Is being a good person more important than being a successfull President?

For almost 2 years the US has torn itself apart over Trump's Presidency.  On one hand we hear daily complaints about what a horrible person he is, but on the other hand our economy and even unemployment have flourished under his leadership.


He has no previous political experience, he's a racist, a womanizer, says and tweets dumb stuff all the time, and quickly abandons people who won't work with him.  He thinks he can run the country like a business, and that drives professional politicians and half the public crazy, but...  so far what he has done seems to work well.  I can't think of any ways America's economy, the stock market, or our employment picture are suffering as a result.


It sure looks like the US is thriving under his leadership, am I missing something important?


Ken Added Sep 13, 2018 - 11:24am
Please give examples of how he is a racist.  There was one rumor that came out during the campaign that he supposed was racist in the way he managed one of his apartments and not wanting certain people to be tenants, but to my knowledge it was never proven.
Please give proof.  What has he done during his presidency at all that can be considered racist?
Riley Brown Added Sep 13, 2018 - 11:37am
Ken, I don't think he is a racist, but those and the other things I listed seem to be the primary focus of all the folks who say he's a lousy President, so I listed them.  From what I can see his popularity among minorities is low but increasing, so he must be doing something right.
In my opinion he's been hired to run the country and seems to be doing that well so in my opinion, his Presidency has been good for the country.
I see his critics calling for his removal every day but so far all they have been able to say is that "he's not a good person".  I authored this forum topic so I can see if any of his critics can actually show me examples of how he's ruining our country into the ground by his mismanagement.  I think the economy, the stock market and employment are looking good, but I'm no expert, and I'm open to enlightenment.  If he's really ruining the US some of his critics should be able to show me the damage.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 13, 2018 - 12:02pm
Only about 1/2 of US population is torn, the other half is delighted. 
Up From Liberalism
Ken Added Sep 13, 2018 - 12:03pm
Thank you for clarifying.   You should qualify that in your post that you are stating those are what others are saying, not your own opinion.   You wrote it as if you believe that to be the case.  People say that all the time and love to throw the "racism" term around about anything they disagree with.  It is the way to end an argument when they don't have the facts showing "moral superiority" to the person they are discussing it with.
He is up to 36% favorability among blacks significantly higher than any modern republican president
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 13, 2018 - 12:07pm
The losing half show their true colors and sticky spite. Now we know who they are and can vote accordingly.
Riley Brown Added Sep 13, 2018 - 12:11pm
Ken, I think blacks who see the economy has improved a lot and seen how that inspired record levels of employment even among minorities including blacks have decided he isn't as bad as everyone in the news says he is.
They just finished 8 years of Obama whose election made them elated but what he did for the black community was NOTHING.  I think many black people are starting to look more at performance and less at the color of a President's skin.
Riley Brown Added Sep 13, 2018 - 12:14pm
ryck, just a question about your pseudonym.  You are the JFK Democrat but from what I know about JFK today's Democrats would hate him because he embraced many of the ideals Republicans stand for and would have despised many of the things Democrats stand for today.
How did you settle on that pseudonym?
Robin the red breasted songster Added Sep 13, 2018 - 12:28pm
What you are probably missing is a couple of things.
The first is that Government policies generally take a few years to actually start to affect people on the street.  So often what you see happening today is the result of the previous administration's actions.
Secondly many would say that Trump is mortgaging the future of the economy by short term boosts.
In the near future, his policy of picking a trade fight with China is likely to send the whole world economy into retreat.   If it causes Chinese banks to go into default we could have a 2008 style global economic crisis.
If his goading of Iran goes too far, and we get a full blown war in the Straits of Hormuz, then we can look forward to complete meltdown of the global economy.   I am most concerned that he lacks the sensitivity to deal with what is going on... Let's hope that some more cool heads in the administration stop him from going too far.
opher goodwin Added Sep 13, 2018 - 12:48pm
Riley - I think what you are missing are two things:
Firstly the economy is following the same trajectory that it was under Obama who put in measure, much more responsibly, to get it back on track following the devastating world recession.
Secondly that the short-term boost to the economy, through tax cuts, deregulation of environmental policies and relaxing workers' rights, all have massive long-term problems further down the road - problems that will cost a lot more to put right than can possibly be gleaned in the short-term.
That bill will be picked up in poorer public services, pollution and health implications, extra borrowing and industrial deaths and injuries.
Americans are working for lower wages, worse conditions with a multitude of low-quality jobs.
The investment in old polluting industries instead of new non-polluting modern industries will prove a disadvantage in the future.
Perhaps he is hoping that the bill will be picked up long enough down the line that somebody else will be blamed.
Sadly a President rarely sees the rewards for the benefits created by their policies and rarely gets the blame for the problems they generate. There is a delay.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:13pm
I think, Opher, that Trump realises that he is, in the longer term, losing the game of "Top Nation Trumps" with China.  So he is doing all he can during his turn at the White House to disguise long term relative decline versus China and Central Asian countries.  Large scale forces are driving this trend which, in a frictionless market, will continue to depress the wages of American (and European) workers and will see the USA gradually overhauled by other countries.  This trend has been in place for 20 years plus and is accelerating somewhat as China's long term plans start to bear fruit.  I found in business that the Chinese think 10 or 20 years ahead whilst we, in the West, are often driven by quarterly results...
This obsession probably also explains why the US is busy tearing up international agreements which it feels are no longer in the favour of Trump's short-termist approach:  Kyoto, Iran Nuclear etc.  The worry over national prestige is also behind his threatening behaviour toward the international criminal court (threatening sanctions were any American ever indicted).  Of course this behaviour is losing the USA a lot of international friends as it seems to behave like a spoilt two year old...
The worrying thing is that the USA possesses a wopping great military arsenal and Trump might be tempted to use it in order to shore up his ego.  I am most worried about what he might do in Iran... I reckon he thinks that this is the easiest target for him in order to make the Silk Road countries sit up and take notice.  But the global economy is vulnerable to any blockage of the Straits if Hormuz.  A major war there would probably send us all into deep recession.
Ken Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:16pm
The first is that Government policies generally take a few years to actually start to affect people on the street
That is just silly.  Economic changes have almost instant impact especially tax changes and regulations. (for good or ill).
The economy never really recovered under Obama because of the increased tax burden and the increased regulation
The economy is moving under trump for exactly the opposite reason.
Trump is mortgaging the future of the economy by short term boosts.
The only thing that is mortgaging our future is the federal government constantly spending money it doesn't have and can never have.  As it gets more and more bloated when you count in the $114 Trillion in unfunded liabilities on top of the 21.4 trillion current debt
If the federal government doesn't stop spending, we are all headed for disaster which will be a worldwide catastrophe because when America crashes, everyone else will crash.
Funny how things are going more positive than they ever did under Obama and the ideologues still criticize Trump and predict doom and gloom because of him. 
Ken Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:17pm
The worrying thing is that the USA possesses a wopping great military arsenal and Trump might be tempted to use it in order to shore up his ego.
That is just asinine.
Stone-Eater Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:22pm
To the title: The first should lead to the second. And the first should be compulsory.
Ric Wells Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:27pm
Riley good and successful are both subjective. It would depend on the perception one based these two terms on. As far as a success is concerned. Too soon to tell. He's halfway through his first term. Will he get another term. I don't have a crystal ball. Is he a good person. From my experience of living in New York State for over 30 years I still can't answer that because I don't know all the issues and the ins and outs of his life. No one does except himself. All the rest is speculation. 
Ric Wells Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:29pm
The same question gas been asked of every president since I've been alive. And that's since Truman.
opher goodwin Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:46pm
Robin - I think you are right. These trade wars are not going to work out good for anyone. China in particular plays a canny hand and knows just what it is doing. It will not back down or concede. It is set to overtake America and it smells weakness. What Trump is doing is all bluster and arrogance. What China is doing is calculated and long-term.
Trump has angered a lot of people and they will bide their time to take revenge.
