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Trump’s Potential Fatal Errors: Not for Him, But the Country. Pt. 1

Is he stupid or pretending to be?

To this day, I have been needled by a suspicion that Donald Trump is actually a shill for the sleazy, Clinton wing of the Democratic party.  I’ve said it many times, including when he was just hitting the political scene, and in my book. I had a hard time coming to grips with his immaturity, impetuousness and utterly disorganized style.

How, as I have often asked, here and elsewhere, can his clearly erratic behavior be actual stupidity and not just political shtick?  Is he really trying? Or is he putting a four-year monkey wrench in the GOP, damaging their brand for the next decade?

Don’t get me wrong.  When he seems to have at least gotten a basic concept right, I have been happy to say so. But he still gets so much wrong. And so many people seem to have it in their heads that Trump is a genius and worse, they think he is a “conservative”.

He is neither.

I’ll give you an example.  The President gets endless praise for his tax cut.  But, with just a little ass kissing by congressional leadership, he owned a pathetically watered down version of a cut, without the valuable reform he had promised.  If you were paying attention and not just celebrating this fig leaf legislation, you came away thinking what a sucker this guy is.  With the slightest stroking of his ego, Trump will sign off on anything.

Continuing the same example, with little preparation and in complete ignorance of history, Trump spiked the entire economic uptick the tax cuts did provide with the monumentally stupid tariff announcements and implementations.

I will go into greater detail about this in my next book.

The costs of the Trump ego

Tariffs are wrong on too many levels to fully catalog here.  But a few aspects do leap out in this case.

1) First, as is ALWAYS true, tariffs help the bottom lines of the protected companies ONLY and, without exception, hurt the wider economy. The very people who are singing the praises of the administration’s get-tough trade policies are the ones being hurt by it, along with the entire world’s economy.  

President Donald J. Trump

2) If you follow the news cycles from Trump’s election, through the tax cuts and through the tariff announcements, you can plainly see that our economy was expanding beautifully. This was the direct result of someone – anyone – other than BHO going to the White House and that someone was talking about free market concepts.

As a result (and because we are still the world’s largest consumer economy) the world’s economies were expanding apace.  Even the PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain) were suddenly healthy again. 

But along with the rest of the world, our markets were thrown into turmoil and volatility because of this very stupid tariff idea.  The PIGS are now talking about defaulting again.

As ridiculous as the idea of tariffs already is, the way Trump rolled them out (i.e., with no forethought) we have this untenable situation as a result!

3) On top of the damage EVERYONE but the cronies who own the political whores feel, tariffs don’t work. They never have and they never will[1].  This how it will all play out:  We will place tariffs on whatever. Other countries will respond in kind (or maybe not because they already skim money from us on a huge scale.)  There will be “negotiations”.  In the end, when we’ve all had a bellyful of this stupid idea, all parties will declare victory and we will go back to where we all were before, relative to the economies of each country involved.

source: The Spectator

4) As was the case in the Travel Ban and the Zero Tolerance border policies[2], rolled out by executive order early in the Trump Administration, tariff actions were announced and launched impetuously and without any adult supervision. 

The result? Peter Morici, a respected economist, points out correctly that we now have barriers to raw materials for, say, bicycle parts and metal tubes, but no barriers against foreign bicycles.  As a result, American bike makers have to pay more for their raw materials, giving foreign makers a market advantage.  MEANWHILE, YOU NOW PAY MORE FOR A BIKE BECAUSE NO MANUFACTURER, FOREIGN OR DOMESTIC, IS IN THE BUSINESS AS AN ACT OF CHARITY!

5) In order to do what only Congress is permitted to do (introduce tariffs) by executive order, DJT declared our trade deficit vs the rest of the world is a national security issue.  Am I the only person who see how perfectly insane this position is? 

For more about the roots of this tariff debacle, and my earlier warning, read this.

Give me fair trade or I’ll kill you

Was the rest of the world going to attack the United States because we made it too easy for them to sell their goods here?  Were we on the verge of nuking Canada because of their unfair treatment of American dairy farmers? I’m going to go way out on a limb here and say neither was about to happen?

I would submit, and history does insist, that the placing of tariffs, especially by a stronger nation, are more likely to be the catalyst of unrest and even war.

Look at Germany immediately before and then after the clearly discredited Smoot/Hawley tariffs were rolled out.  Germany was struggling mightily to recover from World War II.  As they were beginning to turn the corner, people like Hitler were looked upon as weird opportunists, trying to advantage of Germany’s weakened, but improving, state of affairs.  Our market collapse in 1929 sent shock waves through the world economy. But the suffering was well distributed. Countries like Germany were continuing to work their way into world markets albeit at a slower pace.

Smoot and Hawley, two old men pictured from 1930s.
The authors of Smoot Hawley (that would be Smoot and Hawley themselves) the Dumb and Dumber of 1930.

