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PROMISES MADE AND UNKEPT (SO FAR)

November 14, 2016

PROMISES MADE AND UNKEPT (SO FAR)

Trump made a huge number of far-out promises to America in order to obtain their vote, promises which for the most part could not be kept because of his lack of constitutional authority to do so as well as those which could not pass congressional muster irrespective of party, or if they did, would fail at the Supreme Court level if tested. He at best misrepresented his planned changes through ignorance and at worst lying.

He was going to ban all Muslims from entering the country. Now he has modified that to some sort of proposed policy which merely calls for stronger vetting for those Muslims who come from countries who are currently having wars and other forms of unrest. Such blanket statements did not help us in our attempts to include the aid of Muslim countries in such hot spots as Yemen and Syria. Thanks, Donald!

He was going to clean out Washington by “draining the swamp” that has festered there irrespective of party. The establishment had to go. Now he has named the Republican national chairman as his chief of staff, an establishment figure if ever there was one. He clearly is adding to the swamp rather than draining it. Other establishment figures will soon be named as the swamp refills. The old saw that “action is stronger than words” establishes that he lied to voters for political advantage and knew from day one that he would need the help of the “establishment” in running the government. Some swamp drainer, he!

He has also said, variously, that he is opposed to a raise in the minimum wage and that he favors a raise in the minimum wage, so take your pick. Wage inequality in my view is our biggest single domestic issue since  millions are now working full time and do not have enough to live on, and that is of course a first consideration. Another consideration is that, say, a fifty percent increase in wage scales generally would have on demand in our now underperforming economy. If Trump refuses to increase the minimum wage to a living wage, then in view of price inflation the economy will continue to teeter at the edge of perpetual recession and millions of working Americans will teeter on the edge of bankruptcy, and why?

Here’s why. Economic growth does not depend on Wall Street, corporations, the likes of Trump, or the usual claims of the business media; it depends solely upon aggregate demand, without which there can be no growth, and aggregate demand in turn depends upon consumers having the wherewithal to buy goods and services in increasing quantities, so ipso facto, more money in the hands of consumers equals opportunities for economic growth and less money in their hands equals less opportunities for economic growth and greater likelihood of recession. Economics 101 (a).

Trump has rightly said that he is for investing large sums of money for the repair and renewal of our infrastructure (roads, airports, bridges, seaports, public buildings etc.), but don’t hold your breath. He knew when he made such promises on the stump that the deficit hawks with their worship of austerity economics in the Congress would demand that he make other cuts in the budget in order to afford such enormous infrastructure appropriations and that that would afford Republicans the opportunity to make cuts in and/or privatization of social security, Medicare and other such so-called entitlement programs in order to fix our roads and bridges. It’s a cover, and one to be rejected.

Trump has a tax plan which will increase our deficit by the trillions (per tax experts) which will greatly reduce the taxes of the rich and corporate class while throwing chump change at the rest of us. This is a recipe for disaster and one Republican deficit hawks should reject if they are true to their austerity roots on budget deficits and long term debt, but they may well approve it in some scaled-down fashion in order to appease Trump and pay their Wall Street benefactors for the latter’s largesse in helping win elections. Either way the debt increases, appropriations for infrastructure repair and renewal will be stalled or at best reduced, and aggregate demand will tread water and or wane further as we either slip into recession or are at its edge in every quarterly report.

People who voted for this guy who will tear up the trade treaties and drain the swamp are in for a brutal awakening. He can and will do neither, and though he may get some face-saving help in renegotiating the trade pacts, any such changes will be likely to be minor and not structural in nature, though we can expect his PR people to ballyhoo otherwise. Expect the Rust Belt to get rustier as the Dow reaches new highs (as it already has in anticipation of the coronation of the tax-cutting emperor soon to be enthroned).

I could comment here on many other stump promises he has made and how he is disregarding them even before he is inaugurated, and there will be many more he will be making on the issues of the day which are at odds with those he promised on the stump. I will keep my eyes open for such before and after contrasts and report accordingly.

Meanwhile, I think he should appoint Chris Christie as Secretary of Transportation as he is an expert on bridges, and that friendly and diplomatic Newt Gingrich for Secretary of State? Check.     GERALD      E

 

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