In today American political economy, given what we are now witnessing, we can no longer rationally separate US politics from our money management decisions. And for that, we can thank our minority elected President, Donald Trump.
All one has to do is watch the market volatility that follows every time Trump makes another one of his grandiose tweets about his pugilistic China tariff process, whether it be his constant lies regarding how "perfect" things are (as a sociopathic narcissist, everything he does is "brilliant") - or even his direct market manipulation threats designed to appeal to his conspiracy addicted voter base - such as banning Chinese stocks in the U.S. stock exchanges.
Additionally, as any objective observer can see, Trump's ill-advised Ukraine extortion incident clearly shows the irrationally paranoid state he is about his 2020 re-election.
For one thing, Trump's fitness for office should certainly be in doubt given how stupid he was to try and get "old news" dirt on the son of a Democratic candidate that smart Democrats and independent voters don’t even want nominated.
What is even more disturbing is how hypocritical Trump is given his claims of the "corruption of Joe Biden and his son," while his own family is engaging in blatant political office profiteering, a despotic behavior I call the "Trump-Kushner 'legal' crime family."
Trump's Economic Hustle
Unlike the cult-like beliefs of Trump's followers, including his media propaghanda outlets like Fox News, any type of objective review since the three years Trump has been in office shows he has fallen short on most of the promises he made during his presidential campaign.
American workers continue to see no improvement in income inequality (a Trump economy with tens of millions of low paid and part-time jobs is still the standard); we see growing levels of corporate and consumer debt; we watch our unfunded Federal debt to GDP continually climb since Trump's election three years ago; and now we hear more and more talk about another economic recession coming next year.
And we can be sure Trump's voters and supporters are proud of what he and his party have done for them:
(1) There has been NO health care plan for his supporters; instead tens of thousands more of his supporters are now uninsured compared to 3 years ago;
(2) Trump's entire foreign policy, other than try to blame China and Europe for our self-created and growing wealth inequality, is to sell weapons to any dictator or authoritatian leader with the money to buy them;
(3) They have seen a rise in ugly xenophobic and anti-semitic hate rhetoric and violent crimes since their "God" Trump took office - with Trump and his supporters talking about a new "Civil War" - even as Trump has already been outed for his proven authoritarian abuses of power.
(4) The life of almost all of Trump's supporters (as well as their children and grandchildren) have seen their air and water quality dangerously degraded by his obvious pandering to the corporate polluters - who use him to profit handsomely from his "profit-at-any-cost" ignorance;
(5) His supporters lives will continue to be negatively affected by increasingly common extreme weather disasters - floods, drought, etc. - certainly exacerbated by the Trump-sponsored oligarchs who profit off his ignorant anti-science denial of man-made climate change;
(6) Trump has handed over his education policy to his favored rich evangelical profiteers who simply want to produce mindless young consumers by privatizing public education, in the process diminishing problem-solving science education and ignoring the Constitutionally written separation of church and state - all while they pilfer our public tax dollars for their own benefit; and, finally,
(7) All Americans, including Trump's supporters, are seeing our tax dollars pay for his ridiculous border wall (not Mexico) - money that should instead be used for badly needed national infrastructure upgrades - or to provide even basic health care for millions of uninsured Americans.
It is a sad case for the future of America that Trump supporters are so blind to the fact that he hates his job as US President (except when he does his vile stand-up comedy routine at his neoConfederate campaign rallies) and clearly is incompetent to do the job. As his leadership folly continues to be exposed, Trump has become nothing more than a disgrunted salesman for his family and his hospitality real estate businesses.
Simply put, Trump is showing that he is not, as evangelicals delusionally believe, a US President sent by God. If God sent Trump to save America, God is definitely a major underachiever!
How to "politic" with statistics
To be charitable, one could superficially construe that Trump has at least a couple positive campaign statistics that hold water: The government-defined jobs numbers - and the US stock market.
However, when analyzed deeper, even these numbers are not the "economic miracle" Trump and the no-integrity Republican party wants their blind faith supporters to believe.
First, the jobs statistics continue to be skewed toward a pattern of low-paid service jobs and millions of part-time workers (who aren't trained or skilled for well-paid full-time jobs). In fact, the positive jobs growth numbers are simply the continuation of what we saw during 8 years of Barack Obama - even though Fox News and Trump's gullible supporters lie to themselves and call such statistics "fake news."
Even the US stock market - which represents the fortunes of less than 50% of Americans - doesn't make Donald Trump look anything like the business genius he and his believers want him to be.
As outlined below, in spite of Trump's "grand master" stock market hyperbole, in no way does Trump's numbers approach the stock market performance put up by Barack Obama's presidency:
In the three years since Trump took office in late January of 2017, the US stock market - as measured by the Standard and Poor 500 stock index - is up a cumulative 49% - a 17% 3-year average annual return.
By exact comparison, Barack Obama's S&P 500 stock market performance during his first 3 years in office was a cumulative 70% - a 23% 3 year average annual return.
FYI, under Obama's entire 8-year tenure, the Standard and Poor 500 index acheived a total cumulative 183% return - a remarkable 22.8% average annual return.
Moreover, much of the recent sub-par growth we've seen once the effect of Trump's one-off elite tax cuts faded is largely the result of his "lobby money for hire" Cabinet of corporate deregulation ideologues who were recycled from the predatory payday loan industry and the polluting dirty energy sector.
America’s Coming Constitutional Crisis
Given the lawless Constitutional challenges that are now coming from the White House - juxtiposed by the sometimes hapless law and order actions coming from the newly empowered House Democrats, there is no doubt that during the next year leading up to the 2020 election we are going to witness an ugly Constitutional crisis.
The Republican politicians who continue to support Trump will have to decide if they want to remain in close proximity to Trump the “Constitutional” suicide bomber. My guess is they probably will stay loyal, as they know at this point that their political survival is dependent on not unleashing the revenge wrath of Trump’s compulsive scapegoating voters.
If the newly energized and legally legitimized House Democrats are smart and patient, we may see the Trump-addicted Republican Party admit they have "Stockholm Syndrome," where they actually believe their abuse is healthy.
The Republican Party would be wise to admit they have become a sick political party - addicted to pathological lying - and start a new path to political sobriety by forcing Trump to resign or not run for re-election.
If not, an impeachment process is justified, if only to put on historical record that America still has the political will and courage to try and restore US leadership integrity that has been almost completely lost with the election of the reality show conman Donald Trump.
Yet if the Democrats somehow manage to screw things up by losing their newfound mojo - and Trump is re-elected by an even more fearful and angry voter mob - we will very likely see our nation have its own political economic version of a Chernobyl meltdown.
Prior to the 1987 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, both the government(s) and population of the Soviet Union were in angry denial about the deep "legalized" corruption and leadership incompetence at all levels of government and their industrial machine. Hence, it was the endemically flawed operational standards of their entire political economic system that led to the poorly built Chernobyl installation and its eventual meltdown.
America is increasingly approaching that Chernobyl like crisis point. Like an alcoholic or drug addict that must "hit bottom" in order to see the self-destructive insanity of his or her addiction, it may have to be the re-election of Donald Trump to get to the bottom of that life changing self-dug hole.
In our view, the election of Donald Trump was a desparate yet ill-informed attempt to save the United States from itself. Unfortunately, Trump and his Vichy Republicans were already a large part of our national shame, and how they have made our nation even more dysfunctional than before.