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It’s NOT the Economy, Stupid!

Trump’s Former Chief of Staff Speaks Out

By Shlomo Maital    

Mick Mulvaney, former Trump Chief of Staff

“It’s the economy, stupid” is a phrase coined by James Carville in 1992. Carville was a strategist in Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign against George H. W. Bush. His phrase was aimed at campaign workers. Carville wanted it to be one of three messages for them to focus on. The other two were boring and not worth mentioning.

     Clinton used the 1991/2 recession in the United States to successfully defeat George H. W. Bush.

     Fast forward. President Trump pushes prematurely to open schools and get the economy restarted. A massive second wave of coronavirus occurs. And his former Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, speaks out against him, in a CNBC Op-Ed. Here is what Mulvaney, until very recently privy to the innermost circles of the Trump administration, said today:

   “….lawmakers still see the need to run the [money] presses, they need to realize that the current economic crisis is public-health driven. As such, using ordinary fiscal tools might not be particularly efficacious. Put another way, the fact that people aren’t going on vacation probably has more to do with fear of getting sick than it does with their economic condition. Giving people a check, or some financial incentive to travel, won’t solve their problem. Make people feel safe to go back on an airplane or cruise ship, and they will of their own accord.   Any stimulus should be directed at the root cause of our recession: dealing with Covid. I know it isn’t popular to talk about in some Republican circles, but we still have a testing problem in this country.”

     Yes, you got it. It is NOT the economy, Stupid. (Mulvaney did not say ‘stupid’). If you don’t gain control of the pandemic, you will not be able to restart the economy, schools or no schools. It’s that simple. It is the VIRUS, Stupid!   People won’t spend until you get control of it. And personal consumption is 70% of GDP, or $13 trillion, in 2019 (pre-pandemic).  

     Government programs can spill massive amounts of money into the economy, including IRS checks sent to dead people. But they can’t come close to what people spend, when and if they are comfortable, confident and reassured. So, it is NOT the economy, it is the public health crisis. Tackle that first!  

     It’s that simple. Trump’s inability to understand that will cost him a heavy defeat on Nov. 3 – but it will cost the American people far more, until Biden is inaugurated on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. That’s 190 days away! More than half a year. A lot of people are going to get sick, and some will die, during those six months.

 Very very sad. Very very troubling. Very very angering.





What Happened? Why Hillary Lost..My Take

 By Shlomo Maital

Hillary Clinton has now published her account of why she lost the presidential election: What Happened?   She admits to blame, but also blames many others, including the Russians and Comey.

     She also notes how she was unnerved at a crucial debate, when Trump lurked behind her, scowling. And a headline even praises her for ignoring Trump (see above).

   I disagree. Her is my take on an alternative scenario.

       Hillary:   turning and pointing at Trump.   “Is that the person the American people want to lead them?   Come out here, Mr. Trump, come out into the light where we can see you for what you are – a bully. You bully everyone, you bully women in particular – but Mr. Trump, you can’t bully me. I’m not afraid of you. A man who bullies, who hides in the shadows as you do in your shady business dealings, in your shady bankruptcies, in your hiding your income tax returns…   you are not worthy of the trust of the American people. We don’t like bullies. We don’t like liars. And we don’t like men who threaten women.   We are going to thump Trump on November 8! Thump Trump!”

     Hillary was the first female U.S. Presidential candidate. I recall that Israel had a woman Prime Minister, Golda Meir, who was widely believed to be a lot tougher than her male counterparts. Many criticized Hillary for her emails, her lack of human warmth, etc.   I think she would have won Ohio (and hence the election) if she had shown another quality – toughness. The irony is, Hillary is indeed tough. But the toughness was shown only in private, and rather hidden in public.   Alas!  


Blog entries written by Prof. Shlomo Maital

Shlomo Maital