Understanding Trump’s Strategy on the Debt
Mitch McConnell’s Senate has joined Nancy Pelosi’s House in passing what Twitter Cheerleader Extraordinaire and Chairman of the Superfluous Capitalization Club of America Donald Trump quaintly calls a “Budget Deal,” as though the U.S. Federal Government’s formal continuation of its longstanding principle of perpetual limitless debt increases has any business being described with the word “budget.” Does the operative principle here bear any resemblance to anything you have ever referred to as a budget in your own life?
George: “Martha, let’s decide on the budget for our trip to Europe next spring.”
Martha: “Um…how about just allotting all the money in all the other people’s houses on our block as our travel budget?”
George: “Great idea! But what if it’s not enough? After all, there’s a lot of stuff to see in Europe, and I wouldn’t want us to miss out on any of it due to something as odious as a lack of funds.”
Martha: “Well, then, maybe we should expand the budget to include all the money in every house in the entire neighborhood?”
George: “That might do it for the first week or so, but there is nothing more annoying than having to look at your wallet halfway into a vacation and start thinking about what you can’t do, rather than what you want to do.”
Martha: “Your solution, then?”
George: “How about just planting our nuclear devices on the rooftop, aiming them in every direction, and telling everyone in the neighborhood to borrow all the money they can get for their children and their children’s children and their children’s children’s children, and then to give all that money directly to us.”
Martha: “I love it! We’re going to have so much fun on this trip!”
Donald Trump’s cult is on bend-overdrive today, trying to persuade themselves that this is all wonderful because Trump says so. Besides, as they alternatively tell themselves, it’s Congress, not the President, that makes decisions on appropriation, so The One True God really had no control over this. And then, of course, to cover over Trump’s loud Twitter-lobbying for, and triumphant celebration of, this “Budget Deal” that he supposedly had nothing to do with, they can say, mouthing the catechism as passed down from on high today:
Budget Deal is phenomenal for our Great Military, our Vets, and Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! Two year deal gets us past the Election. Go for it Republicans, there is always plenty of time to CUT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2019
“Go for it Republicans, there is always plenty of time to CUT!”
Brilliant strategy. The key word there is “always.” In other words, it doesn’t matter how long you continue to increase spending. It doesn’t matter how many generations into the future you bury your nation in irredeemable debt. Just keep going — there is “always plenty of time to CUT!” In other words, you never have to stop bankrupting the nation, because there is “always” another day to fantasize about the time when you will start to reduce spending — and not merely reduce it, mind you, but CUT it.
On Trump’s strategy — and I am not being facetious, as I believe this is the truest explanation of, and working model for, the perpetuation of the fame and glory of Trumpworld — success is never to be defined by the goals at which you aim, or the fruitfulness of your efforts toward the attainment of such goals. Success, i.e., the perpetuation and increase of Trump’s fame and glory, is to be measured precisely by one’s ability to hold one’s audience in thrall to simple, easily expressed goals that one has no intention of ever pursuing, by continually feeding them immediate gratification while tying this mindless dissipation rhetorically to the perpetually, ritualistically promised goals, which, remember, are never really to be pursued at all, but exist only as comforting, perpetually-stoked fantasies in the collective imagination of one’s followers.
It is becoming clearer and clearer all the time why the Republican Party establishment embraced Trump’s candidacy so enthusiastically, and why Mitch McConnell has made Trump his personal pet project. The establishment’s goals and Trump’s personal sociopathic talents are a match made in heaven.