MUST READ – President Trump Warns Congress Not to Touch Social Security and Medicare, For a Good Reason, He’s The One Who Can Fix Them


Posted originally on the CTH on January 21, 2023 | Sundance 

President Trump transmitted a message to congress, warning them not to cut Social Security and Medicare {Direct Rumble Link}.  Many politicians and pundits will look at Trump’s position from the perspective of it being a good position to campaign on for older voters, but that’s not the core of his reasoning.

In 2016 CTH was the first place to evaluate the totality of President Trump’s economic policies; specifically, as those policies related to the entitlement programs around Social Security and Medicare.  We outlined how the approach Trump was putting forth and the way he was approaching the issue.   In the years that followed, he was right.  He was creating a U.S. economy that could sustain all of the elements the traditional political class were calling “unsustainable.”

Before getting to the details, here’s his video message and policy as delivered yesterday. WATCH:

Trump: We must protect Medicare and Social Security

Fortunately, we do not have to guess if President Trump is correct. We have his actual economic policy results to look at and see how the expansion of the economy was creating the type of growth that would sustain Social Security and Medicare.  This was/is MAGAnomics at work.

♦ On Social Security – Unlike many other 2016 Republican candidates, Donald Trump did NOT call for rapid or wholesale changes to the current Social Security program; and there’s a very good reason why he was the only candidate who did not propose wholesale changes.

With the single caveat of “high income retirees” (over $250k annually), which previously Trump said he was open to negotiating on, President Trump does not consider these programs as “entitlements”. The American people pay into them, and the federal government has an obligation to fulfill the promises made upon collection.

To fully understand how Donald Trump views the solvency of Social Security, you must again understand his economic model and how it outlines growth.

The issue with Social Security, as viewed by Trump, is more of an issue with receipts and expenditures. If the aggregate U.S. economy is growing by a factor larger than the distribution needed to fulfill its entitlement obligations, then no wholesale change on expenditure is needed. The focus needs to be on continued and successful economic growth.

What you will find in all of Donald Trump’s positions, is a paradigm shift he necessarily understood must take place in order to accomplish the long-term goals for the U.S. citizen as it relates to “entitlements” or “structural benefits”.

All other candidates and politicians begin their policy proposals with a fundamentally divergent perception of the U.S. economy.

The customary political economy theory, carried by most politicians, positions them with an outlook of the U.S. economy based on “services”; a service-based economic model.

While this economic path has been created by decades old U.S. policy and is ultimately the only historical economic path now taught in school, President Trump initiated his economy policy with the intention to change the dynamic entirely, and that’s exactly what he did.

Because so many shifts -policy nudges- have taken place in the past several decades, few academics and even fewer MSM observers, were able to understand how to get off this path and chart a better course.

Donald Trump proposed less dependence on foreign companies for cheap goods, (the cornerstone of a service economy) and a return to a more balanced U.S. larger economic model where the manufacturing and production base can be re-established and competitive based on American entrepreneurship and innovation.  This is the essence of MAGAnomics.

The key words in the prior statement are “dependence” and “balanced”. When a nation has an industrial manufacturing balance within the GDP there is far less dependence on the economic activity in global markets. In essence the U.S. can sustain itself, absorb global economic fluctuations and expand itself or contract itself depending on the free market.

When there is no balance, there is no longer a free market. The free market is sacrificed in favor of dependency, whether it’s foreign oil or foreign manufacturing, the dependency outcome is essentially the same. Without balance there is an inherent loss of economic independence, and a consequential increase in economic risk.

No other economy in the world innovates like the U.S.A. President Donald Trump saw/sees this as a key advantage across all industry – including manufacturing and technology.

The benefit of cheap overseas labor, which is considered a global market disadvantage for the U.S., is offset by utilizing innovation and energy independence.  This was the core of the economic program that created so much immediate GDP growth in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

2017: […]  “This policy will be successful in moving the U.S. economy away from low-growth secular stagnation towards significantly more buoyant performance. We would not be taken by surprise by a doubling of the growth rate of real GDP in the U.S. over the next two years, nor by a further significant move up of equity valuations and a material further appreciation of the dollar.”  ~  David Folkerts-Landau, Chief Economist, Deutsche Bank

The third highest variable cost of goods beyond raw materials first, labor second, is energy. If the U.S. energy sector was unleashed -and fully developed- the manufacturing price of any given product would allow for global trade competition even with higher U.S. wage prices.  This is why President Trump traveled to Saudi Arabia as his first foreign trip, followed closely by a trip to Asia.  He was putting the basics of his U.S. economic policy into place.

