With an ego as big as the baby Trump balloon that protestors have dragged around the world to taunt him — and just as full of hot air — the president spent part of his morning Twitter frenzy in an orgy of self-congratulation over the falling price of oil.
So great that oil prices are falling (thank you President T). Add that, which is like a big Tax Cut, to our other good Economic news. Inflation down (are you listening Fed)!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 25, 2018
Like most of President Trump’s tweets, the text here requires parsing and deep analysis to understand the true meaning of his arbitrarily capitalized words.
Trump appears to be attempting here the difficult feat of murdering of two birds with one stone.
One one hand he’s sponging up all the credit for the complex economic factors that play into the rise and fall of petroleum prices, encouraging accolades from the American public for his deft handling of the economy that in his mind led to this new world of bountiful cheap oil.
Yet, the subtext of his boast is that if he hadn’t prostrated himself at the feet of the barbarically murderous Saudi royal family — the crown prince of which the CIA has determined ordered the killing and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in an act as brutal as anything done by Trump’s dreaded antagonist ISIS — then we’d be paying a lot more to gas up at the pump.
Of course, Trump being Trump, there is no factual basis for attributing the drop in oil prices to anything the president has said or done, particularly since the percentage of oil the U.S. buys from Saudi Arabia has dropped to less than half of what it was at its peak in 1991.
The likelihood of the president accepting personal responsibility for any past or future rise in energy prices or any other negative economic indicators is nil.
Moreover, the comparison of the lower oil prices to a “big Tax Cut” is a tacit admission that the much vaunted Republican tax plan passed last year did little for the vast majority of Americans who earn less than a million dollars each year, since who would need a further tax cut if all those billions of dollars of lost tax revenue were actually trickling down to the average citizen rather than simply adding to the massive national debt that our descendants will have to deal with?
Trump’s final comments on inflation are aimed as much at the Federal Reserve as at the general public.
Frustrated by the Fed’s independence in setting monetary policy and fearful that their stated goal of slowly increasing interest rates will slow down economic growth by making credit more costly and subsequently making him look bad, the president tries to spin a one month dip in the inflation rate into a long-term trend.
The real truth is that Trump’s tariffs are actually driving the prices of imported goods higher while wages remain stagnant as inflation has wiped out any meaningful increase in pay for the average worker.
Add to that the fact that inflation during the Trump administration has been higher than any single month since the beginning of President Obama’s second term, and you can see Trump’s tweet for what it is: another boastful parcel of falsehoods issued to pull the wool over the eyes of gullible followers (are you listening People)!