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PDF Editor FAQ

Is life insurance considered marital property?

As I note to my students, make sure you are asking the right question for the answer you wish to obtain.For instance, your question of marital property could be answered yes or no and both would be correct based on that question alone.A better question might be is life insurance considered marital property in Missouri or California (Community Property State). The answer is no in Missouri and yes in California, for instance. So the issue is dependent on the state of domicile.Life insurance is personal property and personal property can be owned by one or more owners. Life insurance is often used to fund business succession plans (buy-sell agreements, for instance), key person coverage, debt guarantees (bank loans, for example). Life insurance policies are contracts, for future payout, between the insurance company and the owner(s) of the policy. The owner could be the insured, a trust, a business, spouse, kids on parents, etc. The only requirement at issue, besides the insurability of the insured, is that there must be an insurable interest between the owner and the insured at the time of the application.Contractually, the owner controls the policy and can change the beneficiary, take cash value of a whole life policy or cash it in or change it. However, this can be restricted by assignment or other particular restrictions. This ownership is also restricted in a Community Property state, such as California, where life insurance is considered community property if it was paid for by community funds after marriage. In California neither spouse can act independently without the agreement of the other, such as changing beneficiaries and taking out cash values.In a community property state, if a husband or wife changed the beneficiary prior to death without the other spouse’s agreement, then action could be brought against the beneficiary for part of the proceeds.Finally, all rights immediately vest to the spouse, at death of insured, if wife was beneficiary on husband’s policy or vice versa.More than you probably wanted to know, but insurance can be complicated and remember also that insurance is state regulated, For instance, in Montana all policies must be issued with unisex rates. Some states allow a suicide exclusion for not paying a claim from suicide in the first year or two of the policy. Missouri does not allow that provision of the contract to be exercised. However, Florida does.A competent insurance or estate planning attorney should be consulted in any issues that involve an estate, community property state disposition and other complicated issues.

President Trump claims to be very good or the best at many things but what is he really good at?

Well since you asked, let me list the various points of credit for which Mr. Trump is so most deserving.Trump is claiming an economy that Obama delivered, (chart follows) and has been able to ride on Obama’s economic success until his own “economic policies’ bit with disastrous effect. Now the USA is facing the real possibility of a recession in spite of the fact that he was handed a large and growing economy.U.S. posts a record trade deficit in goods despite ‘America First’ policies The 2018 figure shows that President Trump’s tariffs and tough policies have failed to shrink a trade gap that he argues represents a massive transfer of wealth from Americans to foreigners. Source Washington PostTrump promised he would get rid of the national debt in 8 years but now it’s at an all-time high with Trump actually adding $8.3 trillion in additional debt. Source: Trump and the National Debt Trump Pledged to Eliminate the Debt. Instead He Will Add $8.3 TrillionThe VA is in shambles and he fired the only man that vets trusted. Trump and the Republicans pulled support for the Vets while the Dems supported a number of bills to help them. And it was Trump who fired the only Vet Director that the vets had any faith in and put in place a lackey that has done nothing but undermine the advances the prior director had made. “According to Military Times: “Vets still face long waits with the fraudulent VA Choice program. Dems up to saving taxpayers from another GOP fraud.According to Stars and Stripes, veterans using VA Choice program could get stuck with a $30,000 medical bill. GOP up to no good. If Dems don't stop con fraud, who will?”Trump’s Budget Proposal Cut Support for Disabled Veterans?The president's plan did call for changes that would have had a significant financial effect on some disabled veterans. Source Military timesHow often do Republicans undermine veterans?When you hear Republicans praising veterans, do not believe it for a minute. Congressional Republicans blocked or filibustered bill after bill that would have aided veterans, all in an attempt to undermine President Barack Obama while cutting taxes for the wealthy are still at with Trump as leader.Mitch McConnell and his cohorts filibustered a stopped a total of $21 billion in funds that would have expanded veteran benefits and saved expansions.Trump and the GOP claim they love the military, maybe so, but the sure as hell have no use for them when they have done their duty for their country and come home!Here’s a partial list of what the Republicans “did” for the Vets:• blocked a $1 billion jobs bill that would have helped millions of vets• blocked a bill that would have kept benefits on par with the cost of living• killed the Wounded Veteran Job Security Act• killed the Veterans Retraining Act• killed the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Act• killed the Disabled Veterans Home Improvement Act• killed the Job Creation Through Entrepreneurship ActHere Is just another few examples of what Trump is planning for the Vets:1.Source: The Stars and Stripes“WASHINGTON — A cost-saving proposal has resurfaced in a new Congressional Budget Office report as an option to help reduce the federal budget deficit.The report suggests removing approximately 235,000 disabled veterans from a Department of Veterans Affairs program called Individual Unemployability in 2020, projecting it could save $47.6 billion in the next 10 years. Veterans removed from the program would see their monthly incomes decrease by an average of $1,300, according to CBO estimates.