President Trump is on the attack.
Who is right?
Let’s kick the debate off with a review of the Reuters’ article Trump blames Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell for debt ceiling ‘mess’.
President Donald Trump said on Thursday congressional leaders could have avoided a legislative “mess” if they had heeded his advice on raising the U.S. debt ceiling, renewing criticism of fellow Republicans whose support he needs to advance his policy agenda.
Trump said he had advised Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan to link passage of legislation raising the debt ceiling to a measure on veterans affairs that he signed on Aug. 12.
“I requested that Mitch M & Paul R tie the Debt Ceiling legislation into the popular V.A. Bill (which just passed) for easy approval,” Trump said a in Twitter post.
“They … didn’t do it so now we have a big deal with Dems holding them up (as usual) on Debt Ceiling approval. Could have been so easy-now a mess!” he added, referring to Democrats.
The Treasury Department, already using “extraordinary measures” to remain current on its obligations, has said the limit on the amount the federal government may borrow must be raised by Sept. 29.
Relations With McConnell
Trump also reiterated his criticism of McConnell on Thursday over the Senate’s failure in July to pass a bill to replace Democratic former President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, legislation opposed by Republicans since it was enacted in 2010.
“The only problem I have with Mitch McConnell is that, after hearing Repeal & Replace for 7 years, he failed! That should NEVER have happened!,” Trump said in a tweet.
McConnell offered muted criticism of Trump on Thursday, saying he was “a little concerned about some of the trade rhetoric” by the president and others.
Trump has repeatedly condemned trade deals he believes are bad for American workers and for the U.S. economy. On Tuesday he cast doubt on any deal emerging to improve the North America Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada. “We’ll end up probably terminating NAFTA at some point,” he said.
“Trade is a winner for America,” McConnell told a gathering of Kentucky farmers and lawmakers. “You may or may not know this, but of all the current free trade agreements that we have with the various countries all around the world, if you add them all up, we actually have a trade surplus.”
Who is right, Trump or McConnell?
OK, who is right?
The answer: McConnell is mostly correct when he states that he is “a little concerned about some of the trade rhetoric”.
McConnell should be more than a “little concerned” about Trump’s inane trade policy. We all should be very concerned.
However, Trump is correct about Obamacare, Paul Ryan, and the deficit.
Speaker Ryan is totally useless.
What Does it Take?
What the heck does it take to get some leadership in the House and Senate to actually get something useful done?
I have no answer to what I just asked. My expectation is that taxpayers get the worst of both viewpoints.
An ideal trade agreement can fit on a napkin: Effective immediately, all tariffs and all subsidies, on all goods and services ends today.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock