As a rule, Donald Trump loves to pretend that his presidential agenda is performing flawlessly and historically benefiting all Americans. So it came as a surprise when the president admitted during a radio interview that the controversial trade policies he’s forcing on us all may lead to “a little pain” in the domestic economy.
“I’m not saying there won’t be a little pain, but the market has gone up 40 percent, 42 percent so we might lose a little bit of it. But we’re going to have a much stronger country when we’re finished.
“So we may take a hit and you know what, ultimately we’re going to be much stronger for it,” Trump said.
The market has not increased 40% or 42%. Since Trump’s unfortunate inauguration, to late last week, the Dow Jones has risen approximately 20%. Trump is lying, like usual. Also, under the last four presidents, besides George W. Bush, America had experienced more market growth at the same point in their presidencies, so Trump is not the cause of this.
During NBC’s “Meet the Press” last night, Chuck Todd asked Peter Navarro, who is one of the president’s chief advisers for trade, “What specific action do you want from the Chinese to prevent these tariffs from being implemented?” Navarro oversimplified everything and said, “We want fair and reciprocal trade. We want them to stop stealing our stuff.”
While that might sound nice, it’s not a list of “specific actions.” So the host tried it again. “What is the specific action?” Chuck Todd asked. “How will we know that China is changing its behavior? Give me the specific action.”
Navarro again said nothing of importance, because his boss Trump is an incompetent idiot and there’s no real plan. “Every American understands that, every day of the week, China comes in to our homes, the businesses, our government agencies, and the damage is on the order of about $1 billion a day,” the presidential adviser misleadingly replied. “And then, when you add to that damage the billion dollars a day in the trade deficit in goods we face, this country is losing its strength and wealth.”
Maybe you agree , maybe you do not, but the point here is that Navarro was told more than once that he needed to explain exactly what the White House is expecting from Beijing in order to avoid an escalating and expensive trade war. Navarro, just like his boss, wanted to keep things vague, because there’s no plan.
Team Trump is making stuff up as they go. There is no meaningful strategy besides simple-minded bumper-sticker rhetoric and idiotic chest-thumping.