We, in our collective wisdom, have elected the Wizard who appeared so magically before us. But if elections can be magical, not so will be serving as President of the United States in 2017. The Wizard of Oz proved a humbug; Trump’s many opponents advertised the same for him. They also said that he couldn’t win first, the candidacy and second, the Presidency. Hmnn…
We have written of America and the world’s unsustainable finances, of America’s dissolving society, of the ongoing impoverishment of the evaporating middle class. Of the military decline resulting from the economic enervation and of how it encourages once quiescent local bullies around the world. Any power vacuum is always promptly filled from the nearest source. None of these have been held up during the juvenile magic show of election; none are susceptible to magic. How should we expect President Trump to face them, without his magic wand? And with nearly the same Congress that so clearly wished for someone else, not Trump in the White House.
We have no idea what President Trump may do; we think his electoral promises were unrealistic populism. Mexico will not erect a border wall, though the currently relatively open U.S. border will have to be plausibly addressed after so many public statements from Trump. However, that address may stop dead in an unwelcoming Congress still populated with establishment Republicans. We will have to see. A president can order tightening by the Border Patrol on his own. But reducing the supply of cheap labor leaves U.S. industry, what remains of it, stuck with high labor costs and unable to compete on world markets. That is why GM now makes more cars in China than in the U.S. And it is why there are nine million more government workers than manufacturing workers in today’s America. Mr. Trump could use some magic, were it available.
We await with interest his selections of his cabinet. Our general view of such things suggests to us that, if we readily recognize the names as they are announced, that will signify that we have been had, Mr. Trump has sold us an interest in the Brooklyn Bridge. If they aren’t the usual familiar hacks, we will have to await developments but perhaps with a smidgen of hope. Current speculation seems pessimistic to us.
We await with much more interest our new President’s first budget. Will he rein in the deficits that already burdened U.S. taxpayers with more debt than they will ever repay or will he maintain the present Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, student loans, substandard home mortgages and military spending that are hollowing the U.S. economy? If he does the first, he will be depriving already stretched citizens of support long provided by Democrats; if the second, he will push the economy further toward ultimate collapse. Which will he choose? We’ll bet on that one….
He has two choices with our recent years of perpetual war abroad; he can bring the troops home instead of shooting foreigners into proper democratic societies, resulting in Russia, China, Iran and other bullies moving in, or he can again, continue printing and borrowing nonexistent money to proceed as have his predecessors. Up to that final existential financial crash. Hobson’s choice again. The same dilemma that has paralyzed the Federal Reserve for so long.
Adding it up, we guess that President Trump will find himself in the same insoluble cleft that awaited a President Clinton, a choice between financial collapse now or not too much later. Our new President Elect may easily find himself blamed for a new Great Depression, a new edition of Herbert Hoover from 1929. Or he may prefer to be the new edition of Franklin Roosevelt by hiding his troubles behind WWIII, as we have written earlier.
It may be helpful to inquire into the histories of some of President Trump’s cabinet folk: Is his new Defense appointee tied to the military or the defense industry? Or is he a bean counter with no particular regard for old President Eisenhower’s “military-industrial complex”? Is his Treasury appointment another of our long line of Wall Street bankers or someone wedded to a balanced budget? President Elect Trump has spoken against the billions of dollars wasted upon a fictitious global warming; will his Secretary of Energy and environmental folk reflect that? And finally, our new President has demanded the repeal of Obamacare but also promised that: “… every American family will have healthcare”. What sort of background will the new health czar bring to Washington?
We should know some of this soon. And we are confident that we have elected a humbug, as we would also feel had his opponent succeeded instead. Now it remains only to determine exactly what sort of humbug….