Update: It didn’t take long for Kellyanne Conway to state what Trump plans to do with Medicare. He’s going to save it for everyone *currently* using it. (See post below) The rest of us? What do you think? I think the bulk of the fabulous tax cuts we’re going to get are going to come from social security and Medicare phaseout. Make Americans Destitute Again! yay
Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s “senior advisor”, refers to himself as a modern day Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell, as you may recall, was one of the first true English statesmen. His goal was to pull England out of the Middle Ages with respect to banking, commerce and the modernization of the state itself where a bunch of 16th century technocrats would run the joint while the aristocrats idylled in their game preserves.
One of Cromwell’s ideas was if you kept the restless poor masses fed and busy, you could calm insurrection, allowing business to bloom. He tried to get parliament to pay attention, as illustrated in this passage from Hilary Mantel’s brilliant book, Bring Up The Bodies:
“In March , Parliament knocks back his [Thomas Cromwell’s] new poor law. It was too much for the Commons to digest that rich men might have some duty to the poor. If you get fat, as some men do who profit from the wool trade, you have some responsibility to the men turned off their land, the laborers without labor, the sowers without a field. England needs roads, forts, harbors, bridges. Men need work. It’s a shame seeing them begging their bread, when honest labor could keep the realm secure. Can we not put them together, the hands and the tasks?
But Parliament cannot see how it is the State’s job to create work. Are not these matters in God’s hands, and is not poverty and dereliction part of his eternal order? To everything there is a season- a time to starve and a time to thieve. If rain falls six months solid and rots the grain in the fields, there must be Providence in it. God knows his trade. It is an outrage to the rich and enterprising to suggest that they should pay an income tax only to put bread in the mouths of the work shy. And if Secretary Cromwell argues that famine provokes criminality, well, are there not hangmen enough?
The King himself comes to the Commons to argue for the law. He wants to be Henry the Beloved, a father to his people, a shepherd to his flock. But the Commons sit stoney faced on their benches and stare him out. The wreckage of the measure is comprehensive. “It is ended up as an Act for the Whipping of Beggars”, Richard Rich says. “It is more against the poor than for them.”
Soooo, that went well.
The problem with the last election is that the people who voted for Trump, and the rest of us who didn’t but are stuck with him, is that the voters what chose to “drain the swamp” ended up with a swamp only slightly less full. The Republicans are in charge of the House and Senate just like they were before the election. The Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan’s nickname is “granny starver” because he’s intent on dismantling Medicare and slashing social security. Oh, yes, oh best beloveds, he’s got binders full of plans and now that Obama is out of the way, he and his wealthy aristocratic friends will not be afraid to whip those babies out and ram them down our throats whether we’ve worked all our lives for those benefits or not.
I think he’ll be clever about it. He’ll grandfather in your grandfather who is already receiveing SS and Medicare. That will be the generational divide he’s been waiting for. It will be the Republican version of the ACA’s pre-existing conditions manuever. Of course, you will be expected to sacrifice so granny can eat.
And who could argue with that?
Ryan will flatter King Henry VIII, er, Donald, and Donald will come home to his wealthy and well connected roots. Eventually, he’ll turn on Bannon. So easy to do, just continue to play up his white nationalist roots.
Oh, I’m not feeling sorry for Bannon and his “ends justifies the means” repugnant version of white nationalism. He’s no Thomas Cromwell, who, if history is correct, really did have a social conscience, even if he did have to play the King’s game as he raped and pillaged the Church. That whole ordeal with Anne Boleyn was self preservation. The palace wasn’t big enuf for the two of them.
But sooner or later, Bannon will have to go. Whatever secret plans he had to make sure the wild and angry mob stayed pacified will be scrapped by the aristocrats we still left in Congress.
His king will turn on him and he’ll lose his head and we’ll be deprived of our safety net. The Ryans and Pences will look down upon us and ridicule us for not saving more of our meager earnings. They will judge us for daring to change God’s plans for us.
Wait and see.
Today is my birthday. I hereby declare The Confluence a beet free zone!
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