Hunched over and huffing angrily while bitterly recounting all his grievances against America’s obviously corrupt political elite while being pestered by CNN’s Kaitlin Collins, former President Donald J. Trump admitted something truly astounding: he wanted the United States government to default on its elephantine, $32 trillion national debt.
According to Trump, it’s going to happen at some point. It might as well be now rather than later when it’ll be costlier.
Donald Trump: From the King of Debt to the Mad King
In the 1990s, as Trump’s business empire was going belly-up, he was nicknamed the “King of Debt”.
He ingenuously got the big banks to which he owed a cartoonish amount of money to bail him out lest he takes them down with him.
If that was Trump’s thinking when he blurted out that statement, he might have come across as more rational than he ultimately did.
The reason Trump’s comments on the coming debt ceiling vote were so jarring to those of us who haven’t started the self-flagellation process that my fellow Right-wing ideologues have initiated in the name of Donald Trump’s reelection bid was because he clearly didn’t care about the consequences.
To be clear: should the United States fail to meet its debt obligations by Congress refusing to raise the debt ceiling in June, the economy will collapse. Every American will be grievously financially wounded by this absurd act of meaningless political theater.
What’s more, the Republicans will likely be blamed. Going into a presidential election, that’s not a smart move.
When pressed by the amateur CNN reporter, Kaitlin Collins on his unhinged comments, Trump seemed indifferent at first. But then he decided to open up to the bizarrely rapt audience. With a disturbing twinkle in his eye, like an arsonist watching his dazzling pyrotechnic display, Trump admitted that he wanted the debt ceiling failure to happen on Biden’s watch rather than his own.
So, Trump has fallen in with the likes of the loony Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, who thinks that America defaulting on its massive debt will be star-spangled amazing!
It won’t be.
Trump and the Republicans think they’re setting fire the corrupt Democrats’ system. But they’re not. Like any arsonist, they’re lighting your stuff on fire and celebrating the pain they’ve cause you. Your money will be worthless. Your pensions will be, at the very least, cut in half. Our economy will collapse.
But, hey, the ideologues think they’re going to score some major political points!
Republicans Will Be Blamed
And even if Trump and the GOP were able to pin the blame for the economic collapse after the debt ceiling isn’t raised in June on the Democrats, why would any of them want to take over the country after that?
Repairing that level of damage would be damn near impossible. There’re no winners here.
Trump, the candidate in 2016 I proudly wrote had the most heart of any of those who ran, came across as cruel and petty in that moment of the townhall. How sad. Those remarks, however, are utterly disqualifying.
He wants the country to go into a massive economic downturn to stick it to Joe Biden? Some of us have to live here, man! We’re not all rich guys like you and Joe Biden.
Those comments were embarrassing and unbecoming of a person seeking to be president. An actual plan is needed—one that addresses the debt crisis without destroying the lives of our fellow countrymen.
The fact that Trump is advising the House GOP, which will play a decisive role in whether or not the debt ceiling is raised in a few weeks, is disturbing.
Learning to Pick One’s Battles
In general, he’s right. The House GOP needs to negotiate tougher. But with a few weeks before the government runs out of money, heading into an election year, it’s best to delay this fight for one more year until after the votes are in, the Republicans—hopefully—are in office, and then real changes can be made to the way our government spends our hard-earned tax dollars.
That’s not what Trump is advising, though. And his words carry great weight with the GOP. They will take this country right off the cliff and then cynically try to blame Biden. But the GOP’s brand has always been the party of cutting things.
Even though Biden has not operated in good faith during the course of the debt ceiling negotiations, it is likely most voters will blame the Republicans if the country goes off the fiscal cliff.
Trump is sounding more like the Mad King every day. The same gutsiness that got him into the Oval Office in 2016 is now going to ensure that he takes both the party—and possibly the national economy—down with him.
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.