Populism means easy money

The common man is a debtor, and inflation is a feature of the American common man’s political philosophy  — populism.  The original American populists, the People’s Party of the late 19th century, wanted free silver to expand the money supply.  This was an explicitly inflationary effort to ease the burdens of debtors.

Trump is the most populist President in American history, the self described “King of Debt”, and as such would like to see some inflation.  He’s in the process of getting his wish, with the 10 year Treasury about to breach the 3% barrier, and beyond.

Inflation can help get an economy booming, which helps Trump politically, and is the best chance he has of reelection.  But if inflation gets out of control, as it did in the late 1970’s, there’s hell to pay.

For the time being, Trump doesn’t care about spending deficits and the national debt.  They’re not costing him anything, politically.  Eventually, they will.  One of the great questions of the day is —  when?

People with better math skills than I have may have some idea, but I think it’s essentially unknowable.  It depends on the market, and the psychology of investors.  The greedy bulls seem to be in charge right now, but the fearful bears are lurking.

When inflation and rising interest rates do start costing Trump politically, he’ll be ready to hear all about Article V and the Balanced Budget Amendment.

Time is on our side.

 

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