Letter: U.S. 18th happiest country in world

Published 9:27 pm Wednesday, July 11, 2018

I read with interest the letter a week ago imploring us to jump on the Trump train. It contended only Trump could solve our problems, only capitalism works and that revolutions result under socialist governments. Amazing, then, that of the 10 happiest countries in the world, most are socialist countries with free education, free health care and very high taxes: Finland, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Iceland, Switzerland, Canada, New Zealand, etc. Also, as I remember history, revolutions result from “unfettered capitalism” — all the money going to the very top while the “peons” starve and eventually take up arms out of anger and desperation — the French and Russian Revolutions are two examples.

During the campaign, Trump said he believed in raising taxes on the rich “including myself,” yet he signed one of the largest tax cuts for the wealthy in history! It provided special, advantageous benefits for pass-through businesses like real estate. It benefited his children by doubling the estate tax exemption. Consequently, this year’s deficit will be $800 billion, and next year’s will be nearly $1 trillion. This upward spiral will continue. To compensate, the 2019 Republican budget calls for a $4 billion cut to Social Security, $537 billion to Medicare and $230 billion to education. In Finland, one of the world’s happiest countries, with a literacy rate of 100 percent, there is no tuition to schools plus students receive free meals.

Trump said he would “drain the swamp,” but Scott Pruitt, by himself, is probably guilty of more corruption than any other president’s entire cabinet, because until Trump, scandals were rare enough that anyone abusing his office as Pruitt has would have been fired immediately, but in Trump world corruption is the accepted norm. After all, the man Trump called his “favorite prime minister” was just arraigned for stealing billions from Malaysia just as Trump’s bromance, Putin, has stolen billions from Russia — some of which has made its way to Trump through surrogates. As Trump appeases Putin, more likely will. Tariffs the man former Republican strategist Steve Schmidt calls “the super nova of ignorance” is enacting may add up to $5,000 to the cost of an automobile. Iowa soybean farmers could lose $624 million this year. Minnesota farmers?

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Trump appears OK with Putin annexing Crimea — our NATO allies are not. Trump may make Putin happy by pulling troops out of Syria, leaving it to Russia and Iran. Worth a few billion for him or Jared? Worst of all, Trump kidnapped children away from their parents with no plan to reunite them, drawing comparisons to Hitler. Additionally, North Korea is not dismantling its nukes.

As retired four-star Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and the NSA tweeted: “If this is who we are or who we are becoming, I have wasted 40 years of my life. Until now it was not possible for me to conceive of an American president capable of such an outrageous assault on truth, a free press or the First Amendment!”

Lonna Gooden Van Horn