Donald Trump has famously vowed to “Make America Great Again,” but his actual vision for the nation has less in common with Ronald Reagan (who used the phrase in his 1980 campaign) and more in common with Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society,” which represented one of the most massive expansions of government in American history.

On several occasions this week, Trump signaled that if elected, he would work to expand the size and scope of government.

Trump took a page from socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders’s policy agenda, releasing a proposal for six weeks of government-paid mandatory maternity leave.

Sure, his plan included some cosmetic touches (including child care tax deductions) meant to disguise it as a market-friendly plan, but there’s no way to cover up the fact that Trump would be creating a new government entitlement.

Appearing on “The Dr. Oz Show,” Trump said that if Obamacare were repealed, there would be a “fairly large” percentage of people who would still fall through the cracks and couldn’t afford private health insurance. For those people, he said, “We have to go and we have to help them through the Medicaid system.”

That’s the same Medicaid system that was created as part of President Johnson’s “Great Society,” that was expanded by Obamacare, that has been crippling state and federal budgets, and that has been failing patients with limited choices of doctors and poor medical outcomes.

Of all government healthcare programs (save the Veterans Health Administration), Medicaid comes the closest to a single-payer, or socialized, system.

Again, Trump tried to touch up his statement with free-market rhetoric about instilling more competition by getting rid of state-based insurance monopolies. “Every state has a line wrapped around it,” he said.

It’s true that before Obamacare came about, a number of free-market proposals called for removing the restrictions on insurance carriers selling policies across state lines.

Trump buries birther movement, blames Clinton for starting it

Also from the Washington Examiner

Donald Trump said Friday he no longer believes President Obama was born outside of the U.S., putting to rest the doubts he once held and that he had been reluctant to discuss until now.

Speaking to reporters, veterans, two Medal of Honor recipients and a handful of campaign aides inside the lavish presidential ballroom of his new hotel in Washington, D.C., the Republican presidential nominee blamed Hillary Clinton for starting the “birther controversy.”

“Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it,” he said.

“President Obama was born in the United States. Period,” he said. “Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again.

09/16/16 11:43 AM

The purpose of this was to get around the onerous local benefit mandates (such as requiring that every plan in a state covered acupuncture) that could make insurance cost double in one state what it cost in neighboring states.

But the actual plan Trump released includes an important caveat — that insurers could offer plans in any state, “as long as the plan purchased complies with state requirements.”

In other words, all plans would still have to meet local mandates, thus defeating the whole purpose of a proposal to get rid of state barriers — and giving no reason to believe he’d actually be ushering in more competition or driving down prices.

Trump’s recent rhetoric and proposals are part of a broader trend. He’s already called for increasing the federal minimum wage and has promised not to seriously change Social Security or Medicare (other than adopting the liberal proposal for allowing government to fix drug prices).

He also vowed to spend “at least double” what Hillary Clinton has proposed spending on infrastructure. Given that she has proposed $275 billion over five years on infrastructure, that would imply Trump wants to spend more than a half-trillion dollars.

Obama dismisses birther talk, wants 'more serious' campaign

Also from the Washington Examiner

He was asked about Donald Trump’s recent decision to “accept” that Obama was born in America.

09/16/16 11:18 AM

With roughly seven weeks to go before the election, Americans have a much better idea of which areas of government Trump wants to expand rather than those that he wants to cut. And it isn’t clear how he would come up with the money to pay for his proposals.

As described, his plans either aren’t paid for or involve vague promises to reduce waste, fraud and inefficiency. For a so-called outsider, he didn’t take too long to adopt the deceptive language of politicians when it comes to federal spending.

The reality is this: 2018 would theoretically be the first full fiscal year over which a President Trump could influence the budget.

Put together spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, veteran’s programs, military retirement and defense (all areas that Trump has vowed to maintain largely as is or expand), and add in interest payments on the debt, and you’re already at 89 percent of projected revenues for 2018, according to an analysis of Congressional Budget Office projections.

This analysis does not take into account non-defense discretionary spending. That is the category of the budget that includes infrastructure spending (which Trump wants to increase by at least $550 billion), border security and immigration enforcement (Trump has proposed tripling the number of ICE officers) and law enforcement (Trump has dubbed himself the “law and order” candidate).

It turns out, when Trump talks about “Making America Great Again,” what he really means is that if elected, he’ll make the government even bigger again.

In surge, Donald Trump retakes advantage on economic issues

Top Story

Trump attempted to press his advantage with a speech Thursday at the New York Economic Club.

09/16/16 8:53 AM

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