News & Current Events
david_taylor_jr — 2017-09-28T17:58:01-04:00 — #1
There have been several occasions when people have wanted my thoughts on the President so I thought I'd start a thread.
On Policy: I love Trump's policies, that is why I voted for him (really I wanted Ted Cruz but you have to work with what you are dealt). I think his policies keep us safer and help real-world Americans prosper.
On Behavior: Here are things I would like to see:
- Get rid of his Twitter account
- Focus on things that actually matter
- If he is focusing, then quit making it look like you are not focused.
- Watch how you act and talk. You are the President of the United States and should act like it. Profanity has no room in the Oval Office, vulgarities have no place either.
- Stop attacking private citizens individually.
- In the past Presidents have been viewed as the utmost gentlemen. That is true for all Presidents in recent memory sans Clinton. Even Obama was a gentleman. Trump needs to grow up in that respect.
I could list more things but those are my top things right now.
gao_lu — 2017-09-28T21:35:22-04:00 — #2
Well presented: I don't care if he uses Twitter. I think he could use it much more effectively.
david_taylor_jr — 2017-09-28T22:25:45-04:00 — #3
I honestly don't think he has the capacity to do that. Not his style or personality.
alex_vaughn — 2017-09-28T23:16:09-04:00 — #4
On Policy: I know Pres. Trump's policies (to the degree they exist) are destructive to the average American. In particular:
- His tax policy involves large tax cuts for the rich and increase the deficit. That is exactly what we don't need. ( https://www.thebalance.com/trump-s-tax-plan-how-it-affects-you-4113968 )
- His denial of the scientific evidence and consensus surrounding climate change places our coastal cities (in particular) at risk.
- He is destabilizing the individual health insurance market by sowing chaos. ( http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-csr-20170815-story.html )
- By suggesting that he will eliminate cost-sharing subsidies, he is provoking health insurance providers to leave the market.
- By attempting to repeal ACA without a clear plan to replace it or a vision for what will happen after is causing health insurance companies to be concerned.
- His initial calling of NATO and reluctance to reaffirm Article 5 is a cause for concern for the Baltic states and the Ukraine in particular.
- His use of children and son-in-laws, who have no experience in politics, governance or foreign policy, are being used as emissaries and advisors. This is more appropriate for an autocracy than a democratic republic.
- His business conflicts of interest are troubling both in terms of foreign policy and within the US. The Trump Hotel in Washington, DC is rented from the US Government for an example. Ambassadors have reportedly stayed at the hotel to curry favor with Pres. Trump. The rates at this hotel are substantially higher than at comparable hotels in the area.
- His rhetoric and arguing with Kim Jong-un is not appropriate for the leader of the world's lone superpower. He should be working to defuse the situation not making threats that he does not follow through on.
- A case in point was when he talked about the Seventh Fleet being on North Korea's doorstep, when they weren't and going in the wrong direction. At minimum, the Commander-in-Chief should not talk about where Armed Forces are if he doesn't actually know. It just makes it look like he does not know what the military is doing.
- His immigration policy does not make sense. Chad is a relatively stable country and persons from North Korea rarely come to the US. Venezuela has no record of sending terrorists to the US. North Korea and Venezuela appear to be red herrings thrown in so this does not appear to be a Muslim Ban. https://www.lawfareblog.com/new-white-house-immigration-order-proclamation-fact-sheet-and-white-house-faqs
- His encouragement for police to violate citizen's constitutional rights are immoral. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/07/29/u-s-police-chiefs-blast-trump-for-endorsing-police-brutality/
On his Behavior:
I agree with your statements with the exception regarding Pres. Clinton. Also, I would extend your statements regarding being a gentleman back to Pres. Ford based upon my knowledge. Nixon was the last President that at times displayed a temper unworthy of the US. That was rare from what I know and mostly it was his first VP Spiro Agnew that had the temper.
To me being a gentleman is a pre-requisite to being the US President and is important to America's standing in the world.
- I cannot envision Clinton going on Twitter rampages on even a weekly basis. In contrast, Trump has made 21 separate tweets about the NFL protest alone. Pres. Clinton certainly got angry once that I recall during Sec. Clinton's 2008 campaign. His scandals were also unfortunate, but had limited impact on his Presidency in my opinion if it wasn't for the Republicans impeaching him.
bill_coley — 2017-09-29T01:01:35-04:00 — #5
You offer a wide-reaching and consequence-grounded critique of the Trump administration's policies, Alex. Excellent work! Many, many thanks.
