By Juan Cole / Informed Comment

Yes, Trump’s gratuitous Twitter insult to newswoman Mika Brzezinski was horrible. But U.S. cable news and even a lot of print news are falling down on the job by focusing on these clashes of personality that Trump provokes.

In contrast, corporate news is not doing a good job of covering Trump’s planned tax cuts for the rich at the expense of middle class Americans (Time Warner, Viacom, Comcast and the other media giants would benefit from the tax cuts). They won’t say a word about climate change, even though we only have two or three years to swing into very substantial action in order to prevent climate chaos. They do talk about health care, but their he said-she said model muddies the waters on how all our oxen are about to be gored by Mitch McConnell for the sake of his billionaire buddies.

So here’s what we ought to be talking about.

1. Trump and the GOP Congress are coming for Medicaid.

Medicaid is for low-income and disabled patients. Trump and the GOP are going to kick 15 million people off it and cut $772 billion out of it over 10 years. That is, he is going to leave 15 million people without the care they need to give a tax break to the super-rich. Some of them will suffer. Some of them will die.

Plus they are going to kick 22 million people who have coverage under the ACA off of health insurance by ensuring it is too expensive. They are going to raise deductibles. Again, hundreds of billions will instead go to the super-rich (I mean mainly to the 600 billionaires in the US. Most of what the GOP does is for those 600 people, and a handful of them don’t even want it). And, again, millions of people will be sicker than they need to be and some will die.

Trumpcare will kill 20,000 people a year by 2025.

Through summer of 2016, ISIL killed 1,200 people outside Syria and Iraq, i.e. in Europe and elsewhere in South Asia and the Middle East.

That is, Trumpcare is 20 times more dangerous in the West than the terror threat of ISIL.

2. Trump has literally taken away the right to clean water. He is fine if it is full of mercury (a nerve poison released by burning coal) and lead (which causes permanent damage to IQ and attention span in children).

3. Not to mention that he is trying to roll back limitations on toxic carbon dioxide emissions, which because it is a greenhouse gas, are poisoning our planet. Climate change could reduce GDP by three percent a year and plunge the U.S. into a permanent Great Recession. It will hit Texas and the southeast especially hard.

4. Trump would like to kill America’s scientific and technological advantages in the world by slashing funding for science and science research, reducing us to a fourth-world country.

5. Trump has deeply endangered U.S. national security by making us a laughingstock and reducing by orders of magnitude the likelihood that any other powers will partner with us in world affairs. The U.S. needs allies and partners, but Trump has told them to jump in a lake, and anyway they can see how flaky he is. Imagine him calling up Emmanuel Macron in France and asking him to join in a military operation! Yet George H. W. Bush was able to call up the Socialist president of France, Francois Mitterrand, and convince him to join in the Gulf War to rescue little Kuwait from the clutches of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. When a president now cannot do things on the world stage a president could do only 27 years ago, that is a sign of deep and worrisome decline.


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