Regulatory relief....Obamacare relief....reforming the tax code....foreign policy, rebuilding the military....securing the border....And then while we work on that, we want to work on poverty and restoring our constitutional separation of powers....So those are effectively the six pieces that we’ve been talking about.As Kevin Drum points out, just "regulatory relief" and "reforming the tax code" are huge jobs that could occupy the House for all of the next two years, and if you add in trying to find some sort of replacement for Obamacare they will be very busy. And notice that there is nothing on this list about Ryan's pet project, reforming Medicare. He seems to have decided that since Trump promised not to touch the entitlements of his elderly voters, he is better off staying away from that for now.
Good luck "restoring our constitutional separation of powers" with Trump in charge.
Then he and Trump agree that the military needs rebuilding. What on earth can that mean? Meanwhile, where is infrastructure?
The "rebuild the military" thing is indeed mysterious. I have been hoping that they don't really mean it and will be satisfied with a symbolic increase in spending. We'll see.
I'm beginning to think that what Trump himself means by most policy slogans is exercising patronage. This includes patronage by awarding contracts, patronage by flattering foreign leaders, patronage by symbolic, small-scale protection of workers (the Carrier thing), etc. The symbolism of showing he likes hanging around with masculine tough guys, especially generals, and they like hanging out with him, will be important. One can imagine a joint Israeli-American, or a joint Saudi-American, exercise pantomiming an airstrike on Iran. That may be enough "rebuilding the military" for a lot of his voters, and for him.
Visit, genuflect, hand me a gift. These interviews for high positions have the air of summoning about them. So far Romney looks the most pathetic.
RE: rebuilding the military, as I understand it from talking to friends and family in the military, we've still got all our tanks and planes and materiel and whatnot, but what we don't have as much of is trained soldiers in good physical and mental health who are willing to go to war.
Basically, we've exhausted a lot of our manpower supply, not so much in terms of sheer number of casualties (although we've gotten plenty of young men and women killed or maimed), but in combat readiness and morale.
We sent a lot of troops to the Middle East... then sent them back again... then sent them a third time. We've burned a lot of bridges with military families, horribly mistreated veterans, and generally undermined public trust in our capacity to wage wars that aren't senseless wastes of time and human life. We've been at war overseas for seemingly lost causes for over a decade straight, and there's only so long a military can endure during all that, even with rotating out who is actively serving at any given moment.
We're simply running out of people who are both willing and ready to fight. And with the end of the fighting having for so long been seemingly nowhere in sight, we've been struggling to refit and replace as we went. We really could use a period of rest, giving our veterans a chance to recuperate, and the public a chance to regain trust. (Although even saying that, the military is still one of our most well trusted national institutions.)
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