Additionally, the U.S. has a key strategic advantage with raw manufacturing materials such as: iron ore, coal, steel, precious metals and vast mineral assets which are needed in most new modern era manufacturing. President Trump proposed we stopped selling these valuable national assets to countries we compete against – they belong to the American people; they should be used for the benefit of American citizens. Period.  This was the central point of the Steel and Aluminum tariffs.

EXAMPLE: Prior to President Trump, China was buying and recycling our heavy (steel) and light (aluminum) metal products (for pennies on the original manufacturing dollar) and then using those metals to reproduce manufactured goods for sale back to the U.S.

As President, Donald Trump stopped that practice immediately, triggering a policy expectation that we do the manufacturing ourselves with the utilization of our own resources.  Then he leveraged any sales of these raw materials in our international trade agreements.

When you combine FULL resource development (in a modern era) with the removal of over-burdensome regulatory and compliance systems, necessarily filled with enormous bureaucratic costs, Donald Trump began lowering the cost of production and the U.S. became globally competitive. In essence, Trump changed the economic paradigm, and we no longer were a dependent nation relying on a service driven economic model.

The cornerstone to the success of this economic turnaround was the keen capability of the U.S. worker to innovate on their own platforms. Americans, more than any country in the world, just know how to get things accomplished. Independence and self-sufficiency are part of the DNA of the larger American workforce.

In addition, as we saw in 2018 and 2019, an unquantifiable benefit came from investment, where the smart money play -to get increased return on investment- became putting capital INTO the U.S. economy, instead of purchasing foreign stocks.

With all of the above opportunities in mind, this is how President Trump put us on a pathway to rebuilding our national infrastructure.

The demand for labor increased, and as a consequence so too did the U.S. wage rate which was stagnant (or non-existent) for the past three decades.

As the wage rate increased, and as the economy expanded, the governmental dependency model was reshaped and simultaneously receipts to the U.S. treasury improved.

More money into the U.S Treasury and less dependence on welfare/social service programs have a combined exponential impact. You gain a dollar and have no need to spend a dollar – the saved sum is doubled. That was how the SSI and safety net programs were positioned under President Trump.  Again, this is MAGAnomics.

When you elevate your America First economic thinking you begin to see that all of the “entitlements” or expenditures become more affordable with an economy that is fully functional.

As the GDP of the U.S. expands, so does our ability to meet the growing need of the retiring U.S. worker. We stop thinking about how to best divide a limited economic pie and begin thinking about how many more economic pies we can create.  Simply put, we begin to….

…. Make America Great Again!

trump west virginia

We know it works, because we have the results to cite.

It was the Fourth Quarter of 2019…..

Right before the pandemic would hit a few months later…. Despite two years of doomsayer predictions from Wall Street’s professional punditry, all of them saying Trump’s 2017 steel and aluminum tariffs on China, Canada and the EU would create massive inflation, it just wasn’t happening!

Overall year-over-year inflation was hovering around 1.7 percent [Table-A BLS]; yup, that was our inflation rate.  The rate in the latter half of 2019 was firmed up with less month-over-month fluctuation, and the rate basically remained consistent.   [See Below]  The U.S. economy was on a smooth glide path, strong, stable and Main Street was growing with MAGAnomics at work.

A couple of important points.  First, unleashing the energy sector to drive down overall costs to consumers and industry outputs was a key part of President Trump’s America-First MAGAnomic initiative.  Lower energy prices help the worker economy, middle class and average American more than any other sector.

