Of all Donald Trump’s wild pronouncements, his most irresponsible is that we can renegotiate our national debt at a discount. “You could make a deal,” he says.
His companies have been able to get away with that because creditors feared he might default. Sometimes they were right. He went bankrupt – four times. But a country is not a casino. Bad things happen when you toy with the full faith and credit of the United States.
U.S. Treasuries are the foundation of global finance. There would be no one to force creditors to accept less than face value. Economists say there would be little leverage without the threat of default, and that would ravage markets, drive up interest rates, devastate borrowing and stifle investment.
The Great Recession would look like a school picnic.
Mr. Trump’s fiscal negligence is right in line with Republican dogma. For 30 years, Republicans have pledged not to raise taxes, but that didn’t stop them from running wars off the books, or rolling back regulations that let their wealthy friends run amok, or even railing against all the debt they caused.
The real goal is to dismantle government for personal gain. Transfer enough money to private pockets and you’ll have a government that can’t afford to defend the public interest even if it wants to.
Eight years ago, right here in Manatee County, commissioners denied a zoning change to Mosaic, the big strip miner. Mosaic threatened to sue for more money than the county had in its annual budget.
If you want more of that, Mr. Trump’s your man. Remember, it was Republicans who presided over the two worst financial disasters in our history and Democrats who bailed us out. Republicans call Democrats big spenders, but Republicans spend, too. They just don’t pay the bill.