Oy ve iz mir, it looks like the Republican Party has selected Donald Trump as its nominee for President of the United States of America. Unbelievable, truly, but only if we can ignore the fact that we have been watching this train wreck in slow-motion for month after endless month.
There is so, so, so much material when you want to write about Donald Trump. I had some of my piece written last night, and worked on it again this morning. And what part of what I wrote are you seeing? Just the first paragraph, unchanged.
Binyamin Appelbaum’s story in the New York Times today, Donald Trump’s Idea to Cut National Debt: Get Creditors to Accept Less, caught my eye a little while ago. It’s what resulted in the trashing of 514 words. Here’s the key paragraph:
Asked whether the United States needed to pay its debts in full, or whether he could negotiate a partial repayment, Mr. Trump told the cable network CNBC, “I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal.”
Now, the headline writer may be overstating Mr. Trump’s position, but part of being a serious person, running for office, involves firing up the neurons before you open the pie-hole. (Note to DT: think before you speak!)*
That important lesson having been offered, Mr. Trump has emphasized throughout his campaign that he’s a businessman and that qualifies him to be POTUS. So the debt comments provide a perfect opportunity to demonstrate why the essence of Trump makes him uniquely unqualified to serve.
Business people and corporations borrow money. Most of the time—in fact, almost all of the time—it gets paid back, in full, on time. Sh*t happens, though, and for that we have bankruptcy. And business bankruptcies feature two key concepts: time and debt reduction. A bankruptcy filing stops creditor action for a while and business borrowers often pay back less than they owe.
Mr. Trump is very family with sh*t happens and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. He has used the system well.
Governments also borrow money. Most of the time—in fact, almost all of the time—it gets paid back, in full, on time. Sh*t happens, though, and for that certain governmental entities can use the bankruptcy courts. The United States of America is not within the class of bankruptcy-eligible entities!
Fundamentally, government-based borrowing differs from individual and corporate borrowing. The federal budget is not the family budget, writ large. And, and this is the key factor which Mr. Trump does not seemingly understand, the United States of America is the richest, strongest economic power on the face of the Earth, by far. And the proof lies, significantly, in the fact that the dollar is the currency of choice, worldwide, and the United States is the default choice for safe investing.
Can the United States of America become the weakling Mr. Trump claims it is now? Maybe someday. If someone wanted that outcome, what might he or she do? Debase the dollar by not paying the bills, in full, on time. Try it, and watch investment dollars leave the United States, by the trillions, faster than the Donald can say Lyin’ Ted. Watch the crash, and not in slow-motion!
These are very dangerous times, and we don’t need a man as seemingly stupid as Donald Trump in the White House. Too scary!
*By the way, the only right answer is: “The United States of America pays its bills, on time, in full.”