Jack Rasmus dissects the Republican/Ryan proposal of this past week to repeal and replace the Obamacare Act. The proposal is first and foremost a $500 billion a year tax cut for corporations and the wealthiest 1%, as they no longer have to contribute anything to the plan. Other provisions of the proposals are described, including the freeze and dismantling of the Medicaid elements, the end of all mandates, the sliding scale of in come for credits, etc. This is a tax cut bill and a further privatization bill, and should be viewed as the first of a sequence of medical related bills that will make everyone ‘pay more for less’. Next target: Medicare. Rasmus reviews the plusses and minuses of the Obama ACA, and why it was doomed from the start due to inability to control health cost increases. The show concludes with an analysis of the origins of escalating health costs since the 1990s, which have their roots in health insurance companies’ and drug companies’ drive to buy out competitors and Wall St.’s penetration of these companies to require more profitability in exchange for loans to buy up their competitors. The trend for a quarter century has been increasing privatization and rationing of health care costs and services. And it’s about to become worse. (Next week: The Federal Reserve’s next interest rate hike next week and its impact)
In today’s show, Jack puts Trump strategy and policies in historical perspective, showing how his proposed programs are rooted in policies initially proposed by Nixon and Reagan. Trump represents the latest in a series of corporate-radical right initiatives to restructure economic and political relationships periodically with US foreign competitors and to contain domestic challenges. Nixon’s NEP program of 1971, and …
Dr. Rasmus discusses how the intensifying attacks on Trump administration represent an historic internecine conflict between old and new wings of the US ruling elites and not ‘democracy vs. fascism’. Rasmus offers an analysis of the first month of the Trump regime and its growing conflicts with the Media, the ‘deep state’ 17 intelligence communities, federal state bureaucracies, and political parties of Democrats and moderate Republicans. Revisiting his November article ‘Tameing Trump’, Rasmus explains the meaning of last week’s firing of NSA Flynn, Trump’s backtracking on China, his reassuring Canada and Japan prime ministers on trade, and his revisiting of his muslim country travel bans. How the Flynn affair was a warning ‘shot across the bow’ for Trump to back off his proposed foreign policy changes with Russia and NATO. How the US spends $700billion a year subsidizing NATO and Europe and how US control of NATO is key to control of Europe politically and economically. The policy areas of conflicts between Trump and the old elites. Rasmus explains how old neoliberal elites (media, parties, spy agencies, state bureaucracies) continue to build a case on Trump and either ‘tame’ him or dump him—but only after he delivers on massive corporate-investor tax cuts, deregulation of healthcare and banks, and checking his trade initiatives. The grass roots base of Trump vs. old elites is discussed.
Jack Rasmus invites guest, Alan Benjamin, to discuss the pending April-May elections in France. How goes France goes Europe, the saying goes. Will Le Pen’s right wing National Front Party pull off a ‘Trump Surprise’ and win the elections, pulling France out of the European Union as she promised? Will the independent Macron united the remnants of capitalist parties and right wing social democracy in the Socialist Party and win? What is the ‘united left’ in formation in France? What does it mean by ‘left frexit’. Benjamin provides a ‘on site’ analysis from his work in Europe and France today not available in mainstream media. Rasmus and Benjamin discuss the collapse of traditional social democracy in Europe as it has aligned with European Neoliberalism and the rise of both right wing populist parties and emerging left wing alternatives. The positions of all the major parties in the French election are explained. Comparisons to the UK Labor Party, Germany’s SPD and AfD, Spain’s Podemos, and with US ‘Sanders-Warren’ efforts to ‘reform’ the US Democrat party are discussed.
