The Wall Street Journal published an interesting report recently on the Trump administration’s stupid perspective on an approaching trade war: the U.S. economy’s health gives the White House “leeway” to implement the risky policies the stupid president loves.
Donald Trump is working from the questionable assumption that even while his tariffs and the related policies undermine Maerica’s economic growth, the economy is healthy enough to create a buffer. So, if his trade plans take a point or two off our GDP, the argument goes, that still wouldn’t force us into a recession.
Trump lent his voice to this risky posture during a CNBC interview recently, claiming that the strength of our stock market allows him to start trade wars.
“This is the time. You know the expression we’re playing with the bank’s money,” he told CNBC’s Joe Kernen in a “Squawk Box” interview aired Friday.
The president has a big cushion. The S&P 500 is up 31 percent since Trump’s win on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2016, through Thursday. The market’s gain has slowed this year as the administration has implemented new tariffs on countries, with the benchmark index up 4.9 percent for 2018 through Thursday.
Trump added the market would likely be much higher if he didn’t escalate the trade issues with China and the rest of the world.
Donald Trump lost money running a casino, and he periodically makes it clear how.
Here is the president’s idea in a nutshell: Since Wall Street gains have created wealth, Trump believes he is “ahead.” If his stupid trade war stops the stock markets from growing more, it will mean less wealth, but it still won’t wipe out the previous gains.
So, he is “playing with the bank’s money.” It doesn’t matter how awful things get because of his insane agenda, because the gains probably will not be wiped out entirely, and that means he won’t be “behind.”
But this is not a responsible way to view the debate. As Donald Trump really should know by now, our stock market is not the same thing as the economy. To see the Wall Street ups and downs as some real-time barometer of our nation’s economic health is foolish and incorrect.
And it’s not “the bank’s money” Trump is playing with; it’s all of our money. The more that Trump’s policies hurt the economy, the more that real people will suffer. (Banks, on the other hand, will be fine.)