Publisher Bruce Trogdon

Surprise, surprise. The impeachment saga rolls on. We decided to avoid talking about it week after week and continue discussing some of the real policy plans that are being advanced during the presidential campaign.

Last week, I wrote about the wealth taxes being proposed by Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Our readers voted two to one against such taxes. Predictably, most of the emails I received were about me being so ... liberal! So liberal that I dared to even bring up the subject of wealth taxes and present both arguments for reader discussion.

Bernie Sanders’ recent heart attack makes Warren’s chances of being the nominee even higher, so I think we should continue exploring some of the bold policy positions that leading Democrat candidates are advancing. I credit them for doing so forthrightly, especially Bernie. That is what elections are for.

My incoming emails suggested that I should instead try harder to find good things to say about President Trump and defend him against this latest attempt at impeachment. My responses were basically as follows.

First, I did not state my own opinion on the wealth tax, but if you want to know, I am not a fan. It is just an important topic that has not been given much air time due to the impeachment furor. One email called me a “closet liberal” for even bringing it up! Believe me, if Elizabeth Warren becomes the Democratic nominee, it won’t be the last time you hear that subject discussed.

My goal, and that of Post Publisher Mike Trogdon (my son), is to stimulate viewpoints from all sides on our opinion pages. We have consistently done that in our 44-year history. We do this by linking a reader poll to my column, through our uniquely-local open forum guest column approach and in our letters to the editor. It may be the old fashioned way, but I am an old (literally) newspaperman.

Earlier this year, I wrote a column about Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg being a name you should know. Almost nobody had heard of him and I felt he did a good job of articulating his viewpoints so I did a little piece on him that predicted he would be a rising candidate. He is now fourth in the polls, so I am glad we did. I still get emails talking about Buttigieg being “my” candidate that I “endorsed” (I did not).

To reiterate, the goal of this column is not to promote my own viewpoint. I enjoy reading some opinion columns, but there are so many these days we don’t need one more. Let’s leave that to other Posts like the one in Washington.

Second, yes, I have written here multiple times that I am not a fan of Trump’s behavior. Still, I do agree with many policies he gets bashed for, such as trade with China (somebody needed to stand up to them). Stimulating the economy by eliminating excessive bureaucratic regulation is another. I also agree that the “mainstream” media is unbelievably biased towards him.

My personal problem with Trump is that he brings the vitriol on himself, especially with his tweeting. I also do not like his erratic careening from one stance to another and his tweets are often contradictory to that of his official spokesmen.

For instance, during the campaign he denounced President Obama for “drawing a line in the sand” in Syria and then not backing it up. When elected, Trump leaned heavily on our alliance with the Kurds to stop the Russia/Iran advance in Syria and destroying the ISIS caliphate much quicker than Obama predicted was possible. He deserves credit for that. Now, after one phone call to Turkish strongman President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he immediately pulls troops out and leaves our ally, the Kurds, defenseless.

This is one of the reasons that Secretary of Defense James Mattis resigned. Even Republican leaders, when awakening to news accounts on the withdrawal announcement, denounced Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds. Pentagon officials struggled to justify it when told that Kurdish commanders said they would have to abandon the Syrian prisons, holding thousands of captured Islamic State fighters.

Trump responded to the criticism by tweeting “if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!).” Tweets like that, from the president of the United States, continuously astound me. He did go on to say that he had campaigned on the idea of bringing troops home, which he did. I wish he would have just left it at that, without the egomaniacal bombast.

This week’s Post online poll question focuses just on that angle: “Do President Trump’s tweets help or hurt America’s cause?”

(2) comments

MrGreg

It was reported at the beginning of the year that the Treasury was to borrow $1 trillion dollars, for the second year in a row, to cover what was lost with the tax cuts and the extra spending. In other words, the Federal deficit. To be fair, the Treasury borrowed $1 trillion in 2008 when Obama was president to help stimulate the economy during the financial crisis during that time.



War always brings debt, with WWII being the worst in our country's history, debt wise, until now. If things continue the way it has, the national debt will exceed WWII's by around 2030, and keep soaring.



The comments in reference to "wealth tax" has prompted me to write these comments. While the tax rate for the super rich has been declining since 1960, for the first time in our country's history the average effective tax rate of the top 400 richest families of our "wealthiest" country is now lower than the bottom 50 percent of working class households. How much money does one need to live on? Just as the working poor.



I don't know if this link will post...



https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/10/08/first-time-history-us-billionaires-paid-lower-tax-rate-than-working-class-last-year/?fbclid=IwAR3YU5m_YXWEUrgW1A7fAtCNBLxY05IaT4L_Y3Q_PmSOBQ6fp5o_J_dqizc

MrGreg

When I typed up my comments I purposely created paragraphs for better reading, but they went away when I hit the "post" button. I also see that I misspelled at least one word, maybe more, but it seems I can't go back to edit and correct.

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