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Trump’s Contract On America: “Austerity, With the Chance of a Trade War”


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Donald Trump decided to talk policy today. Some gestures about trade and a single, targeted tax loophole elimination aside, he expressed standard-issue Republican ideas. In other words, it was probably nuttier than the typical Donald Trump campaign day:

Thus, the GOP nominee tried to change the conversation Monday, by focusing on the issues that really matter to the American people — like increasing the inheritance enjoyed by the children of millionaires, slashing regulations on Wall Street, and accelerating the onset of catastrophic climate change.


Along with these lukewarm appeals to the center of the electorate, Trump doled out hot slabs of red meat to the Republican donor class. The GOP nominee called for repealing “the death tax,” which is to say the tax on the estates of multimillionaires. There is no public interest in repealing this tax, unless one believes that the American economy is currently plagued by too little inequality. Then the candidate who has accused his opponent of being “controlled” by Wall Street proposed a moratorium on all new federal regulations, including those aimed at financial institutions. Finally, Trump pledged to revive the coal industry by repealing Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

While Trump didn’t mention entitlement reform, he also didn’t vow to defend those programs. And his combination of tax cuts, vows to increase spending on the military and law enforcement, and the bipartisan fear of growing deficits would almost certainly require cuts to America’s threadbare social safety net. Thus, the forecast for the Trump economy looks like austerity, with a chance of trade war.

There are many terrifying things about the possibility of Donald Trump become president. The fact that he would sign pretty much whatever legislation Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell put on his desk remians among the most terrifying.

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