Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What is SSDI ? And Why Does Trump Want to Cut It ?

Since Donald Trump’s inauguration, the national media has provided critical reporting on the very real threat that Donald Trump and his administration pose to the future of our democracy. But they have continued a troubling trend of misreporting very real economic implications that the GOP policy agenda poses to working people and older Americans.

Just look at this headline from the New York Times: “Budget Slashes Programs for Poor, While Largely Sparing Older People.”

By slashing Medicaid in both his 2018 budget and Trumpcare, Donald Trump is not only throwing 23 million people off of their healthcare, he’s also making it impossible for older Americans to afford long term nursing home care. And now he’s proposing cutting up to $64 billion from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), while claiming that this does not break his promise to protect Social Security.

This isn’t a new development with Trump. The media has long favored discussions of Social Security and Medicare that treat them as problems, not solutions.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Chinese View of Trade

“Belt & Road” v.s. Liberal Order

May 22 , 20
This is really the best of times and worst of times. With the rise of a large number of developing and emerging countries and relative declining of “advanced countries”, the global convergence of power is accelerating and the balance of power continues to tip in favor of the former. This big picture provides a useful prism through which a clearer view of the world today and tomorrow, including the future of globalization, global governance and global liberal order, comes to our minds.

Liberal order in crisis
Without any doubt, a crisis has been raging across the “liberal democratic world” for some time with “black swan events” appearing in the U.S. and in many European nations which have wreaked havoc with the political eco-system in the western world, weakening the centrist and progressive forces that used to underpin the U.S.-led postwar world liberal order.
Only this time around, the challenges to liberal order as well as liberal democracy come from both within and outside, mostly from within, which raises many eyebrows as to whether the U.S.-led and U.S.-defined liberal order can survive.
Talking about challenges from within, first and foremost is the loss of credibility of economic neo-liberalism since the 2008 financial crisis as the governing ideology for global economic order, which has made many countries to turn to the East, in particular China, for new ideas and concepts.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Trump Budget Cuts Social Security

Donald Trump says that his newly released 2018 budget does not cut Social Security. Don’t believe it.
Throughout the campaign Trump claimed that he was the only Republican candidate who would protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Yet, his new budget includes $1.7 trillion in cuts to critical programs including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medicaid. 
If he hadn’t noticed, the first two words in SSDI are Social Security.
Trump is trying to spin this and claim that he’s still protecting Social Security and Medicare. But we’re not fooled!
Let’s be very clear: Cuts to Social Security Disability Insurance are cuts to Social Security. SSDI is insurance that workers earn with every paycheck, providing critical financial support for disabled workers and their families.
The average monthly SSDI benefit for a disabled worker is just $1,171.52―or about $14,000 a year. Trump and Republicans believe that by targeting disabled workers and low-income families―some of the most economically vulnerable members of our society―he’ll be able to successfully divide the American people and get away with breaking his campaign promise.