A very good 500 days with many more to come

There are no even-handed accounts. There are only individual perspectives. But all that being so, there are still shared beliefs and political aims that transcend the individuals who hold these aims and beliefs. So here is one more perspective from yet another who sees PDT coming up short: MAGAnomics: a 500 Day Appraisal. Here is a reply via Catallaxy from Bruce of Newcastle.

Very naïve article from Mr Firey.

First: fiscal policy is in the hands of Congress, who presented a bipartisan omnibus porkbarrel bill to Trump on the budget. He signed because there wasn’t much choice against a probable veto-busting majority.

Second: The GOP elites have been underhandedly opposing Trump to try and keep the party out of his control. Thus McConnell has been vacillating in the Senate about the Dems slow walk approval of Trump nominees to key administration positions. That prevents Trump from pushing his agenda through the bureaucracy. In this light it’s amazing how much he’s achieved despite opposition from both parties and the deep staters.

Third: Mr Firey does not comprehend the Art of the Deal strategy which Trump is applying to foreign relations and trade. The tariffs are doubly designed, first to appeal to the blue collar Democrats dumped on the scrapheap by Obama’s embrace of left coast and NYC progressives, and secondly to bring other countries to a deal.

The problem at the moment is both the EU and China are prepared to die in a ditch for ideological reasons rather than deal on trade. The soy tariffs China brought in are a terrible own goal* for Chinese people who rely on cheap soy beans. But Xi is in a Great Game conflict with the US for his own reasons, in which trade is a tool of dominance. EU likewise is in the grip of the Left, and they hate Trump with an irrational fervor.

We’ll see how this goes. Trump is pushing tariffs as a tactic. The tactic may fail, but the aim is a good one: to break down to non-tariff barriers that the EU and China are now getting away with.

(* “There simply aren’t enough soybeans in the world outside of the U.S. to meet China’s needs,” said Mark Williams, chief Asia economist at Capital Economics.)

And it really ought to be emphasised that economics is far from the only reason for supporting PDT, not to mention that the US economy is in the midst of an astonishing revival.

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