“We want the White House to immediately make a statement saying Trump’s recommendation is out of line and will not be considered,” said Joe Chenelly, director of Veteran Affairs.The program applies to veterans who have disability ratings through the VA of between 60 percent and 100 percent and are unable to secure jobs because of their disabilities. It allows them to receive the highest compensation rate.The CBO suggested removing veterans from Individual Unemployability once they reach age 67, claiming those veterans would be eligible for Social Security by that time.The cut was one of 121 cost-saving proposals included in the CBO report, titled “Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2019 to 2028.” The CBO periodically compiles the list of policy options to help inform lawmakers.2.Trump 2020 budget: Which department budgets would be cut ... 11, 2019 - The Trump administration released its 2020 budget request on Monday, Veterans Affairs ...Also Cuts $845 billion over the next 10 years from Medicare, the federal program that provides health insurance to older Americans.3. White House has no answer for 7 million veterans who stand to lose health care"In their desperation to gain votes for their unpopular plan to repeal Obamacare, House Republicans inserted a raft of “improvements” to the bill, including one that could harm up to 7 million veterans by making them ineligible for the bill’s tax credits.The most recent estimates suggest about 9.1 million individuals are enrolled in VA health programs. However, a 2014 Congressional Budget Office score of veterans’ choice legislation concluded that “about 8 million [veterans] qualify to enroll in VA’s health system but have not enrolled.” Subtracting for VA enrollment gains since that CBO score leaves approximately seven million veterans eligible for, but not enrolled in, VA health programs, and thus potentially affected by the House’s “technical” change.”Source: are losing 6 different ways right now’The implosion of Ronny Jackson’s nomination to lead the Veterans Affairs Department may look like the Trump administration’s drama of the moment, but it carries big consequences for 9 million veterans in a sprawling health care system with uneven results and a precarious future.Not only does the VA have no leader, but the veteran health care community is also divided between conservatives inclined to privatize much of veterans’ care and those who want to invest more in fixing the current system. The impact can be seen across 170 medical centers and hundreds of clinics of varying quality that treat veterans who served in the U.S. military in every conflict since World War II.5. Did Congress Just Screw 7 Million Vets Out Of Their Tax Credits?Source: has appointed cabinet heads all intent on reversing the very oversight, rules, and regulations in favor of big business, but which were originally put in place by both sides of the aisle to protect consumers and the environment. Toxic chemicals threaten water supply Source Washington PostE.P.A. Plans to Get Thousands of Pollution Deaths Off the Books by Changing Its Math“The Environmental Protection Agency plans to change the way it calculates the health risks of air pollution, a shift that would make it easier to roll back a key climate change rule because it would result in far fewer predicted deaths from pollution, according to five people with knowledge of the agency’s plans.”The E.P.A. had originally forecast that eliminating the Obama-era rule, the Clean Power Plan, and replacing it with a new measure would have resulted in an additional 1,400 premature deaths per year.Source: E.P.A. Plans to Get Thousands of Pollution Deaths Off the Books by Changing Its MathThe EPA is also cutting off funding for several research centers that study the effects of pollution on childhood development. Greenwire’s Corbin Hiar and Ariel Wittenberg report: “The move, critics say, is part of a broader effort by [Trump] to downplay science that could lead to stricter regulations on polluting industries. At issue are 13 Children’s Environmental Health and Disease “Prevention Research Centers located at institutions across the country.” Source: has 17 investigations and criminal charges against his companies, family and his presidency, all of which undermines the presidency as well as America’s standing on the world stage. The direct result, it is taking time and serious attention away from the very issues that need fixing.The $1.5 trillion in tax breaks that he promised the middle class, didn’t go to the working poor or the middle class, but instead directly benefited him, his family, the richest 1% and the most profitable corporations on the planet. The same CEO’s and top executives gave themselves major bonuses and then bought back their own stock that gave the markets a temporary surge, only to collapse as investors lost confidence in Trump and his looney policies and tariffs. “The tax cut has utterly failed to deliver the promised investment boom. Companies didn’t use their giant windfall to build new plants and raise productivity, they used it to buy back a lot of stock, passing the gains on to wealthy investors.” Source: New York TimesAT&T pocketed Trump’s tax cuts after promising 7,000 new jobs — but slashed 23,000 jobs instead while pocketing the tax cuts. Source: AT&T promised 7,000 new jobs to get tax break—it cut 23,000 jobs insteadThese unfair and misdirected tax cuts resulted in a double whammy adding to already serious fiscal deficiencies by reducing taxes overall while increasing the burgeoning deficit problem. Not only