What the future of the post "Peak Trump" era holds...
Love it or hate it, the potency of the Trump Administration is on the wane, soon to be stuck in the mire of the Swamp it has deepened instead of drained, while the economy falls into one hell of a recession -- so claims former Regan-era Cabinet member and Congressman David Stockman.
In his new book Peak Trump, Stockman notes how the wide divergence between Trump the campaigner and Trump the president appears to be proving to be his undoing.
Rather than fight to dismantle the institutions he railed against as a candidate -- most notably the Deep State and the Federal Reserve -- Trump has embraced them.
Now, when this latest asset bubble bursts (and Stockman believes the markets saw their peak back in Fall 2018), Trump will 'own' that. Having chosen to tie his administration's success to the rising price of the S&P 500 since taking office, he won't be able to foist the blame of a market crash on his predecessors.
Similarly, the Deep State -- especially the military industrial complex -- is experiencing a bonanza under the Trump administration. As a result, the Swamp is deeper than it has ever been:
I learned a long time ago as Budget Director and even before that as a member of Congress that the real deep end of the Washington swamp is on the Pentagon side of the Potomac. What Trump has done is basically taking a defense budget at $600 billion that was already swollen with waste and extending it far beyond anything you need for a homeland defense.
I have a whole section in the book about how a homeland of defense wouldn’t cost $600 billion that he inherited or now the $700 billion that we have. $720 billion actually, that after two huge Trump increases. But you can do an honest, effective, and safe homeland defense for $250 billion. By putting all of these funds into the DOD and into an even larger intelligence budget which is already $75 billion and triggered in the entire Russian military budget for everything... He has actually fed the monster.
Remember, the walking around dollars that create the prosperity in Washington and all of the lobbies, NGOs, think tanks, and all the rest of it comes out of the DOD, National Security, State Department, Intelligence Community budget. It becomes a self-perpetuating lobby for its own, ultimately if you add everything up, $800 billion per year fleecing of the tax papers. Domestically, yeah. We have this huge amount of waste and the domestic budget as well. But most of it’s entitlements and so, it’s cash flowing out of all the places across America. Those entitlements need to be reformed.
But the impact on governance and what he rightly called the swamp, comes from the National Security side. The warfare state, not the welfare state. He’s obviously... It was a nice phrase but unfortunately he has embraced policies that go into the opposite direction and made the swamp even far deeper than it already was on the warfare state side of the equation.
Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with David Stockman (55m:51s).