The Economy on a Political Hold

Dan Celia
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Posted: May 19, 2017 10:19 AM
The Economy on a Political Hold

In the midst of all the raging political controversies, we continue to see European markets affected by headlines screaming that President Donald Trump is driving economic uncertainty. Meanwhile, here in the U.S., we see such news stories about markets being weary of political uncertainty or that scandals surrounding the Trump administration—not alleged scandals, mind you—are hurting the markets.  

Is it really uncertainty if it appears and is gone in the same week? I guess that’s the nature of uncertainty.

In the meantime, however, we should be very concerned that nothing seems to be getting done in Washington. Hence, my Townhall column last week that asked, “Where’s the Tax Reform?

Interestingly, in a press conference Wednesday morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan talked about all the things that are getting done in Congress. He mentioned the negotiations moving forward with the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, and talked about the House Ways and Means Committee cobbling together tax reform, infrastructure legislation and other pressing matters.

But Ryan left out one very important aspect of the current political environment—namely, that no one will work very hard on anything that would give an appearance of supporting President Trump, not in the middle of all of this political turmoil.

Does anyone really believe that a health care plan will be voted on with so many headlines in the mainstream media challenging the credibility of a Trump administration? Could anyone possibly think that all this political wrangling and problems for the Republican Party is not crippling the Republican Party, particularly when it comes to doing anything beneficial for the American people?

For all of President Trump’s faults, it appeared as though, at long last, we had true leadership in the White House—someone who, at all costs, would stand firm for the American people and for America. We are beginning to watch an American president so busy ducking incoming political and media fire that he is not able to stand strong for the American people.

Something extraordinary will have to happen in order for us to see tax reform like Paul Ryan talked about this week. Or infrastructure projects like many of his economic advisers have championed. Or Obamacare repeal and replacement. We desperately need a Congress that can focus on the legislative process—on “little” things like fiscal policy, budgets, debt ceiling limits, keeping the government running and all the other day-to-day activities of governing.

If that’s not distraction enough, there are also the day-to-day activities of hiding from the media, pretending like you support the president, pretending to be negotiating health care reform and coalescing around the president’s tax reform, not to mention trying to convince constituents they really want what’s best for America.

As the president continues to work to keep the firestorm at bay, he’s getting no help from other Republicans on Capitol Hill. It seems less likely every day that the legislative process will proceed, since the mainstream media apparently has an unending supply of ammunition.

All that to be said, I believe this president has a pro-growth agenda that is as good today as it was on the campaign trail. It is an agenda that, without a doubt, has the ability to create economic prosperity, grow the middle class, incentivize corporate America, create discretionary income, bring jobs back to a 21st-century level and allow the country to experience GDP growth like we haven’t seen in 15 years.

Right now, however, it looks like the distractions from the left and the president’s self-inflicted wounds will continue to dominate the day. Still, the potential to make America great again is very much alive for now. But none of it will be possible without a coming together of the so-called leadership of our country.