A politician by any other name

March 2017.

A couple months into the presidency of D.J. Trump, and the nation is still dancing to different rhythms of discord and complaint.

Here are my thoughts so far.

People thought — and to a major extent, still think — that they had a choice between a politician pursuing politics-as-usual and a businessman who is anything but usual. Those that wanted someone outside of the usual political circles in office, failed to realize that they were electing someone that has the same motivations as the politicians they opposed.

The perceived problem in electing a career politician is that they will continue to run government in the same way it has always been run, and they will continue to bow to the special interests and supporters that fund their drive to power.

Instead, they elected a business-minded person, with his own interests and economic motivations. In neither case — politician or business person — are the real economic needs of the country the primary motivator.

What does the country really need? The country is made up of a few hundred million special interests. Each of us have different things we would focus on if we were following our own agenda.

Here’s what I need.

I need less of my earned income going to pay for government items. I need more money staying where I can spend it, rather than having it spent for me by the government.

I felt this most acutely when I recently prepared my income tax return. Unexpected changes in income, deductions, and credits created a situation where I hadn’t withheld enough from my income to pay for the taxes I owed. So, I now have to pay a significant-to-me amount of money when I file my return. It’s money that, for the most part, I no longer have, and, what I do have I was intending to inject back into the economy. (That means I was going to spend it on things I wanted.) Instead, I will now have to give that money to the government to pay for things for which I do not want to pay.

Mrs. Clinton would have made the situation worse, without question. The progressive march towards socialism doesn’t take money away from citizens as much as it takes away the right to decide. In a free market, I can decide whether or not to buy. Socialism takes away that right, insisting that I buy things on behalf of others through taxation.

Mr. Trump has not been much better. Going from Obamacare to Trumpcare is simply rebadging a socialist healthcare system. Insisting on “America first” and the protection of American business and products, is simply insisting that I pay more for goods and services, whether I want to or not.

There are significant differences in the non-economic policies of the two sides, but, unfortunately, Republicans and Democrats are increasingly weakening our economy in identical ways. Though he couches his actions as being pro-business, and may, in fact, help his businesses, in the long run the President’s protectionism and government programs rob citizens of the right to decide for themselves how they will spend the money they earn.