Will Mr. Trump be the Squanderer-in-Chief?

These are difficult days in the Trump administration.  Really? Difficult days in only two weeks on the job?  No Bereans were happy with Mr. Trump’s personal character, and no Bereans were happy with all of his policy prescriptions.  Yet most of us believed that Mrs. Clinton was a worse evil, and all of us thought that at least parts of his agenda could be very positive.  I have focused on the economic impact of his agenda, and while I was initially negative on his trade views, I thought they might be more difficult to implement than the things I viewed very positively about his program, i.e., the deregulation and tax reform focus.  Unfortunately, Mr. Trump’s actions threaten his entire agenda, which means we may end up with little to nothing of the positive economic agenda, and as much harm as Mr. Trump can do unilaterally on the negative agenda.

Let’s leave aside the wisdom of his executive order on immigration (in isolation), but rather think about collective wisdom of all his actions.  Mr. Trump is characterized by his allies as a disrupter of the status quo, and I think that is a fair characterization.  So Mr. Trump is now disrupting anything and anybody.  And that–if not changed–will threaten his whole agenda.  The bottom line?  If Mr. Trump does not learn quickly which battles to fight today, and which to leave until tomorrow, he will find himself embroiled in battles on all fronts. And any allies he has on one issue will be his enemies on another–and hence he will quickly find himself in a very lonely place.

Mr. Reagan was widely considered to be an effective if not great president.  Many of his supporters would argue for the latter, but almost everybody could agree to the former.  Yet he had only three big agenda items–three big rocks–and he was only able to get two of them done.  He rebuilt the American military and confronted the Soviet Union (ultimately leading to their dissolution), and he was successful and unchaining the American economy and revitalizing the American spirit.  Yet he failed to get the budget under control.  Not for lack of trying, as his budget submissions were called “scorched earth policies,” and were routinely denounced as “dead on arrival” by Democratic speaker of the house, Tip O’Neill.  There was a price to be paid for more defense spending and tax cuts, and that was higher domestic spending.  But as that old Meat Loaf song says, “Two out of three ain’t bad.”

Mr. Trump, however, is reeling off attack after attack on everything, shooting down his friends (Australia, Japan) and his enemies (Iran).  And of course he insists on making many that should be our friends our enemies (Mexico primarily, but also China to a degree), and a real enemy (Russia) he is rather nonchalant about.  Now we are hearing that Obamacare repeal may not happen, but we may get a repair.  And who knows where tax reform is?  If he doesn’t seriously focus on tax reform it will be swapping one crony system for another.    A good leader would set a few key items up as what needs to get done, and I would suggest no more than 3 initiatives in a first term.  Then relentlessly focus all attention on that agenda.   If you succeed, you’ll likely get a second term.

I have repeatedly criticized Mr. Obama, and rightfully so, on his continued hostility toward business.  But in his “America First” policies, Mr. Trump likewise turns his guns on American industry if it doesn’t fit with his view on the way markets should operate.  How is this any different from Mr. Obama?  Mr. Obama wanted to kill coal, and basically did.  Mr. Trump has just changed the business enemies and friends list.  We have one crony capitalist changed for another.   These actions will create the same kind of business uncertainty that Mr. Obama did, just for different businesses.  You could see it on the conference calls for this last week’s earnings reports.  How would company X handle the new administration policies?  Many cited uncertainty over his policies.  That kind of uncertainty will slow even his pro-growth initiatives.  If Mr. Trump can’t discipline himself, then he may find himself the Squanderer-In-Chief, and unable to get much of anything done.

There is good news for Mr. Trump, of course, in the continuing melt-down of the Democratic party in their response to him.  But just as Democrats don’t know how to deal with him, neither do businesses.  And that can’t be a good thing.

 

53 thoughts on “Will Mr. Trump be the Squanderer-in-Chief?”

  1. To answer the question posed by the title: No, I don’t think so. At least not to the extent that you seem to suggest. Not saying things have been particularly smooth, but I just don’t think things have been as difficult as you seem to make out.

    ” Yet most of us believed that Mrs. Clinton was a worse evil, and all of us thought that at least parts of his agenda could be very positive.”

    Perhaps I am trying to read too much into this, but “believed” and “thought” indicate past tense. Do you no longer believe Clinton was a worse evil or that at least parts of Trump’s agenda can be very positive?

    And do you not take into account the unconscionable behavior of Senate Democrats in regards to getting his cabinet confirmed as part of the reason things seem to be “difficult”? After all, it is the cabinet heads that drive alot of the agenda. So are not many of the positive parts of his agenda being delayed because his cabinet is being delayed?

