“He [President Trump] criticizes the Russians all the time. He knows the Russians are not good guys. We should be focused on how we bring the Cold War to an end, so we don’t have to — and I think it was President Obama’s program, $1 trillion to upgrade the nuclear arsenal. Is that what you wanna do? Is that where you wanna spend your money? Would you rather spend $1 trillion in Cleveland, in Baltimore, in the inner cities of this country where we need to spend it, in the heartland of this nation? And I think what he’s trying to say, in a world of anarchy, do you need another enemy?” ~Steve Bannon on 60 Minutes, after resigning from the White House staff
The year began with the Trump transition team getting over their surprise at winning and engaged in trench warfare, trying to get candidates vetted by the FBI and approved by Congress. The Trump administration has had a challenging time getting their team in place. The Solari Report covered the transition and the first few months of the administration in our 1st Quarter 2017 Wrap Up.
- 1st Quarter 2017 Wrap Up – The Clash of Civilizations – can a new administration preserve a prosperous economy without more debt, crime and war?
There were plenty of turnovers, as the White House staff experienced infighting or were replaced by people with more experience at governance and managing complex bureaucracies.
- The Political Assassination of Michael Flynn
- Steve Bannon’s Apocalyptic ‘Unravelling’
- Trump Replaces Chief of Staff Priebus with Retired General Kelly
Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Judge Scalia’s death. It was the first step in an unprecedented opportunity to appoint Supreme Court justices and federal judges.
The 1st Quarter Wrap Up started our practice of preparing a report card for the Trump administration with Dr. Joseph Farrell. To see our updated grades, check out the Trump Report Card.
The election came as a surprise to a corporate media that had assumed a Clinton victory. It was also a surprise to the Clinton faction as well as members of the Congress and Washington establishment who enjoyed the rich fruits of the Clinton pay-to-play network and the financial coup d’état. The establishment could not understand and adjust to a post-financial coup world. The result was a war of words between the corporate media and President Trump and an effort by disappointed Democrats to both reverse the election and start a war with Russia (or at least get approval for a $1.2 trillion upgrade of the nuclear arsenal) by alleging Russian collusion in the election. This included the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Russia collusion allegations after Attorney General Sessions recused himself in what was a major disappointment for the President.
- Watching Major Media Commit Suicide
- The CIA’s 60-Year History of Fake News: How the Deep State Corrupted Many American Writers
- John McCain Passes Dossier Alleging Secret Trump-Russia Contacts to FBI
- Donald Trump is ‘Winning Hacking Battle with Spies”
- Professor Stephen Cohen Explains in 5 Minutes Why RussiaGate is 100% Fake News
- Congressman Nunes, Chair of House Intelligence Committee, Confirms that Trump Campaign/Transition Team was Wiretapped
- Top NSA Whistleblower Claims ‘Russiagate’ a Fake to Increase War-Spending
- Leon Panetta: It’s a ‘Stretch’ to Say Trump Team Broke Law With Russian Contacts
- Jeff Sessions Says He Will Recuse Himself from Clinton-related Investigations if Confirmed as Attorney General
The primary question asked in the Productivity Backlash and the 1st Quarter Wrap Up was whether or not the United States could migrate to an economic model that was not deeply dependent on war. The answer was a resounding “no!” as the Trump administration reversed course on disengaging from foreign wars, proposed a new $700 million defense budget (including the creation of a new Space Corp under the Air Force) and the President became a global arm salesmen, encouraging members of his Cabinet and administration to do the same.
- Lockheed Martin CEO is Seeing a ‘Trump Effect’ as NATO Members Boost Defense Spending
- Trump’s Proposed Increase in US Military Spending is Almost as Big as Russia’s Entire Defense Budget
- Neocons Love Trump’s New Afghanistan Plan, Blackwater Calls It “Obama-Lite”
- Why Trump Succumbed to the Hawks
- Trump Approves Sale of New Arms to Ukraine Amid Escalated Fighting
- America Sells South Korea Arms Worth Billions of Dollars as Threat from North Grows
President Trump worked hard to implement campaign promises in the trade area. First, he withdrew America from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
He also withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement.
He was persuaded not to terminate NAFTA, but to renegotiate.
Along with trade relations, he moved ahead with enforcement of US immigration laws and his promise to build a wall on the Mexican border.
