Six dire predictions for a Trump presidency

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(AP)

1.) Donald Trump is going to bring such a wave of poorly vetted crooks and charlatans into power with him that it’s gonna look like the Oklahoma Land Rush invading Washington. They won’t know the rules and they won’t care about the rules. They are there to break the rules. The remarkably scandal-free Obama administration — with not a single major official dismissed for corruption or subject to indictment — is going to be followed by one of the most corrupt administrations in American history.

Book it.

I say that for a number of reasons. First, Trump is not a man who ever showed respect for the rules and he operates out of a grand sense of entitlement. Let’s just say that his election as president isn’t likely to moderate either trait. Judging from his campaign staff, once in office he will surround himself with people of a similarly opportunistic mindset. Initially, the Republican Congress will attempt to ignore or whitewash the corruption, and you may see a power struggle at the Justice Department if the career professionals attempt to move to address it. It’s not going to be pretty.

2.) For that and other reasons, our system of checks and balances will undergo its most serious test in our nation’s history, and I don’t have complete faith that it will be up to the task. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have pledged in the past to rein in a President Trump if necessary, but I’m extremely dubious they will have the power or will to do so. Ryan in particular is in a dangerous position. One signal of serious disfavor from Trump in the White House and he’ll have Ryan’s political head on a platter before the week is out, and Ryan knows it. He serves as speaker at Trump’s pleasure.

And if Trump chooses to ignore a future court ruling against him, which side would a Republican Congress take?

3.) Trump ran in part on anger against Wall Street elites, yet stock for Goldman Sachs and other big banks are soaring on the expectation of much less regulation, higher profits (and risks) and probably much higher bonuses as well. The financial watchdog agencies created in the wake of the 2008 collapse — for example, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau that recently held Wells Fargo to account — are going to be defanged if not dismantled. Pharmaceutical stocks also jumped, again on the expectation that Big Pharma will face no constraints on how they price their monopolistic products. Investors are telling you with the most honest means at their disposal– their own money — that they expect this notion of a Trump administration as populist defender of the little guy will be nonsense.

4.) To the degree that Trump believes anything, he appears to believe in a more robust social-safety net than his fellow Republicans. He also seems to understand instinctively what past Republicans do not, that the people from rural and small-town America who went to his rallies and put him into office are deeply reliant on federal assistance and do not want to see it cut. It’s no accident, for example, that the six Georgia congressional districts with the highest number of people collecting Social Security also happen to be the six most reliably Republican districts in the state.

That sets up the most obvious area of tension between Trump and congressional leaders such as Ryan who have made “entitlement reform” a major goal. It will be particularly fascinating to watch what happens with ObamaCare.  Trump, like his party, ran on killing the program, and they are obligated to appear to do so. But killing it is about where the agreement ends. Trump has repeatedly said that government can’t let Americans go without health care, and by killing ObamaCare, they’ll be doing just that to some 20 million Americans who now rely on it. Congressional Republicans, on the other hand, oppose the very idea of federal involvement. It’s going to be delicious watching them “work that out.”

5.) Trump has promised and is likely to deliver huge tax cuts for the wealthy, huge increases in the military budget and huge investments in infrastructure. (Look at what Lockheed Martin and other defense-industry stocks have done since his election). As addressed above, he is also unlikely to accept major reductions in Medicare or Social Security. The math on that only works one way — a massive increase in federal debt, to such a degree that it will re-ignite inflation.

Again, watch Wall Street, where long-term interest rates on government bonds have begun to soar. Investors are betting that Trump will produce significant inflation, and that the Federal Reserve will be forced to raise interest rates to offset it. How Trump responds to the actions of a politically independent Fed should be classic, because again, he’s not exactly a checks-and-balances kind of guy.

6.) Foreign policy is going to be a mess. The traditional Republican defense and foreign-policy establishment wants nothing to do with Trump, and vice versa, which leaves the door open to U.S. foreign policy being run by people long considered to be dangerous fringe operators.

(AP)

A journalist points at a portrait of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, with a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin at right, during a live telecast of the U.S. presidential election in the Union Jack pub in Moscow Wednesday. (AP)

Look for example to Russia, where leaders are openly celebrating Trump’s election. According to Russia’s deputy foreign minister, they have been in close contact with Trump’s staff throughout the campaign. “Obviously, we know most of the people from his entourage,” Sergei Rybakov said.  “I cannot say that all of them but quite a few have been staying in touch with Russian representatives.”

Look to Iran, where the nuclear treaty negotiated under President Obama is working well. Trump has promised to repudiate it, but any effort to do so will result in outrage from the allies who helped negotiate it and a refusal to cooperate in reinstating international sanctions against Iran. It would also mean a return to power of anti-Western extremists within Iran and an immediate, full-blown restart of Iran’s nuclear program, with no chance of further negotiation. It’s hard to see how all that doesn’t result in war, particularly with the bull-in-the-china-shop types who will probably be running foreign policy for Trump.

All of the above will of course constitute “change,” which is allegedly what this election was about. However, the specifics of that demand for change were always vague, with little evidence of thought about what it would constitute from either Trump or his followers. It’s also important to point out that despite the electoral margin, a majority of American voters went to the polls and rejected Trump and Trumpism. That doesn’t call into doubt the legitimacy of his presidency (although imagine the whining had Trump lost in the same fashion that he won). However, it does mean that the mandate that he and his backers now claim far exceeds the reality. More Americans voted for Democrats than Republicans in the U.S. House as well, even though gerrymandering gave the GOP continued control over that body.