    1. BTW

      “…will find himself embroiled in battles on all fronts. And any allies he has on one issue will be his enemies on another–and hence he will quickly find himself in a very lonely place.”

      Sounds like me at times :)

      1. But I don’t think you are deliberately throwing firebombs trying to blow everything up. So we’ll keep you for now! :-)

    2. Nathan…it has been sad watching you shift from thoughtful conservative to blind-eyed Trump advocate. Wow.

      1. Disappointed, you misunderstand. Nathan simply relies on alternative facts. I rely on a similar set of just as valid facts.

        I believe that unicorns fly around the skies and our rivers are made of gum drops.

      2. What shift? He has been setting forth Trump-like nativism for quite a while now. Which is his prerogative.

      3. Blind eyed-Trump advocate? I hardly think so. Respectfully, I have many of the same concerns that Haymond does. I have certainly not been silent about my concerns over Trump’s economic protectionism and I freely acknowledged the implementation of some of his orders (specifically, the travel bans) were badly handled.

        And Jeff, I don’t know what you define nativism as, but if I had my way, while I would insist on border security (maybe a fence rather than a wall) and strong vetting, anyone from anywhere would be welcome to come, no quotas by nationality. I don’t care who comes here as long as they respect our laws.

    3. Nathan–
      I won’t speak for the rest of the Bereans currently, but I still rejoice that Mrs. Clinton is not in power. The supreme court pick is just one reason–and there are many others. Which is all the more reason that I cringe when I think what could get done–that possibly won’t get done because of Mr. Trump’s behaviors.

  2. There is so much wrong here, and so little time.

    Obama killed coal? So simplistic.

    One major factor in the decline of coal has been the rise of natural gas. This began back in the 1990’s, long before Obama’s first term. The decreasing cost of solar has also contributed greatly. This btw is a worldwide phenomenon. If you want to blame Obama for increased environmental regulations, regulations that no doubt have saved lives and improved public health, well, shame on you for putting business over human life.

    Coal’s death is fine by me. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do with killers?

    As for social programs such as Social Security and Medicare, those programs were still running surpluses (still are). They were not funded with debt. On the other hand, the military buildup was funded largely by debt, as it is now. Mandatory spending to this day is covered without the need to go into debt, whereas discretionary spending–including military spending–is funded largely by debt.

    Why no discussion of the deficit? Tamed during Obama’s two terms, it will likely grow to monstrous proportions in the coming years. No concern about that? Considering you made such a big deal about it (way too big of a deal), your silence seems to be selective.

      1. Jeff Adams, you might want to consider commenting on a democratic blog. Your flawed opinions would be much more accepted there and somebody might agree with you on something. Although, I am almost impressed that you can make false statements sound so true. You would make a great news reporter :)

      2. Nonsense. You are the ideologue who struggles with reality. Life in a bubble unfortunately has that effect.

        Your graph is a prime example of how to lie with statistics. You are neglecting GDP. You are recklessly throwing big numbers around without any context. Perhaps that kind of three card monte is fine in your world,

        http://www.usgovernmentdebt.us/federal_deficit_percent_gdp

        See the 2009 peak, the last Bush year, and the change in recent years. Deficits have been TAMED.

        My point stands. You are the one who has a problem with the truth.

        I see you completely ignored my points about coal and about the fact that SS and Medicare (social spending) do not require debt. I assume you have no response, unless you are willing to present “alternative facts.”

  3. Jeff Haymond, this is one of the primary concerns I have with Trump. I completely agree that if he tries to take on too much at once he will get nothing done. I don’t doubt he means well, but I hope he learns his lesson in a non-catastrophic way. However, is it possible that he could manage these multiple tasks because he has little to no resistance from congress and the Supreme Court? I feel this unanimous Republican majority could play a factor that no president has had in a long time.

    1. He means well? Really?

      If he meant well, wouldn’t he have thought for a moment before lauching that disastrous raid on al-Qaeda in Yemen (a fiasco that overshadows anything that happened in Benghazi)? The Yemen raid was an American plan that had been rejected by the Obama administration and then approved by Trump despite the lack of intelligence that might have prevented all the deaths that occurred, including a Navy SEAL and several children.

      Have we heard scarcely a peep from Republicans? Pro-life indeed.

