Trump Doesn’t Understand What Money Is

Trump Doesn’t Understand What Money Is


Leonard Zwelling

In a truly tasteless and tactless ploy to retain the support of his Midwest farming Trumpees, Donald Trump will use a fund that was established 85 years ago to protect farmers from natural disasters to offset the effect of the disaster that his tariff war is for American agriculture. He is pledging $12 billion in direct payments to help the farmers withstand the effects of his tariffs which have driven down the prices of soybeans and the like. Great! That’s just what the farmers want. A handout. Not!

This all stems from the fact that Mr. Trump sees the negative trade balance that America has with much of the rest of the world as a negative. We import more than we export and send our dollars overseas to other countries. That means they are importing our dollars and what’s wrong with that?

Mr. Trump just doesn’t understand that currency is a commodity as well. It is worth exactly what wheat is. That is, it is worth what someone else is willing to pay for it in goods, services or bhats.

For a guy who claims to be a great deal maker and a world-class businessman (although there is slim evidence of that), he just doesn’t understand trade.

If, as he claims, America is getting a raw deal in that we are paying too many dollars for foreign goods or other countries are not paying enough for ours, that ought to be the focus of the problem and solution. That would engender trade talks and MORE not FEWER agreements like NAFTA and TTP. That Trump wants a series of bilateral trade deals, in which America “wins” shows that he really doesn’t understand how to negotiate or complete a deal. This seems to be the case given his spotty track record in Atlantic City and the fact that he probably had to go to Russia to find anyone who would lend him money to continue his real estate empire.

When the dust all settles on this mess of a presidency, whether that is 2024, 2020 or next week, what we are likely to find is that the greatest showman since PT Barnum duped enough of the country into thinking he was the answer to their pain when in fact, all he will do is put off the inevitable of greater immigration, the browning of the population, greater tolerance for differences that don’t really matter, and the need to live in a globalized world where everyone has a computer in his pocket and national borders are overrated when it comes to trade and population movement.

Donald, welcome to 2018. It’s not 1918 any more.

The United States is part of a global world with global problems that will require global solutions. The NATO Alliance is a good thing. So is the G7. Russia is our enemy and Great Britain, our friend. Acting in the reverse is not going to bring the world peace, stability or freedom.

In some ways democracy is on the run in Russia, Hungary, Poland and The Philippines. It cannot be on the run in America. That Mr. Trump wants to shut down the security clearance of former officials of the federal government is laughable. He still hasn’t figured out that his role models are supposed to be Washington and Lincoln, not Putin and Hitler. He cannot and will not control the press with his cries of “fake news.” He’s the fake news and his presidency will be looked upon as an aberrancy in the future.

What I hope to live to see is history’s judgment about the GOP Senators and members of Trump’s administration who should have pushed back on his lunacy or quit in protest. When will the GOP leadership in Congress stop being lap dogs for Trump? When will a man like Dan Coates say enough is enough? That the president should invite Putin to the White House without Coates knowing as Director of National Intelligence is simply unacceptable. At what point does the support Mr. Trump wields in the American heartland wither, as it should, because those are the very people his policies are hurting?

Trump doesn’t get money, or trade or economics or any intellectually rigorous challenge that comes his way. That’s because he is mainly a game show host with a better plane and worse hair. Let’s hope Mueller can give us the truth—soon.

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