We have elected the Wizard of Oz or the Wicked Witch of the East to lead us; unfortunately we remain in Oz either way. We have set up our new president and Congress. Applying Hillary Clinton’s now famous comment: “What difference does it make?” You may decide:
- Every U.S. taxpayer owes about $166,000 of America’s national debt, not including the interest. Also not including state/local debt nor naturally, whatever the taxpayers owe on their own. How long will it take the average taxpayer to repay his share of that debt? If we add the unfunded deficits in Social Security, Medicare, military adventures and other vote-buying exercises to that debt, then every taxpayer is on the hook for some $871,000 and any interest to be added.
Both our wanna-be presidents have promised new spending; neither has explained how they will continue even current spending with its deficits that grow our debt. So, say we have Trump or we have Clinton: What difference does it make?
- The US perpetual wars that have at intervals, followed WWII account for most of the deficits beyond those resulting from social spending. The Department of Defense has been spending less but now wants to spend more; Mr. Trump especially seems to favor that, nor has Mrs. Clinton spoken against it. Again, Trump or Clinton: What difference does it make?
- Both candidates promise to protect and enhance American labor, provide jobs and protect incomes. Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton both promise beyond their capacities and in the case of Mrs. Clinton, directly contrary to her own policies; she favors open immigration of cheap labor Her Democrats favor raising minimum wages, paid parental leave and other increases to the high cost of domestic labor that are the root of the American industrial exodus. Mr. Trump has spoken of import tariffs to protect jobs, never mind that the Smoot-Hawley tariff was a mojor factor in prolonging the Great Depression. Today, the government employs more people than does manufacturing because U.S. labor is not competitive on the world market. Raising its cost will worsen, not solve that. Once more: Trump or Clinton, what difference will it make?
Mr. Trump has sounded more realistic than Mrs. Clinton on illegal immigration; whether Congress will support that must wait to be seen. Whether Congress will become realistic about spending, likewise. That is not decided by a president.
And there remains this: Unless we find luck and a less intrusive Federal Reserve along with a newly responsible Congress, our newly elected President may serve a single term, channeling the historic Herbert Hoover . Unless of course, he or she channels Franklin Roosevelt with a WWIII.
In any case, whoever is in charge, it ought to be interesting.