All in all, the situation guarantees overreach and bungling on a scale that may be hard to imagine at this moment. Now … watch and see if that comes true.

Reader Comments 0

3037 comments
Msaw007
Msaw007

This article needs to be revisited every 2 weeks, it is eerily prophetic.

Genie Williamson
Genie Williamson

And you are saying that the ones I there now are not crooks!! Omg, he would have to do better than what we had! REALLY! I wouldn't trust the news media to tell the truth about anything! You told so many lies during the election that you wouldn't know what the truth is now I will wait and hear it from Sean Hannity or president Trump himself. Please don't try to feed us anymore of your lies!! Not listening!!!!!!

James Davis
James Davis

Why wouldn't he? He has the backing of evangelicals, who never have moral issues with $$$$

Gregg McMahan
Gregg McMahan

Amy if you look he's already bringing in white supremacist into the administration, but I guess you're proud of that and look at it as a great thing.

Gregg McMahan
Gregg McMahan

If you look at who he's already named, then it isn't hard to determine this.

Gregory Vassilious
Gregory Vassilious

Yup. No sense being quick to judge before anyone has taken office or the fact that the 49% democratic Senate must vote on these appointments ... oh have you already forgotten that appointments are made with the advice and consent of the Senate?

Amy Howard
Amy Howard

He wont bring mpre than whats already there!

James Sr Hall
James Sr Hall

Give me a brake no matter what he does it would never top Obama an his corruption.

Mary Paine
Mary Paine

What that was Hillarey and shes gone.

Jean Rexius
Jean Rexius

Could not be worse than what is already there. Beside he is very smart.

Kenneth Sternberg
Kenneth Sternberg

Kind of like when Obama brought along Acorn to run the census, along with Valerie Jared and Rahm Emannual?

Vera Reid
Vera Reid

We had that already with O"Bama.

Muriel Mason
Muriel Mason

No he isn't hiring any of the poorly vetted crooks that worked with Obama. They can get new jobs elsewhere.

Rob Stewart
Rob Stewart

Sound like the democratic party, it's everything they'd done over the years,I voted trump to change and get America away for such waste.

Jean Miller Ingersoll
Jean Miller Ingersoll

Just more lies folks, don't believe it for a minute!! We are headed in the right direction to try and correct this mess this Obama Administration has created!!

Jack Warner
Jack Warner

Come on ajc, having bookman give opinions on trump,is like having Bill Clinton give a seminar on protecting women from sexual predators

Janet Mc Leish Renfrow
Janet Mc Leish Renfrow

Based on all the biased, unjust, unjournalist, opinionated, coverage of the election, I'll choose to wait and see instead of reading your fabrication. You all have proven yourselves to be untrustworthy. No thanks

Jean Mahurin
Jean Mahurin

What a liberal liar he knows Trump will get all the corrupt out of Washington and make a,great president and that is what he is afraid.all it is is propaganda geez liberals are sore loser grow up

Scott Riddle
Scott Riddle

Sounds kind of like the patriots that signed the Declaration of Independence.

Teeya Clarke
Teeya Clarke

Y'all voted for him\U0001f602\U0001f602\U0001f602

Sarah Elizabeth Westberry
Sarah Elizabeth Westberry

That's what I'm going to be saying when they don't have Medicaid for their children That's what I'll be saying when they don't have Medicare for the elderly That's what I'll be saying when they can't get health coverage for their preexisting conditions That's what I'll be saying when federal funding is cut to schools that are already in need And that is what I'll be saying when social security is cut Y'all voted for him

Wayne Ford
Wayne Ford

They'll let any moron write something nowadays

Russell Morse
Russell Morse

What else would you expect Jay Bookman to say, now that his bunch lost the election ?

Scotty Brown
Scotty Brown

This is typical left wing I hate America communist propaganda. Still butt hurt over Americas pic for president. Keep it up, this is what got Trump elected in the first place. We're not buying it any more.

Karen Bagwell Kitchens
Karen Bagwell Kitchens

Bookman, you are delusional if you think the Obama administration was scandal free! It is full of people who thumped their nose at the law, such as Loretta Lynch, Holder, and oh yes, himself. Hillary has had scandals following her around like a beloved pet for over 30 yrs. And she wanted to keep Lynch on as AG.

Jean Mahurin
Jean Mahurin

He knows that but he don't care if she is a criminal let's just keep a liberal for president really makes sense doesn't it. NOT

TopoTiger
TopoTiger

Great job Jay, keep up the good work AJC! If it wasn't clear last Tuesday night it should be now....HATE, IGNORANCE and RACISM won the electoral college but not the popular vote.

PrettDee
PrettDee

Thanks Jay! 'When people show you who they are.....believe them".  Trump continually  mentioned during the campaign, his affection for  Putin. When Russia's  Putin  finishes manipulating Trump, it might be too late to save this country.

Alexis Castelazo
Alexis Castelazo

In that case, Trump should hire american top notch killary clinton, jah, jah, jahhhhhhhh

Donna Horinek Potter
Donna Horinek Potter

What or who could be worse than the lying crooked muslims obumer has put in with him?

Val Lewis
Val Lewis

Let them find out the truth the Hard Way

Sue Cov
Sue Cov

I'm not going to read therefore i ctions because I know none of it will be good just more lies on there part..there still tring to take him down

Carolyn Anderson
Carolyn Anderson

President Trumps goal is to get rid of the "crooks" in the government....not bring more into the system. I believe he wants to make our nation stronger, safer, & more prosperous for EVERYONE.