Dear Trump Supporters,
Judging by the latest polls, it looks like you're still supporting your presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, despite the most recent series of blunders by the orange-faced political dilettante that would've otherwise forced previous candidates to step down. Not only did your guy completely fumble a response on the national debt, but evidence was revealed late last week showing that Trump attempted to deceive reporters by posing as his own publicist, "John Miller."
I mention these two incidents together because they effectively hammer your candidate from both ends. Not only is he trying to pull a fast one on you by denying that he ever pretended to be a made-up character named "John Miller," but the debt response he gave last week shows that he's completely out of his depth on policy as well -- specifically, economic policy that ought to reside squarely in a "Successful Businessman's" wheelhouse.
In case you missed it, Trump supporters, Trump suggested he'd reduce the national debt by buying back U.S. bonds for less than they're worth. In other words, in order to eliminate our $19 trillion debt, Trump would pay bond holders, say, 80 cents on the dollar. Just like failing businesses do with junk bonds, despite the fact that U.S. bonds are one of the safest investments in the world.
Here are four problems with his ludicrous plan, as compiled by CNN Money:
- First of all, businesses typically buy back debt when they are in trouble. It's seen as a red flag. Investors agree to accept less money because they would rather get 80 cents on the dollar than nothing. The U.S. would have to be in terrible economic shape for this scenario to be an appealing idea.
- Second, it would alarm investors in the U.S. and around the world to see the trusted U.S. Treasury playing games in the bond market. It could cause huge uncertainty, and possibly raise U.S. borrowing costs for years as investors demand higher interest payments. Other nations like China might even retaliate with trade sanctions or other economic tactics.
- Third, if Trump buys back bonds at a lower price, it doesn't just hurt the Chinese and Japanese who hold the debt. It would also harm millions of Americans who hold U.S. bonds in their retirement and savings accounts.
- Fourth, the federal government doesn't have any money to buy debt back with. The U.S. already has $19 trillion in debt. Trump's plan would require the U.S. Treasury to issue new debt to buy old debt.
That last one is crucial and reveals just how phenomenally dumb Trump's plan is. It'd cost trillions to buy back all those bonds.
Where's that money going to come from?
But don't worry. Trump has already tapped CNBC's Larry Kudlow as an economic adviser even though Kudlow has been wrong about nearly everything having to do with the U.S. economy, especially the Great Recession, which Kudlow insisted wasn't happening deep into 2008.
How terrible is Trump's debt plan? Let's check in with the conservative American Enterprise Institute:
"Mr. Trump doesn't have a coherent idea of what he's talking about," says Michael Strain, an economic policy expert at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.
Oh yeah. Trump's totally going to "Make America Great Again." By the way, be sure to print that slogan on the wooden barrel you'll be wearing when the world economy implodes after Trump attempts to screw millions upon millions of bond holders. Stock up on gold spray-paint now -- this way, you can add the name "TRUMP" in gold letters on the shacks that'll invariably spring up in various shanty towns.
When it happens, Trump will likely blame his heretofore unknown Economic Policy Czar, "Sol Rosenberg." Poor old Sol, Trump will tell us -- a firecracker blew off in his hand, knocking him down a flight of stairs during which his glasses and shoes fell off, forcing him to invent such a nonsensical plan for the debt. Again, the National Debt -- an issue which you people appeared to have discovered on January 20, 2009, and which you've been screeching about ever since -- is among perhaps your top two or three biggest issues. Therefore, it's safe to say you believe it's important enough to be handled by a serious leader. And yet Trump is your guy, and this is his stupid, stupid plan.
And if Sol Rosenberg doesn't acquit himself of the debt plan blunder, perhaps Trump will resurrect his imaginary friend, "John Miller," to manage the PR disaster.
You realize, don't you, that Trump is lying to you about "John Miller" -- that he's never heard of him, nor has he heard the tapes? See, Trump thinks you're an idiot who will blindly accept obvious lies and transparent scams, just because you're fed up with Obama and because Fox News has indoctrinated you into a bubble existence in which empirical facts are no longer relevant.
And if you actually believe Trump's lies about "John Miller," I have some robot insurance to sell you -- for when the metal ones come for you. Seriously, if you think Miller is a real guy, go find him. Book him on The O'Reilly Factor or The Five. (Good luck, because, sorry, he doesn't exist.
Indeed, the only thing that could've made Donald Trump's imaginary friend more entertaining would be if he had named him "George Glass." You know, to fully complete his Jan-from-The-Brady-Bunch derangement. Funnily enough, George Glass likely knew more about the national debt than Trump does.
Anyway, there's still time to jettison this faker. You might not like John Kasich or Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney as much, but think about it this way: if you're willing to accept pennies-on-the-dollar for your U.S. bonds, surely you'd accept an alternative candidate who'd only Make America 50 or 80 Percent Great Again.