Jonathan Kraut: Two good things about Trump

By Signal Contributor

Last update: Monday, November 21st, 2016

It may be surprising to learn that a lot of Democrats are hoping Trump is able to make good on his many campaign promises.

Not only do Dems outnumber Republicans nationally, but the wave of Democratic and independent votes for Trump prove that the president-elect’s messages took root.

As commander-in-chief, Trump has won the chance to make America’s military, economy and political presence in the world strong again and to put us back on top. I don’t recall who is on top right now, but apparently, it is not us.

One thing I and other Democrats like about Trump is that he responds to an issue with a direct answer. Whether reasonable or poorly conceived, a stab in the dark is sometimes better than no answer at all.

Clinton, on the other hand, responded to questions with idealistic rhetoric or simply referred the questioner to look at her policies posted on her candidate website. I believe Hillary lost the presidency in part because she chose not to directly address an issue with a specific solution.

“I have always been an advocate for children and families” is not a good answer when asked how she intends to contribute to American prosperity, for example.

No American wants to be less prosperous, less safe, or less “better off.” No true American should want any president to fail, either.

The boat may be a big one, but we are all in one together.

Everyone I speak with so far is hopeful President Trump will shake things up and move us toward solving many issues that are in reality not that hard to solve. It just takes political will and cooperation to get things done. A Republican president with Republican majorities in the House and Senate means that legislative cooperation is on the horizon.

Obamacare, for instance, needs some serious tweaking. The Affordable Care Act has proven to be a cash cow for medical insurance carriers, and premiums for coverage are predictably shooting through the roof.

Trump has vowed to make it a priority to fix Obamacare’s flaws and replace this system built on compromise via a Republican-controlled Congress.

A nationalized health care system is not a method condoned by conservatives but seems to Trump as a likely option to remedy Obamacare. I believe Trump will discover that a tightly managed health care system through government control is the best way to bring down costs and improve health care services.

It is about time we solve the illegal immigration issue. Ending illegal immigration starts with punishing employers who pay the undocumented demeaning wages or cash off the books to generate more personal profit – like Trump’s construction companies.

Trump’s construction projects are notorious for this illegal practice, which helped Trump amass his fortune.

As Trump proposes, it is about time we impose a five-year moratorium when a federal elected official leaves office from serving as lobbyist. Trump boasts about the donations and influence he used to gain favor with government officials, and I am glad he is condemning his own behavior.

Trump promises to eliminate the many tax loopholes – including those he has used to avoid paying personal federal income tax for much of 20 years – that are available to the wealthy to avoid contributing their fair share.

And Trump intends to look at federal bankruptcy laws like the ones he has taken advantage of four times that allow him to keep millions, if not billions, in investors’ monies while legally avoiding having to pay workers and for services rendered.

Trump states he intends to re-negotiate international trade deals so that millions of American manufacturing workers being paid $25 an hour or more will be able to be hired and put to work again. As we know, many of the Trump’s “Fashion Line” items are made by cheap foreign labor.

Increasing labor costs by 800 percent would make most U.S. products too expensive, but Trump argues trade wars will be good for us. In essence, Trump is proposing that his fashion business and many other firms would have to shut down due to high labor costs.

The first good thing about Trump is that he directly answers a question. I hope he is also one who keeps his promises.

The other good thing about Trump is that he apparently is committed to do everything in his power to end the many forms of egregious, selfish, and predatory practices that he has used to make himself wealthy.

I hope he succeeds.

Jonathan Kraut directs private investigations and private security firms, is a published author, Democratic Party activist, and SCV Interfaith Council member. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal or of other organizations.

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Jonathan Kraut: Two good things about Trump

It may be surprising to learn that a lot of Democrats are hoping Trump is able to make good on his many campaign promises.

Not only do Dems outnumber Republicans nationally, but the wave of Democratic and independent votes for Trump prove that the president-elect’s messages took root.

As commander-in-chief, Trump has won the chance to make America’s military, economy and political presence in the world strong again and to put us back on top. I don’t recall who is on top right now, but apparently, it is not us.

