Here on the beautiful Central Coast we have been hit by President Trump’s tax plan, as the federal deduction for state taxes was capped at $10,000. This was hard for California because the average Californian’s deduction is $18,438.

This tax benefit was almost cut in half by Tump’s usual non-thinking actions. Increased taxes were handed to the average person and tax cuts went to the super wealthy.

Luckily for California, we are the world’s fifth-largest economy, and with a population of more than 40 million we exceed the population of most other countries. We are big and powerful and could pursue our own foreign and economic policies if we wished to do so, but we are now hampered by the actions of our national leader.

Fortunately, our state leaders have charged ahead on key issues, such as climate change, despite Trump pulling us out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Our state plans on cutting greenhouse gas emission 40 percent below our 1990 levels within 12 years.

Our state has seen the effects of climate change up close and personal with droughts, fires and flooding. For the good of the Central Coast, California and the nation we need to encourage our state leaders to keep pushing forward with these goals.

The Central Coast’s prosperity is based on farming. This state has more agricultural production than any other state at $50 billion. Trump’s tariffs have hit us hard.

We produce a third of our country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the production of nuts and fruits. As a result of tariffs, our exports are down more that 30 percent. Tariffs have a bad effect on citrus, cherries and olives. Let us all hope this will have a major affect on the 2020 elections, and that we will be in for major changes in Washington.

Another factor should sound the alarm for farming communities. Today nearly 30 million acres of U.S. farm land are held by foreign investors. This number has doubled in recent years. As farmers age, some do not have family members willing to continue farming. A Chinese company now owns 146,000 acres of prime U.S farmland in one state alone. Germany is another buyer of farm land in America. There is a growing divide between older family members and their children who have no interest in farming. Perhaps it is time for legislation that limits farm land sales to only U.S. citizens.

Trump does not understand that tariffs are a two-way street. Tariffs cause retaliatory tariffs, and China has responded to our irresponsible actions. To counter this, Trump has authorized $12 billion in farm aide. Farm leaders note this serves as “a mere Band-aid on a knife wound.”

Shenanigans by this president are endless and place the Central Coast and the nation at high risk on the international stage in terms of dragging us into unnecessary wars. His most recent blunder was the trip to Japan where he praised North Korea’s testing of missiles, seeming to not know the launches broke international rules against such tests. His earlier attempt to negotiate with North Korea brought zero results.

Pulling us out of the Iran nuclear treaty has dismayed our allies, who fortunately for us have remained a part of the agreement. His buddy-buddy approach and failure to speak out against Putin and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia when appropriate has dismayed both our citizens and allies.

Shenanigans in national tax policies, climate policy, harmful tariffs, ineffective farming policies, and irrational international moves all drag our great country down into the gutter as a third-rate country lead by a wannabe dictator. It is far past time for us all to stand up and speak out.

Ken McCalip is a North County native. He can be reached at


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