Milley-Trump Feud and Federal Budget Woes

Podcast Sep 26, 2023

We'll dissect the characters of both Milley and Trump, pondering what really counts when it comes to making democratic decisions. Did Milley really subvert the office of the president, or is Trump making that up?

We'll also scrutinize your tax dollars' journey, shedding light on the startling breakdown of fiscal year 2022 outlays. Together, we'll navigate the surprising truths about federal budget allocation and confront our future's looming question - what awaits us with unfunded obligations in our federal budget?

The feud between General Mark Milley and former President Donald Trump has become a topic of discussion. The origins of this feud can be traced back to 2020 when President Trump questioned the legitimacy of the election results. General Milley, concerned about potential nuclear or missile attacks from China, called his counterpart in China to assure them that the United States had no intentions of attacking. Reports suggest that General Milley made this call without the knowledge of President Trump, leading to accusations of subversion and treason.

To determine the truth behind these allegations, it is important to evaluate General Milley's actions objectively. Was he truly disobeying and subverting the president, or were there other factors at play? Considering multiple sources and perspectives can help shed light on the situation.

By gaining a clearer understanding of the truth behind the allegations, we can assess the impact and implications of General Milley's actions. This will allow for a more informed discussion on the matter and help avoid reckless statements like accusing someone of treason without proper evaluation.

This issue raises questions about the character and decision-making of both General Milley and former President Trump. It also highlights the need for a more sober discussion on important issues facing the country, such as fiscal responsibility and long-term financial obligations. As we head into the 2024 elections, it is crucial to consider these underlying issues that have long-term implications for the nation's finances.

✨ Remember to tune into the Real Clear Podcast for more insights and discussions on current events.

The Real Clear Podcast with Dr Lucas Klein is the in-depth analysis and commentary on current political events through a psychological lens. The Real Clear podcast covers a wide range of topics, from the latest election results to policy debates, to exploring the impact of current events on the political landscape.


