I recently wrote a piece on the exhaustion I feel trying to keep up with the Trump administration. As I wrote, there seems to be a new development, or crisis, by the hour. All of this in the first seven months before this President has really faced any unforeseen challenges. Events which all President’s ultimately deal with, will arise. We may be on the cusp of finding out how President Trump will react. Granted, much of this is his own doing, but if the first half of the year is any indication, the second half could be a wild ride. Here are my hot takes.
“Obamacare will be repealed.” “Repeal and Replace.” “Maybe just trim it up around the edges?” “Congress can’t get it done, so we’ll just let it implode.” “Yeah, we didn’t really mean we could get rid of it, for the last 7 years.”
I’m not sure there’s really any more to add here. Nothing is getting done. Premiums will continue to rise and the economy will suffer.
This talking point lasted about two days. I highly doubt this republican congress has the stomach to make any meaningful reforms. Something will pass, but it will more than likely just be a shell game. Like it or not, it’s getting to be election season all over again. Get ready for a lot more talk and no action.
Likewise, this theme week lasted about fifteen minutes. Mostly due to the President’s own actions. I’m no fan of any huge spending package. I’m pretty sure Obama did this one and it only led to close to a trillion dollars in new debt.
He campaigned on the wall, enforcement and ending DACA. Enforcement has been pretty good. I’ve got more bricks in my yard than the new “wall”. And, Trump will end DACA, or give Congress six months to do something about it. For all the outrage, for the time being, nothing has actually been done.
This is the area I consider the most concerning and most likely to throw the administration into a tail spin. The two big topics here are North Korea and the Middle East. I’ll take them in turn.
First the Middle East. After campaigning to get out of unnecessary wars, Trump is sending more troops to Afghanistan and is doing “stuff” in Syria. His cabinet officials tend to contradict him on foreign policy, almost daily. He calls Qatar a terrorist state, then we sell them military equipment. We will negotiate with “moderate” Taliban, while also killing them. These are just a few examples. Your guess is as good as mine.
Then there’s North Korea. There was a lot of talk of “fire and fury”. He took a new approach and I can appreciate that. Then North Korea threatens Guam, fires a ICBM over Japan, and over the weekend detonated a nuke. So, yeah, that just happened.
The 2nd Half
The first half, of the first year, of the first term of team Trump has been interesting to say the least. The President has governed just as he campaigned. There is no indication he is in any mood to change. Most of the domestic problems this administration has faced, thus far, are self-inflicted wounds. That will most certainly change when the next economic crisis emerges. We seem poised for a correction in the market.
I believe our adversaries are still taking a wait-and-see approach on Trump. After all, it’s only been seven months. How the President deals with North Korea will most likely set the tone for what threats we face for the remainder of this administration. That could be good, or that could be bad.
So, how will it all turn out? I don’t know. Your guess is as good as mine.