has America been ‘robbed’ of those taxes now and going forward, but these are taxes that should in all fairness be paid by the very rich, and highly profitable corporations. “Trump’s twin deficits show that his party has been lying about its policy priorities and that he is completely clueless about his signature policy issue”. Source: New York Times. This unwarranted tax cut for the rich has increased the deficit by an additional $1 trillion dollars, now estimated to actually come in at close to $2 trillion. And guess who is going to pay for it… one guess.Both Rubio and McConnell have both stated very clearly on a number of occasions that the deficit will have to be reduced with cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and wait for it…. your own hard-earned Social Security benefits. You know, the fund you have been paying into all your working life, the one, that you counted on to supplement and assuage your retirement when the time comes! Well, thanks to Trump and the Republicans, that is now up for grabs and is imperiled. And this is just in: Trump’s recent budget proposal included billions of dollars in Social Security cuts. The proposed cuts were a huge betrayal of his campaign promise to protect our Social Security system. Source: Trump is employing this insidious strategy to attack Social Security — and avoid a massive 2020 backlashCuts in Medicare and your Social Security is just part of the Trump agenda, as are his tariffs which are adding additional tax on those imported consumer items you are buying, and speaking of his infamous tariffs, based on his, “I know what is best” claim when he decided to instigate his tariff plan against the advice of both Democratic and Republican economists and CEOs, the results have been disastrous. “As many people have pointed out to no avail, Trump is all wrong about what trade deficits do. “ Source: New York Times“Tariff Man Has Become Deficit Man - Donald Trump focused his ire mainly on trade deficits, insisting that “our jobs and wealth are being given to other countries that have taken advantage of us.” But over two years of unified G.O.P. control of government, a funny thing happened: Both deficits surged. The budget deficit has hit a level unprecedented except during wars and in the immediate aftermath of major economic crises; the trade deficit in goods has set a record. Trump really has no idea how international trade works.” Source: New York TimesTrump’s tariffs have meant nothing more than an added extra tax on Americans and have cost taxpayers an additional $12 billion that Trump had to dole out to soybean farmers alone for lost crops, and he is now promising the same farmers $15 billion as they face even greater losses than estimated. To cover for his stupidity and wrong-headed Tariffs, “Tariff man” Trump, as he likes to call himself, lies to the American public by telling them that the tariffs are making America richer as they are filling the American treasury, when in fact they are an added tax on consumers, now estimated to cost an American family between $500 and $800. “Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports hurt American businesses; “Over the past year, the US has placed about $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, in part to make Chinese products more expensive so Americans don’t buy them. The administration has also placed steep tariffs on all imported steel, angering other major US trade partners. Source: Farmers are losing patience with Trump’s trade warAs for those coal mining jobs he promised, nothing, zilch, an nothing either in terms of companies being brought back. Try and name even one that hadn’t been in the planning stages prior to Trump being elected. Of course, there have been jobs still fleeing as evident by Harley Davison closed a factory and moved the jobs to Europe to avoid Trump’s job-killing Tariff program of terror. Western Farmers are not only seeing their crops rot in the fields for lack of markets due to Trump’s tariff war, but they are now losing hope and farms as bankruptcies are on the rise. Farm bankruptcies are on the rise. “A total of 84 farms in the upper Midwest filed for bankruptcy between July 2017 and June 2018, according to the Federal Reserve of Minneapolis. That’s more than double the number of Chapter 12 filings during the same period in 2013 and 2014 in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana.” Source: Farmers are losing patience with Trump’s trade war “ farmers are freaking out. Some are facing financial ruin now that millions of Chinese consumers, who once bought about 60 percent of American agriculture exports, have stopped buying their products. Exports to China from Minnesota dropped about 25 percent after the first round of tariffs went into effect last year” Trump created a $12 billion bailout program for farmers, and on May 17th, he outlined another plan to give them an additional $15 billion. Farmers are far from happy with this approach “it’s not clear if those bailouts will be enough to keep farmers happy. “We don’t want another check from the government,” Isane said. “People don’t realize that once you lose a market, it’s hard to get it back.” Source: Farmers are losing patience with Trump’s trade war“Net farm income has fallen by 50% since 2013 and the trade war has pushed commodity prices down even further. Many farmers and ranchers are on the verge of financial collapse.”