Good morning folks. Tuesday, september 26th 2023. Real clear podcast, lucas Klein. There are two issues I'm going to be addressing this morning. The first is the feud between General Mark Milley and former President Donald Trump has become sailing it again. For those of you who are unaware of this story and its origins, let me lay the stage in 2020, when President then President Donald Trump was fuming about what he saw as a baseless loss of an election Without proper evidence, in my opinion, but nevertheless General Mark Milley became concerned that China was Fearing a nuclear attack from the United States or a large-scale missile attack, and he called his counterpart over in China and Spoke with him and assured him that the United States was not going to attack China. Now the story from other news outlets was that General Milley called unbeknownst to President Trump and against and behind the back of the administration, to subvert the authority of the President and and did so in a manner that was not in keeping with the Joint Chief's mandates, and General Milley claims that he did not disobey the president, that they were in full awareness and that he was instructed, in fact, by aides to Call China and his counterpart and engage in the discussion. That he did he claims, and I believe it is true, that there were numerous parts of the military personnel listening in on the phone call for observation purposes. Now, however, it gets more difficult to determine what the truth is. Recently, president former president Trump has called mark Milley's actions treasonous, and I believe treason in the military is Highly punishable, possibly by death. Now that's quite a reckless statement to make if you don't have a full Evaluation of the scenario at hand, and I'm not sure president, former president Donald Trump does, and so it's hard to tell what the truth is here. Did Milley really disobey and subvert the president with his call to China? He says not, although the reports in Bob Woodworks, bob Woodward's book peril, seem to indicate a mercury story. Milley did not tell Trump about the calls. That's rather curious. It seems like quite a well penultimate to nothing call, and when a reporter asked Biden this past Wednesday whether my a Milley did the right thing in that call, biden simply replied I have great confidence in general Milley. Now President Biden avoids many questions. It's questionable whether he even hears them in the first place, but that may be a bit of a telling reaction. He may be addressing the matter of Subversion by avoiding whether he believes Milley did the right thing, so to speak. Now there are some questions I have about Milley's character. He's a long-standing general. I have complete respect for his service to the United States, although he's made some pretty reckless and strange statements in the past. Case in point would be claiming that white rage is one of the most pressing matters in the United States military no measurement, completely absurd claim and most service people are aghast at that statement and I've had former major zombie forward to talk about that. They do not appreciate that sentiment. So, and I believe that his statement there about white rage in the military was Proved that he was a somewhat dishonest person and who enjoys appearing like a Puritan savior himself, which is interesting because that's almost an exact Description of what he believed was former president Trump's motivation for a what he saw as a nuclear threat, that he would rumble up some kind of major catastrophe In Milley's paranoid fantasy you might say a nuclear attack on China and then swoop in to be the savior. It seems so, so far-fetched, and I've got two sides of the story that I'm comparing here. So here in Milley's ideation, trump was angry about the election and was heard ranting about that throughout the White House, which I believe, which can be taken as evidence of a nuclear war. Really Well, during his time in office, he was the one president in well over 40 years who has not gotten the United States mixed up in an additional foreign war. And yet it's also true that Trump turns on people on the drop of a hat. Look at what he did to General Jim Mattis, mad Dog Mattis, beloved by all, including me, a man above reproach, most would say he had a different outlook on military tactics and so Trump denounced him. What kind of person does that? What kind of person attacks a legendary general who loyally served the United States for decades, is considered a military genius, and rather than simply honoring him and replacing him. So there is a real question of Trump's character, not just in these cases but broadly. And yet how could Millie take that as paranoid evidence of some sort of grand scale global nuclear war? If only he could position himself as some kind of preemptive savior, which is really what I think he did. It's not clear to me whether he did anything wrong. That's a separate question. So I'm asking what was his personal psychological motivation lodged in his character, which I think has a savior complex embedded in it, versus did he do anything wrong, and it's not clear that he technically did anything wrong, in which case, if he really didn't technically do anything wrong, trump's statement that Millie may have committed treason is way out of bounds, really crazy. So who's crazy here? Well, both in various ways. So the United States, as an aside and an extension, has quite a choice to make in 2024. We have a bull in a china shop running for president and at least he's not yet out to pasture, however and then we have a sickly old cow who stumbles along and falls into ditches because he can't see where he's walking. This is no place for proper democracy to unfold, I'm sorry to say, in such a mercurial political pattern. I'd like to turn to measurement and toward what is obviously real. This is the second topic I'd like to address, and it's not clear how I'm going to wind this into the first, but let's see if we can. Perhaps the lead in here is that we have differences between the two parties and the two candidates who will be running, but do we really have that many differences? When it comes down to it, if you look at where your tax dollars go, it's quite a striking breakdown. In 2022, 46% of outlays for fiscal year 2022 went to entitlements Medicare, medicaid, other health care, social security and so forth. Around 14% went to income security that's things like payroll insurance and so forth and disbursements to federal retirement and so on. National defense garnered only 12%. This is a common distortion Most people think, especially in the liberal left side of the political spectrum. They think that national defense is the majority of our federal budget. It's not. It's only 12%. Medicare and Medicaid dwarf national defense. Then we have veterans benefits at 4%, education at 11, and then other 5% that includes discretionary and net interest is 8%. So usually we have congressional battle over the discretionary income, which makes sense. They have to start somewhere and they can't attack the cash cows at first and expect to carry the day. If you look up, by the way, you can find lists of the micro-programs that we spend our tax dollars on and that would fall under things like all other, as well as, in some cases, education. You wouldn't believe the programs you will find. We've sent millions of dollars on, say, scientific programs putting shrimp on treadmills I'm not kidding, that was actually back in Clinton's era. We've spent millions of dollars on toenail clipping methods to improve toe hygiene. You can't make this stuff up and it goes pretty more absurd beyond there. Interest, as I mentioned, consumes 8% of the budget. That's almost half a true well, $476 billion. So these are really troubling times when you look at our finances. Thank you, and I wonder, as we head into 2024, if a more sober discussion could be had, rather than the antics between the two presidents, which they bear some important fruit now and again. If we might be asking ourselves the real question what's going to happen in the long term when we have unfunded obligations in our federal budget? Remember when we have a fiscal deficit every year, that guarantees increased taxes in the future, because monies have to be borrowed against those deficits and eventually that's got to be paid off. So we can talk about mercurial personalities, we can talk about social issues, we can talk about all kinds of different embattlements in the culture today, and we should and I do but when it comes down to it, isn't this more important? Not the fact that we're spending Medicare, medicaid and other healthcare at 27%, social Security at 20%, which is not solvent, by the way. So major entitlements are half of our annual budget and we have no way of reliably funding these programs, and yet we're creating a growing and growing class of people who rely upon these. In fact, you're paying into these with no guarantee that you're going to get anything out of them. We're paying a huge amount of our paychecks as well as payroll, like myself. I payroll myself and I pay the government for the pleasure of paying myself, and then I pay the government out of my own money that I just paid. Double whammy there. If you run your own business and there's no guarantee that Social Security is going to be solvent by the time, I would draw from it. This is an odd situation. It's like we're digging a hole in the national backyard and tossing money in it. Okay, so these two topics maybe are intertwined by? Okay, let's wonder, on the first hand, how important is this issue? Well, maybe it's important. We've got two candidates, as I'd mentioned, with pretty unique personalities. All kinds of things come out of their mouths and we do want a national paternal figure who is worthy of the office. I'm not sure we have very good choices anywhere you turn at least, between the two candidates, but do they really have very different financial and fiscal policies? It's not clear to me that they do. If you look at former President Trump's budget, it was huge. It didn't do hardly anything to reduce the deficit. The tax cuts that he mentioned, I believe, only reduced on average $300 per family, although at least that's in the right direction. And it seems like the Democrats only want to tax more, which in my view is the wrong direction. By the way, in an ethical sense, just a sort of basic philosophical point, taxes are an ideal, negative meaning. If you ask somebody in your ideal world, should taxes go up or down? If they say they should go up, that person is pessimistic about human nature. Right, because taxes in my view are only a necessity, because we do not give enough. We don't give naturally to the needs of our fellow man and our local communities. That's why taxes are necessary, because we have to systematize charitable giving. Taxes should ideally go down, they should ideally be zero, because that means that we're finding a way to take care of each other, also hold each other accountable, so that there isn't social loathing. By the way, taxes do not solve for social loathing. There is no economic system on earth that has ever solved for social loathing. But charitable giving necessarily solves for social loathing because the giving is what it's voluntary. So if the giver does not believe that the recipient is a good steward of the funds, then the funds don't come anymore. But taxes reinforce people for bad behavior. Okay, I'm going a bit far afield here and I do need to hold an entire section on entitlements, swindling and malingering, and I'll do that at some point soon. Okay, folks, well, again, tune into Real Clear Podcast. Friday morning I'm going to be releasing the election review with myself and Professor Wilford Riley and we'll be getting into the specifics of what's going to go down on Wednesday with the second GOP debate held at the Reagan Center in Simi Valley, california. Okay, folks, don't forget to click, like and send this to people you know. All right, be well.