One thing I and other Democrats like about Trump is that he responds to an issue with a direct answer. Whether reasonable or poorly conceived, a stab in the dark is sometimes better than no answer at all.

Clinton, on the other hand, responded to questions with idealistic rhetoric or simply referred the questioner to look at her policies posted on her candidate website. I believe Hillary lost the presidency in part because she chose not to directly address an issue with a specific solution.

“I have always been an advocate for children and families” is not a good answer when asked how she intends to contribute to American prosperity, for example.

No American wants to be less prosperous, less safe, or less “better off.” No true American should want any president to fail, either.

The boat may be a big one, but we are all in one together.

Everyone I speak with so far is hopeful President Trump will shake things up and move us toward solving many issues that are in reality not that hard to solve. It just takes political will and cooperation to get things done. A Republican president with Republican majorities in the House and Senate means that legislative cooperation is on the horizon.

Obamacare, for instance, needs some serious tweaking. The Affordable Care Act has proven to be a cash cow for medical insurance carriers, and premiums for coverage are predictably shooting through the roof.

Trump has vowed to make it a priority to fix Obamacare’s flaws and replace this system built on compromise via a Republican-controlled Congress.

A nationalized health care system is not a method condoned by conservatives but seems to Trump as a likely option to remedy Obamacare. I believe Trump will discover that a tightly managed health care system through government control is the best way to bring down costs and improve health care services.

It is about time we solve the illegal immigration issue. Ending illegal immigration starts with punishing employers who pay the undocumented demeaning wages or cash off the books to generate more personal profit – like Trump’s construction companies.

Trump’s construction projects are notorious for this illegal practice, which helped Trump amass his fortune.

As Trump proposes, it is about time we impose a five-year moratorium when a federal elected official leaves office from serving as lobbyist. Trump boasts about the donations and influence he used to gain favor with government officials, and I am glad he is condemning his own behavior.

Trump promises to eliminate the many tax loopholes – including those he has used to avoid paying personal federal income tax for much of 20 years – that are available to the wealthy to avoid contributing their fair share.

And Trump intends to look at federal bankruptcy laws like the ones he has taken advantage of four times that allow him to keep millions, if not billions, in investors’ monies while legally avoiding having to pay workers and for services rendered.

Trump states he intends to re-negotiate international trade deals so that millions of American manufacturing workers being paid $25 an hour or more will be able to be hired and put to work again. As we know, many of the Trump’s “Fashion Line” items are made by cheap foreign labor.

Increasing labor costs by 800 percent would make most U.S. products too expensive, but Trump argues trade wars will be good for us. In essence, Trump is proposing that his fashion business and many other firms would have to shut down due to high labor costs.

The first good thing about Trump is that he directly answers a question. I hope he is also one who keeps his promises.

The other good thing about Trump is that he apparently is committed to do everything in his power to end the many forms of egregious, selfish, and predatory practices that he has used to make himself wealthy.

I hope he succeeds.

Jonathan Kraut directs private investigations and private security firms, is a published author, Democratic Party activist, and SCV Interfaith Council member. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal or of other organizations.

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  • tech

    I found the passive/aggressive tone of this column rather curious.

    • James de Bree

      tech–do you mean passive/aggressive or sarcastic? To me the column uses irony to mock Trump and show contempt for him.

      I actually agree with much of what was said in the column and have said many of the same things myself.

      Speaking of irony, there is one interesting point about the tax loopholes of which Trump has ostensibly taken advantage. To date there is only one that has come to light. That loophole dealt with the cancelation of debt owed by an s corporation. We know about this because the tax opinion he received from a law firm 20 years ago was leaked. (Hillary was not the only candidate who was plagued by leaks.) The loophole was closed by the Republican Congress in 2003 at the request of the Bush Administration. While people like to refer to the 2003 tax legislation as the “Bush tax cuts,” they ignore that it contained a myriad of revenue raisers like this one.

      A corollary issue to Trump’s taxes is how the IRS Appeal Office is going to handle Trump’s examinations now that Trump is President.

      • tech

        Passive/aggressive as in damning with faint praise, Jim.

    • indy

      The poster here like the Op-ed writer ignores the actual economic reality facing us.

      To say that we ‘just thrown somebody in’ is like rediscovering economics that has existed for hundreds of years.

      Neither Trump or Hillary demonstrated any grasp of the globalization economic drivers creating off shoring and wage stagnation: unsustainable global population growth that has saturated global labor markets driving down wages and motivating multinationals to off shore manufacturing to the nations with the lowest labor.

      As far as the immigration issue, neither candidate addressed the population issue either seemingly unaware that adding about 75 million net people to the planet each year has no economic consequences.

      Nor do they grasp that people born to areas of low resources move to areas with more thus the immigration issue. Building a ‘wall’ does nothing to address that.

      And to make matters worse, the GOP politicians are fighting sex education, birth control and family planning both nationally and internationally that would mitigate migration.

      So, without addressing the ‘drivers’ of the issues we face, we’re leaving the public is a state of perpetual frustration . . . thus the ‘alternating’ nature of electing a republican or democrat into the White House as if that would change anything.

      The slogan ‘throw somebody new in’ is just as problematic as say ‘throwing money at the problem’ . . . both indicate the speaker of same hasn’t a clue to what’s going on.

      Additionally, the issue of global unrest remains an enigma to our current leaders that continue to want to raise taxes or deficits to expand a military already spending 3-4 times that of China, and 7 times more than Russia . . . . failing to grasp that military hardware doesn’t address the unsustainable global population (middle Africa and middle east have the highest fertility rates on earth) growth that creates economic stagnation and the environment for religious fundamentalism (see Lester Thurow’s book ‘ The Future of Capitalism, Chapter 12 for a full discussion).

      So, we’ll see how Trump does . . . I wish the campaign rhetoric and rancor come down and give Trump his opportunity to affect change . . . only then can we make further comment on his policy decisions and see if he’s just going to reinstate the Bush 2 ‘trickle down’ tax cuts for the wealthy that doubled the national debt in just 8 years . . .

      Finally, the DNC and democratic party need to come back down to earth with a more progressive agenda and find politicians willing to address sustainability to ease the public frustration by giving them a realistic reality regarding economic growth based on population and resources.

  • Brian Baker

    “I believe Trump will discover that a tightly managed health care system through government control is the best way to bring down costs and improve health care services.”

    Oh, sure. And we have an absolutely great example of a government health care system that already exists that we can check for confirmation: the Veterans Administration. Doesn’t THAT just make you feel all warm and fuzzy?

    “Ending illegal immigration starts with punishing employers…”

    Nope again. Ending illegal immigration starts with ending the flood coming across our borders. Just like a leaky boat, you have to stop the leak before bailing out the water, otherwise you’re just going to sink.

    Sorry, Kraut.

  • nohatejustdebate

    Kraut started off in a constructive tone but as a good Democrat, he just couldn’t keep from going toxic and dragging the conversation into the sewer where he’s most comfortable. Showing class is just not in their DNA. This kind of partisan crap may bring temporary relief to Obama disciples like Kraut but it’s never going to win back disillusioned voters who finally saw the light.

    After suffering the most humiliating defeat in American political history and with the Democratic Party now in ruins, it appears their strategy to win back working class Americans is with a career politician from New York in Chuck Schumer as Minority Leader in the Senate who has all the warmth of a butt boil, an ultra-liberal 76 year old nut job in Nancy Pelosi from San Francisco as Minority Leader in the House, and a bitter activist Keith Ellison who once served as a spokesman for hateful racist Louis Farrakhan to replace the now disgraced Wasserman-Shultz. Yep, this will definitely resonate with the heartland.

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  • dukie

    I wouldn’t read Kraut’s column or that other stooge Horton’s column because in their eyes the democrats can do no wrong….months leading to the election their columns were “Trump bad, Hillary good” with nothing to support their position but a few of Trump missteps. Now, I come here to read the replies of the angry dems who are still in shock over the loss of their queen her rightly (in their minds) throne. That’s entertainment.

  • nohatejustdebate

    In my reference to the disgraced former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, I forgot to mention the current disgraced DNC Chair Donna Brazile. With Democrats it’s hard to keep up with all the scandals but they think replacing Shultz and Brazile with a bitter left-wing activist, Black Lives Matter sympathizer, and former spokesman for Louis Farrakhan will help unify their party and win back working class Americans. Watching their desperation is priceless. Thank you Barack Obama!