…the resolving the trade war with China should be the administration’s “top priority” the Agriculture Department was told…farmers were disappointed to see tensions between the two countries escalate in recent days….the Agriculture Department was told that the president’s proposed bailout package for American farmers would not do nearly enough to stop the bleeding — it “will not make up for lost export markets and long term implications of trade disputes.” “Farmers are hurting,” he said. “It is critical the upcoming trade assistance be structured in a manner that does maximum good for our farmers and ranchers.” Source: Kansas GOP senator writes desperate letter to end Trump’s trade war: Farmers ‘on the verge of financial collapse’GM had to fire 14,000 workers in large part due to tariffs on aluminum and steel, making their cars much more expensive and Ford’s CEO has reported that the tariffs have cost the company an additional $1 billion as of the end of Nov. These costs have to be passed onto customers or absorbed by the company by cutting staff and workers, and it just keeps getting worse day in and day out.. yet this fool has no clue… “Trump’s Trade Grade- We get a look at his transcript on trade policy. It’s not pretty. President Trump’s economic policy: He picks a yardstick to measure the American economy — the trade deficit — that’s mostly meaningless. He spends years criticizing it as too high and promising to reduce it. And under his administration, it surges.” “By just about any measure you pick,” Slate’s Jordan Weissmann writes, “his effort appears to have been an absolute flop.”“He set out to fix a non-problem (a trade deficit) and created real ones including international conflict, higher consumer prices and gross inefficiency in our economy,” The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin writes.The vice president of the National Farmers Union, appeared May 16th, 2019 on Fox News to discuss President Donald Trump’s ongoing trade war with China.“It has been insane,” Edelburg said. “We’ve had a lot of farmers — a lot more bankruptcies going on, a lot more farmer suicides.”“We have more commodities, more grain sitting on the ground now because we lost huge export markets. We’ve lost export markets that we’ve had for 30 years that we’ll never get a chance to get back again. Farmers are hopeful to get their crops in the ground this year but really hope we have a place to sell it come fall.” Source: FOX NEWS May 16th, 2019Edelburg said the Trump administration’s plan to provide up to $20 billion in federal aid to farmers would help, but wouldn’t be a solution to the problem.“We don’t need band-aids. We need long-term fixes to make sure farmers are able to survive. …the way (Trump ) is going about it may not be the right fix.”He was just found guilty of using his charity fund as a private piggy bank and was fined $25 million for defrauding idiots for being suckered into this get rich quick “Trump University” scheme...this and these continuing malfeasances have taken their toll in misdirecting attention, time and required action away from the serious issues that face all Americans.All of this In less than two years, and yet he has also managed to:. Divide the country like no politician ever before, by doing so the worst way possible, along racist and economic lines.. He has marginalized the rights of women, minorities and those of non-traditional sexual preferences.. He has normalized hatred, racism, and misogyny. “We’re a nation coming apart at the seams, a nation in which each tribe has its own narrative and the narratives are generally resentment narratives. The African-American experience is somehow at the core of this fragmentation — the original sin that hardens the heart, separates Americans from one another and serves as model and fuel for other injustices.” Source: New York Times. He has made America and the planet dirtier for years to come through egregious environmental deregulation. Here’s what Obama’s EPA reported: “fracking contaminates water. For instance, they state that "Injection of hydraulic fracturing fluids directly into groundwater resources" causes contamination. ... The EPA also notes that disposing of fracking wastewater directly into surface water contaminates drinking water.” This under Obama’s administration. But under Trump’s crooked EPA appointment of Pruit, who has been forced out of office for personal spending of Government monies,Trump and his EPA lied to the America public and had this to say "Data gaps and uncertainties limited EPA’s ability to fully assess the potential impacts on drinking water resources locally and nationally. Because of these data gaps and uncertainties, it was not possible to fully characterize the severity of impacts, nor was it possible to calculate or estimate the national frequency of impacts on drinking water resources from activities in the hydraulic fracturing water cycle.". He has profited illegally from his position, as have his children and son-in-law.. He’s lowered the level of discourse throughout America where simple bumper sticker bromides pass for intelligent thought.. He has destroyed the country’s relationships with our best and most loyal allies and cuddled up to the world’s most disgraceful authoritarians.. He made truth and facts irrelevant for his base while making intellectuals and the media the enemy of the people. And has told close to 10,000 verifiable lies Back on Jan 21 he was up to 8,158 false or misleading claims. but now it is more than 10,000 Source Washington Post: He has crushed regulations meant to level the market so that small businesses had at least a small chance of competing against large corporations.. He has overturned financial regulations, making it now virtually impossible for consumers to protect themselves against the practices of shady banks… allowing for another probable meltdown. John Taylor, president of the nonprofit National Community Reinvestment Coalition had warned of the last crash and says "We got into that mess because of the lack of regulation, and now we're talking about making banks less accountable. It makes no sense whatsoever." Source:10 years after the financial crisis, have we learned anything?. He’s made the USA a global embarrassment.. For many businesses and farmers international trade is infinitely more difficult than it was just a few years ago.. He has driven the country to the brink of a constitutional crisis since he refuses to accept or simply breaks the laws of the land at will.. He’s