Trump’s GOP Relies on Economic Fantasy

One of the side effects of accidentally electing someone like Donald Trump, who has zero experience in government, as “president” is that he he still has to figure out a way to do the job, so he has to go with what he has. F course, since he has nothing, he is left with having to make shit up.

That’s why so much of what Trump does in his job is nonsensical fantasy. That’s why he tells the people living in coal company that he will restore their jobs, even though such a thing is impossible. Trump is happy, as long as he gets the reaction he’s looking for, which is praise from the sad folks who are watching their 19th Century industry disintegrate in front of them. Nd since Trump lies duo naturally, the effects of his lies matter not.

There is very little that Trump knows about anything he has to know. He doesn’t understand basic economics. In fact, he’s so bad at economics, it’s easy to understand why he was such a horrible businessman when he was still in the private sector. It;’s also easy to understand why he opts for fantasy when it comes to working with the U.S. economy. That doesn’t excuse him, of course, but understanding his tendency toward fantasy will be essential when it comes time to undo his nonsense.

His nonsense includes growth numbers that belie the reality that, as our gross domestic product increases, the harder it is to reproduce the GDO growth we experienced back in the 1960s. Under most circumstances, it is far more difficult to see five-percent growth when the GDP is $16 trillion than when it is $750 billion, for what should be obvious reasons. Consider what happens when you ask your employer for a raise. It’s a lot easier to expect a 5% raise when you’re making $30,000 per year than if you’re making $100,000. That’s because the former is $150, while the latter one means an increase of $5,000.

Donald Trump doesn’t see that dynamic. That was clear back when he assured us all that “trade wars are easy to win. Even after two years of massive economic damage, he still imagines that the Treasury is taking in hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs, in a way that shows a significant lack of awareness of what is actually happening. Tariffs have always been used as a last resort for getting cheating countries to stop their cheating. They are used as leverage, not as a method for recovering the money lost through cheating.

Now, one would expect that someone who knows little to nothing about their job would be able to learn some of the basics as time goes on. The problem is, learning something requires at least some intellectual curiosity, and Trump seems to be one of those few people who is completely incurious, to the point that he thinks he knows everything and doesn’t ask anyone about much of anything, since he already knows everything. We’ve all met people like this at one time or another; we’ve worked with a few of them. They come into a job or another situation and believe they are capable of figuring everything out. These kind of people are really bad hires in relatively nondescript jobs with regular companies, but in government, with American lives on the line, such a person causes lives to be lost.

If not for his narcissism, Trump would have quit a long time ago because he is completely incompetent and he knows it. We were once the “richest country in the world, and we were once the most powerful country in the world, based solely because we were so good at building our economy. However, now, we have a “president” who keeps bragging about an economy that isn’t worthy of it and he is using select statistics that would indicate a really terrible economy, but they;’re not indicative of a great one. Unemployment rate, for example, seems to be his go-to, and it is important, but it doesn’t indicate whether those who have jobs are making enough to live on. Trump also hangs a lot of his pretend economic fantasies on the state of the stock market. He seems to be under the impression that the stock market only reacts to the “president’s” enthusiasm and nothing more, even though every time the economy creates more jobs, the market actually drops.

One of the most achingly ignorant examples of Trump’s approach to economics comes with his budget proposals. They are usually way too optimistic; far more hopeful than actual economists. His latest budget, for FY 2021, does at least acknowledge the ridiculous overstatements of the past, at least to some extent. Of course, the budget them goes on to forecast greater than 3 percent growth for the next decade or so, which is probably not happening. Such a prediction is based on Trump’s need to lie about the economy because someone told him at one time that “it’s the economy, stupid,” which he didn’t understand and clearly thought the only way he could “win” again was to lead an incredible economic boom.

Trump’s latest budget is just slightly larger overall than last year’s, rising from $4.75 trillion to $4.80 trillion, but it includes massive spending on a number of Trump’s pet projects, including even more massive military spending, infrastructure spending that will never happen as long as Republicans control the Senate, the asinine border wall and an extension of the Republican tax scam. On the gargantuan cuts, however, include Medicaid and Medicare, as well as education and climate change programs.

Worse yet, the budget claims the deficit will start to fall, even if spending increases. Of course, this is based on those rosy growth projections that actual economists say are pretty much impossible. In other words, folks, Trump’s budget begins with an admission that previous projections were way off base, and follows up with even more outrageous projections and fantasies that reduce the deficit.

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