Not a good idea. International trade depends on trust and good will. America is becoming rogue and isolated.
BTW - when are you and Riley contributing to the Digital Tavern. There's plenty of chairs and a nice draught on offer!
opher goodwin Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:48pm
Ken - I like your optimism though I do not share it. Markets change and short-term financial changes are apparent quickly but underlying trends, the real measure of an economy, are much longer term. The real impact of policies is felt much later.
opher goodwin Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:48pm
Ken - BTW - the Digital Tavern has a seat and pint for your disposal if you have a suitable tale.
Ken Added Sep 13, 2018 - 2:13pm
Markets change and short-term financial changes are apparent quickly but underlying trends, the real measure of an economy, are much longer term. The real impact of policies is felt much later.
There are some things that are lagging impacts, like hiring doesn't happen immediately, it is usually a 3-6 month lag.  but you are simply incorrect.  It is simply a new distraction to blame bush for all of Obama's economic failures and credit Obama for Trump's economic successes, both of which are entirely false narratives
Dino Manalis Added Sep 13, 2018 - 2:45pm
 No one's perfect, but Trump is doing his job as president.  We should be happy and encouraging!
Riley Brown Added Sep 13, 2018 - 3:21pm
 Robin R,  and Opher, you said two things that contrast, first that you think the inspired economy, stock market and employment are just a continuation of Obama's hard work, and second that changes he made will result in horrible things later on.  
I agree, Trump campaigned on and then did make big changes, and business responded IMMEDIATELY by increasing business and employing more people, which drove the stock market up and unemployment down.  That is why the response was so immediate and dramatic, businesses leapt at the opportunity to make more money, knowing that their window of opportunity might not last any longer than his Presidency. 
The business environment changed overnight because of Trump's new attitude towards regulations, that was not an extension of Obama's policies, it was a dramatic response to the end of his policies.
Your belief that his changes will eventually cause disasters like lots more deaths and more world wide unrest are only speculation that remind me of lots of other speculations that turned out to be wrong. 
If I listened to the speculation, Trump would have never won, and when he did lots of people would have moved to places like Canada, and our economy, employment and the stock market would already be in the toilet. 
If the examples you are quoting now are just as valid as all the other prior predictions, we have nothing to worry about.  So far with almost 2 years behind him Trump seems to have almost always beat the odds even though most of the news-media was certain he couldn't.
Riley Brown Added Sep 13, 2018 - 3:30pm
Ken I think you are right about two things, first that policy changes can inspire dramatic economic changes as businesses rush to take advantage of the changes.  In this case it was even more exaggerated because I'm sure most big businesses developed contingency plans during Trumps run for office, so they were ready and could pull the trigger to make immediate changes if he won.  
That is not to say that many things don't change so slowly that Presidents can't make big changes quickly, but our economy is not one of them.
Second I think you're right about mortgaging our future, there is no way to do that faster than spending money that has to be paid back by future generations, and Obama, not Trump seems to be the King in that arena.  Obama believed we could use tax money to pay for government funded jobs, and by doing so the government could spend our way out of the recession, but it didn't work.  Trump doesn't believe that and even seems to want to cut government spending, so unless he gets us into a war, he's very unlikely to ever come close to Obama's spending records.
Riley Brown Added Sep 13, 2018 - 3:31pm
Rick, I agree it's early to start writing Trump's legacy, but so far so good when it comes to the big stuff.
Riley Brown Added Sep 13, 2018 - 3:36pm
Opher, I'm no expert on Tariffs, and I remember how tough it was to get out of them, but I also know Trump is a top drawer businessman who really does know a lot about how international business regulations including tariffs impact our businesses, so I trust him more than I would almost anyone else.
That's his game and when I hire a professional I want someone who is as good as they can be at the job I want them to do.
Change can be good or bad but with no change comes NOTHING, and I didn't like how other countries walked all over the US while Obama was in office.  They knew he wouldn't do anything, and that's not true about Trump.  I think Trump also knows he can be nice or he can be effective, and I agree.
George N Romey Added Sep 13, 2018 - 3:46pm
At least smart people have tuned out of the political debate.  In the end we are nothing to Washington.  So let the power brokers and the corporate press play their games.  If anything I get entertainment value of the stupid things Trump says.  Also, while yes there's been improvement in the economy it still sits on a mound of debt and financial gimmicks.  This film was shown back in 1927-1929 and 2004-2008 and just like Hollywood is making another "A Star is Born" so will this movie be soon recreated.  
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 13, 2018 - 3:48pm
"ryck, just a question about your pseudonym.  You are the JFK Democrat but from what I know about JFK today's Democrats would hate him because he embraced many of the ideals Republicans stand for and would have despised many of the things Democrats stand for today.
How did you settle on that pseudonym?
In HS I was in favor of JFK and decided to be a Democrat in his image as Ike was like a moron to me. 
But, JFK passed and I had to vote for LBJ, a drunken criminal, sleaze bag and parasite [Read: The Path to Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson I Nov 23, 2011 by Robert A. Caro. Then came other losers like Nixon, Carter, Kerry, DuKrapis, Hillary, Bubba, Ford, the Bushes, McCain, Mitt the Snitt and such so there was no reason to change parties as most Rs [except Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump] were losers and in my state the Rs did not hold primary so I could only vote for commie or libertarian Dems if I wanted to vote at all. I voted for others. 
JFK would not be welcome in today's Marxist party and probably would not have remained in the party had he seen what his  younger brother did, the pervert,murderer and drunk. 
So, I kept on.... but was told by my company I should do more in the realm of diversity so I signed my papers Ryck instead of Rick and later, in a spurt of more diversity, made the 'R' lower case and the "K" a capital in bold or rycK.
Except for JFK, the Dems were, and are, all losers. I never voted for Dems but claim the power to talk about those losers since I am in their phony party.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Sep 13, 2018 - 4:37pm
If people read the bible, they'd know that G-d used a hell load of crooks to get a job done. Donald Trump is an angel compared to most of them.
opher goodwin Added Sep 13, 2018 - 5:53pm
Riley - I see no evidence of countries walking over America when Obama was in charge. He was greatly respected over here and taken notice of. They all talk of Trump as a bumbling buffoon. He had to be hidden away from sight on his visits because of the massive protests. We think he is bumbling, dangerous and the worst President in the history of America - and there's been a few contenders. Mainstream media openly ridicule him.
He has reduced America's standing in the world because it reflects on the choice of the people. It reinforces the negative view many people have based on gun-toting fascists and white supremacists marching n the streets, millionaire TV evangelists taking in the gullible, creationists and overt racism. It is not a great image.
In terms of being a great businessman I think even a cursory glance at his record shows the lie to that. He is a rich boy who has huge money behind him and has messed up many times.
Riley Brown Added Sep 13, 2018 - 6:44pm
opher, I'm not sure where you live but from what I saw America got no respect from other countries once they realized Obama would not retaliate if they did things that didn't please him.  At this time I think most nations have no idea what Trump might do and have been cautiously restraining themselves for that reason.  Obama was easy to read, he wouldn't do anything, Trump, who knows.
When it comes to finances Trump has always been aggressive and even quick to renegotiate treaties that he thought were not fair to the US.  Those actions are part of why our businesses are doing so well and the economy and jobs are all up.  If I were a business looking for a good deal from a foreign country I'd want Trump, not Obama, at the bargaining table, he knows that game well.
Half the nation is upset that he doesn't expect the US to be a leader when it comes to spending money to fight global warming, but even that half is enjoying the economic benefits. 
As far as his image, I agree it's horrible, especially with 90% of the news media pouring over every word he says to see if they can find anything they can use to make him look foolish.  Obama never had that problem, 90% of the news media was in love with him.  However even with all that bad press every day, the economy is booming and that's what I look at.
I don't care if Trump is course around the edges, I care about what he does for my country, and we're sure a lot better off than we were before he got in office.
opher goodwin Added Sep 13, 2018 - 6:59pm
I live in the UK Riley. Obama was invited to speak to our parliament and received a standing ovation. Trump cannot dare even visit London.
