Wednesday, December 20, 2017

America in Retreat

12/20/2017—President Trump released a new national security document with his usual bluster—the US is back. But with Trump everything is bull—he is a real estate salesman after all. The same NY Times edition that notes Russian and Chinese reaction to that fairly aggressive document notes some of the ways that US decline has accelerated under President Trump.

Exhibit A is Australia, which is trying to figure out how to deal with a rising China with the US “less reliable” while Chinese power grows. But of course this was why President Obama pushed the trans Pacific partnership that Trump dropped—and the Democratic Party did nothing to defend.

Exhibit B is the irresponsible tax cut. Democrats complain that it favors the rich. But all tax cuts favor the rich—they pay more taxes. That is not the problem with the bill. The problem is cutting taxes at all with a huge and growing debt. We don’t have the money. It is not a tax cut, it is a borrowing bill aimed at my grandchildren. It only adds $1.5 trillion to the debt and that figure is only that low because the bill cynically repeals tax cuts its sponsors expect to retain. No bankrupt power is ever great. China grows because it is genuinely in the black—for now.

Exhibit C is the growth in Canada in startups because foreigners can get work permits there. Of all the stupid fears Americans have, the fear of Islamic terrorism is the strangest. We kill each other every day. Call it normal American Christian terrorism—the shooters are nominal Christians. It makes ISIS look like a day at the beach. So we give away our open economy—traditionally out biggest economic advantage.

Exhibit D is Chines leadership in fighting global warming and cleaning up the environment—while the US pushes coal. And does not even do that by funding projects like carbon capture that might both revive coal and create other jobs and advance technology.

Exhibit E is the train crash that even Trump acknowledges shows we need more money to rebuild American infrastructure. But of course we can’t do that because we just cut taxes—see supra.

What a list of failures. Sure the market is up—it was up under Obama too.

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