It's very difficult to prioritize President Trump's failures because they criss-cross both his personal and presidential lives. In my view, his pathological lying is his worst failure, because it renders suspect every next word that comes from his mouth or Twitter account. In the last two days he's lied multiple times about a U.S. senator's being in a hospital (there was no senator in a hospital) and about there being enough votes in the senate to pass the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill (there never was enough votes). I've NEVER seen a public office holder at ANY level lie so often, about so much, with so little regard for the truth.
In my view, Trump's second-most serious failure is his lack of a moral or policy/ideological compass. He doesn't seem to believe in anything, or seek any particular agenda - only that which will satisfy his base, or get him publicity.
We know from the leaked transcript of his phone call with the president of Mexico earlier this year that Trump KNOWS Mexico is not going to pay for a wall. But since Trump doesn't actually care whether a wall is built, he doesn't mind. And since he has no moral compass to restrain him from lying, he kept telling campaign crowds that Mexico would pay for it, even though he knew it wasn't true.
Donald Trump has proven to be a pathological liar who, because he has no personal policy vision or convictions, has been continually moved and molded by ever-changing influences both inside and outside the White House. I contend that such a president is far more dangerous to our well-being than one knows what he or she believes and wants.
In my view, by orders of magnitude (and I am not exaggerating) Donald Trump is the worst American president of the 50 years I've been paying attention to politics. Astonishingly ignorant, incompetent, unprepared, unstable. and unfit for the office.
david_taylor_jr — 2017-09-29T08:20:14-04:00 — #6
And why is that not what we need? Those people pay the bulk of the taxes AND also employ the most workers. If they have more money, they employ more people. That being said it also cuts taxes across the board. Try again please.
It is not an actual consensus and the "evidence" is sketchy at best.
The insurance companies are not concerned about clear plans, the ACA itself is what is driving prices up. I can speak intelligently on that subject because that is what I do for a living. The insurers were leaving the markets way before Trump got involved. The mandates of pre-existing coverage drive prices up, the fact that people aren't enrolling to offset the cost are driving prices up. The best thing to do would not be repeal and replace but repeal and deregulate.
The founders didn't have much experience and they did just fine I think.... That's a poor argument Alex.
Reported by who? Charged by who?
Actually, his rhetoric regarding the destruction of North Korea if they attack us etc, is the best we have seen in 30 years.
It's not a Muslim ban as not all Muslims are banned and to keep using that talking point is just dishonest. There is no way you cannot possibly agree that the countries on the lists are terrorist hotspots and filled with people who want to do us harm.
Clinton's actions in the Oval Office during his scandal are the exact opposite of a gentleman Alex....
Actually that was Obama Bill...
You are being willfully blind if you don't see the agenda.
I have seen worse. Her name is Hillary Clinton.
bill_coley — 2017-09-29T10:01:15-04:00 — #7
One word, David: Kansas.
The state provided a quintessential experiment of the tax cut hypothesis you propose, and failed miserably and painfully. So much so, that earlier this year the state's GOP-dominated legislature overrode the governor's veto to raise tax rates.
For 30+ years, conservatives have argued that tax cuts produce job growth, that high income earners funnel their increased income back into new hires. The Kansas experiment was but the latest evidence of that argument's invalidity. There's a reason no national leader is making that argument for the newest edition of proposed tax cuts; they know it's not true (remember the Laffer Curve... which we never hear about anymore?!)
Your assertion of the lack of an "actual consensus" about climate change and its impacts is not evidence of the lack of an "actual consensus." Any objective review of the literature on the matter, and any objective survey of the professional scientific community will show a strong consensus.
The fact of insurance companies' concerns over uncertainties in the market has been widely and frequently reported, David. HERE'S ONE EXAMPLE, and HERE'S ANOTHER.... And because I bet two examples won't satisfy you, HERE'S A THIRD.
You responded only to the experience component of Alex's post, David. Assuming for a moment that 240 years into the history of a nation, employing inexperienced people in government is STILL a good thing (an assumption I dispute, for what it's worth) there's STILL the matter of a president's employing family members in high government posts, none of them confirmed to their positions, which produced inexperienced people with a built-in and powerful conflict of interest in high government positions. I contend - and I'm confident Alex will agree - that's a bad thing.
A quick Google search of the Emoluments clause and the law suit that has been brought against the president because of his alleged violations of same will answer any questions you have.
And that rhetoric has stopped Kim Jon Un's missile testing in its tracks! Why he hasn't tested a missile in....days!