      The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

      1. Oh so now you can read people’s minds to know their intentions? If you are suggesting that Trump made a mistake, I agree. If you are suggesting that he did it purposely, you are playing God. Listen, you can go out and point fingers every time someone makes an error, but why don’t you try to be president for one day and be perfect? It is easy to criticize someone after the fact, like the Israelites, but living in the moment makes things a lot more tricky and you seem oblivious to this fact. The fact is that unlike Obama, he is fighting against terrorism and that is a net gain of lives even at the cost of some. So yes, you stated it perfectly. Pro-life indeed.

      2. Isaiah,

        Personally I don’t see any evidence that Trump means well. Given the evidence I’ve seen I think the most likely hypothesis is some kind of brain damage or mental illness that causes him to make irrational decisions.

        I don’t think anyone wants to destroy the country. At worst Trump wants to profit from this presidency, at best he wants to shape the country into his image, a noble goal that I disagree with because I fall into the majority of the country that don’t like Trump’s image he is going for.

        He’s acting just plain reckless. Diplomatically, in his executive orders, in his handling of conflicts of interest, in his cabinet picks, and yes in this one military action.

      3. Reckless behavior does not mix with good intentions. If he really meant well, he would have acted prudently. Perhaps a Navy Seal might be alive today (plus children–they count too, regardless of the actions of their fathers).

        Maybe I am just to cynical in my near-golden years, but I do not expect to see any Yemen hearings in Congress. Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! If this were Hillary’s mess, the floors of Congress would have to be mopped from all of the foam sliding down the chins of Republicans.

      4. So, I hesitated whether to say anything about this as I have not researched the backstory of the Yemen raid that extensively. But I will dispute that this is comparable to Benghazi. Anger over Benghazi, at least for me anyway, was not because it happened, but because Clinton, and others, lied about it by blaming a video for it when all the evidence pointed to a premeditated terrorist attack. It was a political ploy during an election year because Obama was campaigning on the claim that the terrorists were on the run and on a path to defeat and the brazenness of the raid went against that narrative. But I do agree the GOP went a bit too far.

        In comparison, there does not seem to be any intentional action to deceive anyone about this raid. Even the administration says they do not consider it to be 100% successful because of the deaths that occurred.

        Also, it is a lie that Obama actually vetoed it. He had simply not approved it yet and operational requirements made it so that the optimum time for launching the raid was after Jan 20th, so it was left to Trump to give final authorization.

        http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/01/politics/us-raid-yemen/index.html

        A better comparison to use is the 2014 hostage rescue operation in Yemen. That raid also resulted in a number of civilian casualties and the execution of some of the hostages. The GOP never went after Obama or anyone else over that one.

        In pure military terms the raid was not a failure. Terrorist casualties were much higher (14 killed as opposed to 1 US SEAL killed) and the operational objective of the raid was apparently accomplished. The civilian casualties were regrettable and I do not mean to trivialize that fact, just pointing out that the raid was far from a fiasco.

  4. “Jeff Adams, you might want to consider commenting on a democratic blog. Your flawed opinions would be much more accepted there and somebody might agree with you on something. Although, I am almost impressed that you can make false statements sound so true. You would make a great news reporter.”

    Your claims are baseless. Evidence of false statements made? Flawed opinions?

    Just because I don’t line up uncritically behind Hair Trump I should go to a “democratic [sic] blog”? As if this is somehow a Republican blog?!

    I have been coming here two years. You just recently showed up, and you are telling me to move someplace else?! You have some nerve.

    No, thanks.

    1. And your claims aren’t baseless? Yes evidence of false statements made, and yes flawed opinions. Am I uncritical of Trump? No. I just don’t assume the worst in every situation. Contrary to popular (no wait only your) belief, this is a Republican blog and just because someone agree with the things Trump is doing right that doesn’t mean they are against conservatives. In fact, someone who does that is more conservative then you have ever been. Two years? I’m surprised you lasted that long. I guess someone with unfounded strong opinions has to have determination. Bottom line, I’m done arguing with you if you fail to show common sense and I am merely wasting my time.

      1. Isaiah–one correction please. This is a conservative Christian blog, not a Republican blog. We are the Bereans, not the Republicans. Hopefully in many cases these positions will align. When they do not, as many of the frustrated Republican readers are aware, we will call them as we see them.

        Also, please do not disinvite Mr. Adams. His view on the facts can border on unreality, and on this particular issue (deficits) he and I have a history on the blog of significant disagreement. Yet he is certainly correct that we are all prone to confirmation bias. But he is welcome to stay as long as he is reasonably civil, which he is.

      2. “Two years? I’m surprised you lasted that long. I guess someone with unfounded strong opinions has to have determination.”