Which brings us to the second important point.  Notice how food prices had very low year-over-year inflation, 0.5 percent.  That is a combination of two key issues: low energy costs, and the fracturing of Big Ag hold on the farm production and the export dynamic:

(BLS) […] The index for food at home declined for the third month in a row, falling 0.2 percent. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs decreased 0.7 percent in August as the index for eggs fell 2.6 percent. The index for fruits and vegetables, which rose in July, fell 0.5 percent in August; the index for fresh fruits declined 1.4 percent, but the index for fresh vegetables rose 0.4 percent. The index for cereals and bakery products fell 0.3 percent in August after rising 0.3 percent in July. (link)

For the previous twenty years food prices had been increasingly controlled by Big Ag, and not by normal supply and demand.   The commodity market became a ‘controlled market’. U.S. food outputs (farm production) was controlled and exported to keep the U.S. consumer paying optimal prices.

President Trump’s trade reset was disrupting this process.  As farm products were less exported the cost of the food in our supermarket became reconnected to a ‘more normal’ supply and demand cycle.  Food prices dropped and our pantry costs were lowered.

The Commerce Dept. then announced that retail sales climbed by 0.4 percent in August 2019, twice as high as the 0.2 percent analysts had predicted. The result highlighted retail sales strength of more than 4 percent year-over-year.   These excellent results came on the heels of blowout data in July, when households boosted purchases of cars and clothing.

The better-than-expected number stemmed largely from a 1.8 percent jump in spending vehicles. Online sales, meanwhile, also continued to climb, rising 1.6 percent. That’s similar to July 2019, when Amazon held its two-day, blowout Prime Day sale. (link)

Despite the efforts to remove and impeach President Trump, it did not look like middle-class America was overly concerned about the noise coming from the pundits.   Likely that’s because blue-collar wages were higher, Main Street inflation was lower, and overall consumer confidence was strong.  Yes, MAGAnomics was working.

Additionally, remember all those MSM hours and newspaper column inches where the professional financial pundits were claiming Trump’s tariffs were going to cause massive increases in prices of consumer goods?

Well, exactly the opposite happened [BLS report] Import prices were continuing to drop:

[Table 1 – BLS report link]

This was a really interesting dynamic that no-one in the professional punditry would dare explain.

Donald Trump’s tariffs were targeted to specific sectors of imported products.  [Steel, Aluminum, and a host of smaller sectors etc.]  However, when the EU and China respond by devaluing their currency, that approach hit all products imported, not just the tariff goods.

Because the EU and China were driving up the value of the dollar, everything we were importing became cheaper.   Not just imports from Europe and China, but actually imports from everywhere.   All imports were entering the U.S. at substantially lower prices.

This meant when we imported products, we were also importing deflation.

This price result is exactly the opposite of what the economic experts and Wall Street pundits predicted back in 2017 and 2018 when they were pushing the rapid price increase narrative.

Because all the export dependent economies were reacting with such urgency to retain their access to the U.S. market, aggregate import prices were actually lower than they were when the Trump tariffs began:

[…]  Prices for imports from China edged down 0.1 percent in August following decreases of 0.2 percent in both July and June. Import prices from China have not advanced on a monthly basis since ticking up 0.1 percent in May 2018. The price index for imports from China fell 1.6 percent for the year ended in August.

[…]  Import prices from the European Union fell 0.2 percent in August and 0.3 percent over the past 12 months.

[Page #4 – BLS Report, pdf] – BLS press release.

So yes, we know President Trump can save Social Security and Medicare by expanding the economy with his America First economic policy.  We do not need to guess if it is possible or listen to pundits theorize about his approach being some random ‘catch phrase’ disconnected from reality.  Yes folks, we have the receipts.

This was MAGAnomics at work, and this is entirely what created the middle-class MAGA coalition.  No other Republican candidate has this economic policy in their outlook because all other candidates are purchased by the Wall Street multinationals.

America First MAGAnomics is unique to President Trump because he is the only one independent enough to implement them.

That’s just the reality of the situation.

MAGA for life.

Authors note as said in 2016: “If I absolutely did not believe this economic model was doable, I would never expand the concept and place advocacy upon it. I am an absolute believer that we can, as a nation, reignite a solid manufacturing base and generate an expanding middle class.”  Yes, I bet on Trump, and he was right.    

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