ripped up numerous trade deals and replaced them with either nothing or moved the deck chairs slightly around the deck so that he could proclaim victory when in fact all he really did was to justify another so-called win. A good case in point was the needless drama, cost, and loss of goodwill caused in settling the NAFTA dispute with both Mexico and Canada. With a simple inclusion that didn’t materially alter the plan from the original, Trump then changed the name and claimed victory.. While the Supreme Court has long been known as non-partisan, Trump and the GOP pushed through two hard leaning rightwing justices, and is already been pushing cases through the lower courts in order to overturn numerous civil rights that are favored by 70% of the country and which had been considered untouchable, (established laws can be reviewed and altered as a precedent as Kavanaugh referred to existing laws while lying to ensure his appointment as a Trump surrogate and protector ). Trump is constantly spreading fear and paranoia regarding everything from border protection, threats of nuclear war, murderous gangs, allies raping America economically, and white people being victimized and marginalized by a country made vulnerable by left-leaning Democrats, none of which is true. Trump employs hateful rhetoric for no other reason than to keep his rabble at a constant boil, all to the detriment of civil discourse, fairness, and honesty.. And of course, there is Trump’s magically wall that the Mexicans are going to pay for while claiming that the Democrats are against border security.. when in fact all sane people, no matter the party, don’t support Trump and his magic beans that will somehow grow the wall that the Mexicans have clearly stated for which they certainly will not pay.. Trump colluded with Russia to influence his election and has spent over two years obstructing justice in broad daylight as a cover-up. Now there is evidence that the NRA received monies from Russia to pass along to Trump’s campaign and there is some discussion that even Saudi Arabia may have helped out trump get elected with more foreign contributions, a crime of its own. In order to cover up his deals with Russia, Trump fired Comey, then the head of the FBI, discredited the Justice Department, and then, the heads of the FBI while calling main news media fake and putting forth the claim that the “Deep State,” in fact his own government, were all out to get him.. Trump has attacked the free press time and time again because they have the tenacity to point out the hypocrisy and wrong-headedness of his policies and knee-jerk decisions that are detrimental to America and in direct violation of America’s number 1 constitutional right, freedom of speech.· Trump has undermined and demonized international alliances that have loyally stood with and have gone to war in support of America for decades· He endangered the entire world economy with his tariffs and isolationism· He prompted many countries to seriously look to find alternatives to US’s vaunted support and stability while allowing both Russia and China an upper hand in gaining influence and control of countries that had previously favored the USA.. Trump decided against entering the Trans-Pacific Strategic EconomicPartnership Agreement that would have given America an upper hand and a controlling interest in trade agreements with all the Pacific Rim countries in one fell swoop.. Trump actually turned down the TPP agreement because Obama was for it, and this in the face of the only one thing that Republicans supported Obama on. They, like Obama, saw this as a next to a perfect opportunity for freezing China out of the Partnership while gaining the advantage of winning a free trade agreement with all countries across the entire and the important economically growing Pacific Rim.. Trump mistakenly believed that CHINA was the main partner in the TPP agreement, but it was not until the USA pulled out, that the rest of the Rim countries decided to allow China entry; they had been counting on America to be the go-to leading partner for the entire partnership. Trump was able to snatch defeat from the jaws of an easy victory!. Trump has decided to go it alone and has hit China as well as a number of favored counties with tariffs, a move from which neither the USA or these countries will benefit. The tariffs have already decidedly increased hostilities, bad will, and has already meant countervailing restrictions as both China and friendly countries have raised tariffs on the importation of American Goods and services.. American soybean farmers are already looking at loses of $3.2 billion against next year crops and the risk of possibly losing the very markets that Trump has attacked with unwanted tariffs, as these importers become conditioned to stay with their new source of supply once tariffs are inevitability withdrawn. With $16 billion worth of Chinese imports, global trade relationships are changing in ways that could eventually leave American farmers out in the cold.. Where farmers have worked tirelessly to build relationships with importers worldwide, they find that these hard-won markets are now being taken over by Brazil, Canada, Argentina, or Russia – among other competitors. No aid or financial support will bring back those markets. And even if the trade war ended tomorrow, the damage to important and lucrative relationships with buyers has been done.. Trump consistently oversimplifies the complexities of policy issues to the detriment of those who elected him. As an international senior executive of a major Fortune 500 company, I have seen it close up and visited markets where America had a solid lock on goods and services and I can vouch for the fact that global trade is about more than tariffs. It includes a complex, interconnected network of suppliers, regulators, inspectors, shipping routes, and value chains. It’s built on relationships, cost, and reliability. Unfortunately, Trump