Republicans emerge as president’s biggest obstacle…

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By Lisa Lerer

With friends like these: Trump struggles to win GOP

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Republicans have a lot to say about their new president.

Donald Trump‘s proposed budget is “draconian, careless and counterproductive.” The health care plan is a bailout that won’t pass. And his administration’s suggestion that former President Barack Obama used London’s spy agency for surveillance is simply “inexplicable.”

With friends like these, who needs Democrats?

Less than two months in, Republicans have emerged as one of the biggest obstacles to Trump’s young administration, imperiling his early efforts to pass his agenda and make good on some of his biggest campaign promises.

Trump’s embrace of a House GOP plan to overhaul the country’s health system faces deep opposition from across the party, as does his push to get U.S. taxpayers to pay for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Republicans largely rejected his thin, 53-page first budget, joking that there’s a “fat chance for skinny budget” on Capitol Hill. And his tax reform and infrastructure plans have yet to gain any real traction in Congress.

Trump insisted on Friday that he is leading a party that is coalescing behind him.

“I think we have a very unified party. I think actually more unified than even the election,” he said at a White House news conference with German leader Angela Merkel. “You see when they talk about me, I seem to be very popular, at least this week within the party.”

Long a divisive political figure, Trump entered office with historically low approval ratings and a popular vote loss of nearly 3 million. Still, he claimed a sweeping mandate when he arrived in Washington, fiercely pushing back on any suggestion that he won with less than a historic margin and moving quickly on a series of controversial executive orders.

Now, his administration has reached the limits of what it can achieve without Congress, leaving Trump struggling to lead his party on Capitol Hill — starting with the health care bill.

After years of campaign promises to repeal and replace “Obamacare,” the bill presents the first major test of whether Trump and Republican leaders can marshal a fractious GOP caucus behind a major legislative initiative. GOP leaders fear that failure could chip away at Trump’s already thin political capital, dooming future efforts on tax reform and infrastructure.

Trump’s early missteps have overshadowed one of the administration’s smoothest-sailing moves — the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court. Confirmation hearings begin Monday.

“A president only has so much political capital to expend and so much moral authority as well, and so any time your credibility takes a hit I think in many ways it weakens the officeholder,” said Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., who had described the surveillance claims as “inexplicable.”

The furor over Trump’s unproven claim that Obama wiretapped his New York skyscraper prompted Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma to suggest Trump owes his predecessor an apology.

Republicans almost immediately balked at Trump’s budget, with Kentucky Rep. Hal Rogers uttering the “draconian” complaint and others questioning why Trump’s core supporters took a hit.

“Rural America stepped up to the plate behind the president in his last election, and we’re wholeheartedly behind him. We need to make sure that rural America at least gets its fair share,” said Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala.

Trump is hardly the first president to clash with members of his own party. Few congressional Democrats felt a personal connection to Obama, who came under criticism for his hands-off approach to Congress, and his lack of interest in schmoozing with lawmakers or using the trappings of his office to woo them.

While Trump has hosted Republicans for bowling, pizza and other White House events, he’s been hampered by his inexperience with governing and his distance from establishment GOP politics. A businessman, Trump has never lined up lawmakers behind a bill, crafted a political coalition or passed a budget — nor have many of his closest aides.

During his campaign, he embraced a populist platform, rejecting traditional conservative positions on issues like trade and cutting costly mandatory programs like Social Security.

Many congressional Republicans, from House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on down, were slow to embrace Trump’s candidacy, and some of those concerns linger.

His series of false claims since the election haven’t helped the relationship, distracting from his agenda on Capitol Hill and forcing Republicans to answer near-daily questions about his accusations.

But Trump also seems eager to keep some wiggle room between his presidency and a bill some friends and allies believe is a political trap. They fear the legislation — they’ve dubbed it Ryancare — could violate some of Trump’s populist campaign promises, like providing health insurance for all Americans and preserving Medicaid, for a conservative Republican agenda led by Ryan.

“Speaker Paul Ryan and the establishment GOP have pulled a fast one on President Trump,” wrote Eric Bolling, a Fox News host with close ties to Trump, in an op-ed.

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AP Congressional Correspondent Erica Werner contributed to this report.

La Raza in WaPo: Trump Immigration Orders Like ‘Slave Trade’

By John Binder

The president of the open borders group known as La Raza is comparing President Donald Trump’s immigration orders to a number of historic atrocities, including the slave trade, in a new Washington Postop-ed.

