Donald Trump has finally outlined what he calls his economic plan for the country. In addition to the incorrect facts, shoddy statistics, baseless arguments, exaggerations and misrepresentations (as detailed by so many in the media), Trump also failed to mention one of the biggest catastrophes to hit the country in almost 100 years: the 2008 financial crash, which is going to cost the United States more than $20 trillion or more than $170,000 for every living woman, man and child in the country.
Nothing since The Great Depression of the 1930s has destroyed more jobs and growth than the economic devastation caused by Wall Street’s too-big-to-fail financial firms crashing the financial system in 2008, which caused the worst economy since The Great Depression. For example, by October 2009, just 13 months after the collapse of Lehman Brothers (and just 9 months after President George W. Bush left office), more than 27 million Americans were out of work or forced to work part time because they couldn’t find full time work. Because many of those Americans were heads of households, that unemployment wreckage alone hit almost 50 million Americans.
On top of that, there were more than 16 million foreclosures filings, almost 33% of all homes in the US were underwater, wages plummeted, students dropped out of college, retired people went back to work and millions didn’t retire at all, poverty skyrocketed, the stock market plummeted, and tens of trillions of dollars of wealth was destroyed, all resulting in the American people being robbed of their economic security, prosperity and the American Dream.
Because those historic financial and economic shocks were so deep and so broad, indeed, cataclysmic, the aftershocks continue to this day and explain why so much of the economy is still under-performing for so many Americans. Yes, a lot of progress has been made since 2008 (and the US is doing significantly better than any other country in the world), but there’s still far too many Americans suffering from a lousy economy. However, most of the poor economic conditions Mr. Trump bemoans and claims he’ll improve are the direct result of the economic catastrophe caused by that financial and economic crash.
Not only does Trump not mention any of that, he blames President Obama and Secretary Clinton for a poor economy caused by Wall Street’s crash of the global financial system. That may be good politics, but it is bad economics and even worse policy. Rather than ignoring history and facts while blaming others, Mr. Trump should provide the American people with a specific, concrete and comprehensive plan on exactly how he will rein in Wall Street. That is essential to protect and promote American jobs and growth, not to mention our financial system, economy and standard of living.
Also unmentioned by Trump in his speech: President George W. Bush and his 8-year administration, even though the financial crash was enabled by his “markets know best” ideology and a deregulation frenzy. Oh, and the financial crash, TARP and the other Wall Street bailouts, and two stimulus packages also happened during Bush’s administration in 2008. The lack of Wall Street regulation and enforcement enabled the huge buildup of financial risk that exploded in 2008, after which Wall Street got bailed out and the American people got the bill.
Thus, history proves that failing to regulate Wall Street and letting Wall Street police itself are really bad ideas and a direct threat to the well-being of all Americans. Yet, Trump also proposed this in his speech by promising to place a moratorium on all regulations. That would stop the financial rules and effectively take the cops off the Wall Street beat, which will include financial reform. Wall Street would again be able to take reckless risks and gamble with other people’s money like federally insured deposits.
For Trump, who once bragged about trying to profit on the crash and who is advised by a Wall Street financier who personally pocketed $15 billion by betting on it, deregulation of Wall Street might be an opportunity to make some money, but that will come out of the pockets of and at the expense of hardworking Americans who will again be paying for the next crash in lost jobs, homes, savings and so much more.