only determines policies and makes decisions on one thing, dollars, and cents.. Most importantly, competition is fierce and growing. While tariffs can be turned on and off quickly, building – or reclaiming – trade relationships can take decades. This is what’s really at stake here. Unfortunately Trump, who is looking for an easy win, either doesn’t get it or doesn’t care. Either way, the USA is the loser for Trump’s lack of leadership, interest, care, and understanding.As it stands America” families will be paying an additional $500 to $800 because of the tariffs which, in spite of Trump’s lies that they are being added to the USA treasury, are in fact a tax on families.The May 10th. tariff hike to 25% on a bulk of U.S. imports from China will cost the American economy $62 billion by next year, according to data from Oxford Economics.That total translates to $490 per household. More extreme protectionist policies would cost $800 per household.“While negotiations are ongoing, and the possibility of a deal remains significant, a further escalation of trade tensions would have dire consequences for both protagonists and the rest of the world, says Gregory Daco, Oxford Economics chief U.S. economist” Source: Trump's new tariffs will cost Americans about $500 per household, by one estimate. This is a guy who is becoming more and more isolated and convinced that he doesn’t need counsel or advice as he has supreme confidence in his own ability. This means certain disaster for the country, a definite certainty if there is an emergency whether domestic or international in nature.. Trump is fixated on the mistaken notion that trading partners are responsible for screwing America by holding fast to the notion that both allies and foes are accountable for America’s economic decline because of America’s imbalance of trade. Trump bases this false notion on his take that America is losing economic advantage and by extension, respect for him as president. This is manifested in his rants about reciprocal trade. In turn, he has gone ahead with fights with virtually the world and put in place self-defeating tariffs in order to address the deficit, specifically caused, according to him, by an” imbalance of trade.”And he has failed miserably: WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit reached its highest sum ever last year, defying President Donald Trump's efforts and promises to shrink it through his economic policies. ... The government said Wednesday that the U.S. trade gap in goods and services reached $621 billion last year, its highest total since 2008. Source: Associated Press. Trump fails to understand that an American trade deficit with another country doesn’t mean that that country is taking advantage of the USA, it means that Americans want and purchase goods and services equal to the amount of that deficit. in other words, they are getting goods that they want and for which they pay, choosing Chinese over American produced goods. It is called free trade, a position that Republicans held as sacrosanct and inviolable down through the last 70 years.WHAT IS THE TRADE GAP?“Trump often misrepresents the trade deficit. He has frequently labeled it an outright economic loss. “We’ve been losing, on average, $375 billion a year with China,” the president said in February, referring to the 2017 deficit in goods between the United States and China. That imbalance surged to $419.2 billion in 2018 under Trump’s watch. Yet the trade gap isn’t an outright loss. It simply reflects the greater value of what the United States imports compared to what it exports. And it’s not necessarily a cause for concern.” Source: Associated Press.Trump is fixating on the wrong data and drawing the wrong conclusions. This is not in any way to suggest that China is not a problem, they are. But going it alone and shunning the assistance of America’s allies who have the same issues with China while failing to call on the WTO ( World Trade Organization that rules on unfair trade practices) is just another example of Trump’s bull-headed stupidity and his claim that “ only he can fix it”.Americans want and are willing to buy cheap stuff rather than support more expensive American manufacturers. They have a choice and they choose the cheaper goods. For all his misplaced promises and bluster, Trump’s trade policies are a complete bust. “ U.S. deficits in goods with China and Mexico surged to record highs. As president, Trump’s signature effort to stimulate U.S. growth — deficit-funded tax cuts — likely helped fuel the willingness of American corporations and households to spend, including on imported goods. That is especially true at a time when much of the rest of the economic world has weakened and is less likely to buy U.S. goods. The result has been more imports than exports.What’s more, the tariffs Trump imposed on steel, aluminum and hundreds of billions’ worth of Chinese goods likely contributed to the trend: During 2018, American companies that import goods from China appeared to accelerate their spending on them to avoid Trump’s future import taxes. Source: The Associated Press. The turbulence and uncertainty caused by Trump’s trade war have created a geo-economic feeding frenzy. U.S. competitors from Argentina to Ukraine are aggressively working to eat into markets once dominated by American farmers. But according to Trump “Only he can get it done”, “ only he alone can fix it” and fix it he has!!!, Perhaps without repair or at the very best, chances are that it will take years of hard slogging and lower selling prices resulting in lost profits to win back what had been exclusively America’s to lose.· Trump has relentlessly sought to take down or cripple organizations like NATO and the WTO and the UN; institutions that have presented the world with both stability and a bulwark against aggressive and hostile rogue nations· Trump furiously worked at alienating the US’s closest and strongest allies with the mistaken notion that they were screwing America, when in fact America is going through as is the world, a period of transformation where automation and lack of skills have caused high paying manufacturing jobs to disappear or for greedy companies that Trump has supported to move offshore.. With AI ( artificial intelligence) on the horizon and China and Russia spending heavily on research and emerging technology, Trump has no plan and no clue.· Trump has cozied up to dictators and expressed admiration for their strong arm anti-democratic leadership that has emboldened them to become more aggressive without what previously had been the USA’s moral authority that had previously held them in check.. He made his presidency a laughing stock around the world causing damage to America’s standing, moral authority, and leadership position.· He gutted the government and put in place a cabinet charged with tearing down the very Departments for which they were put in charge. This resulted in weakening consumer, environmental, safety and underlying health standards at home while causing a detrimental effect on America’s standing abroad· Trump single-handedly made the USA a country where children are ripped from their families, put in cages and traumatized for life. Because of the lack of planning or care in handling what Trump has labeled “rapists and murderers” from “shit hole countries”, kids have been separated never to be reunited with their parents and now at last count, two young children have died in Trump’s administrative so-called “care’.. These and other anti-immigration atrocities have become so normalized that ordinary people are actually arguing about whether or not it’s acceptable· Trump has created a safe atmosphere for racists and violent nationalists to voice their views and come out of the closet for the first time in 50 years. The result, Hate, and Race crimes are at an all-time high under the Trump presidency.· He has cast doubt as to the trustworthiness of societal and governmental institutions, thereby weakening the very fabric of American democracy.· Trump and his administration have transformed the very concept of truth into a post-modern quagmire of double speak and “alternate facts” worthy of Stalin’s communist rule or Hitler’s propaganda machine, undermining (if not completely destroying) the democratic principles on which the USA was founded· He has upset world order by taking an isolationist approach that previously led to the great depression of 1929. As it stands, America’s isolation position has already had a detrimental effect on the world economy, with many economists pointing to the inevitability of a recession. ‘Not my fault’: Trump struggles to defend his record amid setbacks on immigration, trade, North Korea More than halfway through his term, the president has failed to make progress on a number of his top priorities. Source Washington Post· Trump has overturned not only Obama’s policies but arguably the entire Civil Rights movement and the various progressive cultural, economic and societal gains of the twentieth century, including equal pay for equal work, and the protection of unions for the working man· He has encouraged dissent and destabilizing dialogue among staunch US allies, turning allies and friendly nations into enemies· Trump has used the power of his position to enrich himself, his friends and his family, and now has 17 criminal investigations and two guilty findings, all of which is debasing the presidency and is taking time, energy and effort away from the vexing social and economic issues facing the USA.· He has validated the punitive inhumane actions of oppressive governments all over the world· He has single-handedly relinquished any moral high ground that the US still held· Trump managed to get millions to focus on bullshit Trump instigated dramas and Trump made problems instead of policies and issues that actually affected peoples’ lives and that of their family and friends.. Instead of addressing real issues of concern to all Americans, Trump offered empty promises like, having a massive cement wall built across the southern border and having Mexico pay for it, promising health care for all that would be better and cheaper but with no idea or plan on how to accomplish it while at the same time, killing a health plan that Americans have come to love.. There is no end to his lies now approaching 10,000 Know major lies, all given to distract and confuse a concerned public for no other reason than to cover his malpractices, lack of leadership and personal failings.. And as this writing, he has held 800.000 Government workers ransom without pay for a month in order to get his way to put up a wall on the southern border that the majority of people don’t want, experts have told him won’t be effective, and have advised that electronic devices and an increase in border personnel would be a far superior approach, yet Trump believes he is right and they are wrong..Trump claims there is an emergency situation at the southern border that needs to be addressed by a wall, but doesn’t take into account the fact that experts say the wall if built, would take anywhere from 3 to 5 years to complete. So much for responding to what he calls an immediate and pressing emergency.. Trump keeps lying that there is a crisis at the border even though the number of illegal crossings is the lowest it has been in 30 years. Source: NYTimes: “Border Crossings Have Been Declining for Years, Despite Claims of a ‘Crisis of Illegal Immigration’. Once again, Trump uses lies to make a case that no one other than the most gullible believe, and yet he persists with his lies, threats, and bullying for no other reason other than to get his way for a wall that he considered a joke when told to first use it as a rallying call during his campaign. It was initially intended as a mnemonic device to remind him to mention immigration. And interesting enough, when he was elected and placed a call to the