Even Trump Doesn’t Believe His Lies that the Economy Will Rebound Quickly.

The strongest argument that Donald Trump had for reelection was his contention that the economy was booming and that he was the reason why. Of course, neither of those things are true. Before the emergence of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the economy was a house of cards being propped up by artificially low interest rates, a federal Reserve Board that was printing money, and Trump’s disastrous tax cuts for corporations and the rich that benefited the stock market, but not the overall economy.

Donald Trump Apocalypse

Trump was and is desperate to push off an inevitable recession (or worse) until after the election in November. So he’s employing shady tactics to disguise how shaky the economy actually is. The pandemic isn’t helping him except as a convenient excuse to blame for the declining GDP and rising unemployment. And he’s pretending that those metrics wouldn’t be in place but for the health crisis. Even more disturbing, Trump is pushing to “reopen” the nation far too soon to ensure the safety of the American people. Make no mistake, the only reason Trump is advocating this perilous course is to juice the economy and his reelection prospects.

The truth is that the U.S. economy has been teetering for the past 12 to 18 months. Credit is stretched beyond sustainable limits. Trade is at record lows, partly due to Trump’s idiotic tariffs. Markets for real estate, oil, transportation, and banking have been noticeably fragile. So even when the effects of the pandemic are removed, prosperity will not magically return. And you’ll never guess who knows that.

Despite his daily (hourly) tirades directed at the press, wherein he insists that he’s done everything perfectly and there’s nothing to worry about, Trump is well aware of the economic trouble that is lying in wait. He has repeatedly said that there will be a rapid rebound and that the country will soar to heights greater than ever before this year is out. However, that optimism is not present in the management of his own businesses. The Miami Herald is now reporting that…

“Trump National Doral Miami, President Donald J. Trump’s Miami-Dade resort hotel and golf course, has announced 250 workers who were originally furloughed indefinitely will now be permanently laid off. […] ‘Unfortunately, it now appears that the adverse effects of the COVID-19 outbreak upon our business will be longer and more substantial than previously was foreseeable.'”

So while Trump is telling the press that there is going to be a historic booming economy in the coming months, he is drastically cutting his work force at one of his signature properties. In other words, while he’s lying to the people about their economic future, he is making sure that he won’t be overextended during the downturn that he knows will be severe and enduring. And he is forcing the hardships onto working folks who are already struggling to survive.

This is typical of Trump’s self-serving approach to governing. It’s the reason he pressured the Fed to lower interests rates that resulted in him saving millions of dollars on his outstanding debts. It’s the reason he’s so anxious to get businesses open again, like his own that have reportedly cost him about 30% of his net worth

And it is now the reason that Trump is terminating hundreds of workers that he previously promised to rehire, due to what he openly recognizes will be a prolonged economic recession or depression. But while he is taking these steps to preserve his own wealth, he continues to deceive the American people with happy-talk of the imaginary economic utopia that only he can produce. Anyone who believes that drivel deserves what they get. The sad thing is, the rest of us will suffer along side them. Which makes it all the more important to make certain that you, and everyone you know, vote Trump out in November.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Whines that ‘Rich Guys’ Profit From the Stock Market that He’s Manipulating

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is a human tragedy of epic proportions. And due to Donald Trump’s negligence, incompetence, and sometimes deliberate mishandling of the federal government’s response, more than 83,000 Americans have lost their their lives. Current estimates indicate that the number of fatalities is going to increase to 147,000 by August.

Donald Trump, Stock Market

However, this isn’t just a public health crisis. The nation’s economy has taken a historic hit as the country is virtually shutdown in order to mitigate the spread of the virus. More than 20 million people have lost their jobs, and small businesses are struggling to remain viable. The stock market is currently in bear market territory, down about 23% from its recent highs.

The mitigation efforts have been working, but because Trump is worried more about the economy and his floundering reelection prospects than he is about human lives, he is pushing to force people back into dangerous workplaces far too soon. And in the midst of all of this, Trump took time away from his Fox News viewing on Wednesday morning to post a tweet whining about people who are making money trading on the volatile swings in the stock market:

Seriously? There is so much wrong in that brief twantrum that it demands further analysis. First of all, who are these “so-called ‘rich guys'” Trump is complaining about? Wouldn’t they actually be the sort of people that he associates with on a regular basis? And what’s wrong with traders placing bets on the market, which is exactly what they always do, pandemic or not?

