Monday, 23 October, 2017

Trump Ignorantly Thinks the Stock Market Reduces Government Debt

Hannity was fired from KCSB the University of California's radio station after the controversial segment in 1989 Hannity was fired from KCSB the University of California's radio station after the controversial segment in 1989
Bennie Garza | 12 October, 2017, 19:13

"I'm so proud of the $5.2 trillion dollars of increase in the stock market", Trump said, referring to the bull market that began as the economy pulled out of the Great Recession during the months after President Obama took office. "So, you can say in one sense we're really increasing values; and maybe in a sense we're reducing debt". "So they borrowed more than $10 trillion, right? But we're very honored by it", Trump said. And no, that stock market rally did not reduce or offset the national debt either.

"They said - they lost the election - they sat in a room and they said, 'Wow, we look bad.'" Trump said. The stock market has nothing to do with the debt.

The stock market and the national debt have, quite literally, no direct connection.

The national debt, which he correctly states is $20 trillion, is the result of the government spending more than it takes in. When investors get richer, it does not reduce the amount of money Congress and the federal government has already spent and owes. (Or at least he didn't seem to know it in his interview with Hannity.) That's concerning, particularly because Trump ran on his business savvy - and his ability to make America rich because he could work the markets and the financial sector better than anyone.

I assume he thinks it's like a real-estate investment: If you have a $50 million mortgage on a building, and its value rises from $80 million to $100 million, you have deleveraged without paying your debt down at all.

Trump has made few policy changes, and none that seem likely to boost productivity or reverse the demographic trends that have driven slow growth. "I mean, that's a smart thing, not a stupid thing".

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