As the government sits in shutdown, there is very little evidence that Trump has any idea of the pressure he is putting on our economy. In fact, his policies across the board are forcing this economy into a massive slowdown, if not an eventual full out recession.
This shutdown will lower GDP. Trump won’t see that in the numbers yet so he doesn’t care. Unemployment will be, at least temporarily, affected but this kind of pressure can affect the long term numbers as well. A foolish stubbornness to get an unnecessary and costly wall built on the southern border is costing many workers incalculable hardships. And, of course, our President who has no empathy for any human being, does not care.
But that is not all of the damage he is doing. The tariff policy and trade war, that Trump started on a whim, have not gone well. The trade deficit with China, that Trump still believes is “bad for the country” has actually ballooned to a record $320 billion with negotiations still unproductive.
Even his lofty goal of “saving” the steel industry has sputtered to a halt as the temporary spike in steel prices has petered out – while US companies that purchase steel have had to elevate their expenses.
In addition, his reworking of environmental regulations to benefit the coal industry have also failed miserably. Coal plants have closed at a faster rate than they did under Obama. Trump’s idea to bring back the past glories of industry has not worked because we are, fortunately, moving past those inefficient and deadly methods of energy consumption. But, in the mean time, these environmental policy changes are dangerous for our future and puts more pressure on climate change.
Trump searches for news of companies that stay in America or cancel plans to move to another country…. but for every one he touts publicly, 3 or 4 others are doing the exact opposite….as global positioning of economic strength keeps changing. Once again, Trump fails to understand the rudimentary philosophy of the new globalism that cannot be stopped.
And then there is the burgeoning debt. Trump’s tax cuts gave our business a windfall – but those benefits were not invested in long term expansion. Instead they were invested by companies internally by share buybacks and one time bonuses. That has all faded and the end product is massive deficits… to quote someone….”the likes of which we have never seen”.
If we were in recession and needed to boost the economy, this kind of deficit spending would actually be prudent. But temporary boosts in business profits which have been robust up to this point, serves no real benefit to the economy as a whole. And, as I keep stating, Trump does not seem to understand any of this. And even worse, does not seem curious enough to find out.
In less than two years, Trump has put our country on a precipice. Our economic strength is being tested severely and though Trump has no clue, you would think that Congressional Republicans would have some slight knowledge and experience in this regard. But they choose to stand behind these dangerous policies for the sake of power. Power that diminishes this country and works to undermine an economy that has set prosperity records over the past several years. Those days are evaporating.
The economy has been strong and has weathered many of these ridiculous economic ideas that Trump forces upon us. But the cracks are beginning to show and this government shutdown is another unforced error that could lead us into dire economic territory.
And all because of an installed (not elected) President.