Most Progressives took Donald Trump lightly. They thought he was a joke. They did not believe that a man with his baggage could win the presidency.They forgot the Ronald Reagan lesson. And Donald Trump could be the next Ronald Reagan. Do not laugh or believe I have lost it. Remember, Donald Trump won the presidency. He is your president.
Before getting into the economics, remember one of Ronald Reagan's first stops during his campaign? It was Philadelphia, Mississippi, 'a town associated with the 1964 murders of civil rights workers) was evidence of racial bias.' And what did he say?
"I still believe the answer to any problem lies with the people. I believe in states' rights. I believe in people doing as much as they can for themselves at the community level and at the private level, and I believe we've distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended in the Constitution to that federal establishment."
He went on to promise to "restore to states and local governments the power that properly belongs to them." The use of the phrase was seen by some as a tacit appeal to Southern white voters and a continuation of Richard Nixon's Southern strategy, while others argued it merely reflected his libertarian economic beliefs.
In similar style if not a similar venue, Donald Trump started his campaign with racist notions. Both of these men understood that to win they needed to get to one's reptilian brain. Neither wanted Americans to think logically. Once they removed you from logical thinking, you would buy anything. Remember voodoo economics? Most Americans bought it. George Herbert Walker Bush acquiesced. I broke this down in my book "Class Warfare: The Only Resort To Right Wing Doom, " and it's sad to believe we may be reliving history.
Many believe Donald Trump will be a bad president both internationally and economically. It is likely an unfounded fear especially given the people he is placing in his cabinet and inner circle. Donald Trump is a Republican president. A Republican politician today is a politician where everything is fungible including facts, values, and reality.
Forget about deficits. That only matters when Democrats are in power. Forget about sending. It only matters when Democrats spend. Forget about the debt ceiling. It applies if it is a Democratic president borrowing to keep the country solvent. Republicans always knew that deficits do not matter using our traditional economics measures. Dick Cheney even had the gall to articulate it.
An economy is not divine. It is man made. Forget about the omnipotence of the market. The human-made market was designed to maintain a gradation of power between the capitalists and everyone else. Our indoctrination ensures that we follow certain economic rules that always guarantee it always benefits a select few. If this were not the case, we would have more balance economies based on economic concepts like Modern Monetary Theory which I discussed with DailyKos' Arliss Bunny. I first met her at Netroots Nation 2016.
So why could Donald Trump be the next Ronald Reagan? Since facts, reality, and values are fungible, he will do what is necessary to support most of his voting factions. And 'The Donald' started it before even sitting in the White House. He is creating a false reality of keeping jobs in the United States as he coopted Ford and Carrier into fictionalizing a reality of maintaining employment in the U.S. where the news cameras can see. Low information Americans won't soon forget that and will give him the chance to produce, even if it takes some time, going forward. After all, the news media made these a Trump campaign promise fulfilled.
Trump's infrastructure plan will create a temporary reality of new jobs but will create another wealth transfer engine from the masses to wealthy private investors. In the end, American's get either toll roads or structures with no funding for maintenance. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP),
In sum, Mr. Trump’s infrastructure proposal is a short-term approach to a long-term problem. It would fail to fund many important infrastructure investments and would needlessly subsidize private investors for at least some projects that would have been undertaken even in the absence of this program. While expanded investments in infrastructure are clearly needed, this proposal is a deeply flawed approach to realizing that goal.
Trump's overturning of Dodd-Frank will likely cause a massive rise in the stock market. Just the possibility of it happening is visible in the stock exchange now. Unfortunately, the world economy will suffer the same fate of Clinton's Glass-Stegall repeal.
And then there are the massive proposed tax cuts without any real accompanying spending cuts. They cloak this in their Conservative veneer. It is Keynesian Economics on steroids. Unfortunately, while it will stoke the economy temporarily for most, it is yet another transfer of wealth as the masses pay for the deficit spending occurring from the tax starvation. Of course, the wealthy will lend us the money they did not pay in taxes at a premium. So we pay them twice. Once with tax cuts. And then with interest on the loans they give us.
President Obama is giving Donald Trump a healthy economy, an economy that is underperforming because of Republican spite and intransigence. He gets a running start, unlike Ronald Reagan. But when he stokes an economy that is now on solid ground, he will look like a hero. It could last just long enough for him to get reelected. It is the economy stupid unless it isn't. It is then the jobs of progressives to smoke out the reality from the false reality. And it will not be an easy task lest progressives unite with one voice. We cannot allow him to become the con that Ronald Reagan was.