Wondering About Trump

It’s a cloudy crystal ball day but nonetheless I wanted to look at a few thoughts that had passed through my head the last few days. Let’s explore.

The other day I wrote about how astounding it was that big business has seemingly turned its back on Donald Trump. He is far from a text book Republican, but he is still a Republican. Regardless of political pedigree Trump appears to want to enact a big business friendly agenda. By virtue of controlling the executive branch he has been able to redirect the “corporate cops”; not that America does much of a job of punishing transgressing large corporations anyway. The only legislative successes of significance that the Republicans have been able to achieve since they completely took over Washington in January are the repeal or prevention of institution of some late in the administration Obama era regulations.

Trump’s agenda included an infrastructure package that many big businesses theoretically could have profited from as well as a tax reform package that included a huge corporate tax break. With Trump’s lack of understanding of Washington and dropping popularity both seem to be in jeopardy.

Trump’s multiple attempts to repeal Obamacare were all just charades whose true objective was a tax break for the wealthy. The primary owners of major corporations are not the widows and orphans of right wing mythology. What we really learned from the failure of the various iterations of Trumpcare is that the President has no idea of how Washington works and that he thought the members of Congress were his employees. That didn’t work out well for him!

Trump’s rhetoric sounded good to big business but he has failed to produce and his prospects for the future are not looking very promising. That is one reason major corporate CEOs now feel they can disassociate themselves from the President without harming their corporation. Trump is increasingly being perceived as irrelevant.

The biggest reason I feel we had the mass resignations is that the CEOs feared a consumer backlash if they continued to be seen as supporting Trump. It is very much a case of rats leaving the ship as they feel it is about to sink. They did the right thing; but not necessarily for the right reason. Their motivation was to defend their sales, not American values.

2018 Congressional Republican candidates and incumbents are in a tough spot politically. Trump may be popular in their district but the great unknown is whether his voters will show up in the mid-term election. The GOP super voters will; they always do. They are not enough to win in closer districts and/or if the Democrats have a better than normal mid-term turnout. The GOP candidates need the boost from the additional Trump base voters in a close race. Trump’s numbers are moving south and Republicans running in 2018 are soon going to have to make a decision whether to run with him or not. This will both be interesting and fodder for future articles.

Trump is profiting from being in office at many of his locations. None is more interesting than his Pennsylvania Avenue hotel blocks from the White House. It may be as late as January of 2025, but someday he will be out of office and there will be significantly less “benefit” for people to frequent the hotel which is rented from the federal government. We are his landlord and he is making a fortune. I wonder if when he is out of office and revenue takes a nosedive he will just declare bankruptcy and slither out of town. It would fit with past behavior. We’ll see; and I hope sooner as opposed to later!

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