Stockman To Trump: It's The Economy, Stupid

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

In a recent appearance on CNN, David Stockman suggested that Trump might best spend some time actually addressing economic issues instead of the administration's travel ban for immigrants from Middle Eastern countries, which Stockman called "a giant misfire." 

Pointing out that Americans are far, far more likely to be struck by lightning than killed by a terrorist, Stockman asserted that it was really Trump's opposition to Obamacare and other government regulation that got him elected. Employing the 1992 Clinton Campaign motto of "it's the economy, stupid," Stockman noted "Trump was elected because flyover America is hurting economically. The voters of Racine, Wisconsin and Johnstown, Pennsylvania are imperiled not because of some refugees, they're imperiled because their jobs have all been disappearing for decades. The problem is far more the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, the bubbles they're creating on Wall Street..." 

Stockman went on suggest that the Trump Administration is showing decreased interest in "draining the swamp" employing a phrase Trump used when he claimed he would greatly cut federal power in Washington. Instead of doing that, Stockman contends, Trump is merely filling the swamp with " "other creatures that will build up homeland security, border control, more money for defense, more money for spying and national security."

Stockman might also have pointed out that the travel ban itself illustrates how the ban has nothing to do with national security given that Saudi Arabia and Egypt are not on the list of blocked countries, even though Saudi Arabia and Egypt were the two countries most closely linked ot 9/11. Moreover, the perpetrators of the 2015 San Bernardino shootings had been radicalized in Saudi Arabia and traveled there before the killings. Indeed, Trump's list seems to be more accurately described as a list of Saudi enemies, including Saudi Arabia's most bitter enemies Iran and Syria. Also on the list is Yemen, which is currently subject to a vicious war and starvation campaign launched by Saudi Arabia's dictators.

Stockman wasn't alone in noticing the Trump Administration's lack of enthusiasm for tackling any meaningful economic issues. Jack Perry writes at

I gave Trump the benefit of the doubt and said, okay, let’s see what he will do. But what I’ve seen so far is one endless distraction of the type the Democrats usually engage in. That being, pick some lightning rod topic, create a massive kerfuffle over it, and then cling to it tightly like a toddler with a teddy bear. That way, the distraction keeps everyone focused on it instead of, hey, you’re not doing the big things you said you were going to do. For example, how much time and money has now been wasted over this travel ban? And while that’s going on, Obamacare is not being repealed. Maybe Trump has already forgotten about it and now is obsessed with this travel ban thing. That leads me to believe this has become a war of ego for him...


This is not to say that I believe the government can “fix” the economy or “create” jobs. In fact, I laugh at the notion. But the fact is, and Democrats even admit, these were the biggest reasons people voted for Trump... What we are seeing right now is what will go on for the entire term. Endless wrangling, debate, and fuss over issues that don’t really affect a majority of people here.

Meanwhile, Trump's supposed agenda item of repealing Obamacare continues to lose momentum and appears to be on the back burner with the president saying little on the matter in recent weeks. Trump is already pushing the timeframe back to 2018.

Rather than focus on this difficult task, however, the Trump Administration has signaled it plans to keep burning political capital and precious time and energy on fighting for its travel ban all the way to the Supreme Court.

One thing we do know about Trump's economic policy is that he plans to massively increase government spending, as with repeated promises to shower a variety of government agencies with more tax money for military operations, even going so far as the absurdly call the spending of taxpayer funds an "investment." These funds will certainly be needed, however, since the Trump Administration has already been spending immense amounts of cash in Eastern Europe as most recently made clear by a new NATO buildup in the Baltic states. 

Trump's other priority, it seems, is to raise taxes on Americans by increasing taxes on imports, thus increasing the cost of living and costs for domestic producers and employers. This stems from what Jeff Deist calls Trump's "fetish for exports over imports" but which has nothing at all to do with raising American living standards. 

When will we begin to see an emphasis on freeing up the economy coming out of the White House? If past experience with previous Republican administrations is any indicator, we'll be waiting a long time.

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LawsofPhysics's picture



Yeah, yeah, ignore the monetary system or "Just-Us" department...