Jack Rasmus describes Trump’s grand strategy that is now beginning to take shape–economic, social and foreign elements, noting how the Trump strategy reveals great similarities with Nixon in the 1970s and Reagan in 1980s. Trump is Nixon-Reagan on steroids. Rasmus reviews similarities with Nixon and Reagan in Trump’s current attack on US trading partners in Europe, Mexico, Japan, Australia, Germany, Australia and soon China—comparing them with Nixon’s New Economic Program in 1971-72 and Reagan’s 1985-86 attacks on Japan and Europe with the Plaza and Louvre accords. Trump is not against Free Trade, but for bilateral free trade instead of Clinton-Obama multilateral free trade. Trump’s protectionism is tactical. The goal is to advance US corporate interests vis a vis foreign competitors, just as Nixon and Reagan did. Rasmus describes Trump Grand Strategy to date as: Congress drives deregulation of ACA and Dodd-Frank and then focuses on corporate-investor tax cuts. Trump meantime paves the way with Executive Orders, while using EOs to attack immigrants, domestic and foreign; Trump goes slow on major foreign policy changes involving Russia, middle east and Asia, while aggressively attacking immigrants, law and order, proposing election reform and advancing religious groups’ interests. Strong similarities between Nixon, Reagan, and Trump on policies involving defense spending, social program cuts, deficits, strong dollar, attacking the liberal media, undermining unions, massive deregulation, cutting pensions and social security, promoting police and law and order attacks on protestors, and domestic spying and surveillance. (Next week: France and the Future of Europe)
Dr. Rasmus reviews the major events in the first week of the Trump administration, both domestic and global, as Trump ‘governs’ by Executive Order. Rasmus explains government by executive order has no basis in the US constitution, but Trump is using EOs as the Republican Congress takes the next 6 months to formulate and pass big corporation favored legislation on tax cuts, business deregulation, and replacing Obamacare and Dodd-Frank bank regulations. Trump EOs on immigration and the ‘wall’, the collapse of meeting and negotiations with Mexican president, Pena Nieto, are discussed as is whether a ‘trade war’ with Mexico brewing. Teresa May’s visit to Trump as Britain begs the US to help it bail out of the EU and Eurozone; the exodus of career officials at the Dept. of State? Rasmus describes similarities between Trump and Nixon, and discusses the growing discussion whether Trump represents a new fascism? What really are the elements of fascism. The show concludes with a review of some global economic events this past week, including infighting in the Eurozone over QE, Germany’s newest conflict with Greece over debt, electoral events in Germany and French elections, Mexico’s economic crisis, Emerging Markets economies loading up on dollar debt, China’s fight with speculators, and the non-significance of US stock market, the DOW, reaching 20,000.
Jack Rasmus reviews the key economic events, US and global, in the run-up to the Trump inauguration: China President Xi warning of trade war with US, the European Central Bank’s continuation of its QE policy, the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, May, signals a ‘hard Brexit’, Trump cabinet nominees tell Congress what they want to hear (and not what they intend …
Jack reviews Barack Obama’s parting farewell address delivered this past week in Chicago.
Complimenting last week show’s review of key economic events of 2016 and economic predictions for 2017, Rasmus provides a similar overview of key political events in 2016, their likely continuing impact into this year, and his political predictions for 2017. Discussion includes the Trump victory in 2016 and the Democratic Party’s corresponding implosion at national, state and local levels. Rasmus predicts Trump quick legislative successes passing multi-trillion dollar corporate-investor tax cuts, gutting Obamacare, and repealing Dodd-Frank. On foreign policy, Jack predicts a deal with Russia over Syria, a continuing Trump ‘hard pivot’ to China already underway, a shift in US policy to allow Japan to remilitarize, and new US initiatives toward Taiwan, South Korea, Philippines and Australia as Trump attempts to ‘soften up’ China before engaging in bilateral renegotiation of the US-China relationship. Europe and Latin America key events in 2016 are reviewed, including Brexit, the Italian Referendum, and US-assisted legal coup d-etats in Argentina, Brazil, and efforts to destabilize Venezuela. Jack predicts elections in France, Netherlands, and Italy next year, and a renewed Greek debt crisis, will further destabilize Europe politically. Anti-US and Europe sentiment in Turkey could result in resumption of mass immigration. A National Front party victory in France will ensure the unraveling of Europe. Jack further predicts Trump will go slow on NAFTA and TPP and shift to negotiating bilateral free trade deals, go slow on the Iran treaty and strike a ‘deal’ on east Europe (including Ukraine) with Russia. Immigration policy will begin deporting millions, and a crackdown on civil liberties will result in more intense police action against protestors like Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock. The feud between Trump and the US mainstream media (Times and Post) will continue, as the latter continue to build a case against Trump in the longer run.
Dr. Jack Rasmus reviews the major economic events of 2016 and their likely continuing impact in the year ahead. Topics includes global trade stagnation, Federal Reserve rate hikes, global oil and commodity prices, property financial bubbles in China and capital flight and devaluation, Europe events involving the ECB, Italian and Europe banks, the UK economy post-Brexit, negative rates and non performing bank loans worldwide, the failure of Abenomics and bank of Japan’s QE, Latin American recessions, and the global corporate debt bubble. Also addressed are the US economy’s first quarter collapse and recovery, Fed rates, the shift to fiscal-infrastructure spending, the unwinding bond bubble and emerging stock bubble, health care and drug price inflation, and the rising US dollar and its impact on emerging markets. Jack offers his predictions for 2017 for the US economy, Europe, Japan, China, India, Latin America, emerging markets, and global commodity prices. (Next week show: review of major political events of 2016 and political predictions 2017).