What’s more, Trump’s complaint is glaringly incoherent. He begins by implying that there’s something wrong with people trying to drive stock prices down in order to make a profit. This is his way of attempting to make excuses for the recent declines. But then he immediately reverses course, noting that the same people are also driving prices up. That would make their efforts a wash. So what the heck is his problem? He is, as usual, not making any sense. But he thinks this blather will persuade the dimwits who follow him that there’s nothing wrong with the economy.

This sort of trading is common on Wall Street. And there isn’t anything illegal about it. Every stock transaction is a “bet” and experienced traders know that. If Trump were truly interested in unlawful activities, he might have said something about the Trump-fluffing GOP senators – Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler – who sold off millions of dollars of stocks that were plainly at risk before the markets collapsed. Those sales were also after they both had attended hearings that outlined the coming pandemic risks, but turned around and told their constituents that everything was fine. They are currently being investigated by the Senate ethics committee.

In addition to that, Trump and his family were also invested in pharmaceutical companies that stood to gain from the pandemic’s turmoil. Among those investments was the company that manufactures hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug that Trump was irresponsibly promoting as a treatment for the coronavirus.

Trump’s interest in the markets has been ongoing throughout this crisis. He has taken a personal interest in seeking to prop up the markets artificially by pressuring the Federal Reserve Board to lower interests rates. But for some reason he failed to mention that in doing so, he would save millions of dollars on the outstanding variable interest rate loans he owes to foreign banks. Trump was also surely concerned about the fact that revenues for his own real estate holdings were down 30% since the pandemic began. That may explain in part why he’s so anxious to get everyone back to work.

So if anyone was trying to manipulate the markets, it was Trump. His coercion of the Fed and his relentless and misguided happy-talk were all designed to increase his own wealth and to juice his reelection campaign. In light of that, his question as to whether the actions of traders was “barely legal” takes on a whole new meaning. Most likely, Barely Legal was the just the name of the last magazine the Trump subscribed to.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

PITY PARTY? Trump Clown Show Mocks Americans Suffering in Coronavirus Depression

As if it weren’t enough that Donald Trump neglected to act for two months as COVID-19 (coronavirus) spread throughout the nation – or that he trivialized it’s impact as being “totally under control” and that cases were “going down to zero” very soon, or that he blamed Democrats, China, and anyone but himself for the tragedies resulting from his incompetence – it’s agonizing to watch him continue to put the lives of more Americans at risk because his ego won’t permit him to take responsibility and act responsibly. Even worse, he actually brags about his flagrant failures.

Donald Trump, Pennywise

Trump’s rush to send Americans back into a still dangerous workplace has the stench of hypocrisy. He can’t even keep the coronavirus out of the White House with daily testing, but he expects average folks to become the “warriors” in his battle to save corporations and the stock market. And they won’t have the testing, protective gear, or medical care that he and his comrades have.

In this environment of blatant privilege for the wealthy and the politically connected elite, Trump has proven that he just doesn’t care about the hardships of others. So he sent Peter Navarro, his advisor on trade and manufacturing, out to mingle with the Trump-fluffers at Fox News. Navarro’s visit with the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends (video below) was jam-packed with the sort of happy-talk propaganda that totalitarian regimes are so fond of.

Navarro lead off with a callous characterization of the hard times that most Americans are struggling to cope with. He referred to the criticism of Trump’s dreadful mishandling of the deadly coronavirus pandemic with this tone-deaf phrasing: “That was a pity party yesterday on the Sunday shows.” Of course. Because what’s a more self-indulgent demonstration of whiners feeling sorry for themselves than a population ravaged by a fatal and infectious virus? Particularly one that has resulted in the deaths of more than 80,000 people, many of which were preventable had there been competent leadership. Navarro elaborated saying that…

“This is not the Great Depression. Anybody that thinks this is the Great Depression doesn’t understand either history or economics. […] Here’s what we have here. We have President Donald J. Trump who built up the strongest and most beautiful economy in three and half years. And then the Chinese communist party dropped a virus on the world that, within sixty days, has temporarily shut us down. And all we need to do here is focus on the mission, the original mission of Donald J. Trump […]

Now it’s gonna be a long process because of the structural adjustments that are gonna take place as we adapt to the virus socially, culturally, and economically. But this Great Depression pity party stuff I saw yesterday, this aint that..”