Then along comes the Smoot/Hawley debacle.  Immediately, what was left of Germany’s chances of recovery were put off by at least a decade.  Already weak, the German economy had the chair kicked out from underneath it.  Suddenly, the blame-the-rest-of-the-world activists, including Hitler and the Communists, were seen as visionary. When you are dangling over the edge of the cliff, you’ll grasp at anything.

Germany, circa 1930 – 31 would be similar to our PIGS now. Their politics and economics are in ever increasing disarray. The tariffs aren’t helping them or the US in any way.

The cliché is: “When goods stop crossing borders armies soon will”.  It’s a cliché because it is true. So the talk of needing tariffs for national security reasons was undiluted bullshit from day one.

But, boys and girls, if I may be permitted the microaggression of noting the difference, we are now facing a far greater threat from Trump than any harm this tariff lunacy might do to us.

In an upcoming post I will outline the greater threat and the stupidity (not just Trump’s stupidity, this is widespread ignorance) behind it. In a separate post I will define the clear solution to our trade deficit.  I will give you a hint about the latter: We are SUPPOSED to have trade deficits with just about every other country because we are stronger and richer than they are.


[1] Read Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt.  It is a college education in one easy-to-read book. You can read it free here.

[2] The author supports both concepts, generally

 

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Defining John McCain: Yes, He Really WAS a Hero.

Let me vent a bit about some reactions to the John McCain circus stunt first, then we’ll deal with his monumental ego and lack of conviction.

To the social media bozos:

I read several posts on FB and Twitter, celebrating McCain’s cancer. Some of this was even before McCain made his return to DC to give lie to his promises.

The vast majority of these lower creatures dislike McCain because he didn’t jump on the Trump bandwagon and sing the praises of a talk show/professional wrestling showboat. That gives you an idea of what is wrong with this country. Yes, we have drugs, crime, sloth, corruption and the destruction of the First Amendment running rampant on our college campi. But we won’t find the answers to these problems in the minds of such losers as these. In fact, as there are many people who think spite and pettiness are the answer to everything, the problems I listed above along with all other social ailments will only worsen if mouth breathers such as gain a voice.

If you believe Bill O’Reilly, McCain was motivated by a visceral hatred of Trump. I don’t buy that either. While it may be true, there is a history we can look to for a more well-grounded answer.


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My Caveats

For my part, I don’t celebrate the suffering McCain and his family are about to endure. I have seen first-hand what brain cancer can do to a person. And the harder they fight, the more brutal the disease is.

I will also never forget McCain’s badass performance as a POW. His consistent harassment of the enemy, while in captivity, should serve as a textbook example for all military people to follow. (There is footage of him flipping off Jane Fonda and the media during her pathetic stunt to maintain relevance in Vietnam. That resulted in abuse that he knew was coming, but he did it anyway. Most of his detractors would have the sack to do something like that. They’d be the ones down in front of the cameras being subservient and well-behaved.)

And I have never insulted McCain for have been captured in the first place, unlike our present Commander-in-Chief. (It turns my stomach to use that term in this context). How do you insult a guy for getting in a fighter jet, getting shot down, breaking both arms and then being dragged off to a cage? That one statement, Trump saying he prefers military guys who don’t get captured, as much as any other stupid statement he’s ever made, shows Trump’s maddening ignorance of the simplest realities.

That Was Then

But I DO have a problem with McCain’s politics since leaving the military. He has done what many people have in our political zoo. He wore one label while taking the side of the opposition on most things. He called it being a maverick. I call it being a fence sitter then going with the popular winds. This was done to reap the benefits of sitting in DC without having to take a principled stand on, well, ANYTHING.

McCain and Lindsay Graham have gained a reputation as military hawks, wanting to spank every dictator and bad actor on the planet. But beyond that, McCain has been a big-government liberal since he became a Senator.

In the last election, along with most of the GOP swamp creatures, McCain said that he would be the leader in the fight to repeal Obamacare. That is the type of lie, which in my mind, separates McCain the military hero from McCain, the lying, amoral scoundrel he has become. Since his reelection, John McCain has not even been a follower on the fight to repeal. He has been silent while Mitch McConnell sold his own Senate down the river.

Then in a big splashy show[1] McCain returned to DC to cast a vote and cement the lie that was his last campaign.

But McCain is not unique. He was rolling with the gutless majority to hand the Chuck Schumer an undeserved victory.