Trumps erratic behaviour and backtracking is causing much distrust over here. The view is that he is not too bright, very ignorant on many matters, fires from the hip, has no diplomatic skills whatsoever, doesn't listened to anybody, has childish hissy fits, fires anyone who disagrees, works purely on his own flawed intuition and judgement, is too arrogant to see the mistakes or damage he is doing, wades in without understanding situations, actively undermines allies, cosies up to tyrants, destroys unified responses to delicate situations and is a complete liability who cannot be worked with.
Ken Added Sep 13, 2018 - 7:24pm
I see no evidence of countries walking over America when Obama was in charge
- chinese claiming territory by militarizing and building islands in the South China Sea
- Russia claiming the resources in the Baltic Ocean
- Paris Climate Accords where we give away everything
- Iran nuclear agreement where they kept lowering the bar and gave iran everything they wanted
- syria red line
- russia election hacking (yes that was under his watch)
- selling 20% of our uranium reserves to Russia
That's just off the top of my head, if I really thought about it I could probably come up with at least a dozen more examples
Ken Added Sep 13, 2018 - 7:36pm
Opher - you and most foreigners are only regurgitating what the your media is telling you.  Like most of American media, they are very left wing and despise him.  They print nothing positive about him there or here.  over 90% of all news is negative.  His is being slandered more than any president ever - and he cannot fight back except through his own social media - there is no legal remedy, so your impression is being fueled by this.
if you can sift through that and find people who are reporting rather than opinionating, foreign leaders have been reacting very favorably to him including Theresa May, Macron, and others.  I am not sure how well he hit it off with Merkel, There have been some good reports and some bad, but more positive than negative. 
I think a lot of it depends on the opinions of those who actually interact with him vs. those who just opine but have never actually met and don't know.
Bill H. Added Sep 13, 2018 - 7:36pm
Do some research and you will find that Trump had big issues with renting his properties to blacks.
Here's some other stuff that might help
Ken Added Sep 13, 2018 - 7:40pm
oh please, Vox?  about the only worse left wing you can go is DailyKos (if it is still around).  Even what the first section says sued by nixon admin for violating fair housing, I didn't see where a determination of guilt was made, they just moved on to the next.
unless pled guilty they are just allegations - and was that Trump himself or people within his organization?  I doubt he is personally dealing with tenants in his properties
Cullen Kehoe Added Sep 13, 2018 - 9:39pm
It's complicated because the President will be a role model whether anyone likes it or not. If he's an awful human being, then he'll obviously be an awful role model too. 
It gets even more complex if he it appears he definitely USED to be an awful human being (serial cheater, locker room talker, etc...) but in recent years he may have shaped up a bit. Then you're left with nagging questions as to whether he had a bit of a change of heart, doesn't do those things anymore, etc..
It's definitely not ideal to have a President on tape saying he walks into women's dressing rooms when he knows they're changing on purpose and could grab them you know where if he wanted to. 
But I agree it seems Trump is doing pretty well. For instance, Trump was universally condemned worldwide for throwing a bit of tariffs on stuff. (I'd call it minor changes to tariffs.)
But messing around with tariffs could have been a strategy for bringing those countries to the bargaining table to get better trade deals. That's smart. 
Maybe there is a method to his madness. But I'd still say that the situation isn't ideal because of the terrible role model he makes. 
Ken Added Sep 13, 2018 - 9:46pm
It's complicated because the President will be a role model whether anyone likes it or not. If he's an awful human being, then he'll obviously be an awful role model too. 
Yet everyone let that slide with Clinton.  and the choice was a horrible human being vs a criminally horrible human being.  Part of the decline in the morality over the past 20 years could be because of the press constantly letting Slick Willy off the hook for his actions
Thomas Sutrina Added Sep 13, 2018 - 10:34pm
Some of the most successful world and nation leader have been failures in their family lives.  Many are driven to focus on these big problems at the expense of other things.  They define the importance of things differently then society.  It takes so much concentration to get to the top that I would bet that 90% of world leaders are failures in family lives.
Mustafa Kemal Added Sep 13, 2018 - 10:50pm
Riley, I was discussing something like this with a muslim friend of mine who said, paraphrasing
" Is Trump an Asshole? Yes, Is he a mysoginist? Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. I wouldnt invite him to my house.
But I will still vote for him next time because he is our only chance of stopping these regime changes and wars in the middle east."
We both agree, we dont care about whether he is "good" or not.

Riley Brown Added Sep 13, 2018 - 11:39pm
Yes Opher, Trump is a lot of things that British folks hate, like not being interested in any of the global warming stuff, pulling us out of treaties they like, and he likes private gun ownership...  Of course they hate him.
However as I have already pointed out many times, none of that has stopped his administration from giving us excellent economic conditions, in fact many of the things he's doing are helping our economy.  He's not running for President of the UK and he knows it, apparently so do voters in the US.
Riley Brown Added Sep 13, 2018 - 11:46pm
Bill, once again you're all about Trumps personal faults which even if they are true, seem to have no bearing on his ability to do a good job for the American people as our President.
By the way Trumps record now includes raising Black employment to record levels, so much so that his previously abysmal approval rating among black voters keeps going up.  I think it's at 36% right now which is amazing for a "Republican".  Of course knowing those details makes me wonder if the story you mentioned really had anything to do with Trump.  He owns a lot of companies and properties, do you really think that anyone can do that and not have a few bad apples working in one of the companies they own?  No one has ever said he didn't want to rent... it's always alleged that someone in a company he owned did that.  There is a huge difference.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 13, 2018 - 11:49pm
Good article Riley. Excellent responses to comments. 
Riley Brown Added Sep 13, 2018 - 11:52pm
Mustafa, I think you and your Muslim friend have a lot in common with a growing number of Americans, they want an effective President who is not easily intimidated and makes things better even if that takes someone with a bit of asshole in them.
I don't think I'd like working for Trump because I think he's got a macro focus on performance and zero tolerance for anyone that isn't doing exactly what he tells them to do.  I'd rather work for a more forgiving boss, but as with attorneys, I don't want a nice guy representing me, I want a ruthless asshole will give me the best chance of getting what I want, even if they have to get nasty to get the job done.  I think Trump has what it takes to make America flourish.
Rusty Smith Added Sep 13, 2018 - 11:58pm
Thomas Sutrina I think that it's tough and maybe impossible to be a good President and a good and attentive family man at the same time.  I often see the same with high level executives, and even with the best and brightest engineers. 
They are not normal people and normal people are usually not qualified to do what they do well.  In big engineering companies it's practically a fact that good engineering skills and good social skills, rarely if ever coexist in the same person.  We laugh about it at work, but I think it's actually true.  I'm sure there are exceptions but I think it's true more than not.
Riley Brown Added Sep 14, 2018 - 12:03am
Ken, everyone has to decide for themselves who should be a role model for themselves and their children.  I don't think most Presidents make good role models any more than professional athletes or actors, just because they are successful.  I think most very successful Presidents are too much of risk takers for my taste but that's just me. 
To me a good role model is someone who tries to be as honest as possible and goes out of their way to try and help others and make the world a better place.  I don't get the impression most Presidents excel in those areas.  In fact I want my President to be a tough fighter for the American people and don't think someone can do that well with the gloves on.
Ken Added Sep 14, 2018 - 1:16am
I think it's at 36% right now which is amazing for a "Republican".
That is correct and it keeps rising, it was 31% just a few weeks ago.
The sad thing is, it shouldn't be "amazing for a Republican" even though it is one of the highest approval rates in the modern era.
the entire Republican party was founded as an abolitionist party in 1856.  It was the anti-slavery party.  It is the party that fought for civil rights and freedom from its inception.  It was republicans that pushed all of the civil rights acts of the 60's, and a almost all republicans voted for and small minority of democrats voted for, just enough to pass.  LBJ voted against civil rights as a senator but then signed the bill as a president stating "this will make the N***** vote democrat for the next 50  years".  He was pretty accurate on that.
