What Trump won’t say

He won’t say the 2017 federal deficit was $666 billion, or that the national debt is $20.6 trillion.  He won’t say, as he did on April 10, 2015, that when the debt reaches $24 trillion, we will have hit “the magic number”, as he called it.  The point of no return.  This is the point at which, in his words, “We’re going to end up being another Greece.”

We’re going to be approaching that magic number in Trump’s first term, and if something drastic isn’t done, it will be on us soon thereafter.  This is Trump’s economy, and if it goes the way of Greece it will be on him.  He’s an extremely intelligent man.  He understands all this better than we do, and he knows, at some point, he must address this problem.

Even if the Republicans keep control of the House, it will be with a diminished majority, one which is even less capable of taking on entitlements and the deficit.  If the Democrats win the House, nothing will get done.  We’ll have two years of siege warfare.

Either way, Trump is unlikely to get big legislative victories from the next Congress.  How, then, can he avoid reaching that $24 trillion point of no return?

He asks the state legislators of the country (specifically those in  Virginia, South Carolina, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana and Idaho) to call an Article V Convention of States, for the purpose of proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

He can write the amendment.  The Convention will be controlled by Republican state legislators who will look to him for guidance.

To those who say the amendment will be ignored by Congress, Trump can say, as President, I will enforce it.  To those who say there will be some sort of rogue or runaway Convention he can say, “Not on my watch.”  As President he would have the political power to prevent any such thing.

So when he runs for reelection, it can be on peace, prosperity, and a permanent solution to the existential threat of government debt —  the 28th Amendment.

And, in an adjustment to the balance of power in our Constitutional system, he will have demonstrated how a President can use Article V to control Congress.

The telltale tell

It’s the 10 year Treasury rate, which is up to 2.7%.  Four months ago it was at 2.06%.

In other words, the cost to the government of borrowing money has increased around 30% since September.  When the rate gets above 3%, which might not be long, it will start to have a serious negative effect on the market, and thus on the fortunes of Trump and the Republicans.

Interest rates rise in anticipation of inflation, which seems inevitable, given the onslaught of federal spending.  Rising interest rates and higher inflation will force Trump to deal with the problem of chronic trillion dollar deficits and an exploding national debt.  Something will have to be done.

But Congress won’t do it.  Congress is a hopelessly corrupt and broken institution, at least as far as spending restraint is concerned.  So what can Trump do?

He can write a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, setting forth a long term path to financial stability, and get it proposed for ratification by an Article V Convention.  He can campaign for, and win, ratification of the 28th Amendment to the united States Constitution.   He can call it the Trump Amendment, if he wants.

This solves a policy problem, and it solves a political problem as well.  A twofer, the very best kind of political initiative.


It all depends on the meaning of “wall”

I doubt Trump can pass his immigration plan.  The two sides are so far apart no compromise may be possible.  So, let’s have an election, in November, with this as the leading issue.

Trump realizes that the Dreamers are not going to be deported.  Most Americans are too soft-hearted to ever let that happen.  So Trump will simply allow them to remain in their current status until after the election.  The INS has lots and lots of other things to attend to – millions of them, in fact.  There’s enough of a backlog in other areas (overstayed visas, etc.) to keep them busy.

Immigration hawks have to face political reality.  They can’t achieve all of their goals at one fell swoop.  I’d like to see reduced legal immigration, but that can wait.  Take what we can get, especially if it’s the end of uncontrolled chain migration.

But let’s do it after the election.  The 2018 election shouldn’t be about Trump.  It should be about immigration.  If that is the case, we’ll do just fine.

As to the wall, what is a wall, after all?  Walls need not be entirely structures of concrete and steel.  The Berlin Wall was as real as walls get, but there wasn’t a wall all round.  Barriers need not be walls.  Mine fields are not walls, for instance.

In the English language, words can have flexible, even fanciful, meanings.


Maybe it was a Flight 93 election

When we saw what the IRS did to squelch the Tea Party, we should have realized just how bad things had gotten.  It was the government muzzling the people, for God’s sake.

If it was that bad at the IRS, why did we think it was any better at the FBI?  This is the agency whose Deputy Director had taken out a President, an agency with a tradition of putting itself above the law.  They think they have some special status, outside the political system, so they naturally think they get get away with undermining a President.

The FBI and the Justice Department don’t need a special prosecutor investigating them.  They need new leadership, from people who are ready, willing and able to clean house, wholesale.  A prosecution will get a few convictions, perhaps.  It’s won’t hose down the stables, which is what is needed.

I’m starting to feel better about the November election.  A lot of people are seeing a tangible personal benefit from the tax cut.  They may not say they’re for Trump.  It’s best not to, in the company they keep.  And they don’t have to like him.  But they admit to themselves he’s doing a good job.

I suspect there’s going to be a hell of a lot of good economic news in the next nine months.  Economic momentum is building.  The animal spirits are loose.

That’s what matters.  The rest is smoke.  There is no there there.  It’s all just chaff, designed to distract.

The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.

Mr. Justice Cruz

One of the defining political events of 2018 will be the replacement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, due to retire in June.  His replacement by another Gorsuch would give strict constitutional conservatives a majority on the Supreme Court for the first time since 1936.

This is the big one.  This is the one that tips the scales.  Roe v. Wade, affirmative action, and a host of other judicial atrocities will, eventually, be overturned by the new conservative majority.  Everyone understands what’s at stake.  This could well be the big political story of the year.

Soon after the 2016 election was over President-elect Trump offered the vacancy on the Supreme Court to Senator Ted Cruz, who declined.  Senator Cruz was determined to maintain his political viability as a possible future President.

That was then, and this is now.  Ted Cruz can do more for his country as the fifth solid conservative than he’ll ever do in the Senate.  He is not in his natural element in the Senate.  And the likelihood of him succeeding Trump in the Presidency is fanciful, at best.

Ted Cruz is a patriot, who wants to be of service to his country.  That’s why I think he’s the next Justice of the Supreme Court.