What a douche.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) LawsofPhysics Feb 9, 2017 1:07 PM

I absolutely resent this term "flyover America" it is an elitist term that suggests these states/citizens are worthless.


thesonandheir's picture

They are worthless to the people that fly over them hopping from coast to coast. 

cowdiddly's picture

And the people that fly over are worthless to the people looking up hoping they don't stop.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Trump is an idiot. He acts like he’s addressing the concerns of ordinary people, when in reality he’s only addressing the concerns of angry white racists and xenophobes. Even if Trump were addressing the concerns of ordinary people, this would be populism, which is the same as fascism. Tump needs to be impeached for being a racist. Racism is unconstitutional.

Why Progressives Need To Strengthen Their Convictions

cowdiddly's picture

Get the Fuck away from me with your spam  Millionbuttholes

DownWithYogaPants's picture

MDB does not know the definition of fascism.  What a surprise.  Look it up dimbulb.

Better yet stay on your DiscreditedTimes website commenting to yourself with your sock puppets.

Peacefulwarrior's picture

That is some excellent sarcasm to stir the pot... "In times of Universal deceit telling the Truth become a revolutionary act" If Trump can stay alive and is  looking to restore a future for America (which he seems to be standing for thus far) then our little kids have a chance to build something. But there will be pain prior to this day as the Swamp needed draining decades ago.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Peacefulwarrior Feb 9, 2017 1:46 PM

Social Justice Warriors Kellogs to cut jobs, close distribution centers, slash sales forecast.

84 Lumber after spending millions on SuperBowl ad that supports open borders today CEO says "We support Trump and the Wall.

wa wa Winning!

Deplorables grabbed em by the pussy!

Breathial's picture

You're like the turd that just won't flush.

At first I thought you were a satirist, but it seems you're the real deal... a hard-core collectivist, nothing more or less.  Lenin referred to you and your ilk as "useful idiots," and nothing has changed.

Get a life, be *useful* to society.

DownWithYogaPants's picture

In order to be a satirist you have to be one thing: FUNNY.  


bh2's picture

Do not feed the squirrels, folks.

galant's picture

Even if Trump were addressing the concerns of ordinary people, this would be populism, which is the same as fascism.

Widely accepted definitions of Populism:

1. A political style of action that mobilizes a large alienated element of a population against a government which is seen as controlled by an out-of-touch closed elite.

2. The quality of appealing to or being aimed at ordinary people.

You clearly do not understand the meaning of the words populism or fascism.

brightdayfin's picture

goundless claims of racism are from ignorance or being a paid troll


Peacefulwarrior's picture

I still have not found the word "BAN" in this order? It looks to reset protocol and proficienize checks of prospective hostiles entering our land. These soft handed people like Stockman not only repeat the obvious but they refuse to acknowledge the worth of a middle class that helped them use interesting Calculus to exploit the fruits of their labors.

cowdiddly's picture

Stockman had his chance at the Big Leagues. But he quit on us. He is a quitter.............but he was right.

scraping_by's picture

As a young man, he was a true believer and gave others credit for his own honesty. No he's old and full of regret, as are many of us with more days behind than before. The basis of wisdom is bad decisions.

Omen IV's picture

"are imperiled not because of some refugees, they're imperiled because their jobs have all been disappearing for decades."


Stockman is a shill for the Neo Liberals - it should be obvious that the demand / supply balance for labor is imbalanced - negative for labor not just tariffs are needed but end the ever increasing supply of labor

increase the demand for labor and reduce the supply - here is NYT today:

Research by Michael A. Clemens of the Center for Global Development, Lant Pritchett of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and Claudio E. Montenegro of the World Bank found that a 35-year-old urban man born and educated in Peru, who had nine years of school and worked in the formal Peruvian economy, made an average of $452 a month. A Peruvian with these exact characteristics working in the United States, by contrast, made $1,714 a month.

A typical Pakistani worker who moved from Karachi to Los Angeles would at a stroke make more than six times as much. A Yemeni would raise his earnings 14.5 times. And this would not even require retraining. Someone flipping murtabak on the streets of Sana’a would earn 15.5 times as much simply by coming to New York to flip burgers at McDonald’s.

An hour of work by a Pakistani in New York costs 6.5 times what an hour of the same Pakistani’s time costs in Karachi. By contrast, the product of that Pakistani’s work back home could enter the United States paying a tariff, on average, of only 3.5 percent.

so at 15.5 X the wage in Yemen - you have an endless supply of labor  and the tariffs are too marginal to make a difference


Trump first step with 7 countries is the beginning to completely shut it off 

DocBerg's picture

Perhaps Mr. Stockman would like to talk to all of those working class folks who are busting their butts to stay afloat, whilst watching jihadi "refugees" living far better than they ever could in their home countries, while soaking up welfare and paying for their stuff with EBT cards.  Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services have been settling hundreds of "refugee" families into northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, and getting them firmly embedded into the welfare state.