The democrats were the party of slavery, started by Andrew Jackson, started the Civil War, the KKK was the militant arm of the democrat party just like Antifa is today.  They are the party of segregation and Jim Crow, and so much more.
Sadly so few recognize this and buy into the democrat hypocrisy when all they want is a permanent underclass to support their socialist policies.  They take the black vote for granted assuming it will break 90% plus for democrats even though they do nothing for them.  Free stuff from us so vote for us, and you are great!
This is what is known as "the democrat plantation".  Free people acting as if they were still enslaved.  The democrat party keeps them with a victim mentality.
It is staggering how few have any understanding of history, but then, when the left controls the entire education and media, it is very difficult to get the message through - and then anyone that isn't a hard core democrat is a hard core traitor and an "uncle tom"
Ken Added Sep 14, 2018 - 1:24am
I think that it's tough and maybe impossible to be a good President and a good and attentive family man at the same time.
I think that is wrong.  I think George W, George HW were both solid with their families.  While I think the young Obama's are likely learning the wrong things about America, I think he seemed to have a couple of good daughters, but we will see.  Chelsea seems brain washed, but then, she was the benefactor of Millions in the pay to play foundation her parents founded and has never had a real job.
Even with Trump's womanizing, he seems to have raised well adjusted children.  Reagan had a disappointing daughter who he finally reconciled with later in life once she stopped being the rebellious child, and Ronny Jr is just a bit of a nutball, but his adopted son has a fine head on his shoulders and is very respected writer and person in general. 
I don't think one is exclusive of the other, however i do think with conservative principles it is more likely to have a good family than it is with leftist ideology (I don't call progressivism principles because they aren't, they are simply ideological and they change regularly as they move the goalposts.  Conservatives have a specific set of principles)
Flying Junior Added Sep 14, 2018 - 3:12am
We were already thriving Riley.  The shit will hit the fan with the sadistic Trump presidency.  Can't you see it coming like a slow-motion train wreck?  Not only does he not support actions and policy to limit AGW, but he has recklessly imposed tariffs on imported steel, aluminum and solar panels.
Get how that will increase the cost of rebuilding after Hurricane Florence?  Steel, aluminum...  Houses, buildings, infrastructure.
I'm beginning to guess that I was prescient in my first guess about what could have inspired these misguided tariffs.  The point of my article Seeing Red Until it All Became so Clear was that Trump and his cronies were clearly invested in American steel and aluminum.  I really didn't believe that this strategy would work, but saw no other possible reason.  Follow the money, right?
Today U.S. Steel is doing better than ever.  Prices have doubled.
Can anyone here tell me if Trump has any holdings in U.S.Steel?  I guess not.
Out of the 35,000 requests for exemptions on the steel and aluminum tariffs by U.S. manufacturing interests, only 2,300 have been granted.  It's been very nearly six months.
Don't any of you remember that he promised to balance the budget and bring down the national debt?
But in response to your question, allowing that in some universe Trump is viewed as a good president, the answer is quite simply yes.
Nobody but nobody wants to have a president of whom they are ashamed.  I'm guessing that it is I who is indeed missing something.  He's a fucking criminal, two-bit hood.
I do not have any respect for men who squander their wealth in the pursuit of whores either.  Trump has cheated in business since he had brown hair.
opher goodwin Added Sep 14, 2018 - 5:28am
Riley - why do you think we Europeans are keen on treaties that keep the world safer? Why do you think we want a world free of pollution and not subject to global warming?
Do we have some vested interest in it? Or is it because we haven't been blinded by the politicisation and tribal posturing that seems to have occurred in the USA?
It seems Trumps mantra of fake news (which always seems to favour him) has clouded American minds.
The question I would ask is why Americans no longer seem to care about these things??
It seems just arrogance to me to suggest that America, being out of step with the rest of the world, is the only one that knows best - particularly when being led down that path by a self-serving leader who has benefitted from these attitudes and is busy fostering that tribal hatred and division for his own advantage.
David Montaigne Added Sep 14, 2018 - 7:46am
Personally I think Obama was a terrible president who favored socialism, Islam, Iran, and knocking America down a few pegs.  I think Dinesh D'Souza analyzed him well.  Trump has many faults, but I think a businessman running the country is in general a good thing.  If the swamp is ever drained of corrupt career politicians as rumors suggest, fantastic.  But I am concerned about financial collapse and war... America's money is based not on value but on debt, it is a Ponzi scheme doomed to fail whenever technological advances don't overcome its inherent flaw - we must borrow more dollars to pay back the last ones we borrowed with interest.  Trump was 'chosen' by powerful people and he is an expert at re-emerging from bankruptcies...
George N Romey Added Sep 14, 2018 - 8:16am
By all means Trump is a scuzz ball.  My contention is that many of our Presidents were and is some cases likely far worse than Trump.  However, no President at least in modern history has been hated off the bat by the press other than Trump.  Unfortunately Trump plays right into their hand, often it seems on purpose.
Few Americans (as evidenced by WB) know the real history of America.  What we've been taught and what we're told is not the true story.  
Riley Brown Added Sep 14, 2018 - 10:09am
Flying Jr, according to most "experts" you're right, "The shit will hit the fan", in fact its way over due according to them. 
Actually to be more accurate they predicted an easy landslide victory for Hillary and immediate gloom and doom if Trump somehow got in office. 
I think it's fair to point out the track record among the experts you have been relying on up to now couldn't have been more wrong.
There comes a time when you need to re-examine your strategy and so far the people you have been listening to have spectacularly misled you with all their predictions.
Are you going to keep doing the same thing and somehow expect the result to be different, or look for advisers with a better track record?
Riley Brown Added Sep 14, 2018 - 10:21am
Opher, you may be right about piece treaties, only time will tell and I certainly don't know enough to predict that future, but so far I don't see him burning any that threaten the US. I don't think Trump's expertise is in piece treaties but the US is one of the largest and most secure countries even without help from the international community.  From what I can see the US funds about 22% of NATO and I would not be surprised if that money could make the US more secure if we spent it on own defense programs.
Most of the treaties I see him  getting out of have do do with things like trade and the environment, and I tend to think Trump does know what he's doing there.  Our US business community sure seems to be thriving under his administration, and that doesn't surprise me, his own businesses are huge and he really does know what is good for US businesses.
Other countries may well be faring worse as a result of his actions but then again it's his job to stick up for the US, not other countries. 
When I negotiate on behalf of the companies I work or I try to drive fair but hard bargains, and I imagine you try to do the same thing.  Why wouldn't I want Trump to do the same when he represents the US in international negotiations?
Riley Brown Added Sep 14, 2018 - 10:26am
David M, financial collapse worries me to, deficit budgets can't be continue indefinitely... basic math 101.
I saw strong evidence that Obama had a horrible grasp of economics, especially when he borrowed money so he could "create" temporary jobs.  All that did was make work and put US, (our children), even deeper in debt.  Back then most people needed real jobs that weren't going to go away, and a strong economy that would keep them employed, not higher taxes which raised the cost of living.
Riley Brown Added Sep 14, 2018 - 10:30am
George, you may be more right than you imagine.  When Trump tweets stupid stuff the news media focuses on it and goes wild.  I often wonder if he does that on purpose when he's got other stuff going on that he'd rather not have the news media focus on.  I can easily imagine him laughing at the news media for focusing on such trivial BS, while he sneaks much more important stuff right past them unnoticed.
When Clinton was involved in the Monica scandal I wondered if he tried to do the same by attacking other countries at times that were very opportune for him on a personal level, also as a distraction.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 14, 2018 - 11:14am
Raise tariffs on  China, Japan, EU and more. 
Ken Added Sep 14, 2018 - 11:18am
Riley - notice how it is always the same people that can't give Trump credit for anything because of completely unreasonable hate?  Opher even insist how the press all  "favours" him which denies reality completely.