The piece by National Council of La Raza President Janet Murguía, claims Trump’s plan to deport criminal illegal immigrants; build a wall along the southern border; and crack down on sanctuary cities will “similarly tarnish our nation’s character” like the slave trade did:

Some of the darkest chapters in U.S. history have involved forcibly relocating minority populations: the slave trade, the Trail of Tears, Operation Wetback and the internment of citizens and noncitizens of Japanese descent during World War II. Each was considered legal and justified in its time. Now they are condemned as assaults on the values that define our nation.

President Trump’s first executive order on immigration and the draft enforcement memos signed by Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly promise to similarly tarnish our nation’s character. The memos call for expanding the nation’s deportation forces by 15,000 to round up, detain and deport the undocumented immigrants living among us. Instead of focusing on criminals, they make all undocumented people priorities for enforcement, and through a process called “expedited removal,” they severely reduce due process protections.

Murguía says Trump’s immigration orders through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are based entirely “on falsehoods” about illegal aliens, arguing that illegal immigration is down and it does not pose as much of a threat as the Trump Administration purports.

The La Raza president also parroted the talking points that illegal aliens help grow the economy by paying taxes every year:

And the cost of the undocumented? Their contributions to the economy far outweigh their burden. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, undocumented immigrants pay $11.6 billion in taxes each year. According to the Social Security Administration, undocumented workers contribute $15 billion annually to the fund, but only withdraw an estimated $1 billion.

This claim has been repeatedly debunked by groups like the Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR), which found in a comprehensive study that illegal immigration costs American taxpayers a whopping $113 billion, as Breitbart Texas reported.

Murguía also claims that there is “little evidence that most undocumented immigrants pose a threat to national security.”

But, in documents released by the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest back in 2016, research found that there have been 580 individuals convicted of terrorism in the U.S. since the September 11th attacks, with 380 of those individuals being foreign-born terrorists, as Breitbart News reported.

Murguía refers to the recent deportation of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, an illegal immigrant living in Phoenix, Arizona, with her two children for 20 years.

“A woman who was a resident of Phoenix for 20 years was also deported, leaving behind her two U.S.-citizen children,” Murguía writes in the piece. “They are hardly security threats, but will be ‘enforcement priorities’ under Homeland Security’s new policy.”

Nonetheless, Murguía did not mention that Garcia de Rayos had been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2008 after she was found to be illegally using a Social Security number to work at a theme park, as Breitbart Texas reported.

In 2013, a judge ordered Garcia de Rayos to return home to Mexico, but she instead was required to periodically meet with immigration officials due to lax enforcement policies under former President Obama.

Murguía goes on to claim that the Trump administration has “declared war”, referring to ICE’s efforts to deport criminal illegal immigrants as “stalking people leaving church or going to the movies.”

Murguía’s piece concludes with a plea for the rest of the open borders lobby and amnesty advocates to continue to try to hold up deportation processes by the Trump Administration, writing “we’re deploying every tool we’ve got to oppose this ill-conceived policy — in the media, in the courts and in peaceful protests in the streets.”

Trump cuts US debt by $12bn in his first month in office, accuses media of ‘not reporting’ it

The US President Donald Trump has tweeted that he managed to decrease the US total public debt by US$ 12 billion during his first month in office while the former President Barack Obama increased it by US$200 billion over the same period.

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Trump has also accused the media of turning the blind eye to this fact.

“The media has not reported that the National Debt in my first month went down by $12 billion vs a $200 billion increase in Obama first mo,” he said in his Twitter post.

captureHe then added that he has “great optimism for future of the US business and jobs” and promised “big tax and regulation cuts.”

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The figures presented by Trump coincide with the data issued by the US Treasury Department, according to which, on January 20th, the day of Trump’s inauguration, the overall US debt stood at $19,947 billion. On February 21st, a month later, the total US debt load amounted to $19,935 billion.

Moreover, between February 22 and February 23, the US debt fell by further $ 22 billion from $ 19,935 billion to $ 19,913 billion.

The US public debt really grew by more than US$ 200 billion from US$ 10,626 billion to US$ 10,838 billion in Obama’s first month in office, according to the US Treasury data.