Consuelo's picture



Beautifully said Roy...


Love the employment of the term 'interesting calculus'...    Outright fraudulent accounting principles, deceit-on-a-grand-scale and other abuses of 'tallying', but your's strikes with much better effect.

brianshell's picture

Trump is like Chauncy Gardener. He was asked about the debt. He said write it off.

Countrybunkererd's picture

Net would be surprised to compare a 1000 acre farm to a 5000sq ft NYC apartment.  Who feeds you, in other words, who allows you to live while spending all that time flying back and forth?

assistedliving's picture

and the irony (wickedness?) is selling the 5ksf Tribeca loft and buying that 1000 acre farm...or vinyard.

Countrybunkererd's picture

and "testing and tasting" wine all day is bad how exactly????  As for a straight farm, you do your own wine and drink when you want, so... oooh, it is almost 3:30 EST so I MIGHT just be drunk, or something.

doctor10's picture

"the problem" is that Americans no longer control "their" government

to control the US government all you need to do is control about 1000 positions in DC 435 congress seats, 100 Senate seats, 9 Supreme Court Justices and the heads of 300-400,Federal Agencies. That's it. You control the seats and it matters not who sits in them.

Original Congressional apportionment was 1:30000. That would give 10000 congresscritters meeting electronically from their districts. That would give control back to the people-and provide a large enough Congress to hold federal agencies to their Constitutional limits. Congress is too small today to be able to do that.

Most of the rest of all this is merely to distract the public from paying attention to the above

Countrybunkererd's picture

and as a dear rothboner said "give me control of a nations money and i care not who makes the laws"  yes we have major issues with our laws, taxation, and on and on and on but few understand the FED actions in their misery.

new game's picture

da fed mon, its' da fed. unlimited fiat/debt to allow to become the monstosity it is. da fed mon

now trump and any prez uses this tool to their folly-open checkbook. keynsian crap.

read his tweets. no different than the last 5 presidents. spend, spend and moar spending.

hey trump, it don't work. you are becoming part of the problem.

is it fun to spend other peoples money like it's free? oh, yea it must be. power and influence bloats your ego, as if it could get bigger.

investments in the military. say what? it already spends moar than every nation combined.

and expand homeland ect, bla blah bla.- to do this or that. fucked up and callin trump out.

we swapped out aligators for crocadiles with some pythons for good measure.

i'm glad i was one of the non-believers here. i don't feel stupid (yet). but, i will humbly say to all that give a shit, i was wrong, if that ever happens. this guy is playing checkers right now. foot in mouth disease fueled by ego on steroids.

so i say again, until da fed is destroyed, replaced with sound money, nothin really changes...

Uzda Farce's picture
Uzda Farce (not verified) new game Feb 9, 2017 4:32 PM

"Da Fed" was created by bankers, for bankers. Paul Warburg of Kuhn Loeb, the "architect of the Fed", was also a co-founder of the Rockefeller/CFR. Every Fed chairman since WW2 has been a CFR member, along with most secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense and CIA. Every current member of the Fed Board of Governors is a CFR member. The president of the NY Fed and several directors are CFR members, etc. See member lists at CFR dot org.

The central planners's picture

Its the debt you stupid!!! Not the economy.

sgt_doom's picture

Stockman, you MORON!

What the Trumpster has done has played havoc with foreign visa replacement workers throughout America!

Yesterday's headline in the Seattle Times (fondly referred to normally as the "Sleazattle Times") read:




Need I say more?  Go get indicted again, Stockman!

halcyon's picture

Translation : it's the capital gains (of the elite) and wealth transfer (to the elite), stupid!

Don't stop that and you will be ok.


Jeffersonian Liberal's picture

It's been the economy for the past 8 years, Stockman, in addition to "fundamentally transforming America."

Obama fucked up just about everything he could.

The economy was top on his list. Oh, the Keynesians and the central banks prettified is as much as they could to make it look like the Affirmative Action President fixed the economy, but they actually have ruined it.

Our economy is now a massive Jenga house built at the edge of the cliff.

