Comments And Observations

It’s Sunday morning July 1 as I write this. I decided to get a bit more than normal ahead of the game to give myself some flexibility for family time this week. I had planned on doing an endorsement article for today, but there were simply too many observations I felt I needed to share with my readers. Let’s explore.

Presidential Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow took to the air waves recently to tout the economy. He stated that the deficit was coming down rapidly and that tax revenue was pouring in as a result of the Trump Tower Tax Cut (he didn’t call it that). There is one major problem with Mr. Kudlow’s statement – it is false. Beyond being false what is even more concerning is that it well may illustrate the Trump administration’s strategy for handling the economy. It seem the strategy is do what is good for Trump and his inner circle and if it doesn’t work just lie about it. Note that Kudlow made his comments on Fox which at this point is little better than the propaganda arm of the Trump administration.

Trump proclaimed that trade wars are good and easy to win. Assuming the American President is working for America – admittedly a bold and at least somewhat foolish assumption in this administration – the early results are far from good. Farmers (many of whom were Trump voters in 2016) have been the first to feel the pinch with their commodity prices falling due to foreign markets being hurt. Now Trump’s ignorance of the supply chain in manufacturing is causing firms (i.e. Harley Davidson and GM) to consider moving some manufacturing overseas. These “American” products use parts manufactured in foreign plants. They import them in the assembly stage and they will now (or shortly will) be subject to tariffs which raise their cost. Therefore the final product costs more to manufacture necessitating either accepting a smaller profit per unit or increasing the retail price which will adversely affect sales and raise the cost to the consumer including American consumers.

One of the first tariff targets was steel. The two examples I cited use steel in their products. The tariffs raised the price of steel used by American firms which raised the cost of manufacturing for companies like Harley Davidson and GM. So if an American buys that Harley or Chevy truck they have been dreaming about they better be prepared to pay more thank to the economic genius in the Oval Office.

There is a huge difference between making some real estate deal and international trade. Trump seems to be falling back on one of his familiar real estate strategies: when all else fails simply lie. In his desperation to give the Republicans something to run on in November Trump is actually calling for a second round of tax cuts featuring another lowing of the corporate tax rate. It doesn’t appear that he is learning and thinks lying to the people will work.

The activism and outrage about the way the Trump administration is handling the crisis their incompetence created at the southern border is good. To me it is one of the lessons we learned from Dr. King: demonstrations bring attention to a problem. One aspect of it disturbs me and is ill advised – the demand to shut down ICE. It is at best a poor choice of verbiage. It reminds me of the Fair Tax people who demand closing the IRS. America needs both the IRS and ICE. We need an organization that collects taxes and enforces the tax code. Even under the Fair Tax plan there is still be a need for an organization that performed the function of the IRS. You can call it whatever you like but it is essentially the same organization.

ICE needs reform and refocus. Its original main mission was to fight terrorist infiltration and that is still needed. We can call it something else but it is not prudent to eliminate it. Democratic candidates and office holders need to modify their verbiage.

It’s a good thing that Alaska is a red state. After reading that sentence you have to be thinking what the hell is Larry saying! There will be a Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki on July 16th. Considering how Trump gave the store away and received nothing in return in Singapore would it be that far-fetched to think he’d give Alaska back to the Russians as a gesture of good faith?

If I had the talent to draw editorial cartoons I’d do one of Trump depicted as an overweight poodle with Putin holding the leash. Trump owed Kim nothing and got his behind handed to him. Trump’s own repeated actions lend believability to the theory that Trump owes Putin and/or that Putin has compromising information on Trump.

The biggest winner during the Trump presidency appears to be James Buchanan. For decades Buchanan was considered to be the worst president in American history.

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