According to the website USdebtclock.org, which tracks how much the US debt grows in real time, the debt had grown by $ 9 trillion or by 86 percent from $ 10.7 trillion to $ 19.6 trillion during Obama’s two terms in office, hitting a record high.

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The largest budget item is Medicare/Medicaid which has seen over $1.1 trillion added to US debt. Social Security accounted for $900 billion, while $585 billion was spent on defense and war.

However, the New York Times reported in 2009 that Obama banned four accounting gimmicks that President George W. Bush used to make deficit projections look smaller. This decision led to a situation, in which the spending seemed to grow to a larger degree previously.

Trump’s statements come just a day after the Council on Foreign Relations predicted that “Trump’s policies would be likely to significantly widen the budget deficit.”

In November 2016, after the US elections, the Tax Policy Center (TPC) also said that the federal debt would rise by $7.2 trillion n ten years and by $20.9 trillion by 2036.

READ MORE:Trump tax plan helps ultra wealthy, businesses more than middle class, hurts single parents

Trump vowed to reduce the US debt and to eliminate deficit spending during his presidential campaign. On Wednesday, he once again addressed this issue and pledged to make Washington stop wasting taxpayers’ money.

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“The finances of our country are a mess, but we’re going to clean them up,” the president said, adding that “we won’t let your money be wasted anymore.”

“We must do a lot more with less,” he said.

$1,084,840,000,000: Taxes Set Record Through January; $7,133 Per Worker; Feds Still Run Deficit of $156,939,000,000

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By Terence P. Jeffrey

(CNSNews.com) – The U.S. Treasury hauled in a record of approximately $1,084,840,000,000 in tax revenues in the first four months of fiscal 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016 through Jan. 31, 2017), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

That is up about $5,616,000,000 in constant 2016 dollars from the approximately $1,079,224,000,000 in constant 2016 dollars that the Treasury collected in the first four months of fiscal 2016.

Tax revenues from previous years, as reported in the Monthly Treasury Statement for January of each year, were adjusted to 2016 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics Inflation Calculator.

Despite collecting a record $1,084,840,000,000 in tax revenues in the first four months of this fiscal year, the federal government turned around and spent $1,241,780,000,000 in those same four months—and ended up running a deficit of $156,939,000,000.

In January alone, the Treasury collected approximately $344,069,000,000 in tax revenues.

The largest portion of the $1,084,840,000,000 in federal tax revenues in the first four months of this fiscal year came from the individual income tax, which yielded approximately $550,068,000,000.

The second largest portion came from Social Security and other payroll taxes, which brought in approximately $361,887,000,000.

The income taxes collected from corporations in the United States in the first four months of the fiscal year ($84,877,000,000) amounted to more than 7 times as much as the customs duties collected on foreign imports brought into the country ($11,779,000,000).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 152,081,000 people employed in the United States in January. That means that the record $1,084,840,000,000 in taxes the federal government collected in the first four months of the fiscal year equaled about $7,133 per worker.

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Jorge Ramos: ‘I no longer recognize this country’

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By Jorge Ramos

I’ve always publicly acknowledged that the United States gave me opportunities that Mexico, my country of origin, did not. But decades after I arrived here, the anti-immigrant rhetoric being turned into policy under Donald Trump has made me realize that I just don’t recognize this country anymore.

In the early 1980s, moving to the U.S. meant that I could speak freely. As a journalist in Mexico, I was censored. Moreover, the U.S. provided me with a job and economic opportunities that I couldn’t have found anywhere else. With boundless generosity, America protected me and granted me the same rights as any other citizen, even though I was an immigrant. I work here. I vote here. My children were born here.

All I want is for new immigrants to enjoy the same opportunities that I—and millions of others throughout American history—have received. But for the moment, Trump is making that impossible.

A couple of days after the president signed an executive order announcing that a wall would be built along the Mexican border, he issued a directive that radically changes deportation priorities in this country. Now, anyone who “committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense” may be deported, even if they were never convicted. Also, immigrants who have committed “fraud … before a government agency” are to be deported as well — which presumably applies to any noncitizen who has ever used a fake driver’s license or made up a Social Security number in order to work.

Translation: Deporting almost all of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. is now a priority. If this is truly the case, will there soon be widespread raids on homes or workplaces? This executive order makes it seem that anyone who is deemed deportable by an immigration officer is at risk.

