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Can Trump Make America Great Again? – Ep. 151

  • We have some key primary elections coming up tomorrow and I want to take an opportunity to do a podcast on Donald Trump and the Trump phenomenon
  • A lot of people are under the impression that I am endorsing Donald Trump because I have said some positive things about him and his campaign
  • But I want to make it clear that I am not doing that
  • I am not convinced that he is going to be a good President, although it’s possible that he could
  • I think there’s no chance that Hillary Clinton would be a good President, that’s clear
  • Donald Trump is a wild card
  • I do have a lot of problems with much of what Donald Trump says
  • What is more telling is that he has so much support because he is tapping into a vein in the Republican Party, in fact, outside the Republican Party because he is getting Independents and Democrats to cross over and vote in Republican primaries because some people find his message so appealing
  • The country is in much worse shape than the media or the Federal Reserve or Congress are leading people to believe
  • Everybody keeps talking about the recovery, especially President Obama, but the people who are showing up for Trump at these rallies know there is no recovery
  • In fact, the economy is in even worse shape than even Donald Trump recognizes, but at least he is talking about the enormity of the problems
  • He’s right – America isn’t great. There are a lot of people who are in denial
  • They say we don’t have to make America great again, because it’s still great
  • No, it’s not
  • Based on any measure, the U.S. economy is far from its greatest
  • Donald Trump recognizes that American has lost her greatness and he wants to restore it
  • Voters want to make America great again and they believe Donald Trump can do it
  • Donald Trump probably believes he can do it and that is part of the problem, because he can’t make America great again
  • Only free market capitalism can make America great again and I’m not sure Donald Trump understands this
  • He believes America is in trouble because we’re run by a bunch of idiots, by incompetent people who are in charge of the country – and he’s right about that
  • They are incompetent, but just changing the politicians, having more competent leaders is not going to make America great again
  • If we have big government, it doesn’t matter whether Donald Trump is in charge or the current crop of politicians
  • There is no way to make big government work
  • Smarter people at the helm won’t steer this massive ship any straighter
  • Donald Trump believes that because he’s successful in business and he’s built a high net worth that he can run the U.S. government and make it profitable for American citizens
  • He thinks he can get in there and get rid of the waste, fraud and abuse and we’re going to negotiate better trade deals and this is going to bring our jobs back, and America will be great again
  • None of that is true
  • We don’t need better negotiators.  We don’t need trade deals. We just need free trade
  • The problem with trade deals is that they’re not free – they’re managed
  • There are all sorts of nonsense in these agreements
  • The fact that the U.S. has these huge trade deficits, and the fact that we’re losing all our high-paying manufacturing jobs is not because we got outsmarted by the Chinese in negotiations
  • Our trade deficits are a symptom of the problem – they are not the cause of the problem
  • The reason we have deficits with everybody is not because we have bad trade deals
  • It is because we have too much government
  • Even if Donald Trump is the leader of that government, he’s not going to make it work any better
  • What he needs to do is to talk about how he is going to dismantle government
  • Not how he’s going to make America great again, but how the American people will make America great again when they are free from government
  • If Trump is going to dismantle all the regulations and the spending and the taxes that are the source of our problem, then America can be great again
  • Trump talks about small cuts around the edges, but he wants to spend more on the military, not less
  • He wants to spend more on Social Security because he’s unwilling to cut anything
  • He wants to spend more on taking care of our veterans
  • He is not talking about making government smaller, he wants to make it more efficient
  • That’s impossible.  Government can never be efficient – It’s not a private company
  • He has a large enough ego that he thinks if he were just in charge everything is going to be good
  • I think a lot of voters believe that too
  • I want to talk about one thing in particular – tariffs and free trade
  • Trump keeps saying I believe in free trade, I just have to make it fair
  • If it’s free, it’s automatically fair
  • He wants to impose tariffs; particularly he calls out the Chinese and the Mexicans
  • He has put out a number of 40% for tariffs
  • Let me talk about what would happen
  • He says we’ll impose or threaten to impose tariffs, and then we’ll bring all our jobs back
  • We put Carl Ichan there on the other side of the table and he just negotiates this fantastic deal
  • None of this is possible
  • First of all, even if we imposed tariffs on China, for example
  • We are not going to all of a sudden start manufacturing all those products ourselves
  • We have a trade deficit with everybody
  • To the extent that we have tariffs on Chinese goods, we will have to import goods from other countries that weren’t our first choice, because maybe the Chinese were giving us a better deal, but if there’s a tariff on Chinese goods, maybe we will then look to second choices such as Korea, or Malaysia or Indonesia we will have to spend more money on the things we import
  • This will just make life worse for the people who are voting for Trump
  • The cost of living will go up and they are not going to get their high-paying jobs back
  • And the money from the jobs they do have will not go as far
  • Let’s say Trump decides to put a tariff on all foreign imports – a 40% tariff across the board
  • Let me explain why this is not going to bring our jobs back
  • For example, an American company that imports parts from outside the U.S. assembles products in U.S. factories.  A lot of the product gets re-exported
  • All my imported parts are 40% more expensive under the new tariffs, and any goods exported will no longer be competitive in the global market
  • This might give the U.S. company incentive to relocate overseas, especially if the global market is much larger than the domestic U.S. market