans to reduce poverty in the U.S. by cutting, changing, or limiting a number of safety net programs designed to help low-income people. Claiming he wants “to get more people off government aid and into the workforce so they can become self-sufficient,” Trump says his various proposals will do this by “promoting opportunity and economic mobility” for those who live in poverty or are low-income.

One such item put in place by the Trump administration is a memorandum that calls on federal agencies to enforce a law that requires sponsors of green card holders to reimburse government agencies for cost of government benefits the sponsored immigrant has used. 

Though Trump insists this legislation will help immigrants to be “more self-sufficient,” Immigrant rights advocates say that the change is intended to discourage green card holders from applying for needed benefits; and also to restrict immigration, both legal and illegal.

A related proposal by the Department of Homeland Security would make it more difficult for immigrants to get green cards if they receive benefits such as SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or “food stamps”) or housing assistance. Immigrant rights advocates point out that this change would impact not only immigrants, but their family members who are already U.S. citizens. 

A pending proposal, ironically coming from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, would rescind a requirement for payday lenders to determine whether a potential borrower will have the ability to repay a requested loan. Because of easy availability of payday loans, many low-income people find themselves burdened with interest rates of up to 300 percent, and the inability to repay them. Often, they borrow more to repay earlier loans. 

Trump has also proposed stricter enforcement of the work requirement for low-income people to continue to be eligible for SNAP benefits. After three months of receiving SNAP benefits, able-bodied adults would be required to work, volunteer, or get job training for at least 20 hours a week. A related proposal that would impose work requirements for Medicaid recipients has been challenged in court.

An estimated 750,000 current SNAP recipients could lose their benefits because of the inability to find work or meet other requirements.

“They really are trying to use every agency to make life harder for people who are low-income,” says Elizabeth Lower-Basch, director of income and work supports at the Center for Law and Social Policy.

Other proposed pieces of legislation aimed at the safety net for those with low incomes include recalculation of the poverty line, and restriction of waiving the asset and income limits for SNAP eligibility.

Trump is fond of framing his proposed trashing of the safety net as a way to “help people help themselves.” He says he wants to ensure that taxpayer money is spent on “those who are truly in need.” 

But if one doesn’t have enough food, doesn’t have an address to list on a job application, or can’t get healthcare to remain healthy in order to work, isn’t that what it is to be “truly in need”? It seems ironic for a group of legislators who have never experienced poverty to make the determination that others who experience it daily, aren’t “low-income” enough to deserve help. 

Cuccinelli Unveils Trump Policy That Favors Wealthier Immigrants
Bloomberg [2019-08-12]

Why Trump’s new limit on food stamp eligibility will affect working families most | PBS NewsHour [2019-07-23]