Monday, January 23, 2017

When China sounds more reasonable than America

A short post (well, they are all short) at Axios noted that Steven Bannon thought it a good idea to compare Trump's speech to that of China's president Xi Jinping at Davos.

Who knows why he thought that, when Xi sounds like the one being modern, reasonable, and moral:

Here's Trump today:

For many decades, we've enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military; we've defended other nation's borders while refusing to defend our own; and spent trillions of dollars overseas while America's infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay. We've made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon. One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions upon millions of American workers left behind. The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed across the entire world.

And here's Xi on Tuesday:

We should commit ourselves to growing an open global economy to share opportunities and interests through opening-up and achieve win-win outcomes. One should not just retreat to the harbor when encountering a storm, for this will never get us to the other shore of the ocean. We must redouble efforts to develop global connectivity to enable all countries to achieve inter-connected growth and share prosperity. We must remain committed to developing global free trade and investment, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation through opening-up and say no to protectionism.
And by the way: isn't it very odd that Republicans (or at least, Trump Republicans) should be concerned about infrastructure, when it's their combination of lower taxes and "must balance the budget" that set up the country for decreasing spend on infrastructure in the first place?  (OK, I am assuming that's the story here - I don't have the links at hand to prove it. Oh alright, I'll Google it for this piece last year in The Atlantic:
To get a sense of Ryan’s pre-election view of the infrastructure question, however, consider his response when The Atlantic’s Ronald Brownstein asked, during the Washington Ideas Forum in late September, whether he would help Trump pass “a $550 billion, or more, infrastructure program.” Ryan laughed loudly and slapped his hand on the arm rest of his chair. “That’s not in the ‘Better Way’ agenda,” the speaker replied, referring the six-point plan he and other House GOP lawmakers unveiled earlier this year as their campaign platform. “Just so you know, we just passed the biggest highway bill since the 1990s.”

After years of delays and stopgap bills, Congress did approve a six-year, $305 billion highway bill last December, but the Obama administration and advocates for infrastructure investment considered the legislation woefully short of the amount needed to bring the nation’s roads and bridges into good repair. Before the 2009 stimulus, infrastructure had enjoyed mostly bipartisan support on Capitol Hill. But while there remain a solid number of Republican lawmakers who want to increase spending on transportation and other upkeep, the hurdle in recent years has been finding a way to pay for it. Congress has not raised the gas tax in more than two decades, and ideas to finance infrastructure in other ways have not gone far.

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