For an economic advisor, Navarro sure sounds a lot like a PR shill. He begins by failing to grasp that the economic decline, the collapse of markets in equities and bonds, and the 20+ million Americans who are now unemployed, actually fit the definition of a depression with painful precision. And he dresses up his fan fiction in tributes to Dear Leader Trump, who he believes has that divine gift of being able to do no wrong. Naturally, he adopts his master’s habit of shoveling any and all blame unto others, in this case China. And while China shares it’s measure of blame, it was Trump who praised President Xi saying that “I think he’s handled it really well,” and that his management of the budding pandemic was “strong, sharp and powerfully focused.” Trump effusively complimented Xi well into February.

Now, suddenly, it’s all China’s fault, Trump’s lazy and lethal disregard is being ignored, and the White House rhetoric is simultaneously insisting that our tribulations are both temporary and “a long process.” The confusion emanating from the Trump administration is indicative of their utter lack of any idea of what to do. They are paralyzed by ignorance and their desperation to avoid any political fallout, especially with regard to the presidential election in November, which currently has Joe Biden beating Trump nationally, as well as in many of the crucial swing states.

Nevertheless, Navarro thought it would be a good idea to go on Fox News and demean Trump’s critics – which includes the majority of American voters – as a pity party. It’s a pity that these cretins don’t have more sympathy for the sick and the scared and the families of the deceased. But then heartless narcissism has been the Trump brand from the very beginning of his occupation of the white House. And there’s no reason to expect that to change.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump’s Heartless Take on Dreadful Jobs Report: It’s Fully Expected and I’m Not to Blame

When the history of Donald Trump’s presidency is written, it will be difficult to find documentation of any genuine expressions of sympathy for the American people, whether those whose lives were upended by hurricanes, refugees from poverty and oppression, or the victims of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Trump appears utterly incapable of having a human feeling for people who have suffered misfortune. Although he always seems to be pretty charitable toward corporations and the wealthy.

Donald Trump

On Friday morning the latest jobs report was released and it revealed a historic decline for the month of April. More than 20.5 million jobs were lost, a number not seen since the Great Depression. The unemployment rate tripled to 14.7%, which is likely an undercount because it doesn’t include those who are not currently looking for work due to the Stay-At–Home policies currently in effect.

Trump was being interviewed on Fox News by the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends when the report became public. The program interrupted their predictable Trump-fluffing to announce the new data and get a response from Trump. So in keeping with his callously uncaring demeanor, Trump’s initial message to the nation was this:

“It’s fully expected. There’s no surprise. Everybody knows that. Somebody said, ‘Oh, look at this.’ Well, even the Democrats aren’t blaming me for that.”

That’s typical Trump. No compassion for the people who are now unemployed. No concern for how they will pay for rent, groceries, medicine, etc. No acknowledgement of the stress and anxiety that millions of people are enduring. Nope. Trump can be relied on to always put his own interests above those of the nation or any of its citizens. And that is openly in play as he seeks to stem his personal financial losses by rushing to allow hotels and golf courses to resume operations. So naturally, Trump’s first thoughts upon hearing the jobs report were both egocentric and dishonest.

Trump’s malignant narcissism was on display in his first remarks when he complained about the prospect of being blamed for the pandemic and its consequences. That’s a key concern for Trump. Never mind that his documented negligence and incompetence has directly resulted in exacerbating the severity of the pandemic’s impact in the U.S. Trump relentlessly rejects any responsibility. He is so afraid of having to accept the blame he so richly deserves that he is pushing for a premature relaxation of business restrictions. That will undoubtedly result in even more illnesses and fatalities. And he keeps moving the goalposts on estimates of the dead. For weeks he “bragged” that it would be under 60,000 by August. Now that we are over 76,000 in May he has upped it to 110,000. Keep in mind that neither estimate is worth bragging about.

