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Postmortem - Trump as a Failed President


Trump's Grade  

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When Trump leaves office on Jan 20th, there will be a review of his administration, a grading of it.  History will judge its highs and lows. 

 

I contend, that regardless of any successes history may give the administration, overall it will be judged as one, if not the worst administrations of all time.

James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson  MAY be judged as worse.  But it depends how this all ends 

https://www.usnews.com/news/special-reports/the-worst-presidents/slideshows/the-10-worst-presidents?slide=10

 

 

Trump's failure is obvious on several fronts:

He will go down as a president who inspired an insurrection and who may yet got to jail for it.

Covid response Management

Civil Rights / culture issues

Immigration

Trade

 

Here are a couple of examples:

1.  Trump started the trade war with China and said it would be 'easy to win'   -  China played him like a fiddle :violin

 https://financialpost.com/news/economy/how-china-won-trumps-trade-war-and-got-americans-to-foot-the-bill?r

 

2.  He said he'd get Mexico to pay for the boarder wall.  Which it hasn't as we all know. But also

the boarder is now less secure as noted by this article. 

 

https://news.yahoo.com/trumps-border-wall-construction-created-092218877.html

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Powerful article.   I wanted to quote the last few paragraphs      

This will go down as one of the most colossal failures of anyone ever sitting in the White House for four years.   We haven't even begun to discover the perfidy that went on under trump. It'

7 minutes ago, commando said:

his insurrection isn't over yet.  

I know,   - I anticipate it to get worse and graded him as such

I debate whether he will be worse than Buchanan - depending on what happens the next 8 days.

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Trump's legacy:   Debt.      But why should we be surprised. That was how he ran his businesses.  He loved debt - using other people's money - putting it at risk.  Highly leveraged,  Several Chapter 11:  made suppliers and bankers pay for his excesses and mismanagement

 

www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/trump-e2-80-99s-most-enduring-legacy-could-be-the-historic-rise-in-the-national-debt/ar-BB1cKpKE?ocid=uxbndlbing#image=3

 

 

Quote

 

One of President Donald Trump’s lesser known but profoundly damaging legacies will be the explosive rise in the national debt that occurred on his watch.

The financial burden that he’s inflicted on our government will wreak havoc for decades, saddling our kids and grandkids with debt.

Trump will have the worst jobs record in modern U.S. history. It’s not just the pandemic.

The national debt has risen by almost $7.8 trillion during Trump’s time in office. That’s nearly twice as much as what Americans owe on student loans, car loans, credit cards and every other type of debt other than mortgages, combined, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It amounts to about $23,500 in new federal debt for every person in the country.

The growth in the annual deficit under Trump ranks as the third-biggest increase, relative to the size of the economy, of any U.S. presidential administration, according to a calculation by Eugene Steuerle, co-founder of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. And unlike George W. Bush and Abraham Lincoln, who oversaw the larger relative increases in deficits, Trump did not launch two foreign conflicts or have to pay for a civil war.

timeline

Economists agree that we needed massive deficit spending during the covid-19 crisis to ward off an economic cataclysm, but federal finances under Trump had become dire before the pandemic. That happened even though the economy was booming and unemployment was at historically low levels. By the Trump administration’s own description, the pre-pandemic national debt level was already a “crisis” and a “grave threat.”

The combination of Trump’s 2017 tax cut and the lack of any serious spending restraint helped both the deficit and the debt soar. So when the once-in-a-lifetime viral disaster slammed our country and we threw more than $3 trillion into covid-related stimulus, there was no longer any margin for error.

Our national debt has reached immense levels relative to our economy, nearly as high as it was at the end of World War II. But unlike 75 years ago, the massive financial overhang from Medicare and Social Security will make it dramatically more difficult to dig ourselves out of the debt ditch.

Falling deeper into the red is the opposite of what Trump, the self-styled “King of Debt,” said would happen if he became president. In a March 31, 2016, interview with Bob Woodward and Robert Costa of The Washington Post, Trump said he could pay down the national debt, then about $19 trillion, “over a period of eight years” by renegotiating trade deals and spurring economic growth.

After he took office, Trump predicted that economic growth created by the 2017 tax cut,

combined with the proceeds from the tariffs he imposed on a wide range of goods from numerous countries, would help eliminate the budget deficit and let the United States begin to pay down its debt. On July 27, 2018, he told Fox News’s Sean Hannity, “We have $21 trillion in debt. When [the 2017 tax cut] really kicks in, we’ll start paying off that debt like it’s water.”

Nine days later, he tweeted, “Because of Tariffs we will be able to start paying down large amounts of the $21 trillion in debt that has been accumulated, much by the Obama Administration.”

The craziest, creepiest year for financial markets I’ve seen in half a century

That’s not how it played out. When Trump took office in January 2017, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office was projecting that federal budget deficits would be 2 percent to 3 percent of our gross domestic product during Trump’s term. Instead, the deficit reached 3.8 percent of GDP in 2018 and 4.6 percent in 2019. 

