GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – By our calculation, it took just 76 days for President Trump to get on board with the Clinton-Bush-Obama agenda.
Now there can be no doubt where he’s headed. He’s gone Full Empire.
Not that it was unexpected. But the speed with which the president abandoned his supporters and went over to the Deep State is breathtaking.
Among the noise and hubbub of the election campaign, there was one message coming from the Trump team that was music to our ears.
Middle East wars?
He was against them, he said.
He claimed to have opposed the 2003 attack on Iraq. He said it was one of the “worst mistakes” the country ever made.
As for further involvement, why waste American lives and American wealth on wars you can’t win?
“America First,” he said.
This was a refreshing position. It put the Republican neocons and Establishment Republicans against him; many went over to Hillary rather than risk giving up their think tank grants and consulting fees.
A 2013 poll showed 52% of Americans thought the U.S. should “mind its own business internationally.”
But the elite gained power and money from foreign wars; they weren’t going to give them up. Non-entitlement spending in the swamp goes largely to cronies in the military-security industry.
But Donald Trump promised a “new foreign policy.”
No more trying to be the world’s policeman. No more fighting other people’s battles… and making things worse. No more wasting American money and American lives on foolish, unwinnable wars.
Ending America’s pointless and unsettling romp in the desert would be a good first move.
The bill for these misadventures is now said to be $7 trillion. As to Syria, Trump was typically direct. Don’t attack the country, he warned Barack Obama in a 2013 tweet, or “MANY VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN…”
But then, last week… the last great hope for the Trump administration blew up in Syria. Now the neocons are delighted. And the cronies. And the zombies, too.
Here’s the outlook: no real change to O’care. No cutbacks in entitlements. No attempt to balance the budget. No belt-tightening at the pudgy Pentagon. (Instead, it will get more money.)
And now this: The wars in the Middle East will not only go on… they will accelerate.
For now, the U.S. is not only fighting terrorists. It is also fighting the people who are fighting the terrorists.
It’s a perfect Deep State war: It is guaranteed neither to win nor to lose, but simply to go on indefinitely. This gives the insiders more and more of the nation’s wealth to piddle away in absurd wars in preposterous places.
Meanwhile, Congress adjourned. When it returns in two weeks, it will confront another crisis of its own making.
Government funding expires on April 28, which will give Congress five days to unveil, debate, and pass an enormous spending bill… or trigger a government shutdown.
“What a mess,” said Paul Brace, a congressional expert at Rice University in Houston, offering his own pessimistic view of the unified Republican control of the House and Senate so far under President Donald Trump. “It was so much easier when all you had to do was oppose Obama.”[…]
House Republicans “have differences of opinion. And they aren’t just political differences. They are policy differences,” said Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio.
And so our incipient Doom Index is still flashing a warning.
It will be tough for Congress to come to terms with its budget. The debate will open old wounds and gouge new ones.
Already, the federal budget deficit is expected to average $1 trillion a year over the next 10 years.
Mr. Trump will want to spend more. We need to spend more on infrastructure, on the military… and to revive the economy… he’ll argue.
Many House Republicans, especially the idealists in the Freedom Caucus, will find it difficult to go along.
Some will notice, cynically, that the whole program – including the attack on Syria – is little different from what Hillary had offered.
Consumer prices are already rising, others will note. Besides, who wants to go back to his home district after having signed on to $30 trillion of U.S. debt?
Others, the activists, will want to back Trump. The Obama years have been disastrous, they will say. The typical household is little better off than it was at the bottom of the last recession.
Half of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. And there are 66 million working-age adults without jobs, they’ll report.
The feds must do something! Increase spending to stimulate the economy (and not coincidentally steer a few bucks to major campaign contributors and other important hacks).
The more financially alert among members of Congress will recognize that eight years of stimulus has done little to help the real economy.
These realists will see a runaway locomotive headed to a dangerous curve.
They’ll want to know how the feds will finance huge new deficits just as the Fed tightens interest rates.
But the shrewdest among them will call their brokers.
The highest stock prices since the dot-com crash are based on the belief that, somehow, Team Trump will push through a corporate tax cut, leaving businesses with more after-tax money.
“That’s not going to happen,” they will say to themselves.
They will want to get out of the stock market before other investors catch on.
BY JUSTIN SPITTLER, EDITOR, CASEY DAILY DISPATCH
Editor’s Note: Justin Spittler is an experienced market analyst and one of our good friends over at Casey Research. Today, he tells you about a crumbling American industry that could pull down the entire economy.
Today, the auto industry is unraveling before our eyes…
Last month was the worst month for U.S. auto sales in two years. And that’s not even the worst part.
Sales are now down 10% since the start of the year. That’s the biggest three-month decline since 2009.
Also, in January, the industry manufactured 18% fewer cars than it did in January 2016. That’s the biggest year-over-year decline in domestic auto production since September 2009.
This is a serious problem.
It could even be a sign that a major financial crisis is around the corner.
The auto industry is closely tied to the health of the stock market…
When it’s doing well, stocks rise.
You can see what I’m talking about below. This chart compares the S&P 500 with monthly U.S. auto sales.
Notice anything? These two lines have practically moved in lockstep since 2010.
There’s just one problem. This relationship has broken down, as you can see from the red circle above.
Auto sales are tanking. Yet stocks keep rising.
This isn’t sustainable.
Unless this changes soon, people are going to start taking fewer vacations, too. They’re going to eat out less. They’re going to take fewer trips to the mall.
In other words, the problems in the auto market right now could soon infect the rest of the economy.
— Justin Spittler
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In today’s mailbag, readers write in with their support after reading about the troubles at Bill’s ranch in yesterday’s essay, “Our Ranch Is Becoming a ‘Death Valley.’”
Allow me to express my human compassion toward you. It sounds like a dream is dying!
You are right to desire your own private and sacrosanct space. However, it appears said space will have to be created closer to the madding crowd. Keep up the good work you are doing, because your voice is sorely needed.
– B. Storms
It’s easy to see why you love that ranch Bill and it has nothing to do with making money. The place reeks of real life.
On a cautionary note: I knew a good man who died working on his tractor when he was crushed by the unsupported bucket. Tell your guy to put a post under it.
– L. Koskela
Gualfin? Try Australia! There’s an old story about the fellow in the lounge room throwing 50 dollar bills into the fire.
His friend asked “why?” Answer: “It’s easier than farming!” But hang in there, Bill. Things will change eventually and, wow, it sounds like a great place for introspection. That’s its value to you.
Has anyone looked at the idea of bringing snow melt down from the mountains to irrigate the valley as was done in the mid 30s for California’s Central Valley?
Worked well for those displaced Midwest farmers because of the drought in the Midwest U.S. Would the Argentine government be interested in issuing revenue bonds to be paid back by the sale of water to the farmers?
Seems that possibility should be explored if it hasn’t.
– B. Smith
Our friends at the Palm Beach Research Group just released a surprising find.
The best opportunities of 2017 aren’t in the stock markets. They are being found in this little-known asset.
Early investors are already seeing tenfold returns, and our colleagues believe this is just the beginning.
See for yourself right here.