        Now wait just a minute. I feel a bit insulted here. I have been here longer than Jeff has. Where is the surprise I have lasted as long as I have, LOL. :)

        If this blog can stomach me for as long as it has, it can stomach Jeff too.

    2. Jeff, were you making a joke about Trump’s hair style by saying “Hair Trump” rather than “Her Trump”? If so, congratulations. You have a sense of humor after all :)

      1. Yes, I was. I have injected humor or at least tried to inject humor frequently here. But you have to watch for it. :-)

  5. Dr. Haymond,

    You might be right that Trump is trying to do too many things at once. We shall see what happens. I continue to remain cautiously optimistic that he can do some good and that the good will outweigh the bad.

  6. I’m conflicted. I seriously want good things to happen, but I am worried about the potential for abuse that Trump represents, especially with (ostensibly) the other sectors of government well stocked with people who should side with him. I hate gridlock, but I also hate bullies, and I’d rather see the GOP emerge on the other side of this administration with its values intact than molded into Trump’s image. If there is an upside to Trump’s relentless burning of bridges, it may be in getting enough of an opposition to force him to slow down. Honestly, as big as his ideas are, some brakes on the train might be a very good thing.

    Also, since I can’t pretend I haven’t noticed the discussion above me, I want to make it clear to all the Bereans, contributors and commentators alike, that I appreciate their thoughts and am glad to have such an open environment to reason together. I’m always happy to find a place where we are all united by something much larger than our politics. Thanks.

  7. Jeff said “Also, please do not disinvite Mr. Adams. His view on the facts can border on unreality, and on this particular issue (deficits) he and I have a history on the blog of significant disagreement.”

    I do not think it is unrealistic to see deficits in proper context. One can easily throw out big numbers as a scare tactic, but deficits mean nothing without information regarding what our country produces. We are in no danger at the moment of not being able to pay back what we owe (besides, many of those who have loaned this country money are US citizens who hold government paper!).

    Social Security and Medicare are NOT driving our deficits. Discretionary spending (transportation, education, defense, etc) is.

    Moreover, the Affordable Care Act has strengthened Medicare by around thirteen years (from 2030 to around 2043. No wonder the GOP is now having cold feet!).

    If Obama “killed coal,” what do you think is going to happen now that the GOP-controlled Senate (54-45 vote) has now passed a law that makes it just peachy keen for coal companies to dump coal mining debris in streams? Are you OK with that?

    Is it proper stewardship AS CHRISTIANS to permit such reckless behavior?

    Would you have your children drink that water?

    I appreciate still being allowed to post. I do not mean to be contrary, but I call them as I see them. :-) HAPPY FRIDAY ALL.

    1. Jeff, looking back at my comments I am very sorry for the way I spoke about you. I got carried away in my frustration and that was wrong. I do appreciate the varying opinions on this forum (it is hard to debate without disagreements), but I would advise you to do so in a more tactful and less offensive way in the future. When I examine my motives, that was the basis that I was criticizing you on more then your actual beliefs (although I’m sure it didn’t come out that way in chat). Once again, I am very sorry and I hope that both of us can have more tactful and less offensive debates in the future.

  8. This is a very important article that highlights some major concerns people should be having with the Trump administration. In addition to the policies he is setting up, what do you think about the method he is repeatedly using to institute these policies: the executive order? I understand that presidents have used (and probably abused) this technique in the past, and that Trump is undoing many of the ex. orders Obama instituted, but how dangerous is this method of bringing about change without going through Congress? I fear that Trump is setting a precedent that seems to violate the checks and balances of the Constitution.

    1. That is a very good point that a lot of people tend to overlook. I believe Congress would agree with many of his actions, but the process of bypassing Congress repeatedly is dangerous at best. I understand that he wants to move his agendas at a fast pace, but sometimes patience is what wins out in the end.

  9. I think you make some great points here. As a president, you have to pick and choose the right battles to fight. You simply cannot accomplish everything that the country needs in four years, let alone the first two weeks. One thing we talked about in class was you could devote all of your resources to one project like healthcare, but you will never fully solve that single issue because it affects the other areas to which no resources were devoted. Trump needs to reevaluate which issues he is pursuing and focus on those few like Reagan did.

  10. Great insights for sure. Neither candidate had my full support, but I was relieved when Trump won versus having Hilary as the president. I also think it is very important for Trump to pick the issues he is going to focus on and go from there. Trump should definitely try to model the plan that Reagan used.