There were multiple culprits. Trump’s tax cuts, especially the sharp reduction in the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent, took a big bite out of federal revenue. The CBO estimated in 2018 that the tax cut would increase deficits by about $1.9 trillion over 11 years.

Meanwhile, Trump’s claim that increased revenue from the tariffs would help eliminate (or at least reduce) our national debt hasn’t panned out. In 2018, Trump’s administration began hiking tariffs on aluminum, steel and many other products, launching what became a global trade war with China, the European Union and other countries.

he tariffs did bring in additional revenue. In fiscal 2019, they netted about $71 billion, up about $36 billion from President Barack Obama’s last year in office. But although $36 billion is a lot of money, it’s less than 1/750th of the national debt. That $36 billion could have covered a bit more than three weeks of interest on the national debt — that is, had Trump not unilaterally decided to send a chunk of the tariff revenue to farmers affected by his trade wars. Businesses that struggled as a result of the tariffs also paid fewer taxes, offsetting some of the increased tariff revenue.

By early 2019, the national debt had climbed to $22 trillion. Trump’s budget proposal for 2020 called it a “grave threat to our economic and societal prosperity” and asserted the United States was experiencing a “national debt crisis.” However, that same budget proposal included substantial growth in the national debt.

By the end of 2019, the debt had risen to $23.2 trillion and more federal officials were sounding the alarm. “Not since World War II has the country seen deficits during times of low unemployment that are as large as those that we project — nor, in the past century, has it experienced large deficits for as long as we project,” Phillip Swagel, director of the CBO, said in January 2020.

Trump had the third-biggest primary deficit growth, 5.2 percent of GDP, behind only George W. Bush (11.7 percent) and Abraham Lincoln (9.4 percent). Bush, of course, not only passed a big tax cut, as Trump has, but also launched two wars, which greatly inflated the defense budget. Lincoln had to pay for the Civil War. By contrast, Trump’s wars have been almost entirely of the political variety.

Our national debt is now at its highest level relative to our economy since the end of World War II. After the war ended, the extraordinary military expenses disappeared, a postwar recovery began and the debt began to fall rapidly relative to the size of the economy.

But that’s not going to happen this time. When World War II ended 75 years ago, Social Security was in its infancy and Medicare didn’t exist. Today, many of our biggest and most rapidly growing expenses, especially Social Security and Medicare, are baked into the budget because of our nation’s aging population. These outlays are slated to rise sharply. Steuerle recently calculated that Social Security, health-care and interest costs are projected to absorb 122 percent of the total growth in federal revenue from 2019 to 2030.

‘I support higher taxes’: The billionaire behind the National Debt Clock has had it with Trump

What’s more, our investment in the future — things like research and development, education, infrastructure and workforce training — is declining as a proportion of the budget. OMB data shows that in 1970, mandatory spending (such as Social Security and Medicare, but not including interest on the debt) and investment each made up around 30 percent of total federal spending. But as of 2019, the most recent available year, mandatory spending had doubled to around 61 percent of total federal spending, while investment fell by more than half, to around 12.5 percent.

 

chart, line chart


 

chart, line chart

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This will go down as one of the most colossal failures of anyone ever sitting in the White House for four years.

 

We haven't even begun to discover the perfidy that went on under trump. It's why he's fighting like hell to prevent Biden from taking over. He's terrified of the prosecutions when they find out what he's been doing.

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11 minutes ago, knapplc said:

This will go down as one of the most colossal failures of anyone ever sitting in the White House for four years.

 

We haven't even begun to discover the perfidy that went on under trump. It's why he's fighting like hell to prevent Biden from taking over. He's terrified of the prosecutions when they find out what he's been doing.

 

Not disagreement, but legit question. What would change regarding what they can find out before vs after the transition? Most of what Trump has been involved in is already known or at least speculated? 

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21 hours ago, DevoHusker said:

 

Not disagreement, but legit question. What would change regarding what they can find out before vs after the transition? Most of what Trump has been involved in is already known or at least speculated? 

Maybe.

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Not to be out done by her husband.  Melania has the worse popularity rating of any first lady in history.  The Trumps and the country would have been far better of if Trump had not come down that escalator June 2015.

 

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/19/politics/melania-trump-analysis/index.html

 

 

Quote

 

Much has been written about President Donald Trump's historically low popularity ratings as he leaves office. But the tarnish on the Trump brand goes beyond the President.

Melania Trump leaves the White House with the worst popularity rating for any first lady at the end of her term in polling history.
The latest CNN/SSRS poll had Trump's favorable rating at 42% to a 47% unfavorable rating. The 47% is the highest unfavorable rating we ever recorded for Trump. It's also amazingly high from a historical perspective.
Traditionally, first ladies are nearly uniformly admired. The position is unelected and normally uncontroversial. It's hard to be unpopular.

 

 
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