FJ insists Florence was dreamed up only to enrich Trump.  The absurdities of their hate reach no bounds.
"Sadistic presidency"?  Really?
The person who complains about Tribalism despises Trump specifically because he isn't in "his" Tribe.
We had the choice of a corrupt businessman vs a corrupt woman who's claim to fame and rise to power was because she slept with a president for 8 years (but then, apparently who didn't with that same president?)  She broke the law on multiple occasions and if she hadn't reached the pinnacle of fame as the first lady, does anyone really believe she would have become a NY Senator and secretary of state on her own merit?  Would she even have the connections to do that?
Because of that choice, america, sick of corrupt politicians ultimately chose the outsider in hopes he would break the cesspool that is washington.
If he weren't there, the largest scandal in American history would have been pushed so far under the rug that we never would know a thing about it.  Now, at the very least, the absolutely unamerican complete abuse of power and corruption of the last 8 years is being exposed.
This is the entire basis of the constant attempts to get rid of him.  They never in their wildest dreams thought all of their manipulation and corruption would be exposed and they would have kept on going and driving us off the cliff while they gathered more power and took away more rights until we become their little socialist working class slaves.
We already have 2 classes in America - the political class and the rest of us - you can tell that just by the mere fact that Hillary is still walking free with overwhelming evidence of guilt in multiple felonies.
Bill H. Added Sep 14, 2018 - 11:53am
Trump is, and has always been out for himself. He is somehow able to convince his followers that his deeds and priorities are "good for the country". In reality, they are good not only for him, but for the top CEO's within many of the major corporations. He will push to make sure that the system will work in his favor long after he is out of office.
The argument is raised constantly that "what is good for the corporations is good for the people". This could be somewhat true if the corporations actually reinvested into both their infrastructure here in the US and their employees. Most of the windfall is being used for stock buybacks and increasing dividends. It is true that several major companies announced one-time $1000 bonuses for certain employees, but a survey showed that employees would only get a 13% tax windfall compared to the 43% that CEO's and investors would receive. Many of the capital expenditure and R&D investments that are being made are supporting offshore operations.
Riley Brown Added Sep 14, 2018 - 2:06pm
Bill, I know that one of the more popular narratives is that Trumps changes are only really good for big businesses like the ones Trump owns, so that's were all the money is going, but saying it over and over again doesn't make it true or explain what we see.
I know big businesses are doing better, and it is largely because of changes he made that probably do help many of his businesses, but at the same time they help a whole lot more of America too.
For those businesses to expand and thrive they have had to hire lots more employees so unemployment is way down, that puts money in workers pockets all over the country, not just CEO's and top Execs.
As their  business gets more profitable their stock goes up and since most Americans 401's are based on the part of those big companies that they are invested in, once again it's ordinary Americans who are benefiting from this wonderfully improved economy.
Everywhere you look Americans are better off economically because of what he's doing, all the way down to poor blacks who never previously had jobs and a paycheck. 
One classic tactic for getting CEO's to make their company flourish is to give them a slice of the profit so their paycheck is directly connected to how well the company does under their leadership.  At times I've made more money that way than from my direct compensation, IT WORKS.  The more I made, the more the company made, and the more people they hired. 
Trump may be working hard to make himself richer, but he can't do that without also creating more jobs and boosting our economy.  I hope we continue doing very well and really don't care if Trump and his friends get richer in the process.  When he makes a dollar we don't give up one, we make one too and in my book that's called a win win.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Sep 14, 2018 - 2:14pm
Thinking more deeply about the question on this thread, I think that a President cannot be a successful one without at least appearing to be a good person.  Trump is effectively showing every young American that it is OK to be a bully, to be rude, to express racist behaviour and to abuse women.  Not a great example for a leader to set for the next generation.  America does seem to have become a much meaner and nastier place since he came to power.
Flying Junior Added Sep 14, 2018 - 3:38pm
I didn't need anyone to tell me that the tax cuts combined with greater spending would exacerbate the national debt.
I didn't need anyone to tell me that the tariffs would hurt U.S. manufacturing.  I predicted it all by my little self.
Ken Added Sep 14, 2018 - 3:44pm
express racist behaviour
Again, I ask, how is he effectivvely telling every young american this?  What racist behavior is he exhibiting? 
If he is so racist why is he more popular with minorities than any other modern republican president?
Riley Brown Added Sep 14, 2018 - 3:57pm
Robin, I think it's nice when good Presidents also appear to be nice people but always think being an effective President who helps America thrive is far more important to most people than their personal faults.  That should be especially true for younger Americans because long after Presidents are out of office our younger generation is stuck paying off the debts that poorer Presidents signed them up for. 
When past Presidents decided to bail out homeowners who signed up for loans they couldn't possibly afford, our children were volunteered to help pay for those homeowners homes, over the following 30-35 years.  A less kind President would have let them lose those big houses and move back into a smaller one, or an apartment they could afford by themselves. 
A less kind President would have let GM go bankrupt and all the other automotive companies that didn't go bankrupt would have had to take over those factories and operate them at a profit; instead a kind administration bailed them out with our children's tax money.
Sometimes I think tough love is better for the country and certainly for our kids.
Riley Brown Added Sep 14, 2018 - 3:58pm
Flying Jr, I dislike tariffs because I remember how hard they are to put an end to, but I also have great respect for Trump's business savvy and negotiating skills.  What he has done seems to be working and in the end that's all I really care about.
Steel Breeze Added Sep 14, 2018 - 4:03pm
what matters most is results......dont care if he's black,brown,white, or polka-dotted...or what 'party' he claims.....results.....and so far,so good...
Riley Brown Added Sep 14, 2018 - 4:03pm
Ken, you're right more and more minorities are figuring out they are doing better under Trump than they did under Obama and changing their minds about him, perhaps some non-minorities might feel the same one day.
When people are hungry they want and demand change but today more than before most people who want to work have been able to get jobs.  When Obama was in office that wasn't true, and regardless of why, that inspired many people to vote for change. 
If most people are content with their lives Trump may stand a pretty good chance of being re-elected.
Ken Added Sep 14, 2018 - 4:08pm
barring something crazy happening, and considering the democrat bench of president wannabes, i would put his re-election (if it were today) at close to 100%
Ken Added Sep 14, 2018 - 4:15pm
Riley, if you want to understand tariffs better, try reading this
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 14, 2018 - 4:31pm
 Ken and Riley
Tariffs in many forms have been around since ancient times. One way or another some provider of goods or services will experience competition from an area distant from his base and will beg the ruling  authority for a barrier of some kind to suppress that competition. 
I cannot find a modern country since 1500 that had no tariffs. 
They are here to stay, the only question is: can re retaliatory  tariffs become effective. 
I think they can when the system is lopsided against the  US. 
Ken Added Sep 14, 2018 - 4:52pm
rycK - there are approximately 12,000 active Tariffs in the US today.  This is the whole point of free trade agreements such as NAFTA to reduce tariffs
Ken Added Sep 14, 2018 - 6:17pm
Opher - Obama was greatly respected, huh?  Aside from my other Comments Here's what David Cameron thought of Obama
Still want to stick to your story rather than the truth?
Riley Brown Added Sep 14, 2018 - 7:58pm
Ken, I understand tariffs and even know a little about the history of them in the US but at the same time think they quickly become complicated by unintended consequences to a point where I can't predict the result of new ones.  I gladly defer to the experience and superior understanding about the ramifications that people like Trump have.
Our steel industry was destroyed by our own patent laws.  The countries we are competing against walked right into our patent office, stole the patents and then put our own steel industry out of business by undercutting their prices.  We invented all the great steel making processes and let foreigners walk out the door with them.
Ken Added Sep 14, 2018 - 9:33pm
One of the biggest negatives of Trump is that he is a protectionist at heart.  While he is pragmatic at most everything, he is a true believer in protectionist trade.  This is not a good thing.  This is exactly what the last businessman elected was - Herbert Hoover.  Hoover thanpassed Smoot Hawley which basically turned a recession into a depression.
