Sunday, January 6, 2019

Trump shutdown the government, harming our citizens, because 'most people aren’t worthy of respect'.

I’ll come back to that quote a bit later. In the meantime, let’s look at a few areas of harm inflicted by the guy who accepted the “mantle” for the shutdown.

Millions face delayed tax refunds, cuts to food stamps as White House scrambles to deal with shutdown’s consequences reports the Washington Post.

Jeez. Consequences? Who would have thought?

Food stamps for 38 million low-income Americans would face severe reductions and more than $140 billion in tax refunds are at risk of being frozen or delayed if the government shutdown stretches into February, widespread disruptions that threaten to hurt the economy.

The Trump administration, which had not anticipated a long-term shutdown, recognized only this week the breadth of the potential impact, several senior administration officials said. The officials said they were focused now on understanding the scope of the consequences and determining whether there is anything they can do to intervene.

I read that bit of incompetence and had to read it again.

Here are snippets from three consequences.

Let them eat cake

The SNAP program is rare among federal initiatives because it requires annual funding from Congress, even though its existence is automatically renewed.

Congress has not allocated funding for SNAP beyond January, and the program’s emergency reserves would not cover even two-thirds of February’s payments, according to past disbursements. Last September, the most recent month for which data is available, SNAP disbursed $4.7 billion in benefits to recipients across every U.S. state.

Lawmakers last year appropriated $3 billion into a “contingency” fund for SNAP. USDA officials would not comment on the status of the $3 billion, but if all of that money is still available, it would cover just 64 percent of February’s obligations.

Agency officials have not said how they would address the shortfall, including whether they would prioritize who receives food aid or cut benefits for everyone across the board.

If the shutdown continues through March, there would be no remaining money for benefits.

And Trump has sworn to continue the shutdown indefinitely: “months”.

It’s really taxing

Under normal schedules, tax returns for income earned in 2018 would be due April 15. People who anticipate receiving a tax refund — meaning they overpaid their taxes last year — tend to file their taxes as early as possible to recoup the funds quickly.

“It would be a huge political and economic hit for people who are expecting their $2,500 or $3,000 refund to not be able to get that money,” said Mark Mazur, a former top IRS official who served at Treasury during the Obama administration.

This could have an immediate impact on the economy, as well as on the finances of millions of Americans who frequently spend their tax refunds soon after receiving them.

Economic growth

"People in this country will go hungry,” said Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.). “It’s simple. They go hungry. . . . These are working people. We’re not talking about people who are dogging it.”

The disruption would hurt not only the families that receive the assistance but also grocers and other retailers where the money is spent.

The cumulative impact of these changes could have a major impact on the economy.

Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist at RMS U.S., an accounting and consulting firm, said a prolonged shutdown would shave an entire percentage point off the U.S.’s economic growth, in part because of an “uncertainty tax” that would freeze spending by households and businesses.

“If one doesn’t know what’s going to happen with respect to their own income . . . there will be a pull back on the purchase of big-ticket items,” he said. “Large firms will pull back on outlays on software, equipment and capital.”

Respect

You want to know why this is happening? It comes down to respect for our citizens - or, rather, lack thereof. Remember what King Donald said a while back, as I posted back in November.

Here is my response from a December 2017 post in this blog.

Back in October 2016 I picked up on a NY Times report and posted on this telling quote: Donald Trump: “you can’t respect people because most people aren’t worthy of respect”

… What Drives Donald Trump? Fear of Losing Status, Tapes Show.
The New York Times obtained “Recordings of Donald J. Trump [that] reveal a man who is fixated on his own celebrity, anxious about losing his status and contemptuous of those who fall from grace.”

The Times reported:

Who earns his respect? “For the most part,” he said, “you can’t respect people because most people aren’t worthy of respect.”

I concluded: “All people are worthy of respect until and unless proven otherwise. Trump proves otherwise on every day of his life.”

His decision to shut down the government and thereby to inflict harm on the American people proves that conclusion to be spot on.

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