President of Mexico, he virtually begged him to go along with the charade for “ political” purposes… LOL. Trump claims there is a humanitarian crisis at the border, and yes there is, but not the one of which he speaks, there is the one created by Trump himself by locking children up in cages and separating literally 1000’s of kids from their parents never to be found again. Neither Trump or his administration have any idea as to who they are or where they went once they were in the USA.. Trump is currently being investigated as a possible Russian Agent by the FBI… wow, now that is a distinction that Obama nor any other former president can claim.. Trump’s public war on the Mueller inquiry has gone on long enough that it is no longer shocking. Trump rages almost daily to his 58 million Twitter followers that Mr. Mueller is on a “witch hunt” and has adopted the language of Mafia bosses by calling those who cooperate with the special counsel “rats.” His lawyer talks openly about a strategy to smear and discredit the special counsel investigation.. The New York Times reveals the extent of an even more sustained, more secretive assault by Mr. Trump on the machinery of federal law enforcement. Interviews with dozens of current and former government officials and others close to Mr. Trump, as well as a review of confidential White House documents, reveal numerous unreported episodes in a two-year drama.. Matthew G. Whitaker, the former acting attorney general, was put under scrutiny by the House for possible perjury. But Whitaker was just the warm act now that Trump appointed W. Barr as his permanent Attorney General.. Barr has proven himself to be no more than a toady for Trump by acting as his personal lawyer while denying any neutrality and supporting Trump in his every attempt to thwart the House of Commons in their oversight efforts to investigate Trump, his Cabinet and their work in order to prevent the Russians from once again interfering in the upcoming elections by supporting Trump in his 2020 re-election run.. Trump has spent much of his time venting publicly about there being “no collusion” with Russia before the 2016 election, which has diverted attention from a growing body of evidence that he has tried to impede the various investigations. Yet the Mueller report shows at least 185 cases where the Trump campaign interacted with Russians in order to gain an advantage for Trump in the run-up to the 2016 Presidential election.. This is death by a million cuts. The public is exhausted and overwhelmed by the transgressions, lies, larceny, and the illegal activity of this President and his corrupt family. Copious like pebbles on a beach, any one of these misdeeds would have created a volcanic eruption for any other President. Trump has always felt that being outrageous in public is a defense like hiding in plain sight ..thankfully the law does not work that way. The public needs relief.. The facts show that Trump sold out to Putin and the Russians for financial gain and is a traitor to his own country. Do I need to say more?All of the foregoing is what I consider what Trump is “ good at” and the main points of credit that can be honestly listed in praise of this carbuncle on humanity, this open sore called the Trump “presidency”.

How have farmers amassed such huge tracks of land?

The few that acquire it today see it as very favorably taxed appreciating asset that the can reasonably safely leave money relatively unattended if their not to picky about the income. If the want higher income they have to pay lot more attention to the management of the land. Land is also good hedge against inflation and problems with the dollar.You also can have your own place to hunt, fish and do as your pleasse.The headline “Billionaires are stockpiling land that could be used in the apocalypse” It is nothing new the size is just bigger because they play with Monopoly money. In 1909 or 1910 my grand dad and 3 partners got a timber claim in Washington state and drew straws to see which of them would move to live on it and prove up the timber claim. Similar to a Homestead. He passed himself off as mining or civil engineer. He had the basics of engineering and BS in Chemistry and German. Biology wasn't selling and with the war clouds building over Germany he never told anyone about the BS in German. His goal was to make new foods. At the time the work was in lumber and iron. He drew the short straw and the family moved to Kilckitat Washington to live on the timber claim and make the required improvements. They did that and moved on to Oklahoma to farm. They lost the land to back taxes in the depression.Just before WWII started my wife’s granddad was buying 300 or 400 acres a year from the State of Texas as the sold off the last of XIT Ranch that they leased out to build the State Capital and a good part of Austin. It allowed his grand kid to retire pretty well.Some hold on or try to put family land back together.Then there is Stan Kroenke who has recently bough all the W.T. Waggoner Ranch Estate for 725 Million bucks. Oil, Oil wells, Oil exploitation outfits lakes and all. Stan also owns the 1/2 Million acre spread Douglas Lake Ranch in Ontario he also has the 124,000-acre Broken O Ranch in Montana recently grew by a scant 11,260 deeded acres with the purchase of the Difficulty Creek Ranch near Medicine Bow, Wyo. His total holdings are estimated at 1.38 million acre.ISome of the big old spread sell out in one piece undivided The Waggoner Ranch and all it oil field, and the whole ball of wax. It 535,000 acres spread over 6 counties under one fence. The biggest single piece of real estate owned by one person in the USA. The Estate operating agreement for the ranch expired in 1980 and the judge wasn't going to retire and leave this mess to someone else if the two heirs could come to an agreement he was going to call an auctioneer and sell it one piece at a time.

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