US President @realDonaldTrump spoke at #wef20, telling the audience the United States is in the midst of an economic boom.— World Economic Forum (@wef) January 21, 2020
Find out more: https://t.co/91BiDmegfv @POTUS #wef20 pic.twitter.com/4Q1jXrxDTU
THE BEST IS YET TO COME! pic.twitter.com/YBMOBurdHQ— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 21, 2020
Donald Trump has a point.
What does the Davos crowd really have to complain about? The stock market is at a record high. He has delivered the biggest tax cut in a generation. He has delivered historic deregulation. The trade war with China is over. NAFTA has been rebranded as USMCA.
“With the stock market at record highs, two trade deals announced and the possibility that Mr. Trump may be in office for another four years, there is an increasing sense that he will be accepted, if not embraced (although some attendees may roll their eyes behind his back) when he arrives on Tuesday, even as he faces an impeachment trial. …
Will you say, ‘Thank you, Mr. President’ at least? Huh?” Mr. Trump asked Mary Erdoes, the chief executive of JPMorgan’s asset and wealth management division and a Davos regular, along with Jamie Dimon, the bank’s C.E.O. “They just announced earnings, and they were incredible,” Mr. Trump said about JPMorgan. “They were very substantial. I made a lot of bankers look very good. But you’re doing a great job. Say hello to Jamie.”
Stephen Schwarzman, the co-founder of Blackstone, who often gets calls from global C.E.O.s seeking advice on how to manage relations with Mr. Trump because of his close relationship with him, said there has been a shift among the C-suite crowd.
“The attitude of the business community toward the Trump Administration appears quite positive,” said Mr. Schwarzman, who runs one of the world’s biggest investment funds. Among the reasons for the warm feelings, he said, are the strength of the economy, trade deals with China, Mexico and Canada, the tax bill and the elimination of regulations. …”
In 2016, Donald Trump fooled even us into believing that he was challenging neoliberalism. We swallowed what he said during his campaign about tax cuts and deregulation mainly because the scope of what he said about trade, infrastructure and immigration. We all naively bought into the idea that Donald Trump was “moving the Overton Window.”
It was possible to believe in the fantasy that Trump was going to get rid of free trade deals, end outsourcing, secure the border, cut legal immigration and spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure and that he wasn’t just going to cut taxes for the wealthy and regulations for corporations because he was self financing his campaign and was independent of all of those people.
We didn’t think he was duping us by loaning money to his own campaign so that he could cut in the Republican donor class after winning the election. We didn’t think he was just going to tweak and rebrand the existing free trade deals and declare victory or that infrastructure which had bipartisan support would be a dead letter in a Republican Congress or that Trump would punt on building his big, beautiful wall for years which was the defining issue of his campaign, actually expand the H-2B visa program and preside over a surge in illegal immigration.
The current Trump-Kushner plan is to increase legal immigration while changing the composition of it to bring in more high skilled immigrants. In the fourth year of the Trump presidency, he has presided over an increase in the trade deficit with China, Mexico and South Korea, built three miles of border fence and admitted around 3 million more legal immigrants to the United States while around 2 million were “apprehended” at the border. There has been zero change in immigration levels over the Obama administration.
Donald Trump hasn’t done anything to dismantle neoliberalism. Instead, he has intensified the current system over his predecessor with deeper tax cuts and deregulation which has ballooned income inequality while labeling and marketing this as “nationalism” and “populism.” Whereas Obama significantly reduced the number of American troops in the Middle East over George W. Bush, Trump has increased the American military footprint in the region.
The MAGA agenda was nothing more than a marketing gimmick. Trump identified populist and nationalist resentments and divisions in the GOP, harnessed and exploited them with his rhetoric and baited and switched us while in office. This wasn’t a case of being thwarted by the Deep State or the federal courts or the Republican Congress. He sold out to the donors during the transition before he was sworn in as president. He surrounded himself with neocons and hired the CEO of Goldman Sachs as his top economic adviser. He has expanded guest worker programs. He is even pushing an immigration plan for the business community that doesn’t cut legal immigration. He has made all kinds of moves that has revealed what he is really doing in office like when he invited Sheldon Adelson to the White House to watch the 2018 midterm results.