What About the Trump Tax Thing?

By David Stockman  |  October 4, 2018

sticks in my teeth too,
and I’d rather
romances for you-
more profit in it
and more charm.

But I subdued
setting my heel
on the throat
of my own song.

– Vladimir Mayakovsky, At the Top of My Voice (1929-30)

So the Donald’s private financial data are all over the place.

Of course, you’d hardly know it, because, in a series of tweets starting at 2:24 a.m. ET Thursday morning, the White House gave the “all clear” on Brett Kavanaugh.

He’ll be confirmed. But he’ll forever be subject to questions about “legitimacy.”

As such, he’ll be just another pawn in a long-running intra-duopoly power struggle. This pawn happens to occupy one of nine lifetime seats at one of most powerful tables on Earth, though.

That’ll tend to overshadow what really is the “other” Trump tax story anyway…

The actual documents had been hidden – “All County Building Supply & Maintenance,” anyone?

But diggers from The New York Times didn’t have to go too deep to find the bountiful seam.

It was buried, but only on a disclosure filing made by Maryanne Trump Barry as part of the president’s sister’s confirmation as a federal judge.

The rest – “just details” – will escalate the cold war in Imperial Washington.

The response – rolling into the latest episode in the Kavanaugh miniseries – is yet another boon for Bubblevision’s more overtly political programming.

It’s also adds strength to an important signal:

The Washington Consensus won’t hold much longer.

We know who the Donald is. We knew when we elected him president in November 2016. We’ve known of his grift since the 1970s.

Sure, he’s done it bigger and bolder than anyone anybody ever saw. That’s right… he’s the Great Disruptor…

Now, let’s set aside the intramural struggle over who gets what sinecure or spoil Inside the Beltway.

Let’s talk about what matters more when it comes to the health of the republic.

On this score, the only Trump tax issue that genuinely matters anymore is the egregious bill he signed on December 22, 2017. It brought the GOP’s long-running Fiscal Debauch closer than it’s ever been to fruition.

Yes, the Donald inherited a devastated Main Street… and a pumped up but dumbed down Wall Street… and these are the still-devolving legacies of decades of destructive fiscal and monetary policies.

We were already bound for a new crisis, one far more debilitating and long-lasting than the 2008-09 experience.

But, of course, his signature legislative move so far is the Trump Tax Cut.

And he continues to tweet that “we’re having the best economy we’ve ever had in the history of our country.”

It’s not true.

We’re 111 months into “recovery.” And it’s always been one of the weakest on record.

Strength of Economic Expansions

The “booming profits” narrative on which equity indexes are hitting new high after new high?

It’s not true, either.

The $2.2 trillion run-rate of pre-tax profits for all U.S. companies in the second quarter of 2018 is exactly the same as it was in the first quarter of 2012.

National Income vs. Corporate Profits

Blinded by confidence in his homebrew of economic crankery and encouraged by GOP regulars, there’s no way the Donald saw the cul-de-sac ahead.

Now, after doubling down on the Fiscal Debauch, he’s going to try to bully the Federal Reserve into more Cheap Money. But this boisterous “low interest” man’s Trade War is driving the Fed in the opposite direction.

Meanwhile, that inherited bubble is inflating toward its bursting point…

And Main Street twists in the wind, anesthetized/entertained by this latest season of Peak Political TV…

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David Stockman

David Stockman is the ultimate Washington insider turned iconoclast. He began his career in Washington as a young man and quickly rose through the ranks of the Republican Party to become the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street.MORE FROM AUTHOR