By Christopher R Rice, Ron’s Spot
UPDATE: Melania Trump’s Hotel Charges Were $174,000 For A Day Trip To Toronto: Records
The number of homeless children and homeless US veterans is swelling while our leaders are on a spending spree. LE is doing their best to run the homeless off wherever they find them so it looks like there isn’t a problem.
Fake growth, fake money, fake jobs, fake financial stability, fake inflation numbers.
With a wave and a smile, First Lady Melania Trump arrived in Ghana Tuesday.
Her $2,000 striped dress by Celine fluttered in the wind as she descended the steps of her aircraft. On the tarmac, she was welcomed with a bouquet of flowers from an 8-year-old girl.
The first family returned to the White House Sunday after their working vacation at the president’s country club in New Jersey.
Barron was seen sporting a white polo shirt, khaki pants and New Balance sneakers, along with slicked-back hair.
Meanwhile, The New York Times has published a story centering on Melania’s life in The White House. The article confirmed previous reports that she and the president sleep in separate bedrooms and stay in separate hotel suites when they travel.
The first lady returns to New York once a month to meet with a small trusted circle that includes her hairdresser and her sister, Ines, who lives in a Trump building on the Upper East Side in New York, according to the Times.
Barron’s attire for the weekend has spawned whispers that he is making a statement with his outfits and he’s made an impact in the fashion world.
IT’S JUST SICKENING
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) states that the nation’s homeless veterans are predominantly male, with roughly 9% being female.
Although flawless counts are impossible to come by – the transient nature of homeless populations presents a major difficulty – the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that 40,056 veterans are homeless on any given night.
America’s homeless veterans have served in World War II, the Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq (OEF/OIF), and the military’s anti-drug cultivation efforts in South America. Nearly half of homeless veterans served during the Vietnam era. Two-thirds served our country for at least three years, and one-third were stationed in a war zone.
About 1.4 million other veterans, meanwhile, are considered at risk of homelessness due to poverty, lack of support networks, and dismal living conditions in overcrowded or substandard housing.
One In Five American Children Go Hungry and are Malnourished (Forbes)
- 18% of American children – some 13.3 million – were living in poverty in 2016, making up almost a third of the total poor;
- more than one in five homeless people are children, including 1.3 million school students who were without a home during the academic year;
- infant mortality, at 5.8 deaths per 1,000 live births, is almost 50% higher than other advanced nations;
- the US ranks 25th out of 29 industrialized countries in terms of the amount it invests in young children.
Child homelessness in U.S. hit all-time high in recent years, new report says
2.5 million homeless children in America today
40% of homeless have jobs – vets homeless too
People in North America Are Starving While the Republicans and the Democrats are on a spending spree
President Trump’s trade representative is spending nearly $1 million on new furniture.
The New York Post discovered that US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer Lighthizer had authorized nearly $1,000,000 in spending to renovate two of his Washington, DC offices on the taxpayer’s dime. That figure included a 30-inch, $859 plaque emblazoned with the words “Executive Office of the President,” 90 office chairs billed at $600 apiece, and a $3,500 antique desk for himself.
The Interior Department is spending $139,000 for new doors for Secretary Ryan Zinke’s office suite, according to records posted online.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke spent more than $14,000 on government helicopters this summer to take himself and staff to and from official events near Washington, D.C., in order to accommodate his attendance at a swearing-in ceremony for his replacement in Congress and a horseback ride with Vice President Mike Pence, according to previously undisclosed official travel documents.
The travel logs, released to POLITICO via a Freedom of Information Act request, show Zinke using taxpayer-funded vehicles from the U.S. Park Police to help accommodate his political events schedule.
When Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and his wife Louise Linton deplaned in Lexington, Kentucky on August 21, 2017 – a trip that coincided with the solar eclipse – the tableau became an almost instant meme for government excess. Many responded to the tone-deaf descriptions Ms. Linton offered on Instagram of the head-to-toe designer clothing she was wearing and how fiercely she lashed out to critics. But for CREW the focal point was their mode of transportation: a military jet. As part of an administration supposedly committed to draining the swamp, why did the treasury secretary need a military jet to transport himself and his wife, when a readily available commercial flight would have saved thousands of dollars in taxpayer money and likely gotten them to their destination just as quickly?
To find out more, CREW filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Treasury Department for Secretary Mnuchin’s travel records. Hearing nothing, CREW sued and only then, months later, did CREW receive the requested documents, many with redactions. Those records make clear that Secretary Mnuchin has legitimately earned a place in the rogues’ gallery of cabinet secretaries who have abused their all too easy access to military and other non-commercial aircraft for both business travel and what, upon closer inspection, appears to sometimes include personal travel.
The White House approved the use of military aircraft for multi-national trips by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to Africa and Europe this spring, and to Asia in the summer, at a cost of more than $500,000 to taxpayers.
The overseas trips bring the total cost to taxpayers of Price’s travels to more than $1 million since May, according to a POLITICO review.
Related: Nikki Haley accepted private flights from GOP donors while in office; IG investigation requested
Scott Pruitt’s $25,000 soundproof phone booth? It actually cost more like $43,000.
