The Donald in Davos

Facebook Friend Tim Nerenz:

A reasonable person would have withheld judgment about the policy prescriptions advocated by Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. I certainly did.

Anything sounds great in theory, where there is no consequence and no objective measure of an idea’s potency. In the abstract and theoretical world, the only measure of an idea is the pontifications of pundits, and the belief systems from which they view the world.

Unlike us common folk, the “learned” punditry believes themselves to be infallible; they assured us that skies would fall instantly should Donald Trump be miraculously elected. But we now have a year of real-world application to assess, and it is the learned punditry on both the right and left, not us common-rabble deplorables, who have to eat crow.

While the American corporate response to tax reform has been a bit surprising, the global response to the President’s tax reforms has been nothing short of stunning. At Davos this week, senior executives from Europe’s largest firms – Siemens, Nestles, Adidas, et al – praised the President’s reforms and announced significant expansions and investments in American operations – just exactly as the President and every economically literate person predicted. And just as every snake-oil peddling, media-pimp expert promised would NEVER happen.

It was a low-key affair, that Davos roundtable; serious people around a table discussing serious things in serious tones. Business leaders, not political hacks or attention whores – nobody dressed up as a genital organ or screaming obscenities or waving signs. None of them wearing a mask or making a fist or burning a flag or anything like that; serious people responsible for the well-being of hundreds of thousands of employees and millions of shareholders. Watch the video, and compare the demeanor of those serious-minded corporate leaders to the likes of Senator Cory Booker, who came unhinged at a female witness in a recent Senate hearing.

And watch the demeanor of our President. Completely different when he is in the company of persons of accomplishment, damn-near deferential, I would say. For anyone who wonders how a group of CEO’s interact, this is it. There is a reason these people have risen through the ranks and have been entrusted with great responsibility. They do not act the fool like CNN’s Jim Acosta, when given the opportunity. That is why they are entrusted with many billions of shareholders’ assets and Acosta is entrusted with a $248 microphone.

And the list of American firms who are redirecting money previously paid in taxes to the federal sink-hole into the pockets of employees is equally jaw-dropping. The first-responders drew a cynical mocking from the “smart people” who still occupy prominent positions of influence, for reasons which defy logic daily. Crumbs, empty symbolism, a stunt, saith the media seers who have never sold anything but themselves, and have never had to meet a payroll.

But now this week it’s Starbucks, Disney, Apple joining the nearly 100 American firms to announce bonuses, wage increases, investments here at home, and repatriation of funds from abroad. These are not Trump cronies – they funded his opponents, they mocked his supporters, they showed their contempt for his populist appeal.

And now each one of them is proving him right – not by their words, but by their actions. And I will give a shout-out to Paul Ryan – the tax reform was a legislative accomplishment, and although not nearly as bold as I would like, let’s give credit where it is due. Ryan took a lot of heat, and deservedly so, but he delivered the mail.

At the end of year one of Trump, the stock market is setting new highs weekly. Isis is nearly extinct. Black unemployment is at historic lows, the economy is growing at almost double the rate that we were told was the new-normal top end. The poverty rate for married black couples who work is at record lows; indistinguishable from their white counterparts. North Korea is making nice to South Korea; NATO has faced up to its chronic underfunding; the duplicity of the Muslim countries in regards to harboring and funding terrorism has been called out and there is a major re-alignment underway. The repeal of burdensome and unnecessary regulations has been breathtaking in scope – over 1,000 in just one year.

One year. The question begs: why did President Obama not do these things?

No, seriously – ask yourself why our previous President did not do these things with two terms to get them done? These things are not ideological – economics is economics, military strategies are the realm of military science, competence in government is not a Republican or a Democrat ideal. Even libertarians want a competent, albeit drastically reduced, government.

I honestly do not know the answer to that question. But is a question that should be put to former President Obama and he should respond. But it won’t and he won’t.

It is clear that our current President loves this country, whatever else you might think of him. “America First” is a perfectly rational ideal for all Americans to get behind, because “America Thirteenth” didn’t work for us. Not so long ago, Democrats, Republicans, libertarians, socialists, and every point along the bell curve would have agreed on America First. And we will again; time heals.

We could have had these increases in wages and bonuses and investments in American jobs years ago – nobody is doing this because they like The Donald’s hairstyle. None of those corporations are doing this for the PR value. A fair number of those CEOs hate Donald Trump – I would still not walk across the street to shake his hand if he called me by name.

But I also don’t care if my plumber can’t sing opera. Just fix the leaky pipes and get on out of my house, pal. That is what I want from government, and I could care less if it gives the posers and delicate flowers in the media the vapors to see a little butt crack now and then.

And President Trump, if you are listening … keep calling a shithole a shithole; those of us who have been to those shitholes have your back. And also, please send Jeff Sessions into retirement – you got a mountain of evidence of a corrupt coup attempt from our intel community in the swamp and he is out rousting Parkinson’s victims for hitting a doob to get a moment of relief. Keep being a boss – drain the swamp in year two – that is what you were hired to do.

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