As inauguration day approaches everyone is asking the same question, what is Trump really going to do? Questions have arisen about his agenda and policies, even about The Wall and who will pay for it. Will immigrants be deported? Will Obamacare really be replaced or just repealed. If it’s replaced will it be with something conservatives might accept or will it be a single payer system like Trump advocated for years ago? Those on the right fear he will move left and those of the left fear he will be a right-wing “extremist”. I expect he will be some of both, perhaps pleasing, or more likely, displeasing those or both sides.
I do believe one thing is for certain, Trump will either be the greatest president since Reagan, or a disaster for the country. Because of his shoot-from-the-hip style and adoption of very strong positions on nearly everything, there is likely no middle ground for the Trump presidency — it could be Heaven or we may end up in Hell. More likely it will be a roller coaster ride between the two with euphoric highs and demoralizing lows. This is likely to be most apparent in the economy and equity markets.
The economy was slow over the past eight years, but at least is was stable, with slow, steady growth. Trumps promises of border taxes and bringing manufacturing back into the USA could lead to a recession after the initial boom of investment and high expectations. A new protectionism imposed by Trump might even crash world trade and cause a global economic downturn. The 1930 Republican Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act helped bring about the world-wide economic depression on the 1930s. This article examines Trump’s proposals in this context.
I wish Trump much success and hope he is a great president, but even if he is great, I don’t expect smooth sailing. To those expecting fours years of morning in America and a booming economy, I say “fasten your seat-belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night”.