And Trump—who aspires to be like President Ronald Reagan — refuses to even consider granting undocumented residents a path to citizenship. Since Republicans control both the House and the Senate, Trump could easily push to give immigrants a chance to stay in the U.S. But he won’t. In 1986, Reagan, recognizing the contributions of immigrants, and with the greater good of the country in mind, granted amnesty to about 3 million undocumented people. But Trump would rather expel them.

The president’s xenophobia isn’t limited to Mexicans. In his first days in office, Trump also signed an executive order banning refugees from being admitted into the country for 120 days, and anyone from seven countries — Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen—from entering for three months. Trump, who partly campaigned on a promise to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., has said that this ban isn’t based on religion. But it’s no secret that these seven nations have a Muslim majority, and that innocent Muslims with no connections to terror networks will be most harmed.

Nobody wants to be a victim of terror. But we must remember that no citizen from the seven countries included in Trump’s ban has participated in a recent terror attack against the U.S. Most of the 19 terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were from Saudi Arabia; the brothers who carried out the Boston Marathon bombings were from Chechnya; and the husband and wife behind the shooting deaths of 14 people in San Bernardino, California, were from the U.S. and Pakistan.

I came to the U.S. in 1983. If Reagan had crafted an arbitrary ban similar to Trump’s and included Mexico, I wouldn’t be here, all on account of an unjust decision. People from those seven countries are being arbitrarily punished, along with refugees from the rest of the world. They are being discriminated against merely because they were born in the wrong country.

As the old saying goes, powerful nations are judged not by how they treat the rich and influential, but by their solidarity with the weak and vulnerable. The U.S. had a rich and storied history of accepting and supporting immigrants with open arms—until Trump arrived.

It’s bizarre that a man who is the son of a Scottish mother, the grandson of a German immigrant and the husband of a Slovenian woman would spout such anti-immigrant rhetoric.

No, some days I don’t recognize the country that has helped me so much.

Bernie Sanders Won’t Call Donald Trump A Legitimate President

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The Illuminati is getting desperate. All of their previous attempts to stop Donald Trump have failed & they are now resorting to “delegitimizing” the highest respected office in world history. This is everyday becoming more alarming.
Matthew Oldfield

He said Russian Hacking, Drink Up.
ThePureVeritas

fuck off bernie
Ultrajamz

What a little cry baby, the cuck would have considered hillary legit? She cheated him..
toddjon stevenson

Go live in Venezuela you chump😎 See you back here tomorrow with your tail between your legs Okay it’s now racist to doubt Obama’s birthplace…. because he’s black ofcourse Barry Soetoro or Obama’s birth certificate was first doubted by Hillary The Don finished it…. by getting the forged one to be produced, he finished it
Jrion

Bernie actually asking Trump to send out a tweet, that’s just fucking hilarious.

GENERATION SNOWFLAKE: PERCENTAGE OF YOUNG ADULTS LIVING WITH THEIR PARENTS HASN’T BEEN THIS HIGH SINCE 1940

According to the Wall Street Journal, the percentage of Americans in the 18 to 34-year-old age bracket that are currently living with their parents hasn’t been this high in 75 years

Michael Snyder | Economic CollapseDECEMBER 22, 2016

Have we failed this generation of young adults by not equipping them to be able to handle the harsh realities of the real world? 

According to the Wall Street Journal, the percentage of Americans in the 18 to 34-year-old age bracket that are currently living with their parents hasn’t been this high in 75 years.  At this point nearly 40 percent of our young adults in that age range are living at home, and many are concerned that this could have some alarming implications for the future of our nation.

In the United States today, more than 60 million people live in multi-generational households, and it is a good thing to have a tight family.  But at some point young adults need to learn how to live their own independent lives, and in millions of cases this independence is being delayed or is never happening at all.

There are many factors involved in this trend.  First of all, there is truly a lack of good jobs despite what we are being told about an “economic recovery”.  Millions of young adults are graduating from college only to discover that there is a very limited number of good jobs available for our college graduates.  So some college graduates are able to secure the types of jobs that they were hoping for, but millions of others are not.

Normally when a recession ends, the percentage of young adults living with their parents starts to go back down.  But this has not happened this time around.  Instead, the percentage of young adults that live at home has just continued to rise

The trend runs counter to that of previous economic cycles, when after a recession-related spike, the number of younger Americans living with relatives declined as the economy improved.