Trump lied by saying that he expected this catastrophic jobs market. In truth, he denied that there was any problem at all for the first two months. He insisted that it was fully “under control” and that the handful of cases would quickly “go down to zero.” Instead they went up to 1.3 million with more than 76,000 deaths. And contrary to his current position that he expected this, he literally said that “Nobody ever expected a thing like this” during a Fox News town hall two weeks ago. What’s more, his Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, said this on January 30:

“I don’t want to talk about a victory lap over a very unfortunate, very malignant disease. But the fact is, it does give businesses yet another thing to consider … I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America.”

So not only was the Trump administration not planning for an employment debacle, they were actually looking forward to a jobs boom resulting from a rush by companies to relocate their manufacturing to the U.S. That turned out to be a figment of their overactive and self-serving imaginations. However, Trump did get one thing right during his segment with his Fox friends. “Next year,” he assured, “we’re going to have a phenomenal year. People are ready to go.” Indeed. President Biden will see to that. And the American people are surely “ready to go” to the polls to vote in November to oust Trump and his enablers in the Republican Cult.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

BAD FOR AMERICA! Trump Delights In the Suffering of American Workers and Business

In times of crisis, the American people want and expect their leaders to exhibit wisdom and compassion. Difficult problems require both intelligence and judgment to resolve, and at least the appearance of sympathy for the hardships facing the average citizen. The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is just such a circumstance. Unfortunately, the United States is currently stuck with Donald Trump who has none of these qualities.

Donald Trump Climate Change

The single most reliable feature of Trump’s character (or lack thereof) is his unflinching determination to always do only what is best for him. This selfishness is evident in his reckless and greed-driven proposals to “reopen” the country before any public health expert considers it safe. It’s obvious in his obsession with the polls and TV ratings that define his self-worth. There is virtually nothing that Trump addresses in his Coronavirus Task Force briefings (that he has hijacked and turned into 2020 reelection events) that isn’t directly attached to his personal welfare.

On Monday morning, while the nation was trying to cope with ever more troubling news concerning the spreading pandemic, Trump was, as usual, manning his Twitter machine and pounding out dangerous falsehoods, childish platitudes, and tributes to himself. Among the tweets that he posted was one that was particularly offensive:

What’s “bad for America” is a president who repeatedly maligns the free press in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.” It’s fair to say that it’s also bad when a president is so stupid that he doesn’t understand that all businesses are presently struggling due to a virtual economic shutdown made necessary by Trump’s negligence and incompetence. Among the businesses that are experiencing financial difficulties are those owned by Trump. In fact, many are currently closed and his net worth has declined by thirty percent.

However, what’s truly repulsive about this tweet is that Trump is openly gleeful that American media companies are being hurt financially along with the rest of the country. These are businesses whose mission is to keep the American people informed, sometimes at great risk to themselves. This is especially difficult when the president is a pathological liar. But they are also businesses that employ tens of thousands of Americans. Clearly Trump couldn’t care less about these people, their families, and communities.

It’s further proof of Trump’s ignorance that he doesn’t know whether the press is suffering financially because of the quality of their reporting or the impact of a global pandemic. Trump is just exploiting the issue to bash the media, which prior to this coronavirus outbreak was having a banner year in both viewership and revenue. And it must be driving him crazy(er) knowing that according to most polls, the American people still trust the media more than they trust Trump.

It’s that public disapproval that is likely contributing to Trump’s downward spiraling emotional state. Not only has Trump not enjoyed a sustained “rally round the flag” polling bounce, he is at a four month low (44%) with his favorite, unabashedly biased, right-wing pollster, Rasmussen. That’s gotta hurt. But it shouldn’t hurt so much that it drives Trump to celebrate the misfortune of thousands of American workers. That’s on Trump.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Why is Trump So Desperate to ‘Reopen’ the Country? His Net Worth Has Dropped 30%

For at least two months Donald Trump negligently ignored the mortal threat that COVID-19 (coronavirus) posed to the people of the United States and the world. He mocked its lethal consequences, dismissed its capacity to spread, and lied to the American people when he said that it was “under control” and would soon go away by itself.

Trump Baby on Cash Pile

Compounding his lies at the outset of the outbreak, Trump later tried to boast that he always took the threat seriously and even called it a pandemic before others were doing so. Not only is that brazenly false, it would actually be even more damning if true. It would mean that he recognized the danger early on, but failed to act.

