Donald Trump promised economic and financial success when he ran for office. And when he got the job, he bragged about how great the economy was. Trump’s goal was three percent annual growth, and for a quarter or two in 2018 it looked like that might happen. The stock market was another trophy for Trump’s make-believe trophy case. The president said he would fill investors pockets with coin, and that happened in 2017. But 2018 wasn’t the year Trump envisioned when he touted victory in his quest to drain the swamp.
Mr. Trump wanted another gold star in his Make American Great album. So he took on the Mexicans and the Canadians. He pushed and prodded until both countries gave a little, and they gave Trump a little. That gave the president the ability to tell his voter base he threw out NAFTA for a new Trump-type NAFTA. Congress hasn’t approved the final deal. That may take a while.
President Trump’s Steel and Aluminum tariffs gave the world a chance to see what Trump had up his nationalistic sleeve. He wanted to level the economic playing field so American manufacturers could compete. But when he decided to go head-to-head with China and start a trade war, economists around the United States started to worry. They knew a trade war with China would have a major impact on economic growth, Now, that Trump put additional tariffs on a wide range of Chinese products the American economy feels the pain.
But the Trump move that keeps economists and financial experts up at night was the decision to shut down 25 percent of the government. Some economists think Trump’s growing national deficit just got super-sized because of the shutdown. And they also think the economy will feel the nasty effects of shrinking retail sales due to millions of people not working and not getting a paycheck.
Someone forgot to tell the president when he went to Wharton that shutting down the government equals a major body slam to the economy and the stock market. According to a New York Times article, the park service and National monuments are losing millions in revenue. When people add up all the financial pieces of the shutdown together, the financial loss to the country is a number with a lot of zeros behind it,
Maybe Mr. Trump didn’t miss an economic class at Wharton. In his mind, proven economic theories done hold a candle to Trumponomics.