The agency paid a Virginia firm $7,978 to remove closed-circuit television equipment to make room for the booth, according to a federal database. Officials hired another contractor to pour 55 square feet of concrete more than two feet thick, at a cost of $3,470, according to invoices released under a public records request by the watchdog group American Oversight. Other workers installed a drop ceiling for $3,361, while still others patched and painted the small area for $3,350, records show.
In total, the EPA appears to have spent more than $18,000 on the prep work, readying the space for a $25,000 soundproof booth that has brought Pruitt a wave of criticism and official scrutiny. The total cost for the project now appears to be closer to $43,000.
No previous EPA leaders have had such a setup.Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has taken at least four noncommercial and military flights since mid-February, costing taxpayers more than $58,000 to fly him to various parts of the country, according to records provided to a congressional oversight committee and obtained by The Washington Post.
The Environmental Protection Agency paid a Capitol Hill condo association $2,460 after Administrator Scott Pruitt’s security detail broke down the door, believing he was unconscious and unresponsive and needed rescue, ABC News has confirmed.
The protective detail then broke down the building’s glass-paneled front door and ascended two flights to Pruitt’s $50-a-night bedroom, where two sources tell ABC News he was found drunk and groggy with an empty bottle of sleeping pills. It is unclear what led to the panic that caused the response. Pruitt declined medical attention, and a police report was never filed.
A massive deficit will be President Donald Trump‘s legacy, financial strategists are warning as the U.S. budget is expected to rise to accommodate the government’s spending plan.
“My view is that this fiscal expansion is probably the most foolhardy escapade in modern economic policy history,” Albert Edwards, an ultra-bearish global strategist at Societe Generale, said in a client note Wednesday.
While agreeing that he felt U.S. corporate taxes were anomalously high, Edwards criticized the timing of the fiscal stimulus as “utterly ridiculous” and warns it “will only accelerate the collapse of U.S. financial markets as the Federal Reserve hikes rates even more quickly.”
The Trump administration’s proposed $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, $200 billion of which is to be provided by the federal government, comes on top of a recently-passed spending budget of $300 billion over the next two years. That stimulus is in addition to the Republican-led Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December, which is estimated to deliver $1.5 trillion in tax cuts over next decade. And interest payments will add $420 billion to the national debt over that same time frame, pushing the deficit above $2 trillion, according to the Committee for a Responsible Budget. The current budget deficit is $440 billion.
Edwards said in the note, adding that “the post-mortem will identify President Trump’s ludicrously timed fiscal stimulus as a key trigger for the collapse.” “This is an extraordinary gamble with Americans’ future fiscal health.”
The Heritage Foundation, a notably conservative economic policy think tank in Washington, D.C., described the spending plans as unsound.
“It fails as sound fiscal policy,” said Justin Bogie this week, the foundation’s senior policy analyst in fiscal affairs, noting that just last year the Trump administration proposed balancing the federal budget within a decade.
“This proposal would add an additional $7 trillion to the national debt — something not even a big spender like President Obama ever proposed,” he said on the foundation’s website.
“This is the dumbest thing the U.S. could possibly do,” Chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, Ian Shepherdson said of the spending bill. “Politicians are acting exclusively on re-elections and not on the effect of the real economy.”
DEMOGRAPHICS OF HOMELESS VETERANS
- 11% of the homeless adult population are veterans
- 20% of the male homeless population are veterans
- 68% reside in principal cities
- 32% reside in suburban/rural areas
- 51% of individual homeless veterans have disabilities
- 50% have serious mental illness
- 70% have substance abuse problems
- 57% are white males, compared to 38% of non-veterans
- 50% are age 51 or older, compared to 19% non-veterans
CORRUPTION AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS
It’s an open secret in Washington that if you want to get Trump’s attention you should stay in his Washington hotel or better yet, buy a membership in one of his golf clubs. It’s clear that Trump’s economic policies are dictated by his friends. For example, the New York Times reported that the implementation of the steel tariffs has guided by Trump supporters at two large US steel companies, Nucor and US Steel. As another example, Trump plans a coal company bailout that will help some of his biggest donors. And, of course, it’s well established that the 2017 Trump-sponsored tax cuts primarily favored big GOP donors. Finally, early in the month, ProPublica reported that Trump has ceded control of the VA to three members of his Mar-A-Lago resort.
Corruption infests Trump’s cabinet. We’ve already seen several cabinet members leave because of corruption charges (Tom Price and Scott Pruitt). Several others are being investigated. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has been accused of stealing $120 million at his investment company—Ross is also accused of violating conflict-of-interest laws and filing false information.
For Trump, his family, and his close associates, corruption is tied to self dealing. The most noteworthy case involves emoluments. Article I of the Constitution says, “No Person holding any Office… shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” On March 28th, a Federal Judge in Maryland let an emolument lawsuit go forward. This action, brought by the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland, focuses on the Trump International Hotel in Washington DC: “The District of Columbia and Maryland said their local residents who compete with Trump’s businesses, such as Trump International Hotel… , are harmed by decreased patronage, wages and tips…”
Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner is said to be under investigation for self dealing. So is Trump’s son, Donald Junior.
Close Trump associates have either been indicted (Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort) or are under investigation (Elliott Broidy)
Homeless U.S. Veterans
Socialism for the super rich and Capitalism for the poor
War on Poverty FAILURE
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