In the past, presidents of both parties knew they didn't have to flex their rhetorical muscles at North Korea because they knew what everybody - including North Korea - knows: That if NK attacks us or our allies, the result would be catastrophic for NK. Trump's bluster on this matter has prompted comparisons of his language and approach to Kim Jon Un's. Whatever your politics, that's NOT a good thing.
You DO remember that during the campaign, Trump made clear his desire for "a complete and total ban of Muslims coming into the United States"?
And exactly why has Chad been added to the list? I've not read reports of its being a "terrorist hotspot." And why isn't Saudi Arabia, home to the 9/11 terrorists, on the list?
That's a powerful argument, David, but remember my claim was that in my view Trump is the worst American president of the 50 years I've been paying attention to politics. So, no, it's not Obama, it's Trump.
Another powerful argument, David. Thanks. But remember I rooted my argument in Trump's persistent mendacity. Clinton critics had many concerns about her, but rampant, ubiquitous, ongoing-cum-daily lying was, to my recollection, never one of them. Please provide links to news reports that such a concern was in fact once prominent.
david_taylor_jr — 2017-09-29T11:31:06-04:00 — #8
You have to also cut regulations Bill, which is what the current administration is already doing. They go hand in hand.
Any objective review of how they actually come up with the numbers for that "consensus" is also telling. It is not as it seems because of the way they word the questions on those surveys. In other words, it is rigged to give a specific and intended result.
I understand what they say in the media, but I'm telling you that isn't what the real cause is on the inside. That's a political statement, not a real business statement.
And which family member has an actual high government post outside of an advisory position? Can you please list one?
That same google search also says he hasn't violated anything.
Right from left-wing whack job liberals. Real world Americans who live in reality know that he is nothing like Un. That being said, diplomacy has failed with NK.
Yeah but you are a liberal nutjob so your view doesn't count
Right...like the one about Benghazi starting with a video.....She portrayed that lie for how long? Or how about "I've turned over all of my work emails" They are still finding them.... Right, I forgot she is a beacon of truth..... #sarcasm
bill_coley — 2017-09-29T12:26:53-04:00 — #9
If at first you don't succeed...change the rules!
No one in Kansas - not even the governor - made a regulations argument to fend off repeal of the state's tax cuts. Had regulations been the issue, surely the GOP-dominated state legislature would have worked with the governor to reduce them. But legislators knew what everyone in- and outside the state knew: Regulations didn't dramatically cut state revenue and fail to stimulate job growth. Tax cuts did.
You make powerful, but unsupported accusations, David. Please provide links to peer-reviewed studies that support them.
I encourage you to re-read the media reports to which I provided links, in which prominent among the people quoted are insurance company people! If not company reps, then whom could those reports have quoted that you would have accepted as "real business statement(s)"?
I consider "senior advisers" to be high government posts; I accept that you don't.
I'm sure you'll recall that Trump's daughter Ivanka took his place at a meeting of heads of state at the recent G20 meeting while he held a 1-on-1 meeting. In my view, being given authority to sit in for the president at a heads of state meeting reflects a high government post.
And in Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner's portfolio is managing Mideast peace negotiations. In my view, being granted the authority to oversee Mideast peace negotiations reflects a high government post.
I wasn't aware that the emoluments clause lawsuit has been settled or dismissed. When did that happen? Can you provide a link?
I've long believed that diplomacy is the most charming characteristic of your posts, David.
You name two. I can name 1,145 from Trump. You won't accept the source or its criteria. But you know as well as I that among those 1,145 are WAY more than two valid claims.
Recall that my claim concerned Trump's "rampant, ubiquitous, ongoing-cum-daily lying." The Post, not to mention Trump's claims this week about a senator's being in the hospital and there being enough votes in the senate to pass Graham-Cassidy(!) provide ample support for my view. Your two suspects don't come close to proving such an accusation against Secretary Clinton.
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-09-29T12:37:45-04:00 — #10
Chad might be on the list because it is located to the south of the US democratized and liberated Lybia ?
Saudi Arabia is not on the list because the folks pulling the strings behind the scenes are in bed with those dudes
On a side note, I would think that much of what comes out of Washington nowadays is NOT really Trump's doing, but rather the doing of the swamp that has not been drained ... we can actually see what might have been the course of action already since Jan 20, had the swamp's "queen" been installed instead of the one who wanted to tame the frogs
david_taylor_jr — 2017-09-29T12:52:33-04:00 — #11
It worked for Reagan....
Front facing for politics is one thing, internal real business is a different matter. Surely you know that exists right?
