Opinion

Trump’s brutal budget; a better way to vote

Good morning. On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter. Please sign up for it here.

Jack Ohman muses about President Trump’s visit to the Western Wall. Click here to read Jack’s take.

Our take

Editorials

Here’s a better way to vote: Sacramento County supervisors should approve a new system that relies on voting by mail and at regional polling places.

Trump meets the pope while his budget threatens the least of us: Blessed are the poor, a great leader once suggested. Suffice it to say that leader was not President Donald Trump.

Columns

Dan Walters: As Democratic left agitates for universal health care, huge cost and taxes to cover it put legislative leaders under the political gun.

Andrew Malcolm: Why Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations of Russian interference in the the Trump campaign and the 2016 election could be a blessing, at least short-term.

Op-Eds

Abre’ Conner: The ACLU filed a formal complaint against the Fresno school district for not properly using Local Control Funding Formula money, and the Education Department demanded that it revise its school spending plan.

Their take on the budget

Charlotte Observer: It’s a budget that became an inevitability last November. Republicans are in power now. They’re about to get their wish on government and taxes, and Americans are about to get just what they voted for.

Kansas City Star: The Trump budget calls for tax cuts and shreds the social safety net. Kansas has already tried that approach, with terrible results. America has been warned.

LA Times: The crackdown on the neediest and most vulnerable seems even more craven when considering the billions Trump’s budget would shower on defense, border security and tax cuts for high-income Americans, corporations and partnerships.

Take a number: 32 percent

A few months ago, President Donald Trump’s defense secretary, James Mattis, offered wise words: “If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition ultimately.” Trump didn’t heed the advice. In the budget announced on Tuesday, Trump proposed cutting State and other international programs by 32 percent, and increasing defense spending by $52 billion, to $639 billion. If approved by Congress, the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps would buy 84 new fighter aircraft in 2018, and the would acquire eight new battle force ships.

Their take

San Francisco Chronicle: Waylaying an expected federal grant for Caltrain modernization – a long-planned project expanding mass-transit capacity in a region that desperately needs it – never made sense as a matter of policy. It was an act of thoughtless opposition, the political equivalent of a rock hurled at a locomotive.

San Jose Mercury News: Sen. Ricardo Lara’s single-payer legislation was a non-starter in California from day one, even before it was given an eye-popping $400 billion price tag. It’s merely an exercise in politics.

Miami Herald: South Florida Haitian nationals who have been temporarily protected from deportation on Monday received what appeared to be good news. But in fact, it’s very bad news. As the government handed them the reprieve, in the same breath it advised them to get their personal and travel papers in order.

Chicago Tribune: Tesla, the electric vehicle start-up, did something remarkable last month: It surpassed Ford and GM to become the country’s most valuable car company based on market capitalization. On Monday, not coincidentally, Ford ousted its CEO.

Syndicates’ take

Dana Milbank: It was a bizarre scene: A Russian government-funded propaganda organization schooling the Trump administration on the cruelty of its proposed federal budget.

Kathleen Parker: Melania and Ivanka Trump stood as beacons of light in a part of the world that remains cloaked in the darkness of religious fundamentalism and oppression.

David Brooks: Now is the moment for a new establishment to organize, to address the spirit of alienation that gave rise to Donald Trump, but which transcends him.

David Leonhardt: President Donald Trump’s effort to take health insurance from the middle class and poor, and funnel the savings into tax cuts for the rich is a little like mold. It grows best in the dark.

Mailbag

So the California Nurses Association is supporting a single-payer health care system. Well, let’s think about that the next time nurses hold a hospital hostage because they want more pay.” – Liz Forsman, Sacramento

And finally,

“Trying to stop the sea; Talking to a brick wall; Appealing to Sean Hannity’s decency; Best not try any or all.” – Larry Parsons,‏ @LParsons69

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