First Responders


Donald Trump has been accused of not doing enough for Puerto Rico, and not even being that concerned about it. Now is all this criticism fair?

He did tweet about it five times…you know, after he tweeted nearly 30 times about the NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem. Fox News will air an interview with him later where I’m sure he talks about Puerto Rico…though, all they’ve shown of it so far is him talking about the NFL…again.

But, he has talked about Puerto Rico. He told us he’s doing a great job. He also told us that many other people believe he’s doing a great job. Oh yeah, and according to him, a lot of people are giving him compliments on the great job.

And, just in case you don’t believe Trump is thinking about Puerto Rico, he displayed how much he’s looked into the problem as he has discovered it’s an island in the ocean, which is surrounded by water, and you can’t just drive to an island, especially one that’s surrounded by water.

But, don’t just listen to Trump about the great job he’s doing. Listen to the governor of Puerto Rico, the mayor of San Juan, and the non-voting congressional representative of that island surrounded by water. They are all publicly thanking Trump. Which is smart, because Trump is still a little peeved that during the Republican primary that island surrounded by water voted for Marco Rubio, who drinks a lot of water.

We need to wait and listen to what these representatives of Puerto Rico have to say in six months after the lights are turned back on. When they’re not as dependent on disaster relief we’ll see if how thankful they really are toward Trump.

Does Trump have his priorities in order? Has he put much more focus on the NFL than American citizens living in a disaster area? Or, is he prioritizing billionaires?

Trump has been asked to allow a temporary waiver of the Jones Act, which will allow international organizations and governments to ship aid to the island.

What is the Jones Act? Also called the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Jones Act requires all goods shipped between American ports to be on ships built, owned and operated in the United States. It also means that anything shipped to Puerto Rico from another nation must first dock on the mainland of the U.S., and then be placed aboard an American ship before delivering to Puerto Rico. This forces a lot of shipping from Europe, South America, and nations in the Caribbean to bypass Puerto Rico while carrying goods for Puerto Rico. It makes citizens of the territory pay at least twice as much as they should.

Trump says he is considering removing the restrictions, but he’s hesitating as “a lot of people that work in the shipping industry…don’t want the Jones Act lifted.” You know, billionaires. The Jones Act was lifted temporarily for Houston and parts of Florida after they were struck by devastating hurricanes. It doesn’t make sense not to lift it for Puerto Rico if your main concern is the citizens who are suffering and literally running out of food and water. Not lifting the restriction makes perfect sense if your top priority is millionaires and billionaires.

Apparently, other than bashing black athletes, Trump’s major concern is the rich people. He’s proposing a tax plan that will cost this nation $2 trillion over the next decade. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that our deficits will exceed $10 trillion over the next decade, and let’s not forget that Trump wants to increase military spending, build a useless wall on the Mexican border that Mexico is not going to pay for, and we need to rebuild Houston, parts of Florida, and all of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Trump once called himself the “king of debt,” and with this tax plan, he’ll make Reagan and Bush look like mere squires.

Trump wants to lower the corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent, which is great news for corporations who are currently avoiding paying any taxes. He wants to eliminate the inheritance tax, which will be awesome for his five kids. He wants to eliminate the alternative minimum tax, which is meant to ensure that rich people don’t get away with paying no taxes. He plans to lower the top income tax rate from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. He wants to collapse the current seven income tax brackets to three. He’ll create a 25 percent tax rate for “pass-through” companies, many of which are things such as law firms, that give their profits directly to individuals. Another notable pass-through company is the Trump Organization. He’ll double the standard deduction. And finally, eliminate some unspecified deductions, but keep the mortgage interest deduction and charitable giving deduction that are so vital to wealthy taxpayers.

Finally, rich people will get a break in this country. Doesn’t that make you feel all warm and squishy inside?

In case you forgot, Donald Trump is a billionaire. His cabinet is made up of billionaires and millionaires. It would be very nice to say Trump isn’t doing this for himself, except we haven’t seen his taxes, so we can only guess it’ll benefit him greatly.

So, if you’re a billionaire in Puerto Rico, Donald Trump has your back…I mean, if you’re a white billionaire.

I want to thank everyone who has donated in the past. Your support helps me continue creating cartoons and columns with a little less stress in my life. Between competing syndicates with much larger resources, timid editors, and Trump supporters who attempt to intimidate the editors who do publish anything that criticizes their idol, it’s a challenge to make a career out of this. So your support (if you can) is appreciated. Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing (pissing off conservatives)? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through PayPal. Every $40 donation will receive a signed print. All donations will receive my eternal gratitude.


One comment

  1. Clay,
    Thanks for talking about the Jones Act. I was just about to ask you, but you beat me to it.

    I first heard about it last night on an NPR program. Even some of the people on the program had not heard of it before.

    They mentioned other effects of the Jones Act, such as that it conferred US citizenship to the people of Puerto Rico, implying that if it was repealed they would lose their citizenship, but I have not been able to verify this.

    However, while doing the search, I found articles such as the following which may inspire you to draw (or merely piss you off, for which I apologize).

    After a Century of American Citizenship, Puerto Ricans Have Little to Show for It


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