We produce 72% of our own steel.  That is a dominant position in any industry and doesn't require tariff protection.
I understand why Trump is pushing tariffs on China - he isn't doing it for economic reasons.  Other tariffs have never historically worked
Ken Added Sep 14, 2018 - 11:34pm
Riley check this out then about tariffs
Robin the red breasted songster Added Sep 15, 2018 - 3:31am
Riley:  You use a very very narrow definition of success.   Even were Trump to turn America into an economic success... and I don't think he will, if he were to do it at the price of making bullying, racism, lack of respect for law, lack of respect for journalism and degradation of women the norm in society... then he will have been a disaster.
John Minehan Added Sep 15, 2018 - 10:21am
I think all the things said about Donald Trump boil down to one thing: he seems to have an entirely to have an entirely transactional view of the world.  Put another way, he seems to be devoid, not only of core values, but any governing system of principles.
Now, I can't pass judgment on the man, I don't know him.  Further, from the what I have heard from a variety of sources, the man may be somewhat, possibly very, different from his public image.
But assuming he lacks core principles, doesn't that limit people who have to deal with him?
On the positive side, he may be able to strategically surprise adversaries and to bluff them effectively.  However, on the negative side of the ledger, the same may be true of allies and the American people.  
John Minehan Added Sep 15, 2018 - 10:35am
"In the near future, his policy of picking a trade fight with China is likely to send the whole world economy into retreat.   If it causes Chinese banks to go into default we could have a 2008 style global economic crisis."
My first thought when Trump started to get aggressive with Tariffs was that it might have some success with the SU and Canada and Mexico, but the progress would have come without Tariffs being used for leverage.  Further, I thought the US would not have any effect on the PRC by raising Tariffs.
So far, my assessment seems valid.
A couple of old acquaintances who are Ph.D. economists tend to think the Tariffs have had what will be permanent negative effects on US Agricultural exports and are damaging to US consumers in the short term and potentially very damaging in the long term.
I think the biggest damage is to show the world how relatively impervious the PRC's economy is to US actions.  It shows the World how the pecking order has changed.   
John Minehan Added Sep 15, 2018 - 10:36am
"EU" not "SU."  Sorry.
John Minehan Added Sep 15, 2018 - 10:58am
"I think, Opher, that Trump realises that he is, in the longer term, losing the game of "Top Nation Trumps" with China.  So he is doing all he can during his turn at the White House to disguise long term relative decline versus China and Central Asian countries.  Large scale forces are driving this trend which, in a frictionless market, will continue to depress the wages of American (and European) workers and will see the USA gradually overhauled by other countries.  This trend has been in place for 20 years plus and is accelerating somewhat as China's long term plans start to bear fruit.  I found in business that the Chinese think 10 or 20 years ahead whilst we, in the West, are often driven by quarterly results..."
As Keynes said, "In the long term, we are all dead."
Twenty years ago, the Japanese had "long term plans."  Life gets in the way.
"Belt and Road" is VERY unlikely to be anywhere as successful as envisioned.  However, by opening up Central Asia and Africa to investment, it will change the World.
John Minehan Added Sep 15, 2018 - 11:07am
"The economy never really recovered under Obama because of the increased tax burden and the increased regulation."
I'd express that differently, we had an anemic recovery compared to recoveries from other deep recessions (compare it to the Reagan recovery in the early 1980s).  The tax and regulatory scheme of the Obama years were a serious detriment.
I'd have to say the TARP policies adopted in the Bush and Obama Administrations worked, although they were riskier than the general public knew. 
John Minehan Added Sep 15, 2018 - 11:08am
Does character count?
Not in 1992 . . . .
Riley Brown Added Sep 15, 2018 - 12:13pm
Robin, I suspect you don't live in the US because if you did you'd realize we might be the most generous country in the world, regularly giving away more money and support to other countries than any other country I know of and a lot is completely voluntary though charities.  I don't think that's bad in itself but our government is deeply involved and many of our politicians including Obama seem to have your very sympathetic disposition.  As a result for a long time we have put our own citizens, especially our seniors in precarious positions where many can't afford things like their medicine, good food and housing.  As a result our upcomming younger generation is inheriting a huge debt, lot of which is the result of US being generous with our money though donations and policies that did not favor our own country.
Obama's legacy includes taxing the heck out of anyone with money so that he could give it away to all the very deserving poorer people in this and other countries, because they have less than we do and are even worse off.  Obama also was very willing to spend billions to help the world in attempts to do everyting from buy piece for people in other countries to paying them to help the environment.  Trump is not nearly so generous with our own tax money, he wants to help America first, and yes, that pisses off most other countries that have become quite accustomed to the easy life that they previously enjoyed when they were subsidized by American taxpayers money.
I care about the world but I think it's about time we start taking care of ourselves for a change.  That seems to take someone like Trump because people with Obama's kind and generous nature just don't have what it takes to say NO, when they are spending other people's tax money. 
Trump makes the hard decisions as though our tax money his own money, and we sure know how much he likes his own money.
Riley Brown Added Sep 15, 2018 - 12:24pm
John, yes character counts to people like me and I want a tough negotiator representing me at the global table, I want someone who can and will make the tough choices it takes to get our US economy back on it's feet and not back off just because it might not make them look nice, good and kind. 
Despite the fact that Trump has been cut to pieces in the press he's had the gumption to keep doing what he thinks will improve business and our economy, and so far...  he'd been right and all the critics wrong for almost  2 years.
Yes he has faults, especially in the past like womanizing, but look around, read up on past Presidents, what he's done often comes with the job if you want a strong President.  As far as things like racism, from all I can see and all he actually does for minorities, I don't think he's racist at all. 
You can fill books with his faults, especially if you believe all the swill the  press and his opposition publish every day, but at the end of the day it's hard to dispute the fact that he's improved the business environment, which improved our stock market, the economy and employment. 
To get all those benefits and our current move toward prosperity I'll gladly put up with a few faults.  Obama was much nicer, but even the black community seems to be much better off under Trump's administration.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Sep 15, 2018 - 12:48pm
I did not question Americans being generous.  I was talking about the need to set a good example if you are a leader.  Trump has widened the division of US society it seems to me looking in from the outside.  He has failed to crack down on racist behaviour... effectively seeming to give it license etc etc etc.  Internationally he is a laughing stock and has caused America to be seen as highly untrustworthy and self centred country.  He demeanor in visits overseas is that of an oaf.
It may be that, in private, he is a much nicer person than his public image.  But that is irrelevant because it is his public image that sets the example.  That is why, so far, he is a disaster.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Sep 15, 2018 - 12:51pm
BTW if Trump really cared for the people he would introduce a single payer system for health care.  This would, according to comparisons with other societies, reduce the overall cost burden by 50% and lengthen life expectancy by 2-3 years.   He won't do this because he is ideologically wedded to the idea of privately funded medicine.
Riley Brown Added Sep 15, 2018 - 1:24pm
Robin, I disagree with both your posts. 
First, I think we're going to have to agree to disagree about whether not Trump is a racist.  I have no idea what you read, but here in the US real evidence that he is a racist is hard to find, and his track record for improving things for minority communities by the changes he made is great.  Even among the black community, and with all the bad press he's gotten on race, his approval ratings keep going up.  Right now they are very high for any Republican President, 36%.  I think that's a record so I have to ask you to tell me how you know he's a racist?
Second regarding healthcare, an important part of why Trump got elected was his promise to do all he could to undo Obamacare.  Whatever else you might say about single payer health care, Obamacare was a horrible attempt that was designed to fail after Obama left office.  Why... let me explain.
Mr. Caring and Generous, Obama, wanted to insure everyone which of course would tremendously increase what the US spent on healthcare but knew the country would soundly reject his plan in the first year because of sticker shock, so he played games with the funding. 