Eventually it became impossible for Trump to pretend that there wasn’t a severe public health hazard on his hands. So he assembled a Coronavirus Task Force to address the problem, but then decided against letting them do their job. He hijacked the daily briefings and turned them into campaign events for his 2020 reelection. And our reality TV game show president assessed their value by tracking the Nielsen ratings, as if they were an indicator of his popularity. They most definitely are not.

As the fallout from the pandemic escalated, Trump noticed that it was having a negative effect on the economy. And that’s when his concern kicked into high gear. On March 4, just as the stock market began it’s historic slide, Trump floated a proposal to “reopen” the country by Easter, a date that no public health expert would endorse. By March 24, the day after the stock market had completed a decline of 11,000 points from its recent high only a month prior, he began using reckless and callous rhetoric about not allowing “the cure to be worse than the problem.” That suggests that he believes a weak economy is worse than tens of thousands of people dying.

Trump repeatedly insisted that the nation must return to business as usual within a timeline that was grossly unrealistic. The question is: Why was Trump so adamant about this? Did he really have compassion for the working people of the country who were being subjected to such brutal hardship? Was he worried about the future health of the corporations that support much of the economic infrastructure of the nation?

Doubtful. Trump has never expressed any such sympathies during his term as president or his decades in public life prior to that. It’s unlikely he had some sort of personal epiphany that altered his life-long character, or lack thereof. No, the real reason is the one that is the most obvious.

It is now being reported that Trump’s personal net worth has declined by about a billion dollars. That would represent approximately 30% of his fortune as estimated by Forbes. It’s difficult to provide a precise estimate because after three years as President, Trump still refuses to release his taxes. There must be something truly hideous in there.

Trump’s assets are predominantly in commercial and residential real estate, hotel licensing and management, and golf courses. All of these businesses are especially vulnerable to the consumer pullback caused by the “stay at home” orders issued in at least 42 states in order to “flatten the curve” of the pandemic spread. So it isn’t just coincidence that Trump’s concern crept up just as the economy slumped down. As reported

“It’s unusual from Trump to lose money because of his presidency. He’s used his position to promote his hotels and resorts, even going so far as to try to host the next G7 summit at the Trump National Doral golf resort near Miami. The Secret Service often stays on Trump properties when the president is on vacation, paying room and board directly to the president’s private business, sometimes as much as $650 per night for a single room. Of course, the hotel industry has been one of the hardest hit by the global economic downturn—including the Trumps’ DC hotel, which had a steady revenue stream from foreign governments looking to curry favor with the American president, and was up for sale up until the current economic crisis.”

Prior to the emergence of the coronavirus, Trump frequently tried to pressure the Federal Reserve Board to lower interest rates. His stated intent was that it would give a boost to the economy. The truth is that Trump was only seeking to reduce his own fiscal burden. He is carrying more than $350 million dollars in variable rate loans from Deutsche Bank and other lenders. So he benefits significantly when rates go down. He also hoped that such a move would juice the stock market which would aid his reelection prospects. But when the Fed did cut rates, the market nosedived, recognizing that it was a sign of trouble ahead in the form of a recession or worse. Trump’s flagrantly self-serving pestering of the Fed backfired.

So whenever you hear Trump whine about how “our country wasn’t built to be shut down” – a bizarre comment that implies that other countries were built for that – remember that Trump’s concern was only triggered with a conspicuous connection to his own financial welfare. The American people do need the country to return to its former stability and growth as quickly as possible. But first they need to ensure the health of themselves, their families, and their communities. And Trump’s rush to superficially attend to the economy, at the expense of public health, must be seen for what it is: unvarnished, self-serving greed.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The Most Flagrantly Dishonest and Idiotic Trump Tweet of 2020 (So Far)

In recent days Donald Trump has shifted his tone on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) to one that appears more appropriately concerned about the threat that it poses to Americans and the world. But while he seems to be reluctantly recognizing the risks going forward, he is still fixated on assigning blame to others and paying undeserved tribute to himself.

