Saturday, August 01, 2020

Why not try to understand Trump, instead of always criticizing him?

Donald Trump is not a politician; he’s an outsider. He doesn’t think, act, or speak like a politician. Therefore, his enemies say, he is a bad dude. Many don’t like the way he behaves and talks. But why can’t they put these puerile feelings away and deal with the reality before us; the problems we have and ways to improve things?


Even Trump’s defenders understand that, like everyone else, he is not perfect. But so much of the anti-Trumpism is based upon emotional reaction rather than upon thoughtful analysis. And, yes, anything that Trump does that produces a positive result is bad news for the liberals/progressives.


Trump is called many unpleasant names, which are almost exclusively wrongly applied or strongly exaggerated. Among them are that he is a “nationalist.” Those using that term disparagingly believe that he wants America — and himself — to rule the world, and if other nations are destroyed or damaged, so what?


But Trump’s nationalism promotes the interests of America, not necessarily to the detriment of others. He loves America, and he wants to protect the country from being abused by other countries. This is exactly what the leader of every nation should do.


He especially has the aim of leveling the lopsided national playing field where we pay and do far more than our share, to the benefit of other nations, and often to our own disadvantage. The upside-down trade situation with China for so many years shines as an example.


Trump is a businessman and sees things as negotiations, whether with the leader of another country, or with other parts of the government. He speaks in positive, sometimes over-positive, language about efforts to get things done. He speaks in very negative terms about people, countries and things working against him, but his ultimate goal is to reach an end where America benefits.


Not everything that Trump has done has worked perfectly, or even well. But some of them are works in progress. Negotiations are not always pretty. Sometimes, things get worse before they get better.


But a good many of them do get better.


Following the Great Recession of 2007-08, then-President Barack Obama’s policies did little if anything to bring the country out of the recession.


Trump, by contrast, understands economic principles, the ones that work. He knew that tax cuts and regulatory roll-backs were key to getting the economy out of the doldrums of the recession.


He lowered tax rates in six of the seven brackets and increased standard deductions for married and single filers, and heads of household.


The theory is sound: Let people keep more of their earnings, and they will spend it on needs and wants. Let businesses keep more of their profits and they will spend them on more or new equipment, additional workers, wage increases and other positive things. More spending in the private sector leads to an improving economy.


Naysayers will complain that businesses just pay executives and shareholders more with their increased profits. True, that happens. But the increase in employment and the decrease in people on welfare show that the money does get used for broader benefits to the economy.


And, they say, the rich just get richer from tax cuts. But the hated rich don’t hide their money in their mattress; they spend it on things like homes, cars, boats, furniture, trips, food, household goods, etc. Purchasing these things promotes economic expansion.


And the rich weren’t the only beneficiaries of Trump’s tax cuts. They created prosperity for the middle class through higher wages, more take-home pay, more jobs and new employee benefits.


Trump’s actions also made operating a business in the US more attractive than it had been in many years, and American businesses began returning to the country, moving factories and jobs from overseas where they had moved years ago, and creating jobs for Americans.


After Ronald Reagan’s economic policies had been in place for long enough to produce positive results, he said: “I knew our economic policies were a success when they stopped calling them Reaganomics.”


And Obama’s followers were not shy about claiming credit for the quickly improving economic conditions after Trump put into effect sensible policies.


The US had been propping up countries damaged by wars for decades, even beyond the point where these countries could stand on their own. An example is that the US leads the funding for NATO at 22 percent of direct funding, The NATO defense spending target is 2 percent, which only eight of 29 members currently meet. Trump wants this corrected so that America carries its weight, but not the weight of most of the rest of the organization.


And just last Friday, Trump signed executive orders seeking to lower the cost of insulin and EpiPens, two drug products priced well beyond where they should be. The orders also allow states and pharmacies to buy drugs overseas, slash pay to medical middlemen and make sure other countries don’t pay less for American drugs than Americans do.


These are the kinds of governing the country needs right now, not the disastrous hands-off policies that allow violent rioting, shootings and destruction to run rampant in cities across the nation.

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