The first year of Obama Care was almost given away, making the costs appear to be reasonable.  That was done with borrowed money.  The second and following years the price to healthcare recipients was structured to go up slowly so that every year less would need to be borrowed until finally recipients would be paying the full real costs.  Eventually, after Obama got out of office, Americans would find out how much it really costs, and by then he hoped it would be too late to take it away. 
In order to try and control costs there were lots of rules governing how much providers could charge, and things didn't work well.  Many healthcare providers found they coudn't make money under the plan and stopped offering services in many parts of the country.  Obama's pledge that with Obama Care you could keep your doctor fell apart the first year and if the system had continued it's likely that there would be many places in the US where there were no companies willing to participate in Obama Care.
At the same time the projected costs kept increasing way more than Obama predicted.  Plans got ridiculous and became useless to much of the public.  Many middle class people couldn't afford a plan without deductibles that were so huge that they generally couldn't afford to go to a doctor for anything but a life threatening emergency.  At the same time the poor who paid nothing, were going to doctors all the time, because it was free.
Obama Care was an abysmal failure and that's why it's ending.  It has nothing to do with Trump not caring about people.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Sep 15, 2018 - 1:33pm
OK Riley, I don't think that we are ever likely to agree about Trump.   To us it just seems that he has made the world a whole lot more dangerous... you may have your own views about what is happening inside the USA... but from what we here it seems to be going to hell in a handbag.
I know nothing, and care less, about the details of Obama Care.  I simply point out that single payer schemes, elsewhere in the world, cost about 50% of the cost of the USA system and here, in the UK, deliver about 2-3 years extra life span for each citizen.   This is fact, not opinion.   Now I can understand that for matters of ideology Trump will never support a single payer system, but that does not alter the fact that it is a much better method of health care delivery if you care about the health of everyone in society as opposed to just the wealthy.   It has been in operation here since 1948 and no-one seriously considers winding the clock back to the sort of system that you have in the US.   We have moved on.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Sep 15, 2018 - 1:37pm
I have to say, Riley, that my viewpoint is influenced by a combination of what the media has to say (and Trump has stupidly and dangerously declared way on them... they are the only safeguard for democracy in this day and age) and by the opinions voiced by Americans that I know (this includes two Americans that have moved out of the USA to live here).   Most of Americans I know are international business types, so they clearly have a particular viewpoint.    I have also travelled extensively in the USA although not since Trump (it does not seem such an inviting place these days)
John Minehan Added Sep 15, 2018 - 1:53pm
"The first year of Obama Care was almost given away, making the costs appear to be reasonable.  That was done with borrowed money.  The second and following years the price to healthcare recipients was structured to go up slowly so that every year less would need to be borrowed until finally recipients would be paying the full real costs."
No, it's always been unaffordable.
A system of high-deductible health insurance, without provision for tax-deferred Health Savings Accounts is a poorly designed plan.   
John Minehan Added Sep 15, 2018 - 1:56pm
"I know nothing, and care less, about the details of Obama Care.  I simply point out that single payer schemes, elsewhere in the world, cost about 50% of the cost of the USA system and here, in the UK, deliver about 2-3 years extra life span for each citizen."
Effective Healthcare Systems around the world cover a lot of ground, from Mandated HSAs in Singapore to the British NHS to India where excellent health care is provided without either large amounts of government spending or private insurance. 
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 15, 2018 - 2:10pm
"...that my viewpoint is influenced by a combination of what the media has to say (and Trump has stupidly and dangerously declared way on them... they are the only safeguard for democracy in this day and age) and by the opinions voiced by Americans that I know"
Given that the media is highly biased in certain directions I wonder how you can trust what they put out to '  inform or convince'  you?
 I could not trust CBS from the Cronkite to the Rather era. I have less faith in MSNBC except for their stock report squad. I never trusted a Clinton and probably never will given their record.
 I decide by myself. 
Riley Brown Added Sep 15, 2018 - 2:24pm
Robin, one reason our healthcare costs are high is our preference for "the best healthcare money can buy".  For example we have 36 MRI machines for every million Americans, so patients who need them get scanned often the same day they think they have a problem.  In some other places where medical care is single payer they can't afford to do that so wait times are often months long for a MRI scan in places like Canada where they only can afford 9.4 machines per million Canadians. 
As a result, despite it being free in Canada, US hospitals get a regular steady flow of rich Canadians who have problems they don't think can wait, and pay full price for medical services like MRI's in the US.  I would be dead if that wasn't true and I lived in Canada because my Appendix burst and wasn't easy to diagnose, but the hospital discovered what was wrong after giving me a MRI scan an hour after I walked in complaining about severe constipation.  In Canada the wait time for a MRI scan is about 11 weeks, long after I'd have died.
Single payer seems to work great for all the small stuff, and even for bad accidents but when it comes to access to very expensive medical care, it is sadly lacking.  The folks who suffer the most are usually seniors, who often die from conditions  that could be treated successfully if they were diagnosed and treated faster.
Extending great medical care to the poor has always been a noble aspiration, but doing so is so expensive to do that from what I can see, it ends up rationing care in ways that don't work well for people like the elderly who often can't wait for or afford the medical care they need.
Ken Added Sep 16, 2018 - 12:30am
To us it just seems that he has made the world a whole lot more dangerous... you may have your own views about what is happening inside the USA... but from what we here it seems to be going to hell in a handbag.
As we have noted over and over, media bias because of ideology and agenda is what you hear  It is not going to hell in a handbag, in fact for the first time in a decade, most Americans think it is going in the right direction.
As far as making the world a whole lot more dangerous - the guy who won the Nobel Peace Prize then started multiple wars and policies directly can be attributed to the rise of ISIS, didn't stop Russia annexing Georgia, Crimea and trying to take Ukraine, didn't stop the Chinese from building artificial militarized islands in the South China Sea, or the guy who actually appears to be making progress in denuclearizing the Korean peninsula and has all but eradicated ISIS?
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 16, 2018 - 12:32pm
" in fact for the first time in a decade, most Americans think it is going in the right direction."
For sure! For sure! 
Riley Brown Added Sep 16, 2018 - 5:42pm
Ken, you might be fighting a losing battle, the people who are horrified by the daily reports about all the horrible things Trump has done obviously never consider how little has proved to be true over time.  Almost every gloom and doom prediction made by the news outlets they listen to have turned out to be wrong, but they never notice that, they are too busy being horrified by the latest round of predictions.
Last time I saw so many predictions that didn't turn out to be true was with Gore, after his "inconvenient truth", and very few people cared when the predictions didn't come true.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Sep 17, 2018 - 6:09am
The biggest and most alarming "achievement" of Trump is that his policies have thrown China into the arms of Russia.   These two traditionally view each other with deep suspicion, but have now taken part together in the biggest war games since the cold war (together with Mongolia) in Siberia with over 300,000 troops and thousands of tanks and aircraft.   Chinese leaders have bene reported as saying that they are delighted to be getting the benefit of the Russian troops combat experience.
Well done Donald.   You have united the principal competitors of the West...
I see that you are also doing your best to detach Pakistan from the alliance as well.   Good job.
As for pissing off the entire Muslim world by recognising Jerusalem... well.
And embarrassing most of the US's main allies including the UK, German, France, Canada etc.
And calling all African countries "shit holes".
He is a veritable foreign policy genius.  Really successful.   Good job.
Trump is not only an embarrassment... he is dangerous for all of us.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Sep 17, 2018 - 6:13am
Anyone who publicly declares the media to be "the enemy of the people" is following the traditional behaviour of tyrants everywhere.  They may well be imperfect.  But they are all we have to challenge Government and call them to account.
The problem today is that journalism is badly funded.   Most media outlets are reduced to just publishing press releases and editorial comment.   Something needs to be done to combat this.
