February 12 - Trump's Budget and the $1 Trillion It Adds to the Deficit; Trump's Infrastructure Plan Critics Call a Scam; America's Retreat Under Trump

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Part 1

We begin with President Trump’s 2019 budget  released today which guts diplomacy by 32% and environmental protection by 34% while slashing domestic spending by billions in food stamps, health insurance and federal housing subsidies at the same time boosting defense spending and immigration enforcement. Mike Lofgren, who has spent 28 years in Congress the last 16 of which as senior analyst on the House and Senate Budget Committees, joins us to discuss the $4.4 trillion budget which adds $7 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years and his article in tomorrow’s New York Times which is a detailed analysis of the budget. We look into the charges of Republican hypocrisy leveled by Senator Rand Paul over the GOP’s sudden abandonment of their mantra on the doom and gloom of mounting deficits, and assess how long it will be before Trump’s working class voters realize they have been scammed by a one-time bonus instead of a pay raise while consumer protection is eliminated, workplace health and safety stripped and collective bargaining outlawed.

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Part 2

Then we get an analysis of Trump’s much-ballyhooed  infrastructure plan that critics are calling a scam and speak with Robert Puentes, the President and CEO of the ENO Center for Transportation, an independent, non-partisan think tank which focusses on infrastructure. He joins us to discuss a largely aspirational plan that takes $200 billion from existing infrastructure spending with the hope of leveraging that with state and local spending and private investment up to $1.5 trillion.  This is far below what the American Society of Civil Engineers considers is the $4.59 trillion needed in infrastructure spending and would likely mean that more tolls and usage fees would be involved to create revenue streams to attract private investors.

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Part 3

Then finally with Trump’s budget taking an axe to American diplomacy, we examine the paradox of throwing more money at defense while the president’s ignorance, ineptitude and inattention has seen America lose ground in the Middle East with Russia moving in to Egypt, Libya, Syria and Turkey while China makes gains in Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Southeast Asia. Historian Alfred McCoy, the author of “In the Shadow of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power”, joins us to discuss America’s retreat and his article at The Nation “Fortress America in Crumbling: Trump’s inept one-man diplomacy is wrecking U.S. foreign policy”.

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