Donald Trump, Toilet, Bathrobe

When asked how he would rate his response to the coronavirus crisis, Trump inconceivably gave himself a “10.” Sure, if that’s out of 100. He also claimed, in an epic feat of gaslighting, and after downplaying the matter for weeks, that “I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic” (see video below that documents his lies). But for sheer stupidity and/or rabid dishonesty, Trump has still not surpassed this tweet from February 24:

In that one Twantrum, Trump managed to get two very consequential things horribly wrong. First of all, as noted above, the coronavirus was very much NOT under control. On February 24, there were only 42 confirmed cases and zero fatalities in the U.S. That has now risen to more than 7,300 infected people and 135 deaths. If that’s what Trump considers “control” we are all gonna die.

Trump’s management of this crisis has been an unqualified disaster. He ignored the peril for far too long. He disbanded the pandemic office at the National Security Agency. He refused to use the test kits provided by the World Health Organization. He relied more on his Fox News sycophants than on scientists. He trivialized the matter as a political “hoax” that he imagined was perpetrated by Democrats. And he sought to blame previous administrations (translation: Obama) for burdening him with an archaic and inefficient system. The truth is that he gutted the system himself and did nothing to restore it.

As for his investment advice, it’s hard to image that it could have been worse. The stock market that was “starting to look very good” to Trump on February 24, has dropped more than 7,000 points (30%) since then. And that was after the Federal Reserve gave Trump the ill-advised interest rate cut he lusted after. All of the gains for the past three years – the whole of Trump’s presidency – have been wiped out. Anyone who acted on Trump’s analysis has lost a fortune. But then, it’s hard to sympathize with anyone who would take financial advice from a trust fund baby with six bankruptcies, a long list of defunct companies, a failed, phony “university,” and a charitable foundation that was found to be fraudulent?

There is, however, a bit of relatively good news. The American people aren’t buying Trump’s BS. A recent poll found that only 37% trust what he says about the coronavirus. That’s the predictable result of having lied more than 16,000 times since he was inaugurated.

Unfortunately, that’s a dangerous position for a nation to be in when it faces the sort of hardships that the U.S. faces today. Under the circumstance, we should have someone at the helm that isn’t a malignant narcissistic and a pathological liar. And with any luck (and a lot of hard work) we will have new, respectable leadership by next January. That is, if Trump hasn’t killed us all before then.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Here’s Why The Fed Rate Cut Makes Trump ‘Very Happy’ But Signals Trouble For America

Donald Trump joined his Coronavirus Task Force for their press briefing on Sunday. He took the podium and began his remarks by saying that “I think we have some great things to talk about.” That’s a bizarre opening for a briefing where medical experts are about to disclose how many more Americans are infected and dead, and how much worse it’s going to get before it gets better.

Donald Trump, Stock Market

The reason Trump could start off so upbeat is that he wasn’t there to talk about the coronavirus. He immediately launched into the news that the Federal Reserve Board just announced an emergency cut in the interest rate and the intention to purchase up to &700 billion of treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities (quantitative easing). For much of his presidency, Donald Trump has been railing against the Fed for not being a mindless functionary that obeys his every command (like his incompetent Cabinet and the GOP jellyfish in Congress). What he obviously doesn’t understand is that there is a reason that the FED was designed as an independent agency that is insulated from pressure by the White House. Their objectives are often not aligned. Nevertheless, he was giddy about this rate cut and burst into celebration (video below):

“I’ll start by discussing the Federal Reserve. As you know, it just happened ten minutes ago, but to me, it makes me very happy. And I want to congratulate the Federal Reserve. For starters, they’ve lowered fed rate from what it was, which was 1 to 1.25 and it’s been lowered down to 0 or 0.25. […] That’s really great for our country. It’s something that we’re very happy, I have to say this, I’m very happy.”

Trump has good reason to be happy. Contrary to his thoroughly bogus branding, Trump is failed businessman who has racked up hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, much of it with variable-rate loans. When he took office in 2017 he was the most indebted president in history, owing more than $350 million to Deutsche Bank alone. That debt is expensive to service. But when interest rates go down, so do the costs of servicing debt. Bloomberg reports that prior rate increases “may raise President Donald Trump’s cumulative cost from the U.S. central bank’s hikes since his inauguration to $6 million per year.”

So Trump has a distinct personal financial benefit when interests rates decline. He also seeks a political benefit due to rate cuts artificially (and temporarily) goosing the stock market. That’s something he has been relying on to advance his reelection prospects. He often uses the market as a gauge for the health of the economy. That’s a viewpoint that only someone utterly ignorant about these matters could hold. The performance of the stock market only tells you what institutional investors think about the valuation of equities, which fluctuate independent of the broader economy. The economy, on the other hand, is comprised of many other factors such as consumption, employment, wages, trade, and inflation.

