It’s bad enough Donald Trump doesn’t understand much about the U.S. economy. It’s worse that he doesn’t seek advice on the topic until 3 a.m. What’s worst of all, though, is that Trump is asking for advice from people who know even less than he does about the subject.
That’s right – Trump telephoned his newly-appointed National Security Advisor, Michael T. Flynn, at 3 a.m. on a recent morning to ask for economic advice, according to Huffington Post.
But Flynn is a retired Lt. General of the U.S. Army. While he may be knowledgeable about the military and defense, Flynn has no background in, or experience with, economic issues. He was at least honest enough to say Trump should actually ask an economist.
But it gets worse. Trump’s specific question was about the value of the U.S. dollar. (Is a strong dollar good for the economy, he asked Flynn, or would it be better if the dollar had weak value?
There isn’t any true benefit from a weak value, though. This national currency value is determined by its rate in trade with foreign exchange markets. A higher rating means a stronger economy.
And topping it off, Trump might be asking that question in order to find some excuse for the negative impact he’s had on the U.S. economy since being elected.
The day following his 2016 election to the presidency, U.S. dollar value fell, and directly because of his victory. Trump’s trade proposals were the reason, economists said. While there was some recovery in December, the value again dropped in January beginning the day Trump was sworn in, and it continues to walk a shaky path.
This value was steadily increasing in 2016, but since the date of the election, U.S. dollar value has fallen roughly five percent.
Trump already tested this excuse, too, even claiming that the value drop is good for the U.S. economy. In a January 16 interview with The Wall Street Journal, he said strong dollar value “is killing us,” claiming it prevents American companies from surviving Chinese competition because “our currency is too strong.”
If Trump intends to use this claim, which only seems to be a made-up excuse, he should probably pass that through Steven Mnuchin, his pick for Secretary of the Treasury. At a recent Senate hearing confirming his nomination, Mnuchin offered “a stronger dollar increases U.S. dollar purchase power.”
And Trump should probably think twice before he asks his top National Security Advisor for any more advice on any subject. Flynn is well-known to be one who distributes outrageous fake news through social media, and is currently under investigation for questionable communication with Russia.
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