Progressive Breakfast for May 25

Morning Message

Of Budgets and Beatitudes: The Pope Meets the Donald

Contrary to what some might have expected, the universe did not explode in an antimatter fireball when Pope Francis and Donald Trump came together. Nevertheless, the Pope’s dissatisfaction, and their different views of justice and compassion, are plain to see.

 

Lies and Rounding Errors

White House denies “egregious” $2 trillion math mistake in budget. BBC: “Former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers pointed out the spending plan double-counts $2tr… but White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told reporters: ‘We stand by the numbers”… The budget forecasts about $2tr in extra federal revenue growth over the next 10 years, which it uses to pay for Mr Trump’s ‘biggest tax cut in history’. But that very same $2tr is then used to reduce the budget deficit. ‘My observation is that there appears to be a logical error of the kind that would justify failing a student in an introductory economics course,’ Mr Summers wrote.

‘It’s frankly a lie’: GOP lawmaker on Trump’s budget math. WaPo: “Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney heard plenty of criticism of the blueprint — mainly from Democrats, with one outspoken exception. Republican Mark Sanford — a fellow South Carolinian who belongs to the House Freedom Caucus, the hard-right group Mulvaney helped found — used his five minutes of questioning at the hearing to sharply challenge the bedrock of the Trump budget: an economic growth assumption of 3 percent…’I have looked every which way at how you might get there, and you can’t get there, Sanford said… ‘I think it is just disastrously consequential to build a budget on 3 percent growth. The Bible says you can’t build a house on a sandy foundation. What it does is it perpetuates a myth that we can go out there and balance a budget without touching entitlements. It’s not only a myth, it’s frankly a lie, and if it gets started at the executive branch level it moves from there.'”

The five major economic lies of Team Trump. WaPo: “Between the health-care plan it supported, its tax-reform outline and its budget, the Trump administration has demonstrated an unusual degree of intellectual dishonesty… it is rare to see a team of advisers so blatantly and ineptly trying to conceal what they are up to. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s recent testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee… and an interview with CNBC reveal the five major head fakes the Trump administration is trying to pull off.”

CBO Countdown

CBO scores Zombie Trumpcare: 23 million uninsured in ten years, but the House doesn’t have to revote. DailyKOS: “The Congressional Budget Office has released its score of Zombie Trumpcare, slightly revising the number the bill would make uninsured by 2026 as compared to current law – Obamacare – from 24 million to 23 million, which adds up to 51 million total uninsured by that year including those who would remain uninsured even under current law. They estimate it would reduce the federal deficit over the next 10 years by $119 billion, $32 billion less than the savings estimated for the original Trumpcare bill. That savings means that the House won’t have to revote and can send the bill on to the Senate, which is doing its own thing anyway. As far as the stability of the insurance markets and premium increases, they predict prices would come down for healthy people because the sick people would be driven out of the individual market.”

Get Ready to Rumble

Montana GOP candidate charged with assault after body-slamming reporter for asking about CBO count. Guardian: “The Republican candidate for Montana’s congressional seat has been charged with misdemeanor assault after he is alleged to have slammed a Guardian reporter to the floor on the eve of the state’s special election, breaking his glasses and shouting, ‘Get the hell out of here.’ Ben Jacobs, a Guardian political reporter, was asking Greg Gianforte, a tech millionaire endorsed by Donald Trump, about the Republican healthcare plan when the candidate allegedly ‘body-slammed’ the reporter.”

Democrats flip two GOP districts, building excitement. Common Dreams: “Two districts in New York and New Hampshire that voted for President Donald Trump on Tuesday elected Democrats to state seats, a promising signal that red areas are ready to be flipped as congressional special elections and midterms approach.”

More from OurFuture.org:

The Great Betrayal: Donald Trump’s Budget. Bob Borosage: “Donald Trump’s FY 2018 budget raises a long, fat middle finger to the working class voters who helped to put him in office; it’s a stunning betrayal. Far worse is that it opens the door for Republicans in Congress to do extreme damage.”

What Betsy DeVos Calls Education Transformation Is Actually Public Theft. Jeff Bryant: “Betsy DeVos wants to give your tax dollars to private schools and businesses, and tell you it’s an education “transformation.” She’s eager to “get Washington and the Federal bureaucracy out of the way,” but she wants you to pay for it.”