  11. I agree that Trump or any new president for that matter should focus on about 3 topics they want to achieve as president and get those squared away. When you do to much and are all over the place that is when disaster happens. I also don’t like that he is reeling off attack after attack and shooting down not only enemies but friends. I think it will be slightly scary but very interesting to see how Trumps term goes.

  12. I like your closing remark that business don’t know how to handle him. I believe that’s true which is tough for Trump when he would want to get things done.

  13. I think the points you make here are great. I am extremely nervous for Trump because as you said, he is attacking everything at the same time, and being overly ambitious. I feel like it would be better in general if Trump focused on two to three big ticket items to tackle.

  14. Seeing the actions that Trump has taken, the actions he still promises to take, and the dysfunction currently in the White House and how all of these things are proving to have negative consequences on the country in almost every area, including business, do you still think Clinton would have been worse? Sure, she wouldn’t fix anything, but at least her plans wouldn’t put the whole country at risk. I think that there might be something good that Trump could pull out of his one and only term, we’re only 18 days in, but it seems ironic that the argument for voting for the “not good, but not dangerous” Clinton campaign still seems favorable to the alternative.

    1. Yes I do. The Supreme Court justice alone is enough. Allegedly the conservatives had a 5-4 majority prior to Mr. Scalia’s passing. But that is not really true, especially on any social issues (where the SCOTUS exerts most of its mischief), as Justice Kennedy broke with the liberal wing repeatedly. While I did not vote for Mr. Trump, I can certainly understand the rationale of the many people who did on this issue alone. Second, while his executive orders are upsetting the apple cart in many ways, some I also like. And I’m especially pleased with several of his choices at key agencies that need conservative reforming. Mrs. DeVos, who I hope will be confirmed today, is one of those nominees.

      1. What about Mrs. DeVos’s qualification encourages you? I am very concerned as a public school parent (particularly as a parent of a child that needed special services). I am strongly in favor of local control and parental choices (and thankfully have a district where the administration is addressing these issues)…..but not a Wild West scenario where for-profit companies can gain at the expense of desperate parents. (Having lived in MI perhaps I am unduly influenced by the ethics of her husband’s company. It is built on a pyramid scheme that is known for taking advantage of people particularly in cultures (such as the Far East) where hospitality is often taken advantage of by pressure tactic selling.) I see ripple effects of that philosophy in her organization’s focus on inner city schools. I see few conservative principles at work in her past experience. She is a big donor, but otherwise, I’m at a loss to see how she is qualified for the job. What potential reforms do you think she is qualified to implement? And which ones have a track record of academic success particularly for students that may be at higher risk academically?

      2. I am impressed by her focus on education. Lots of things billionaires could do. Its not like she was picked because she is rich to be an ambassador somewhere. She has a fairly lengthy track record of pushing education reform, primarily in a direction that establishment politicians and teacher’s unions oppose. Yes she is likely to take the education department in a different direction–I certainly hope so. Where is there evidence that the Department of Education has led to improved student outcomes? I am a strong proponent of education for our kids, but that in no way means I’m a proponent of the status quo–in fact the opposite. Sometimes you know your friends by their enemies. In this case the vitriol at Mrs. DeVos is indicative of the fear that she might actually do something. And I hope she does.

        Regarding your personal situation, there is no reason that education reform necessarily means that students needing special services must be harmed. But we likewise can’t ignore the many who are being failed by the current system. School choice lets the parents decide, and I think that’s a good thing. I don’t doubt that Mrs. DeVos is ignorant of many details in the broad education field. That’s why there are undersecretaries. The question is does she have the values and leadership to be able to come to the right decision? I can tell you, I’ve been in many meetings with high level government nominees (Secretary of the Air Force, among others) and none of them know all the details; that’s why I and many others would be at the meetings to provide the information for an executive decision. Nor are their decisions based on quick answers to “gotcha” questions. So I expect she’ll do just fine.

