Image from NYAppraisalSource
Q: What’s the difference between your wife and a golf ball?
A: You know where to find a golf ball.
Sorry for the cheap shot, but the lack of time Melania spends with you is getting a lot of coverage lately. Perhaps too much coverage, given a very serious issue no one is talking about. No, it’s not about the sideshow of you releasing the FBI memo.
It’s about your tax plan, giving the richest of the rich unnecessary tax breaks, that you signed on December 22 and the effect it is already having on the dollar. It ain’t good.
Forget politics. Let’s talk economics. And forget about the stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a poor metric to gauge the future of American prosperity, just as the Titanic’s speed before it plowed into an iceberg was a poor indicator of the probability of it arriving safely on the other side of the ocean. (And yet, after writing the first draft of this article on Thursday, the Dow dropped an unholy 666 points on Friday. I’d like to hear your fundamentalist supporters explain that one.)
Let’s take a look at how far the value of the dollar has fallen against three major currencies since the tax plan was passed. The following exchange rate graphs are a snapshot of the last 60 days and come from www.x-rates.com. Don’t get distracted by the name of the site – you won’t find any images of Stormy Daniels in there.
Each red line in the graph marks December 22, 2017 – the day you signed the tax plan.
Here’s how the dollar has fallen against the euro since then:
Value on December 22, 2017: $1 = 0.84308958 euros
Value on February 3, 2018: $1 = 0.80269231 euros
Decline in the dollar: 4.79%
Here’s how it has fared against the British pound:
Value on December 22, 2017: $1 = 0.74847181 pounds
Value on February 3, 2018: $1 = 0.70832369 pounds
Decline in the dollar: 5.36%
And here it is against the Chinese Yuan Renminbi:
Value on December 22, 2017: $1 = 6.5749084
Value on February 3, 2018: $1 = 6.2979677
Decline in the dollar: 4.21%
Feel free to play around with the date ranges and any other world currency in the exchange app of your choice if you don’t trust these images. Notice how the value of the dollar follows the same trembling pattern in all of them – a decline that began the day you gave yourself a billion dollar tax cut. They are all marking the same decline for the same reasons: fear and unpredictability of American leadership.
Sure, a four or five percent drop in each currency doesn’t seem like much, but note:
- The decline started immediately following the tax cut, and the dollar was rather stable before it.
- It has only been six weeks, and we can expect the decline to continue.
With you touting how great the economy is, why don’t you tell us why the dollar is weakening when it should be strengthening?
Forget about the claim that a weaker dollar helps the economy by making exports cheaper. That’s the kind of sophomoric proclamation one would expect from a guy who finances movies about Legos. The reality is that over the long term, a weak dollar means fewer investors seek it as a haven. Investors have begun moving their money elsewhere.
Now let’s take a look at the price of gold during the same time period. The data is taken from GoldPrice.org.
As you are a gold lover, you know its price always skyrockets when people fear volatility and want to put their money in something “safe.” Since you signed the tax bill – and not before – gold has skyrocketed $120 an ounce, from $1,240 to $1,360. That’s a 10% increase in six weeks! It is an indicator of fear of deeply flawed economic policies. And it doesn’t help that every time Fox News is on in our office break room, I witness a barrage of commercials – starting with the one featuring the assertive senior citizen standing on the deck of a battleship – exhorting us to buy more gold.
And now, just the numbers. The following graph courtesy of the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation shows your tax plan will add one TRILLION dollars to the deficit, and that the Government will be unable to pay its debts sooner than expected.
So much for republicans being deficit hawks. Well, maybe with such a huge increase in the deficit, no one will notice your puny $50 million golfing tab tacked onto it.
All of this was predictable, and you were duly warned. No one listened – especially your party. That’s the saddest joke. Which brings me to this:
Q: What’s the difference between your presidency and the value of the dollar?
A: The value of the dollar will be missed.
No, that awful joke won’t give anyone a chuckle. But by the time the poisonous effect of your tax plan runs its course through our economy, no one will be in the mood to laugh.