And the leftists and central bankers are the ones removing each piece.

They'll blame the collapse on Trump, though, to increase their wealth and power.

BlindMonkey's picture

I like you Stockman but to overlook the impact of immigration on Americans' standard of living is willful ignorance.


I see how all these people line up to throw stones at the KSA.  Fine, I bet it is only a matter of time before Trump puts them on the list too.  Will they whine then?  I am certain of it.


Oldwood's picture

We sucked dead air for eight years waiting for Bush to reform taxes and all we got were some temporary reductions that Obama took as his mission to ensure were not renewed. Trump has been there less than three weeks and there is a cacophony of voices from the left and the right panicking that THEIR agenda has not YET been addressed.

Stockman has been preaching his line for a lot of years. Surely he can wait a few more weeks....or can he?

This is getting just SILLY.

Peacefulwarrior's picture

Stockman and many of the Elitist mind set could really care less about the American working class (truth be told). They are in the business of being the smartest guys in the room and taking advantage of all to fill their coffers. They have a survival of the economic fittest expectation and everyone else is a worthless eater unless providing a function they can exploit in a global playground  (EX. building cheaper processing chips). Theres a reason the silicon valley is pissed. Why? they had a sweet economic deal to exploit without borders or any recourse. Trump in the end with a flat tax and simple tax code may be the eventual catalyst to real growth once we get a reset or two and possibly battle through a Bigger War and exacerbated Civil issues.

Oldwood's picture

I'm the smartest guy in my room....but it's a really small room.

venturen's picture

stockman is absolutely correct....wall street fincialization of all harming everyone more than immigation. I agree immigration is part....but the mega banks need to be detroyed....the average person NEVER sees any benefit from improvrment....all ends up off shore or in hampton real estate

Berspankme's picture

And its property taxes if you are in wisconsin or illinois or minnesota My fucking house that i own free and clear requires a tribute of 8k per year to the thieves. Fuck you

shovelhead's picture

Those are your local gangsters.

Go give em a chat.

CNONC's picture

My house in NW Missouri has taxes of $400.00/yr.  The one I'm about to buy in Nebraska is $90.00/yr. 

ArmaG3don's picture

Yeah yeah let's talk some nonsense instead of reality. Let's talk about some X slapping around some Y.

Intelligence_Insulter's picture

Flyover america, aka working americans.  It's all about pandering to the welfare groups and the minorities now.  Libs might have something going for them if they keep this up.

The Chief's picture

Stockman. Useless.

Eliminate immigration (Trump's order is just a start) and you will eliminate the people taking their jobs. People will learn to work again if they want to eat.

regarding engineers and programmers....

I will take a White, 55 year old, Clarkson graduate who was raised HERE over a savage from Mumbai who knows nothing.....or is inadequate in one of several different ways.

The other points in this article are wholely valid. WTF is with the spending BS?

Tell you what Mr. President. Don't spend my money until you end the immigrants and DEPORT the illegal ones...especially the one's on student visas that have over-stayed.

The Chief's picture

Also, an immediate ban on chinese students in every university in the USA. Now.

Oldwood's picture

One can't help wonder if we are providing them a military education as well. It's not like they would EVER use any of that shit against us. No, not never.

I'm beginning to think that our education systems are the absolute greatest threat we have. We are watching as they indoctrinate our youth at exorbitant prices, encumbering many Americans with decades of debt, while educating every other foreigner of the world in our subsidized schools, so they can go back and more effectively compete with us.

If for one moment, one would stop and completely discard the notion of globalism as bringing us advantage, exactly WHAT are our colleges doing for our country today?

How many Americans are going to Chinese colleges to learn technology and science? Globalism....right, our future.

Lost in translation's picture

I'd upvote that 10 MILLION times if I could!

BigFatUglyBubble's picture

People come because of the free shit.  Stop the free shit-giving.  Address root of issue.

LongWalkHome's picture

"The voters of Racine, Wisconsin and Johnstown, Pennsylvania are imperiled not because of some refugees, they're imperiled because their jobs have all been disappearing for decades."  

"flyover country" has turned into stealth deposit country


Mar 1, 2016 - Across Nebraska, census estimates show 2,100 Somali-born residents clustered in Omaha and Lincoln, and near meatpacking plants in Grand Island and Madison, as well as Lexington. Iowa has seen a similar influx, with an estimated 20,000 Muslims now living in the state.