The current President of the United States has shown repeatedly that he is an unstable and ill-informed custodian of the nation’s resources. Donald Trump has a tenuous grip on the complexities of economics, and reacts out of panic and vengeance more than careful study and reason. As a result the country has been burdened with policies that work against the interests of its citizens.
About six months ago Trump joined with the Republican Congress to pass a tax reform bill that was widely criticized as a giveaway to the wealthy that would balloon the national debt by trillions of dollars. Trump celebrated the legislative victory at a White House ceremony where he reduced it to flagrantly personal terms saying that “It’s always a lot of fun when you win.” It didn’t get a single vote from Democrats.
Republicans, however, were swelling with pride, despite the unfavorable public response shown in most polls. The Republican Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, said confidently that “When people see their paychecks getting bigger in February […] that’s going to change its popularity, I am convinced.” The GOP Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, gloated that “My view of this is, if we can’t sell this to the American people, we ought to go into another line of work.”
I hope he’s dusted off his resume, because the latest polling shows that the Trump Tax Scam is less popular now than ever. It currently has about thirty-four percent approval from the American people. Which isn’t surprising considering the fact that it was crafted to benefit corporations and the rich. Which makes this Trump tweet from December 14, 2017, all the more ironic and sad:
Republican Tax Cuts are looking very good. All are working hard. In the meantime, the Stock Market hit another record high!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 14, 2017
Well, that rosy scenario has wilted. Trump told reporters when the bill passed that “the results will speak for themselves.” Six months later it’s clear that his prediction is true, in the worst possible way. Workers have not received the benefits they were promised. Businesses are taking their profits and putting them into stock buybacks that benefit the executives. Harley Davidson announced today that is the latest company to be moving some of their operations (and jobs) out of the country.
On top of that, the stock market suffered a serious decline on Monday with the Dow Jones down 328 points (1.33%), and the Nasdaq down 160 points (2.09%). The market is negative by almost two percent year-to-date, and is down over 500 points since the tax bill was signed. Even more troubling is that it is off about 2,300 points from its high in January. You don’t hear Trump talking about any of that.
Short term movement in the market is never a good indicator of trends over time. But Trump’s boasting about the market’s performance has blown up in his face because he doesn’t understand it in even the simplest terms. And the trading in the wake of the tax bill, Trump’s punitive tariffs, and associated red flags in bonds and overseas markets are telling us a cautionary tale. At some point the markets are going to reverse course, as they always do, and it may come sooner rather than later. But Trump’s mismanagement of the economy has left us with few and/or weak tools with which to respond. The smart money is taking protective measures, and so should we all.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.