Trumpian Ignorance

It burns.

I made the mistake of perusing Twitter and came across this gem from the occupant of the White House, and arguably the most powerful man in the world:

Look, there are a hundred things a day (or so it seems) to write about this president. Many, such as the human rights disaster on the border that is being created by this administration, are far more important than this tweet.

But, this is utter nonsense.

It is monumentally ignorant.

Our country has had debt since before it was a country. The American Revolution was financed via debt.

Heck, the issue of debt was so central to the founding of the United States, it is a central plot point in Hamilton.

Major infrastructure has been financed via debt.

Wars, both hot and cold, have been financed via debt.

No government operates on a cash basis. This is an absurd, childlike, assertion.

Debt, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. Most of us who own homes and cars financed them via loans. The issue with debt isn’t debt itself, it is the accumulation of too much debt.

Indeed, Trump should understand this, both in terms of his own real estate development career and his bankruptcies. But, alas, one is not so sure he really even understands all of that, given that he used his father’s wealth to cushion his business losses and to finance his lifestyle.

Also: the irony of ironies is that Trump’s major legislative achievement, the tax cut, is adding to the debt in an irresponsible way.

Beyond that, the notion that tariffs are some wellspring of economic prosperity is maddeningly absurd.

Understand: the problem for me is not that I disagree with Trump on policy. My fundamental frustration is that he tweeting out utter nonsense. He might as well be a flat-earther put in charge of NASA. It is maddening.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. This is an absurd, childlike, assertion

    Made by an absurd, childlike President.

    No, I take that back. Even a toddler wouldn’t act as bad as this man.

  2. Teve says:

    I doubt any toddler has ever raped anybody.

  3. CSK says:

    Gee, according to the Trumpkins, no one believes Ms. Carroll. No one.

  4. grumpy realist says:

    The Chinese must be laughing their asses off. So must the Russians. Sponsoring a handful of internet trolls and fake news stories up on social media and they’ve managed to Lebanonize all the fracture lines in US culture. Add to that the now-prevalent tendency of far too many Americans to only read the “news channels” that tell them what they want to hear and the hatred far too many people on the right have for the “lame stream media” and willingness to bung their heads full of Alex Jones conspiracy stories…

    We really have to start cracking down on fraudulent stories and fraudsters like Trump. Amazing how similar fraudulent statements made by a CEO of a publicly-traded company would bring the wrath of the SEC down on him but there’s no similar restriction on anyone running for the most powerful position in the U.S.

  5. SenyorDave says:

    Politics in the world of Trump is stressful. The idea that the POTUS is so completely ignorant of how government works is stunning. A few months ago I found myself reading something about the government of China under the Ming Dynasty. This was about 500 years ago, and the book talked about how big projects would be financed by the large landowners. This supposed great businessman doesn’t understand that the government is not run on a cash basis.
    He is as ignorant of government workings as my 6 year old grandson, who at least is a good person and fun to be with.
    And my grandson has not raped anyone.

  6. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Ignorant though he may be, many Americans will read that tweet and remember a halcyon era when the government didn’t have any debt and paid for everything on a cash basis, feeling sad at the change. Even as they know in their innermost beings that what they remember isn’t real.

  7. An Interested Party says:

    It makes sense that someone who has had a very intimate relationship with debt would act so allergically to it…sadly, though, just as he talks a big game (with nothing to back it up) about his own alleged wealth, he’s now doing the same with the US as a whole…anyone who voted for this clown really made a stupid mistake…

  8. Gustopher says:

    @An Interested Party:

    It makes sense that someone who has had a very intimate relationship with debt would act so allergically to it…

    Perhaps not the best choice of words to use about someone accused of rape and who brags of sexual assault, ogles 14 year olds in their dressing rooms, and has had his lawyers claim that you cannot rape your wife because that’s not rape.

  9. Kathy says:

    About par for the course for someone who thinks the Moon is part of Mars.