Along with his joyful reception for the rate cut, Trump also made a prediction that “People in the market should be very thrilled.” Maybe not. Shortly after the announcement was made the Dow Jones futures took a dive, forecasting an opening decline of more than 1,000 points on Monday morning. That’s because investors recognize that the Fed’s decision to make this emergency cut is confirmation that there is economic trouble on the horizon. [UPDATE: Trump’s foolish craving for a rate cut and quantitative easing didn’t produce the results he hoped for or predicted. The market opened sharply down Monday, dropping as much 2,500 points]

Trump’s slaphappy elation notwithstanding, professionals understand that rate cuts are a reaction to negative economic conditions. It could mean that we are headed downhill. Home sales, wage stagnation, depressed treasuries, illiquid credit, and the exploding debt, are all indicators that generally forecast a recession or worse. Which explains why futures have cratered in the few hours since the announcement. And little of this has anything to do with COVID-19. These economic realities were in place before the virus began to spread. It was just a trigger and an accelerant.

As usual, the people who would be hurt most by that would be the lower and middle income families whose savings would deplete and whose jobs would disappear. The rich would suffer a decline in their net worth, but would remain rich and well positioned to profit when the economy turns around. That is a built-in inequity in our economic system that advantages the wealthy by design. And Trump is purposefully exploiting it for personal financial and political gain, without the least bit of consideration for the harm it will cause to millions of working Americans. Even worse, he’s celebrating it.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Fox News and Trump are Infecting America with Lies About Viruses and Economics

Just at the time the country needs a steady hand to guide it through difficult times, we are unfortunately stuck with Donald Trump, an ignorant, narcissistic, sociopath, who is more concerned with his public image than with the lives of the American people. A budding pandemic is threatening to engulf the nation, and simultaneously collapse an economy that is already on thin ice.

Donald Trump, Fox News

Trump has been mishandling the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak from the first days it was identified. He has stubbornly tried to downplay the seriousness of its impact on both people and economics. And he continues to this day trying to dismiss the risks that we are facing. Especially among his own supporters who are the most vulnerable to his alternative facts.

On Monday morning he posted several tweets intended to pacify the public with phony platitudes. In one tweet Trump compared the coronavirus to the flu. “At this moment,” he tweeted, “there are 546 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!” Having thought about it, it’s apparent that Trump can’t do math, because that data shows that the coronavirus, which is just beginning to spread, is 200 times more lethal than the flu. That isn’t exactly comforting.

Of course, Fox News has Trump’s back. They are promoting equally as troubling distortions of reality that are intended more to boost Trump’s polling than to protect people’s lives. Devoted Trump-fluffer Jeanine Pirro unleashed an extended rant that also used flu data to diminish the potential harm from the coronavirus (video below):

“Now they say the mortality rate for coronavirus is higher than the flu. But consider, though, that we have a flu vaccine, and yet in 2019, 16,000 Americans died from the flu. Imagine if we did not have the flu vaccine the flu would be a pandemic. So all the talk about coronavirus being so much more deadly doesn’t reflect reality. Without a vaccine, the flu would be far more deadly.”

How does someone this stupid get their own TV show? The mortality rate for the flu would not increase were there no vaccine. Pirro seems think that the mortality rate is based on the percentage of deaths from within the entire national population. Actually, the base is just those infected. So without a vaccine there would surely be more deaths, but they would likely occur at the same percentage rate. Pirro is also assuming that the coronavirus isn’t going to infect more people than the flu. At this time there is no way to predict that. And the fact remains that the mortality rate for the corona virus remains far higher than for the flu.

As for Trump, he is spinning furiously to avoid any negative repercussions from the dramatic drop in the stock market. He is alternately blaming it on coronavirus panic, the media, oil prices, Democrats, and probably Hillary Clinton’s emails. He’s frantic because he knows that a faltering economy will be the death knell for his reelection hopes. But he was never a particularly good market analyst. Just two weeks ago Trump tweeted that…

Everything about the tweet is utterly and painfully wrong. The coronavirus was hardly “very much under control.” on February 24. There were only a handful of confirmed diagnoses – and zero deaths – in the U.S. then. There over 600 known infections now, and 26 deaths.

