Trump, The President, Isn’t Such A Great Businessman

‘The One Thing He Brought to the Job as an Advantage Is Unraveling’

.. the president is choosing older manufacturing and mining goals instead of preparing for a future where the U.S. needs to compete in the arenas of AI, artificial intelligence, and non-fossil fuel energy sources.

.. This president is impulsive, has no specific agenda and tends to go back to moves that serve his most loyal base by acting first and then perhaps later actually making a big tack work as policy. These characteristics are reflected in wildly cowboy-like actions to expand tariffs on Chinese imports by another $100 billion.

.. That these Trump-style, disruptive actions may lead to unintended results in the stock market, among American farmers and manufacturers who depend on imported steel and aluminum and for consumer prices, well, that strikes me as something of a different order. If Mr. Art of the Deal is as much a savvy businessman as he thinks he is, he ought to be able to predict what happens when he fiddles with the levers of the U.S. economy.

.. So, my first gripe of the day is: Making unilateral policy when you don’t know where the actions will lead.

My second gripe of the day is: Where are the Republican congressional leaders? The silence, once again, speaks volumes. Where is the oversight over all this?

.. this president refuses to heed economic learning just as he rejects science in general. And he refuses to listen to advisers who simply are unable to persuade him of the likely outcomes of actions.

.. Why does Trump believe that faced with higher consumer prices on all sides, in China, America, Europe and the rest of Asia, that China will reform its ways? What they do in Beijing has been working pretty well for them. But even more, why does Trump believe suddenly that China will limit its responses to trade issues alone, that it will not reach into a more complete diplomatic, financial and strategically military response as well?

.. he has failed to share his income taxes because he wants to keep some aspect of the tax returns extremely private either because the returns show he has cheated or that he is not worth what he says he is. I realize that Trump’s negotiating style is just as much at issue as the policy he seeks to win.

.. Data show that, as this column predicted, companies are choosing to spend more money on

  • debt retirement,
  • stock buybacks and
  • technology investments

than on job creation.

.. The very fact that the White House has been given the assignment to calm nerves should say a lot about how reckless the tariff approach is proving to be.