Donald Trump, an incompetent buffoon, is basing his reelection campaign in large part on the strength of the U.S. economy. As our worsening trade war shows, he is bound to fuck it up. And then what happens? Crazy shit!
[This post is speculative. Economic and political speculation is, for the most part, totally worthless. With that caveat established, let’s proceed.]
On the one hand, it is true that the stock market has absolutely boomed since Trump’s election, with the Dow rising by 30%; on the other hand, this is, more than anything, a testament to the fundamental rot at the heart of American capitalism. To the extent that financial markets are supposed to be constantly pricing in all potential global economic, social, and political risks, it is safe to say that this boom has been extremely optimistic. North Korea? Iran? Crisis-level inequality? Climate change? Pshaw! The U.S. stock market has been on a sugar high of tax cuts and deregulation, and no looming existential threats will dissuade it.
Now, though, the trade negotiations with China aren’t going well (because our president is an incompetent moron and buffoon who lacks an understanding of basic economics and has surrounded himself with yes-men), and the stock market is getting nervous once again. If this trade war continues to go poorly—and there is every indication that it will!—we could see the U.S. economy take a dramatic turn for the worse before the 2020 election, perhaps even plunging us into a recession just as Trump is trying to sell himself as an economic magician.
What might our dear leader do then?
- Strangle the Fed: This motherfucker already tried to nominate Herman Cain and Stephen Moore to the Federal Reserve board, which is like trying to nominate a pair of stuffed animals for the Nobel Prize in Physics. If things really start to go poorly, I fully expect to see Trump do everything in his power to cram the Fed full of people who will obey his orders to drop interest rates down to zilch and try to give the economy one more short term energy jolt that might last through 2020, in the same way that movie heroes take a last gasp of air to kill one more bad guy before they collapse. The central bank of the wealthiest country in world history could, quite plausibly, soon be run by Don King and Anthony Scaramucci. That’s the kind of thing we’re dealing with here.
- More Tax Cuts????: There will never be enough tax cuts for the Republican party, not until the personal tax rate is 0% and the corporate tax rate is actually negative due to massive corporate welfare. Virtually everyone, including taxpayers, agreed that the Republican tax cut, which was a trillion-dollar handout to the rich, was a bad idea. Expect to see more of the same from Trump, who is a moron, and also a rich asshole, supported by rich assholes who do not care about the “economy” per se, but only about their own net worth.
- Deregulate Everything, More: What if all these regulatory agencies kind of skated a little bit over all the troublesome procedures that go into, you know, busting unions, approving monopolistic corporate mergers, allowing grotesque environmental degradation, and all the other deregulatory measures that could potentially goose corporate profits momentarily at staggering long term social cost? The worse the economy gets, the more you can expect to see U.S. cabinet agencies turn into (faster) rubber stamps for anything that corporate lobbyists might desire. As long as they can get Lou Dobbs to say it’s a good idea.
- Arms Sales Unlimited: Sure, in 2017 the U.S. sold $18 billion of weapons to Saudi Arabia, which will use them to slaughter poor people in Yemen. But now that Saudi Arabia has cut off the head of a U.S. journalist, couldn’t we sell even more arms to them, to get $$$? Yes. I bet Sisi and Duterte and Viktor Orban might like to buy some enormous bombs, too.
- Drill Baby Drill: Open the national parks to oil drilling! Open the coastlines! Open the backyards! Open everywhere! You might find a dollar down there, under a dolphin’s carcass.
- A Host of Inept and Embarrassingly Inadequate Public Handouts Done in Increasingly Desperate Fashion: If you’ve enjoyed recent episodes of “The President of the United States Being Personally Involved in Negotiating Things Like the Price of New Air Force One Planes, While the World Burns,” you’ll love the way our oafish narcissist-in-chief, lacking all economic perspective but full of unearned confidence, grows frantic as the stock market declines and begins spending endless hours publicly touting how he got some company to knock 99 cents off the price of sour cream. For America!!!!!
All of this is in the well-established tradition of the Republican party destroying the American economy just in time for Democrats to be handed the smoking rubble.