My column today is on the Donald and already I’m getting some blowback from his fans. Which gives me the opportunity to keep piling on.
One of the things you hear most in favor of Donald Trump is that he’s a straight talker, that he’s bravely saying the things that others won’t say. For those who want to take a tougher and more protectionist line with China, that’s a major selling point for Trump.
The real estate mogul, who’s mulling a run at the presidency next year, said it’s not those domestic policies — but the actions of foreign entities like China and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) — that are at the root of America’s fiscal woes.
“You know how you do it? By stopping what’s going on in the world,” Trump told MSNBC on Monday, describing his deficit-reduction strategy. “The world is just destroying our country. These other countries are sapping our strength. OPEC is sapping our strength. We can’t pay $108-a-barrel oil. It’s sapping our country.”
I like that Trump is pointing out that economic growth and lower oil prices are essential. But the idea that everything that’s wrong with America and her economy right now can be fixed by putting Donald Trump in a room with the Chinese and OPEC is flat-out nuts. So if we stick it to OPEC, seize the Libyan and Iraqi oil fields, and get into a massive trade (and bond) war with the Chinese all of our problems will be solved? Really? Trump’s fans need to ask some “What happens next?” questions when they hear this bunk.
Meanwhile, there’s the domestic economy. Even if we launch that trade war and start another couple wars in the Middle East, we’ll still have Obamacare and a skyrocketing deficit. But Trump’s approach is to blame everything on foreigners and leave entitlements alone. “I’m very concerned about doing anything that’s going to tinker too much with Medicare. I protect the senior citizens,” Trump said. “I think Paul Ryan is too far out front with this issue.”
Rich wrote last night that “even Trump” is cautious on Medicare. That makes it sound like Trump’s reluctance to touch the subject is inconsistent with his truth-telling. It would be if Trump was a truth-teller. He’s not. He’s a b.s. artist.