It’s the economy, stupid! Bill Clinton
You know, sometimes you just have to give the devil his due. And Donald Trump has a better line of bullshit than a ’70’s pot dealer. Every president likes to take credit for a good economy, but Trump has taken it to the level that he’s now practically taking credit for creating freakin’ money! The difference is that most other presidents knew well enough to temper their credit, because what goes up, goes down.
Trump’s particular gift is bullshitting people into forgetting that there are actually two economies out there, one for companies and rich shitpokes, and another one for the rest of us slobs. Yes, the stock market is up, consumer confidence is high, and unemployment is low, all of which give people like Shelly Adelson and Mitt Romney nocturnal emissions. But wages are still largely stagnant, people are working too many jobs to survive, and nobody is feeling the love from his vaunted tax cuts. And yet, Trump somehow or other manages to convince people living in houses with trucks on cinder blocks in the front yard that they’re better off because he’s playing fiduciary chicken with China.
Which brings us to His Lowness’ latest financial brain fart. Trump is threatening to slap a punitive 10% tariff on all remaining Chinese imported goods starting on September 1st, apparently because the Chinese are not folding-spindling or mutilating to his satisfaction. If Trump follows through on this threat, he’s going to be sending Larry Kudlow out of the White House on another stretcher before too long. Because taking any such action will take away the one thing that Trump, and by extension the rest of the GOP, have to run on. The economy.
Here’s what I’m talking about. Right now, the punitive tariffs are scheduled to take effect on September 1st. But most economists agree that there is anywhere from a 6-12 week lag from the time tariffs are imposed, and when they have a practical effect on consumers. This is because most companies, especially retailers, tend to carry a certain amount of “stick,” to replenish shelves. And existing stock, as well as anything that had shipped from Chinese ports before September 1st are exempt from the tariffs.
So, what happens in 6-12 weeks from September 1st, especially in the 8-12 week range? You guessed it. The holiday shopping season, the make-or-break time of the yer for almost every retailer in America. And what do they get to unveil? New, higher prices! On almost everything. Am I the only one here who thinks that if people go Christmas shopping only to find the items they want are 10% higher than they were a month ago, they may to decide to spend a little bit less, just in case inflation is setting in? And if retailers report weaker, quite possibly much weaker holiday spending than previously expected, you think that might signal a drag on consumer spending, and make people hold back even more? It’s a self repeating, vicious cycle, and Trump will start it.
And it doesn’t just stop with the holiday season, because Trump’s new round of tariffs are expected to affect pretty much everything that China exports that isn’t already under tariff. And guess what? Isn’t it funny that 70% of the shoes sold in America, regardless of brand, are made in China? Pop Quiz! Which do you buy more often, a pair of shoes, or a new 50′” flat screen TV? Yeah, I thought so, especially if you have young kids. And it isn’t just shoes. Clothes, a new food processor, garden tools, furniture, you name it. Everything 10% higher, and all thanks to the economic brilliance of Emperor Numbus Nuttus.
Many economists have been predicting at least an economic slowdown, if not a gentle recession in the next 12-24 months. This is already the longest recovery on record, and nothing lasts forever, not even prosperity, no matter what politicians tell you. but that was planned to occur due to normal circumstances, and economists and the Fed could sound the alarm, and take steps to soften the blow as much as possible. But if this happens, it is going to be a totally self induced problem, and it will leave economists little time to react Kind of like having the tornado siren go off when it’s on the net block. And if that happens, you’re going to see Republicans heading for the exits before the primaries like the band just stopped playing on the Titanic. Keep up the good work Mr. President!