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Nevilledog's Journal
Nevilledog's Journal
January 18, 2023

Trump Built a National Debt So Big...That It'll Weigh Down the Economy for Years


One of President Donald Trump’s lesser known but profoundly damaging legacies will be the explosive rise in the national debt that occurred on his watch. The financial burden that he’s inflicted on our government will wreak havoc for decades, saddling our kids and grandkids with debt.

The national debt has risen by almost $7.8 trillion during Trump’s time in office. That’s nearly twice as much as what Americans owe on student loans, car loans, credit cards and every other type of debt other than mortgages, combined, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It amounts to about $23,500 in new federal debt for every person in the country.

The growth in the annual deficit under Trump ranks as the third-biggest increase, relative to the size of the economy, of any U.S. presidential administration, according to a calculation by a leading Washington budget maven, Eugene Steuerle, co-founder of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. And unlike George W. Bush and Abraham Lincoln, who oversaw the larger relative increases in deficits, Trump did not launch two foreign conflicts or have to pay for a civil war.

Economists agree that we needed massive deficit spending during the COVID-19 crisis to ward off an economic cataclysm, but federal finances under Trump had become dire even before the pandemic. That happened even though the economy was booming and unemployment was at historically low levels. By the Trump administration’s own description, the pre-pandemic national debt level was already a “crisis” and a “grave threat.”

January 15, 2023

Celebrating Religious Freedom Day by Taking Back the Revolutionary Meaning of 'Religious Freedom'


Religious freedom has been at the center of American history since the founding. (And by the founding, I mean of the United States of America, not including the roughly century-and-a-half of colonial era.) There’s a story of religious freedom in the U.S. that isn’t widely or well understood—and is fiercely contested by the Christian Right.

Religious freedom was and is a revolutionary and liberatory concept that can disrupt entangled religious and political establishments and corrupt alliances of convenience. On Religious Freedom Day (January 16th) some will praise faith, and maybe the Founding Fathers, and some will call for interfaith understanding. Nothing wrong with all that. But if they fail to discuss the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which the day is intended to commemorate, they will have muffed the meaning and power of the moment.

There are many roots of religious freedom, but the story of religious freedom as a constitutional right in the US begins with the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which was originally drafted by Thomas Jefferson in 1777 and shepherded through the Virginia legislature by James Madison in 1786. The following year, Madison served as the lead author of the Constitution, and in 1789, as the lead author of the First Amendment. Thus, the Virginia Statute is rightly understood to be the clearest statement of the intentions of the Framers in matters of the right relationship between the individual, religion, and government.

Historian John Ragosta’s thumbnail history of the bill at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello recognizes this. He quotes Madison saying that the Virginia Statute “is a true standard of Religious liberty: its principle the great barrier agst. usurpations on the rights of conscience. As long as it is respected… these will be safe.”


January 7, 2023

American Bridge Trump Opposition Research Hub


Welcome to American Bridge 21st Century's Donald Trump opposition research hub. Originally launched before the 2020 election, this website exists to help allies find the research needed to defeat Donald Trump. It's organized into multiple reports designed to help you tell the full story about Trump's failed presidency and make the case against his 2024 campaign.
January 4, 2023

Talia Lavin: The Great Right-Wing Con Job


Let us say you are thinking about the motive forces of hatred—what drives it and who is drawn to it and why.

Somewhere along the meandering path towards understanding you encounter a Trump-themed Red Bull rip-off called Winning Energy, whose shabby aura, a quintessence of the MAGA aesthetic, offers its own set of answers.

It’s a homepage you can almost smell. The vibe is a Klan meeting with a cash bar, seedy lounge-singer covers of Wagner, gilt that comes off on your fingers, a $999 deal on a late-night infomercial with the volume cranked all the way up. The can says its ingredients are liberal tears, but the label adds glucuronalactone and pantothenic acid. Very thin women in bikinis hold up the beverage in promo photos; it’s endorsed by an evangelical rapper and a graying male YouTuber whose videos include “Basic Bitches 101.” Winning Energy will help you kick “Sleepy Joe” syndrome, and it comes in sugar-free.

Or it did once, anyway. Timothy Shea, the founder of the company, was convicted in late 2022 of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, and now the email list offers an error message when you try to sign up.

Of prominent hate figures—like UK professional racist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon a.k.a. Tommy Robinson, or snake-oil tycoon Alex Jones—the question is often asked: do they sincerely believe all this shit, or are they just trying to make a buck?

The answer is yes.


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