  • Dukie: “…their columns were “Trump bad, Hillary good”…”

    All I recall is the “Trump bad” part. When pressed, not a single Hillary supporter could point to a reason to vote for her…other than her purported vagina.

    • Nishka

      Again a repulsive post !!!
      It will come to pass that Trump is VERY BAD, VERY BAD ,VERY BAD !!!!!!

      • noonan

        Still have hurt feelings Lois? You could always go out and burn a flag for therapy. Seeing Dems cry in agony is VERY GOOD, VERY GOOD, VERY GOOD !!!!!!

      • Lois, you are such an incredible hypocrite. You are offended by my use of the clinical term “vagina”, but you are mute when Ed Shalom repeatedly uses the word “pussy”.

        Perhaps you prefer we all use the word pussy instead of vagina? Let me know, I’ll work with you.

    • Nishka

      Jonathan, before I brought your opinion column up on my computer I knew that the so called posters
      would criticize it in their inane postings.
      Keep your columns coming. Love the way you get under the thin skinned posters skin !!!!!!!
      They post like the Groper tweets, tweets, tweets !!!!!!!

      • noonan

        Kraut under our skins? You have to be relevant to accomplish that Lois. No, far from being under our skins, we find him and you to be an endless source of joy.

        I know how you can fix it though. You can hire a Jew hating, mulsim brotherhood supporting Congressman to lead the DNC. Nothing says vote Dem to the good folks in Iowa like a far left lunatic leading the party. He would be a perfect follow up to the corrupt Wasserman-Schultz and the cheating Donna Brazille.

      • Brian Baker

        “Love the way you get under the thin skinned posters skin !!!!!!!”

        LOL!

        Chickie, you are truly delusional.

  • noonan

    Same thought Tech.

  • noonan

    Kraut, are you really aware of how bad it is for Dems? Beyond the presidency, congress, and soon the Supreme Court, you’re getting your hat handed to you in the governorships and state legislatures.

    Is a requirement to be a Dem to be totally and unconditionally self-unaware?

  • Nishka

    “Donald Trump the pathological liar rips media as ‘liars’ !!!!!!! How ironic is that ????????

  • Nishka

    “President-elect Donald Trump’s charitable foundation has admitted to the IRS that it violated a legal prohibition against “self-dealing,” which bars nonprofit leaders from using their charity’s money to help themselves, their businesses or their families.”

    • noonan

      Laughing…..

    • James de Bree

      Nishka, your comment is true but misleading. I used to serve dozens of private foundations as their tax advisor and the issues of self-dealing are quite common among family run foundations. It is my understanding that the Trump Foundation managers (i.e., Mr. Trump) paid the requisite excise tax prescribed under Section 4941 of the Internal Revenue Code to rectify the problem. The fact pattern is quite common in the world of family foundations. Clearly, the Foundation’s tax advisors lacked the requisite expertise to deal with the issue–again a common situation with family run foundations.

      There is so much low hanging fruit to go after Trump for, that the foundation self dealing issues which have been ameliorated do not rise to anything worth mentioning.

      What the Trump foundation did was small potatoes compared to the Clinton Foundation. We don’t know to what extent that the Clinton Foundation self dealt with disqualified persons, but there are indications that self dealing may have also occurred there. Because it is a public charity, rather than a private foundation, the Clinton Foundation is not subject to the self dealing taxes and other restrictions imposed upon private foundations by Chapter 42 of the Internal Revenue Code. So had the Clinton Foundation done what the Trump foundation did, it would not have been a prohibited transaction under the Code.

      But then, you probably are willing to look the other way on potential Clinton self dealing, as you have never posted any objections to the way the Clinton foundation has been run.

  • Nishka

    “A world inching towards climate change catastrophe can’t afford Trump’s proposed energy policies
    Climate change hot summer day”

    To see how seriously Donald J. Trump takes the health of the environment, you need look no further than his transition team’s website. Environmental issues aren’t even listed — though there is a page pledging to achieve “energy independence” by opening up public lands and offshore sites for oil-and-gas drilling, magically reviving the coal industry and scrapping smokestack emissions regulations. All, of course, “while protecting the country’s most valuable resources — our clean air, clean water, and natural habitats.”