Let's cut the hysterics. Yes, she sat at a table (something that is not uncommon with all world-leaders) and it was an issue that she is actually actively involved in which cuts into your narrative about "experience." Try again.
You may have a point here, what exactly are his duties in this deal? What does it mean to oversee the negotiations? That, we should probably investigate.
Exactly, it also hasn't been proven either Bill. That's the point.
In another post (I don't remember what thread) I debunked several of those in your source which immediately takes away all credibility of that source.
bill_coley — 2017-09-29T13:44:14-04:00 — #12
How odd that neither of the sources to which you linked mention the tax INCREASES Reagan signed into law primarily because his tax cuts dramatically increased federal deficits.
Taken together, the measures he signed in 1982 and 1984 at that time represented the largest tax increase ever enacted in peace time. So when the stories to which you linked credit tax cuts for the increased tax revenues by the end of the 1980's, they mislead by failing to mention the contribution to those revenues made by the tax increases Reagan approved.
... Oh, and by the way. Once again you have validated the principle I cited last post: If you don't succeed... change the rules!!
- You claimed tax cuts create jobs
- I pointed to Kansas as proof that they don't
- So you changed the subject of your claim away from tax cuts to regulatory reform.
- And now, after I point out that regulations weren't the issue in Kansas, you change the subject again, this time to the Reagan tax cuts.
I hope you don't run out of subjects to change to!
As for the National Review article, what's striking to me is that no one publishes an article summarizing alleged consensus among climate scientists that human activity ISN'T a major contributor to global climate change. Why not? Because the vast majority of scientists - is it 97%? 95%? Heaven help us of it's only 93%!!! - believe climate change is real and that human activity is a major factor. There is NO DOUBT about that fact, David. If there were, you'd be able to document it FAR better than you do.
So in your view, the insurance companies are lying when they blame market uncertainty for their actions? If so, what consequences do you believe those companies should face for their lies?
And I'll repeat my question from last post:
Remember the issue was not just any stand-ins for world leaders; it was Trump family members in high government positions. How "not uncommon" is it for world leaders to be represented by their children at world leader meetings, when, as you claim is true in Trump's case, those children do not hold high government positions?
You asked me to list one Trump family member who holds an "actual high government post outside of an advisory position." You disputed the first one I cited, but you say I "may have a point" on my second one; you even propose an investigation. Sounds like you acknowledge that I complied with your request.
There is no "point" when it comes to the lawsuit to which I referred, because the suit has not been settled!
Actually, that's not what happened.
You can revisit the exchange for yourself starting HERE.
I think it's fair to say you offered what you believed was evidence to "debunk" one or two of the Post's claims. But when I pressed you on the details of your claims, you, at best, changed the subject of your claim... much as you have done in our current exchange!
david_taylor_jr — 2017-09-29T14:00:29-04:00 — #13
Actually I haven't changed anything Bill. It is still proven that tax CUTS increase the economy. State tax cuts can only do so much, we are talking Federal.
I acknowledge it under certain conditions. What is his ACTUAL role, what part does he take? That being said, that was only part of your assertion and problem with family. You also said they were all inexperienced and unqualified.
I can't help it if you can't keep up and understand subjects are broader than one line of a sentence Bill. WaPos claims were utterly twisted and false.
bill_coley — 2017-09-29T14:47:23-04:00 — #14
As I noted, David, you changed the content/evidence of your argument, and did so multiple times.
- I disagree with you about the effect of tax cuts.
- You didn't respond to the tax INCREASES Reagan implemented.
- Kansas state officials never argued that the tax cuts they approved could "only do so much." And what those cuts DID do was cut revenue and explode the state's indebtedness. The fact that the state's GOP-dominated legislature overrode the governor's veto to roll back some of the tax cuts tells me they didn't believe the tax cuts had grown the state's economy.
In fact I said the result was "inexperienced people with a built-in and powerful conflict of interest in high government positions," a claim to which you responded with an acknowledgment that "under certain conditions" I "may have point."
You have not responded to my assertion of the existence of a "built-in and powerful conflict of interest" when family members serve in the roles filled by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.
And exactly what experience in international affairs - specifically, peace negotiations - did Jared Kushner have?
It's nice to have the old David back!
david_taylor_jr — 2017-09-29T14:57:44-04:00 — #15
You are entitled to your opinion.