      3. Thanks for the reply (particularly as this issues is not the main point of the original post)…I can see quickly were the difference in our perspectives originates. You are coming from the notion that the unqualified are in the best position to address the status quo (which is a very popular position this election cycle). There may be times when this approach as been successful…but I do think it carries with it some inherent dangers that aren’t necessary.
        I am coming from the notion that the rightly qualified are in the best position to address the status quo….because I certainly agree that public education has many issues to address.
        If we carry your idea through to the Air Force example …your argument would advocate for a pacifist who has spent their career defunding the military to lead a major division of our Armed Forces; I would argue that the best candidate would be someone with the courage to address the issues at hand, but who has the expertise, authority and commitment to do so (and maybe even has some combat experience and/or “boots on the ground” credibility).
        Another example closer to the education issue, is a recent move by local administrators to address over-testing, lack of local control, etc….(you can see an example of their recent work here…https://publiceducationpartners.org/2017/02/03/lawmakers-collaborate-local-school-superintendents/). They are not willing to accept the status quo, yet remain committed to addressing these issues in a way that will support our local schools. To me, that is the rightly qualified at work. By contrast, Mrs. DeVos’s organization has used hashtags such as #endDPS (detroit public schools). That seems to be quite an interesting point of view for someone now called upon to lead that very organization….which is why I feel that she is unqualified. Either way, it is now a moot point…and my hope now will be that she surrounds herself with the rightly qualified and helps to improve public education in our country.

      4. “You are coming from the notion that the unqualified are in the best position to address the status quo (which is a very popular position this election cycle)”

        Kris, this is certainly not my position. The issue, as you implicitly address in your response, is what constitutes the best qualifications? Where we differ is that you seem to be suggesting that long-standing familiarity (in some capacity) with the public-education system is the best form of qualification. I think there are many other, much more important qualifications for a cabinet official (character, drive, leadership, philosophy, etc.), especially since they will have many, many people below with all the specific expertise to help come up with an answer at the end of the day.

  15. Kris said, “What about Mrs. DeVos’s qualification encourages you? I am very concerned as a public school parent (particularly as a parent of a child that needed special services). I am strongly in favor of local control and parental choices (and thankfully have a district where the administration is addressing these issues).”

    I have the exact same concerns. I have a special needs child myself. DeVos seems completely ignorant (unconcerned) about accessibility for special needs students. The growth in the charter school movement has exacerbated concerns about funding.

    Thank you for sharing.

    1. It is very different when the children affected are not simply numbers on a page, but live in your house, huh? Grateful for the amazing support and “out of the box” thinking that our public school provided for my son in order to meet his educational needs. Praying that somehow that will continue…

  16. I wait with eager anticipation to see how some of Trump’s policies end up. His regulation policy is excellent, yet we seem to be constantly aghast at his trade policy. Will these two factors end up canceling each other out, or will one of them prove to be a stronger influence of the economy? Also, I would love to see an improvement in the tax code, but I agree that it needs to be done correctly.

  17. Jeff said, “Regarding your personal situation, there is no reason that education reform necessarily means that students needing special services must be harmed.”

    But they have been, as school districts take public money for charter schools. That has happened, in some districts. It does not have to be, sure; but it does happen.

    I don’t think you understand the situation. Even more frightening, I don’t think Ms. DeVos does either.

    Did you ever address my points regarding (1) understanding the national debt in context by noting GDP; and (2) your sloppy reasoning in claiming that President Obama “killed” coal? I didn’t see them here, but I may have missed them. Old eyes!

    1. No I didn’t. When you refuse to address the main points of almost every post, and nit pick at what you think is a weakness, I don’t feel it necessary to respond when I don’t think any other reader will be led astray. You are so far off on those points I’m not worried about a misimpression being left.

      Nevertheless, I do agree with you on scaling to GDP; your link is good too. Usually the necessity to scale to GDP is for longer periods of time, but your link is fine. But I don’t think your link is any more favorable to your point; I’m actually shocked that you think it does. I also agree that your point on natural gas and coal is true; I’m not going to search but I think I’ve made that point before here on the blog. I know I have in class discussions. The main point is that Mr. Obama did overtly and publicly target an industry because he didn’t like it–that is not in debate. And Mr. Trump is doing some of the same. I don’t like either of it.

  18. I strongly agree with the point you made about Trump having to choose his battles. He is going to have to understand that he will not be able to go to war with the media or any other people who say negative things about him every time that it happens.

  19. I have always chosen quality over quantity. Like Reagan, Trump needs to pick three to four major areas that will improve America as a whole. Whichever concerns he chooses, he needs to embrace the task of executing as best as possible. Americans need to hold him accountable for the problems he does choose, and hope he follows through in a way that benefits all. This is also goes along with Trump and battles you were talking about. He needs to resolve problems with one country before he can start attacking/helping another. If problems are not resolved within one place, they can boil over and become other’s issues too, causing more concerns.

  20. I find it interesting that Trump is for deregulation, yet his executive order on immigration when first released started to make businesses worry about their activities abroad. Messing with immigration can have ripple effects on business. This is something that never crossed my mind during campaign season.

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