    “That last bit isn’t the biggest lie the president-elect has told, but it is a whopper. Trump’s approach to energy policy poses an enormous risk to the environment and makes no sense in the face of scientific consensus that human use of fossil fuels is behind climate-changing global warming. Trump’s proposals would undo the positive steps taken — finally — and would put the country back into see-no-evil mode.”

    THIS IS NO LAUGHING MATTER!!!!!!!

    • tech

      Risible! 😀

    • Brian Baker

      “THIS IS NO LAUGHING MATTER!!!!!!!”

      YES IT IS!!!!

      • tech

        I get a warm, fuzzy feeling about the prosperity that pipelines and offshore drilling will create, Brian.

        Hello, Keystone XL and ANWR!

        • Brian Baker

          Heh heh heh, tech.

          Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.

          Yowza!

    • Lois, the fact that you posted, by default, it becomes a laughing matter!

  • noonan

    “THIS IS NO LAUGHING MATTER!!!!!!!”

    Yes it is. It’s hilarious. The only thing that would be better is if a 10 mile of coastal CA fell into the ocean so we could make California great again too.

  • Nishka

    “Trump’s proposals would undo the positive steps taken — finally — and would put the country back into see-no-evil mode.”
    “LAUGH ON THIN SKINNERS”

  • Nishka

    “White nationalists celebrate Trump victory”
    “New video of a white nationalist conference appears to show a crowd giving Nazi salutes while a speaker shouts “hail Trump.” Fmr. Breitbart spokesman Kurt Bardella.”

    THIS ABOVE ALL IS NO LAUGHING MATTER !!!!!!

    • Steve Lunetta

      Lois- once again, who cares what fringe groups think? Giving attention to a group like this lends credibility to what they think. If you truly oppose what these people believe then the best weapon is to simply ignore them. Apathy is a far worse condemnation….

  • Nishka

    He who laughs first cries at the last !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • tech

      You’ve been crying for weeks, Nishka.

  • Nishka

    “The Trump Organization already does business in corrupt one-party countries such as Azerbaijan, and his children have been traveling to the Middle East looking for deals. The press has devoted significant resources to reporting on the company’s ties to Russian oligarchs. And that was all before Trump became president-elect.”

  • Nishka

    “One of biggest parts of the job of the president is to keep working in the face of criticism. We know Trump hates criticism of any kind.”

    “He also thinks the rules don’t apply to him which is probably the most dangerous psychological trade he has and the one that will be his undoing.”

  • nohatejustdebate

    Nishka’s madness set aside, I think Trump is wise to not pursue further action on Clinton’s criminal activities as Secretary of State and the long list of her lies and corruption. However, once a real Attorney General gets installed, I hope this person will fully investigate the dark dealings of the Clinton Foundation. Trump should remove himself from it and work on rescuing America from Obama’s deranged policies but let the law take it’s course as it relates to this corrupt foundation.

  • Nishka

    “Madness set aside”
    I think that Trump is a mad man lauding his fraudulent and con artistry to the likes of his the disillusioned and
    uniformed followers !!!!!!

    “When the Attorney General gets installed, who is racist and bigot, I hope this racist bigot will fully investigate the dark dealings of the Trump Foundation and all the other shady dealings of the man in the tower !!!!!!!”

  • noonan

    “White nationalist”, the lefts new moronic pejorative.

    Well, I’m white but what is a nationalist? Nationalist: a member of a political party or group advocating national independence or strong national government

    I guess I’m a white nationalist. I hope I can sleep tonight knowing I’m one. God the left are bunch of slow-learning idiots. And Gene, good job on pointing out, I know it’s like shooting fish in a barrel, the hypocrisy of Lois. She gets her panties bent because someone said “vagina”, a medically correct noun by the way, but says nothing when Mr. Ed says “pussy” a hundred a times. Not only does she not reprimand him, but she slobbers praise on him like a dog licking peanut butter.