I never left
david_taylor_jr — 2017-10-01T12:36:47-04:00 — #16
I'm saying if you want to know the real reason for rate increases, go to ratereview.healthcare.gov where you can download the actual filings for rate increases for 2018. It has to do with actual expenses to the insurers. Not speculation on the craziness over the Republican effort.
bill_coley — 2017-10-01T13:47:26-04:00 — #17
The issue with uncertainty, as I'm sure you know as someone who works in the industry, is NOT cost increases per se, but rather government subsidies to insurers TO OFFSET those cost increases - so-called "cost-sharing reductions" (CSRs). Without CSRs, insurers have little choice but to pass along to consumers a higher proportion of health care cost increases, which results in higher deductibles and premiums (see HERE)
Insurers have openly declared that the Trump administration's long-standing wavering on whether it would continue to provide CSRs has introduced great uncertainty into the market, and compelled them to raise costs to consumers.
Had the Trump administration from the beginning declared its commitment to CSR provision, and had it not taken any of the several other actions it has taken to undermine the ACA, such as cutting by 90% the program's marketing budget and closing healthcare.gov for half the day on most Sundays during this year's open enrollment period, I am confident the market would look noticeably better today than it does.
david_taylor_jr — 2017-10-01T21:19:45-04:00 — #18
That isn't how the CSR's work. The premiums and the CSR's are not directly related. If you look at the premium without subsidy and CSR, that is what is being raised, drastically. Please read the actual rate increase requests. Medications cost more, claims are up, etc. These are the reasons for market increases. And yes, I do know that as someone in the industry. I linked you to the actual documentation for the insurers, have you read any of them?
This doesn't undermine the ACA, the marketing budget was not needed as the media does plenty to market the ACA
This is grasping straws. The site will be closed for maintenance for all of 60 hours during the 45 day OE period. That leaves 1020 hours for people to sign up. That is more than enough time. Also, the downtimes were strategically placed on Sundays EARLY when many people would not be shopping for health insurance.
bill_coley — 2017-10-01T22:35:44-04:00 — #19
I did look at the documentation from a few of the insurers. I didn't see any specific mention of the role CSRs play in those companies' business models. Perhaps you can direct me to one?
As to CSRs and premiums, according to the Congressional Budget Office and every other source I consulted, there is in fact a direct relationship between CSRs and premiums. CBO says...
Because they would still be required to bear the costs of CSRs even without payments from the government, participating insurers would raise premiums of “silver” plans to cover the costs. In order to qualify for CSRs, most enrollees must purchase a silver plan through the nongroup insurance marketplace in their area, generally have income between 100 percent and 250 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), receive premium tax credits toward the silver plan, and not be eligible for other types of coverage, such as employment-based coverage or Medicaid. According to CBO and JCT’s projections, for single policyholders, gross premiums (that is, before premium tax credits are accounted for) for silver plans offered through the marketplaces would, on average, rise by about 20 percent in 2018 relative to the amount in CBO’s March 2016 baseline and rise slightly more in later years.
For insurance to be a profitable business, healthy persons must purchase coverage so that their premiums can contribute to revenue streams that offset claims costs. Marketing plays a prominent role in making the case for coverage to younger, healthier persons.
As for media coverage, what's the storyline the media have focused on? The need for and value of young, healthy persons having health insurance? No. Rather media reports have focused on premium increases, market instability, and the exit of providers from particular states. That's not the kind of marketing campaign that will drive younger , healthier persons to get coverage.
Targeted marketing is needed to counter narratives such as those and to reach younger, healthier persons.
In recent years, healthcare.gov was up 99.99% of the time during the OE period. This year the Trump administration is keeping it open 92.86% Why cut its up time at all, particularly when the administration has also cut the OE period in half?
Why would they reduce marketing, shorten the OE period, and cut the uptime of the ACA's website if not to undermine the success of this year's enrollment? Please identify one action the Trump administration has taken whose intention was to increase ACA enrollment.
david_taylor_jr — 2017-10-02T08:48:36-04:00 — #20
The CBO has nothing to do with the insurance companies. And the CBO has been wrong time and time again with everything related to Obamacare.
You would have to be living under a rock to not know that. No marketing necessary.
Healthier persons aren't going to get coverage on the exchanges BECAUSE of the high prices. No amount of marketing will change that.
Then how come that didn't work in the Obama years?
Once again, this is grasping at straws. If you can't enroll in a plan in 45 days you probably weren't going to enroll anyway.
By the way, they flat said they were shortening the OE to reduce the risk of adverse selection. That would actually HELP keep costs down.
Why should they try to increase enrollment? The coverage is terrible, the prices are terrible. They need to just trash the thing and deregulate the industry.
But if Trump is the reason prices are skyrocketing this year, what was Obama's excuse?
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