[1] He was not being a hero in his return to vote for permanent socialized medicine. The fact is, this terrible disease hasn’t gotten him yet. He had a procedure and was chomping at the bit to get back to DC. Wild horses couldn’t have kept him away. He knew he would receive the “returning hero” treatment. The Senate could not have done otherwise. And all the other Senators wanted to insert themselves into his soon-to-be tragic narrative. And he knew he would use this momentum to vote against that which he had promised to deliver. To what many see as a brave thing, I see as a duplicitous stunt. John Glenn comes to mind, ending his career as a Senator by playing parliamentary games in the Thomson Committee. He did it to run out the clock and protect BJ Bill and his unworthy wife, in exchange for one last joyride in Earth orbit.

Matt Jordan is the author of Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Grab your copy here.

Kindle version here!

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It's The Free Market or 100% Government Medical Care

If you track medial costs, not insurance costs, but the actual price of medical care, you will find that every time the government created a new mandate for INSURANCE coverage, the actual cost of MEDICAL CARE went up, not just the insurance premiums. Every time the government increased spending on Medicare and Medicaid, the actual price of the MEDICAL CARE went up again.

The reason is the same in every industry any government ever got involved in. When there is other people’s money to be had, ALL recipients will always find more reasons they need more of that money. Why? Because the government gives them the incentive to do so! They simply have to check a series of boxes, created by people who know little about the industry in question, and jigger a few numbers to justify an increase in what they are awarded. There are also the added costs of the bureaucratic nightmare that accompanies getting that money. Don’t I get money for doing that as well? Of course I do.

Hospitals and medial firms are no different than any other. They pay people full time to find more and more ways to wring every dollar possible out of the government piggy bank.

Remember the sick child from the previous essay? We’ll say she is still sick.   The family is on it’s heels because the parents didn’t plan for the future. I mean why should they have? Mommy government says they shouldn’t have to. No matter how stupid they were in the past, somebody ought to step up and pay their bills. Right?

Again, that is what Medicaid is for. We’ll say this family has shot their financial wad and they still have a sick kid. Medicaid should step in. In a world without Obamacare and the constant money machine of mandated insurance coverage it would be easy to administer a program just for folks like this AND for folks who may have never been above the poverty line.

This child will not die because she didn’t have healthcare. Now on Medicaid, getting care will come with a lot of hassle as all government programs do. (They are all created by bureaucrats and are loaded with needless nonsense). But hey, if everyone else is paying your bills for you, you can’t bitch too much.

So mom might have to quit work to take care of the kid and get her to the doctor. Once the family has taken every step to they can, including the sale of golf clubs and moving to a smaller place without a pool, there is no reason why we can’t step in and help out. By this time, the government would be avoiding greater dependence.

Either way, no one is going to die because they are refused treatment. Only the VA does that. And that is a function of government corruption and incompetence.

So let’s wrap this up.

A smart Mitch McConnell (figure the odds) should announce that in two-years time, Obamacare will cease to exist.

All restrictions on competition and state-line restrictions will be eliminated from the federal registry.

If people want to offer insurance plans to employees and employees wish to take the deal, fine. But now that we know the dangers in doing that, there should be NO INCENTIVES offered by the government to sustain such an arrangement. People would be better off buying into the huge cooperatives that will immerge in the new market.

Anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows that in less than a year a multitude of competent companies will announce their new medical plans. And they will cost far less than what Americans pay right now.

A smart McConnell will say that if you are now being covered by a pre-existing condition under Obamacare or Medicaid, you will be kept on that coverage. But the coverage will be means-tested and if you are over the poverty line a graduated scale will be created under which you will share in the burden of your healthcare. Substantially!

If you don’t buy your own insurance on or before the end date of Obamacare and THEN get sick and THEN try to get on Medicaid an additional penalty will be assessed to the deal in the previous paragraph.

Since the advocates of Obamacare think that paying $6000/yr premiums and $6000/yr deductibles is perfectly okay, then that may be a good starting point for the two previous paragraphs.

Woohoo! If the government does anything like this, you will be gob smacked at the numbers of people who will flea Medicaid AND SAVE MONEY! LOTS OF IT!

The cost of doing business will fall into the basement! Everybody will make out…hospitals, insurance companies, and patients…everybody!

If you need proof, look at the cost of auto insurance or homeowners’ insurance. Those are still REAL bets. [for the monumentally slow, that is what insurance is. It cannot work any other way.] These industries have been very stable for decades. Costs often lag behind inflation. That is because there is honest competition and less interference by the government. You cannot turn on the TV and NOT hear XYZ company offering a better deal than the others. They also have an endless variety of specialty coverage options, like “whole car replacement” (a gutsy bet at any price) you if you are willing to pay a tiny bit more in premiums.

This should be the model for medical insurance.

This is a great example of how ridiculously inexpensive basic medical care actually is before you add all the corruption and bureaucracy to the equation.  Click here!

Another author’s case for free market health insurance. Click here! 

Matt Jordan is the author of Street Politics:  It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Grab your copy here.  

Kindle version here!

Or just read for free on Kindle Unlimited!