Donald Trump has made the current presidential race interesting. Some of his positions are abysmal from a libertarian point of view. For a hugely successful businessman, he is nearly incompetent when it comes to economics.
While Trump is a billionaire and by far the richest candidate, he does seem to be more in touch with the average American. He acknowledges that the middle class is struggling. I think Americans want this acknowledged, even if the person does not have all of the answers.
Bernie Sanders will talk about how the poor and middle class are taking it on the chin, but all of his solutions are more calls for bigger government – hardly a solution to our economic woes.
Back in 1999, Trump was toying with the idea of running for president. He proposed a one-time wealth tax of 14.25 percent in order to pay off the national debt. That was at a time when the national debt was relatively small compared to today.
Trump’s proposal at the time applied to wealthy people with over $10 million. This is really a blatant violation of property rights and it is completely un-American. Aside from the moral aspects, it is also terrible economics.
Imagine if there were a one-time wealth tax imposed of 14.25% on any wealth over $10 million. First, most wealthy people would be hiring extra lawyers and tax accountants in an attempt to hide their wealth or move it offshore.
And what about people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett? If Bill Gates has $50 billion and all of a sudden owes $7 billion to the government, he isn’t just going to write a check from his bank account. He would probably have to sell a lot of stock, including billions of dollars in Microsoft stock. When you figure that Gates, Buffett, and other wealthy individuals will be selling stocks, it would crash the market.
And what about an entrepreneur that owns a small business? If he has a net worth of $30 million because of his business, would he have to pony up several million dollars in a wealth tax? Would he be forced to sell his business or liquidate some of his assets?
And what about someone who owns real estate? Would he have to quickly sell some of his big holdings in order to pay the wealth tax?
You can see the problem here. Trump either didn’t think this through at the time, or he was just being a demagogue.
I haven’t heard Trump talking about this nonsense this time around. Some of his economic policies are still bad, but not this bad.
I have been listening to an audio book by Robert Kiyosaki, the author of the Rich Dad Poor Dad series. Trump and Kiyosaki previously coauthored a book together. While Kiyosaki is not exactly fluent in Austrian school economics, he does have a pretty good understanding of money and the Fed. If Trump gets elected president, I hope he appoints Kiyosaki as Treasury secretary.
On foreign policy, Trump actually sounds better and more reasonable than most of the rest of the candidates. It is hard to say what he would actually do in office, but his words are somewhat encouraging that he will at least be rational.
As for Trump’s political incorrectness, I love it. It is refreshing in today’s world.
Rand Paul made a big mistake in the first debate by attacking Trump. Well, Rand Paul has made a lot of mistakes, but I really don’t know what he was thinking on this. According to the Washington Examiner, he is going to continue to attack Trump.
But it is the anti-establishment Republican voters who are going for Trump. These are the people who Rand Paul needs. He can’t get them by insulting Trump. He has already turned them off. Ted Cruz has been smarter in this respect by keeping a cordial relationship with Trump. If Trump does trip up on something, then Cruz may get some of his supporters.
While Trump is saying that Rand Paul should drop out, he shouldn’t really mean it. The problem is that about half of the Republican voters still would prefer almost anyone over Trump. The more people in the race, the better it is for Trump.
Trump seems to be solid at around 33%. The other dozen or so candidates are all splitting up the votes. If a lot of people drop out and it comes down to one or two challengers against Trump and it happens early enough, then Trump could be in trouble for the Republican nomination.
It is funny how worried the establishment is over Trump. Even though his policies are not that anti-establishment, I think it bothers them that he can’t be easily bought. This means he cannot be easily controlled, which bothers the establishment more than anything. Unfortunately, the establishment had trouble controlling Kennedy too and we know how that ended.
The one person more disliked than Trump is Hillary Clinton. But remember that her husband won his first presidential election with a little over 40% of the popular vote. The best thing for Hillary Clinton would be Trump losing the Republican nomination and then running third-party.
I still don’t know if Trump will pull this off, but at least it is fun to watch the establishment squirm. Trump is nothing close to being a libertarian, but at least he seems to be a little less pro war than most of the others. If Trump does win, I will be promoting Kiyosaki for his cabinet.