Trump’s remarks about the stock market were triggered by a 1,000 point drop that day. But if anyone took Trump’s advice and acted on what he thought was a market that looked good, they took a considerable beating. The market has declined another 3,500 points since Trump’s grossly miscast, optimistic tweet. In fact, the market has declined to a level last seen in November of 2017. So anyone who invested in the last two years has lost money. And the more recent their investments, the more they lost.

With the challenges facing the nation today, it would helpful if we didn’t have to rely on a president who has been documented lying more than 16,000 times. It would also be nice if we didn’t have a propaganda outlet like Fox News covering up Trump’s failures, falsehoods, and mental infirmities. Getting through the next few months would be hard enough under normal circumstances. Remember “normal circumstances?” Yeah, those were the days.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Visits Fox News to Wax Idiotic About Both Economics and Pandemics

From the first days that the coronavirus was reported to be spreading throughout the world, including in the United States, Donald Trump has sought to minimize the risks and the potential that it could escalate into a full blown pandemic. He has understated the infection rate and the number of fatalities. And he has focused his attention on the economic impact, rather than the cost of human lives.

Donald Trump TV Set

On Thursday evening Trump appeared on Fox News for a town hall meeting. it was his second Fox News interview in as many days (the first being a suck up phone-in with Sean Hannity). The Fox News town hall was rife with the sort of lies and disinformation that is the hallmark of both Trump and Fox. For instance, Trump claimed that he would protect Social Security, even as he explicitly said he would be cutting entitlements. He also promised to provide “great healthcare,” despite never having offered any proposals, and actively fighting in court to kill Obamacare.

With regard to the coronavirus, which is currently the most pressing issue on the table, Trump continued his efforts to trivialize the very real vulnerabilities the nation faces. “I think we’re in great shape,” he lied, and “I think we made a great move. We closed it down. We stopped it.” Of course, he has not come close to stopping the coronavirus. It has actually spread to twenty-one states with over 225 cases in the U.S. And its containment is far from certain because we don’t even have enough test kits to identify those infected.

RELATED: Are Trump’s Cult Rallies Breeding Grounds for the Coronavirus?

However, perhaps the most troubling remarks Trump made were in connection to how the virus might impact the U.S. economy. He presented his deranged viewpoint that there is a fiscal silver lining to the suffering and death that the virus has already caused. Surely the families of the victims will be pleased to hear this (video below):

“A lot of people are staying here. They’re going to be doing their business here. They’re going to be traveling here. They’ll be going to resorts here. And, you know, we have a great place … we’re going to have Americans staying home.”

Virtually everything in that comment is patently false and without even a hint of factual basis. First of all, there is no evidence that Americans are traveling more within the U.S. To the contrary, more people are avoiding all travel, even domestically. Airlines are canceling flights due to the absence of bookings. As for doing more business, that too is unsupported by any data. Many Americans are staying home rather than risk exposure in public places like restaurants and theaters. Businesses themselves are canceling participation in conferences and trade shows, and they are limiting their employees’ travel.

What’s more, even if there were some sliver of truth to Trump’s bizarrely rosy scenario, it wouldn’t provide an economic benefit for the country. That’s because the U.S. makes more money from the spending by tourists coming here than it would lose from Americans going overseas. So there would be a net loss of revenue if Americans spend at home, while foreigners decline to visit.

There is also something notable about the alleged revenue that Trump falsely claimed would be realized by a virus-driven quarantine of travelers. Virtually all of it would come from businesses that Trump himself operates (hotels, resorts, etc.). How convenient! But the fact that the stock market has declined sharply indicates that most investors believe that the broader American business landscape is going to be hurt severely by the repercussions of this budding pandemic.

The impact on the economy by the coronavirus is really the only thing that Trump cares about. And even that isn’t because he’s concerned about people’s financial welfare. He’s only worried about how it will affect his prospects for reelection. Consequently, he needs to lie about both the inherent dangers the virus portends for human life, as well as how it influences the direction of the market. And anyone dumb enough to believe Trump’s self-serving blather is going to end up much sicker and poorer.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.