- Trump’s Intervention into Policing, Voting and Immigration Sets Up Showdown with America’s Largest Cities
- Trump Moves Ahead with Wall, Puts Stamp on U.S. Immigration, Security Policy
- Supreme Court Allows Enforcement of Trump Travel Ban while Legal Challenges Continue
One of the President’s highest priorities was tax reform – a critical component of insourcing the defense industrial complex to North America. For budget reasons, the President was persuaded to try to repeal Obamacare first. Repeal efforts were time consuming and ultimately not successful.
- Obamacare Set To Drive New Wave Of Hospital Bankruptcies
- Paul: McConnell Doesn’t Have the Votes, Insurance Companies ‘Gamed the System’
Despite the health care experience and complex budget negotiations throughout the year, the administration and Republican Congress were able to pass a tax reform bill before year end, achieving a dramatic drop in the corporate tax rate and paving the way for significant corporate repatriation of cash. The S&P closed the year with a return slightly above 20%.
- Treasury Secretary: Pass a Tax Bill or Markets will Tank
- Tax Reform Moves Forward As House Adopts Senate’s $4 Trillion Budget Resolution
- American Oligarchs Are Plotting the Biggest Heist in U.S. History
- GOP Tax Bill Slashes Rates for Corporations and Wealthy with Smaller Benefits for Middle Class
- Here are the Details of the Final GOP Tax Bill
- Senate Approves Major Tax Cuts in Victory for Trump
The United States has long been a food exporter, with far greater food production capacity than it needs for the American population. US leadership has worked hard to engineer oil and gas self-sufficiency over the last two decades, becoming a net energy exporter in 2017. Following a wave of advancements in robotics and automation and the success of globalization at reducing union size and power, tax reform was an important step to facilitate the return of trillions in profits and operations from abroad.
- Where Manufacturing Is Thriving In The U.S.
- Making it in America: Revitalizing US manufacturing
- Where is Technology Taking the Economy? The Realities of the Distributive Era
This anticipated shift of capital and operations and the publication of a new National Security Strategy contributed to the ongoing unwinding of economic interdependences with Russia, China and some of the G-20 nations as described in our Story #4.
The first year of the Trump administration was marked by the constant question of who and what is really in charge.
Senator Schumer said that the CIA ran the government, not the President
Netflix’s House of Cards implied the Bohemian Grove was in charge.
Concerns grew throughout the year that the Neocons and the Israeli Lobby had entirely too much influence. Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney was particularly persuasive that dual citizenship with Israel was a serious problem in both Congress and the Executive Branch.
Another serious flaw in the Trump administration’s performance was addressing the budget. Dr. Mark Skidmore’s survey of HUD and DOD documentation from fiscal 1998 to 2015 found $21 trillion in undocumentable adjustments – a trillion more than the outstanding official debt of the US government.
The administration’s response was to announce an audit that has been in planning for two years and claimed that they had found 800 missing helicopters. There was no mention of making the 1200 auditors working on the audit available to investigate the 170 transactions that made up $6.5 trillion in undocumentable adjustments at the Army in fiscal 2015. While a clean audit report would be nice, you cannot pay pension funds with audit reports for years after fiscal 1998-2015. There is $21 trillion missing – getting it back is what is needed to meet pension and other obligations. If the administration is planning serious purges, will lawful recapture of taxpayer’s funds be a primary goal?
Several other questions remain regarding Trump administration performance in 2017.
The first relates to fires in California and hurricanes in Puerto Rico and Houston. Were these natural events or was arson or weather warfare involved? If arson or “thermal warfare” was involved in California, the US military implemented or allowed it to happen. Ditto with hurricanes. The US military controls US air space. This means we must also ask why the US military is implementing or permitting geoengineering and the spraying of heavy metals over North America.
President Trump has certainly created a crack in the “official reality” that is encouraging a more open discussion of what is going on. However, there appear to be significant topics that are still suppressed.
That includes the answer to the question, “What is actually happening in Chicago?” The city recorded 650 murders in 2017, a drop from 771 murders in 2016. However, there is a long-standing ethnic cleansing of the African-American population underway and continuing questions about organized crime and organ harvesting.
Trump’s temper and Washington establishment and corporate media childish and corrupt behavior have created significant domestic and global drama since the inauguration. That drama has certainly not helped the US brand abroad. However, it has created a more open environment to discuss and address our real problems. The unanswered question is whether the faction now in control is committed to doing it’s best to enforce the Constitution and insist on a human future. Or, is using the US budget and military to legislate corporate monopolies and profits which engineer higher stock market returns still a more important goal? Are we simply going to purge the financial coup leadership and move on to the next phase of the shift to Global 3.0?
We will be watching as a new year of political change unfolds.