The result is that there is far less demand for housing than would be expected for the millennial generation, now the largest in U.S. history. The number of adults under age 30 has increased by 5 million over the last decade, but the number of households for that age group grew by just 200,000 over the same period, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Another major factor in all of this is the fact that Americans are getting married later in life than ever before and they are having fewer kids than previous generations.

In the old days, people got married young and they set up their own households even if they were dirt poor.  But these days we have hordes of single young adults that are perfectly content to sit at home and sponge off of Mommy and Daddy.

There seems to be a real lack of toughness to this generation of young adults, and many that have perceived this lack of toughness have resorted to referring to them as “Generation Snowflake”.  Over the past 12 months this term has become so common that the Guardian has dubbed it “the defining insult of 2016″…

Until very recently, to call someone a snowflake would have involved the word “generation”, too, as it was typically used to describe, or insult, a person in their late teens or early 20s. At the start of November, the Collins English Dictionary added “snowflake generation” to its words of the year list, where it sits alongside other vogue-ish new additions such as “Brexit” and “hygge”. The Collins definition is as follows: “The young adults of the 2010s, viewed as being less resilient and more prone to taking offence than previous generations”. Depending on what you read, being part of the “snowflake generation” may be as benign as taking selfies or talking about feelings too much, or it may infer a sense of entitlement, an untamed narcissism, or a form of identity politics that is resistant to free speech.

The phrase came to prominence in the UK at the beginning of 2016, after Claire Fox, director of the thinktank Institute of Ideas, used it in her book I Find That Offensive to address a generation of young people whom she calls “easily offended and thin-skinned”.

Of course there are exceptions.  I have some close friends that are young adults in this age range, and they are extraordinary people.

But overall, we seem to have dramatically failed this generation.  Maybe it is because we tend to baby our children from a very early age, and we want to protect them from danger so much that we never allow them to be exposed to the challenges that they need to face in order to toughen up and mature.

And it certainly doesn’t help that many of our young adults enter “the real world” already drowning in tens of thousands of dollars of debt.  According to CNN, about 70 percent of all college graduates in the U.S. will leave school with student loan debt, and the average loan balance for those college graduates is approximately $28,950.  Paying off student loan debt can be extremely painful, and it can be financially crippling for young people that are just trying to start their new lives.

When our high school kids are looking toward the future, we very much encourage them to go to the very best schools that they can possibly get into, and we tell them to not even worry about the cost.  We promise them that there will be plenty of good jobs once they graduate, and we push them into these loans without even warning them to consider the future implications.

According to a stunning article in the Wall Street Journal, many Baby Boomers are actually having money taken out of their Social Security checks because of unpaid student loans.  So when you go into student loan debt, it can literally haunt you for the rest of your life…

The government has collected about $1.1 billion from Social Security recipients of all ages to go toward unpaid student loans since 2001, including $171 million last year, the Government Accountability Office said Tuesday. Most affected recipients in fiscal year 2015—114,000—were age 50 or older and receiving disability benefits, with the typical borrower losing about $140 a month. About 38,000 were above age 64.

The report highlights the sharp growth in baby boomers entering retirement with student debt, most of it borrowed years ago to cover their own educations but some used to pay for their children’s schooling. Overall, about seven million Americans age 50 and older owed about $205 billion in federal student debt last year. About 1 in 3 were in default, raising the likelihood that garnishments will increase as more boomers retire.

What we are doing is clearly not working, but I am not particularly optimistic that this system will be fixed any time soon.

If you are a young person, you need to have a solid plan before pursuing an expensive college education.  Many young people just major in anything that they want without even considering if it will lead to a good career.  And instead of working hard to graduate in four years, many decide that they want to stretch the “college experience” out for five or six years so that they can party as much as possible before entering the real world.

The real world is a cold, cruel place, and if you start your new life drowning in debt that is just going to make things even more difficult for you.

On a personal note, I want to thank everyone that has supported the growth of The Most Important News.  It is a central news hub where you can find all of my articles, posts by incredible guest authors and many of the key news stories from all over the globe all gathered in one place.  Some technical issues have forced the site to be down for extended periods of time lately, but now it is being migrated to a much more powerful server.  I will not be updating it during the migration, but I should resume a normal posting schedule again very soon.

And I would like to thank all of my readers for making 2016 an absolutely amazing year.  I love you all, and I wish you all the very best as we head into what should prove to be a very “interesting” 2017.