Donald Trump doesn’t reason like a typical politician and has no fiscal discipline, says David Hoppe, Paul Ryan’s former chief of staff. (“Hey, Paul Ryan, What’s Up?” by Anna Edgerton, Bloomberg Businessweek, Dec. 17, 2018, pg. 40.) Hoppe blames Trump for a looming financial crisis that is approaching $ 1 trillion, even though Ryan, House Speaker, says he’s proud of the Republican budget.
True, our growing economy does bring in more revenue at the moment. But, instead of rebuilding the infrastructure and creating jobs, Ryan and his fellow Republicans chose to give tax cuts to the wealthy. When the nation suffers a withdrawal from this sugar high, as it must, it will face a debt-driven financial crisis. At least, that’s the opinion of Marc Goldwein, senior vice president and policy director for the nonprofit, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. (Ibid, pg. 40)
Certainly, the stock market, having dropped several hundred points on the Dow, doesn’t augur well for 2019. Nonetheless, I’m a contrarian. I’ve begun sniffing around at these bargain basement prices. Here are a few reasons why I’m optimistic.
First, what’s most giving market jitters seems to be Trump’s trade war with China. Happily, talks are scheduled for this month and I’m betting neither country wants the dispute to go further. As a gesture of good faith, China has already resumed purchasing our soy beans. (“This Bear Might Be a Bull,” by Simon Kennedy and Enda Curran, Bloombergbusinessweek, Dec. 24, 2018, pg. 37.) Second, oil is cheap. That’s like a tax rebate to consumers each time they put gas in their cars, not to mention that retailers, having no fear of rising energy costs, can keep their prices stable. Three, the cost of borrowing money remains low. Home buyers can afford home mortgages and, if they wish to expand, small businesses needn’t worry about high interest loans. Four, U. S. unemployment remains low, as it does worldwide — about 5 percent, which is the lowest since 1980.” (Ibid pg. 37).
Donald Trump may be the most erratic president this country has ever endured, but our people are imbued with a work ethic, ambition and ingenuity. I’m backing them.