After shooting himself in the foot more than once last week, Donald Trump is planning on pivoting toward one of his strengths, his fiscal policy? Never mind the fact that Trump has had to pivot so many times we’re all dizzy. Jonah Goldberg of National Review counts at least seven pivots, and we’re still counting. If I had to describe Trump’s economic policy in a few words, I would describe it as to the left of Maduro on spending and to the right of Reagan on taxing, with a healthy dollop of Herbert Hoover on trade. That sounds like a good policy: spend more to win over Bernie fans but cut taxes to win over conservatives.
Hillary Clinton recently said she wanted to spend $275 billion dollars on infrastructure. In response Trump said he would spend “at the least double” that amount. The key words in that statement is, “at least.” I thought we hated economic stimulus? In a typical presidential race, the candidate on the right typically responds to left-wing policy prescriptions by preaching fiscal sanity. Trump’s go-to response always consists of something further to the left of the liberal candidate.
“America first,” which in translation means American bureaucracy first or America’s politically connected first.
The biggest lie told and accepted of this presidential cycle is that Donald Trump wants to put America first. But, it shouldn’t consist of handing the bureaucracy another half a trillion dollars to reward the never ending line of cronies up in Washington, or punishing the free market for trying to escape that bureaucracy. Putting America first isn’t importing the trade policies of Nicolas Maduro.
The truth is the only weapon Trump has to fight Hillary is a bag full of discredited policies given the once over by Paul Manafort and whoever else he could coax into cosigning it. The only one worth defending is the beautiful tax cut. The simple fact is, aside from the debates, this could be the last real shot at actually mounting a reasonable campaign against the weakest Democratic candidate to run since Mondale.
In the end, whether Trump wins or not, the actual winners in this election will be the establishment. You could almost hear them now licking their chops as the nominee of both the major parties bid up the giveaways they want to bestow on big government. They could almost see it; all the powers added to the police state, and all the foreign policy blunders that will ensue. They know that it means the centralized government will be tasked with managing this new government largesse. On the other hand, we need to keep in mind that if this election is a blowout loss, Conservatives will receive 100% of the blame.
The history books will be written and the rise of this man will be classified as the death throes of a dying conservative movement: The myth of Donald Trump, the Walter Mondale of conservatism. Donald Trump, the new weapon to bludgeon future conservatives for years to come.
I wouldn’t expect much from Trump this week – it’s just one of his many pivots.