In the UK it has been suggested that there should be a tax on social media companies (the principle reason for the decline of newspapers) specifically to pay for quality journalism.   It is a problematic solution... but the "least worst" solution that I have so far heard of.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Sep 17, 2018 - 6:17am
I forgot to mention the biggest potential Trump initiated existential threat to Western civilisation… the spoiling for a war with Iran.
I understand that there is the opportunity to show everyone that the USA has impressive military muscle... in the hope of slowing down the advance of China into the silk road countries.  However it runs the risk of closing the straits of Hormuz and plunging the entire West into a crippling depression.
Riley Brown Added Sep 17, 2018 - 9:55am
Perhaps you MIGHT be right, no one can tell the future, but once Robin, again the worst you seem to have to say about Trump is that you THINK his foreign policies might be flawed. 
If after 2 years that's your best shot, and at the same time his  proven track record on the economy, the stock market, employment and avoiding adding to all the existing world conflicts is pretty darn good, I'd say he's doing pretty well.
I guess it's the old half full or half empty argument.  Trump is half way thorough his term and so far I see a half full glass, because so far America has boomed under his leadership and presume the second half will also be good.  You dismiss the same history as meaningless and see a half empty glass because you are sure his luck will run out and result in disaster.
You are in agreement with most of the news media, but I would point out they are hardly good company, since they have been wrong about most of their Trump predictions.  Just by looking in hindsight I feel pretty safe saying I think the odds are that you and them are wrong again is much more likely than that this time you will be right.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 17, 2018 - 2:40pm
" However it runs the risk of closing the straits of Hormuz and plunging the entire West into a crippling depression."
The Iranians could not close  their water closets. They have a pitiful army and worse navy with little boats and 4 noisy subs. They have no harbor defenses .They have only 1 oil refinery and their entire naval force can be obliterated with one small attack by the US. 
Political bias, as usual, against our president. 
" ...but I would point out they are hardly good company, since they have been wrong about most of their Trump predictions. "
I do not see any predictive qualities in their comments--only hatred and the salient fact that they have lost massive elements of  power in our government. Good. 
Riley Brown Added Sep 17, 2018 - 7:21pm
rycK the left leaning press started off with "Trump doesn't stand a chance", and is still not finished predicting Trump will be thrown out over HIS collusion with Russia. 
Even in this form pretty much all of Trumps detractors fall into two camps, the ones that say he's a horrible person and those who are predicting the end of the world will come sooner than later as a result of the policies and actions he's taken.
Of course if what he's done over the last 2 years had actually caused massive problems they would certainly focus on them, but so far that hasn't happened, his real track record as President is pretty good.
Ken Added Sep 17, 2018 - 9:07pm
Almost every gloom and doom prediction made by the news outlets they listen to have turned out to be wrong, but they never notice that, they are too busy being horrified by the latest round of predictions.
That is what I keep calling "the latest weekly outrage"  Once the previous one flames out because there is no truth to it the next one comes.  This week it is the Kavenaugh sexual abuse.  It is absolutely twisted and unamerican the assault this man is under.  You can see it here how it manifests itself in post from robin and others.  No matter how much they are debunked, they just keep repeating the same lies and then move on to the next big outrage. (granted Robin isn't American, but many here that do the same thing are)
Robin the red breasted songster Added Sep 18, 2018 - 3:09am
Ryck:  It would not be the navy that would be relevant in closing Hormuz.   It would be shore based missiles.  Also such an attack by the USA, which I think Trumpy is contemplating (it would divert public opinion away from embarrassing facts), would be almost bound to suck in other regional countries.   
I know how the rhetoric would go... surgical strikes etc etc
And in one moment Trump would destroy the opposition in Iran and cement the Ayatollahs in power.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Sep 18, 2018 - 3:12am
O no Riley.  Trump has done very real damage to America's standing in the world and is losing the "game" versus China and Russia.   It is a game which is largely played in the hearts and minds of third countries.
Riley Brown Added Sep 18, 2018 - 10:30am
Robin, please give me examples of the DAMAGE Trump has done.
I have been hearing all sorts of PREDICTIVE damage speculation since he started running for President over 2 years ago, but so far NONE  have come true.  The US is thriving under his leadership.
There comes a time when I stop getting excited about new  speculation if I can't see where any of the previous guesses have come true.
You seem to believe Trumps seriously damaged our reputation and that will cost us big time in the future, but from what I can see by looking at the result of what he did a year ago, most of what he did produced a lot of screaming and anguish in other countries because he's not courting them like Obama did, but the actual effects were always good for the US economy.  As an American I was much more interested in a fiscal recovery than in what other countries thought about our President.
Ken Added Sep 18, 2018 - 8:08pm
Riley - the only damage he has done to date is damaging some of the gains he has had.  Prior to the new tariffs imposed on China this week, the current tariffs he has imposed have cost americans about 50% of the gains they received from the tax cuts.  Other than that, there is absolutely NOTHING tangible they can come up with that has been harmful, unconstitutional, or totalitarian
Robin the red breasted songster Added Sep 19, 2018 - 11:26am
I guess that the damage will only become obvious to you a few years from now... unless he is stupid enough to start a war.   He is stupid enough to do that.
I want to be proved wrong about Trump... because I don't like the future towards which I think he is leading us.
America is losing the game, but that is not yet obvious to Americans... even though the real earnings of average Americans have been stagnant for 25 years now.
America has been steadily losing friends around the world and its President is a figure of fun... 
Sorry I cannot keep on with this debate … I am running a festival this weekend.   Will be back with rather more considered comments in a week or so...
George N Romey Added Sep 19, 2018 - 4:27pm
We've had Presidents far more crude than Trump.  The difference is that Trump is more than happy to show that in his public side and sees no reason for pretense.  Plus the Press is only more than happy to oblige and show his crude side.  The Press never told the American people that LBJ drank on the job, cursed people out, and even got into physical altercations (he slam the Fed Chief against the wall for indicating he was going to raise interest rates.)  If Trump took a swing at someone or threw someone up against the wall you could only imagine the fallout.
Can an outwardly crude person be an effective President?  Well I'll let others debate that.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 20, 2018 - 10:18am
HST,  Andrew Jackson....and LBJ:
"“I don’t want loyalty. I want loyalty! I want him to kiss my ass in Macy’s window at high noon and tell me it smells like roses. I want his pecker in my pocket.”
President Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973) outlines the degree of loyalty he  expects from those around him, in the context of discussing a prospective assistant. Quoted by D Halberstam in The Best and the Brightest (1972)"
John Minehan Added Sep 20, 2018 - 10:31am
"Prior to the new tariffs imposed on China this week, the current tariffs he has imposed have cost americans about 50% of the gains they received from the tax cuts."
But that is fairly serious in itself. 
Riley Brown Added Sep 20, 2018 - 12:24pm
John, the tariffs are one of the few punitive measures Trump can take against countries like China that do things we don't like, like steeling out technology and pirating our patented and copyrighted products.
If the only measure of success is the tit for tat tariffs we levy against each other, there never will be positive outcome.  You need to know what behaviors Trump is trying to put an end to, and how much they cost the US, before you can make an accurate assessment of their value and cost to American taxpayers.
Trump is using tariffs to make it expensive for China to keep displeasing him like police use fines to stop us from freely speeding or parking anywhere we want to.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Sep 26, 2018 - 3:02am
Anyone else noticed the way that the USA is ramping up the rhetoric against Iran this week.   So far that game is playing out pretty much as predicted.  Spoiling for a fight, Trump reckons Iran is the best target.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Sep 26, 2018 - 3:10am
George:   I think that the traits you mention about LBJ can almost be regarded as virtues.   It's not like he was bragging about groping women and abusing his position of power over them (like some other President we might mention) is it?
I quite admire politicians who wear their heart on their sleeve by swearing at those who offend them... as long as their core values are good.   Trumps core values are mean and nasty.
On that subject, this video shows John Prescott responding to an egg thrown by a member of the public.   I violently disagree with Prescott's politics... but you have to admire his willingness to punch a voter in the face on live TV: