Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Drug-Induced

From the Washington Post:

Economic relief talks screeched to a halt Tuesday as President Trump ordered Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to stop negotiating with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi until after the election.

In a series of tweets less than 24 hours after he was released from a hospital, Trump accused Pelosi (D-Calif.) of failing to negotiate in good faith, after she rejected an opening bid from Mnuchin in their latest round of talks.

“I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business,” Trump wrote.

Trump’s surprising announcement stood in stark contrast with recommendations from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell, who had said in a speech hours earlier that more economic stimulus was needed to sustain the recovery.

Trump’s tweets sent the stock market lower, as many businesses, households and investors had been hoping for a jolt of fiscal stimulus amid signs the economy had lost momentum. The Dow Jones industrial average ended down 376 points, or 1.3 percent. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 also fell.

Trump is still dealing with his recent covid-19 diagnosis, but he has tried to dismiss the illness’s impact on him in the past two days.

[…]

Trump’s pronouncement came after days of sustained if long-shot negotiations between Pelosi and Mnuchin. Pelosi later speculated to Democratic colleagues on a conference call that the president’s sudden change in position might be connected to the steroids he’s taking as he battles covid-19.

“Believe me, there are people who thought, who think that steroids have an impact on your thinking,” she told Democrats, according to a person on the call, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private comments. “So, I don’t know.”

Trump later tweeted out something about a stand-alone stimulus bill to send everyone $1,200 with his signature on it. It has no chance of passing, but he sweetened the deal by suggesting the checks all have pretty unicorns drawn on them…

It’s gotta be the drugs.  That’s the only reason I can think of for pulling this stunt because it submarines the economy less than a month before the election, stiffing the airlines and businesses that were counting on the stimulus, not to mention the millions of people who need the money to cover their rent and food and the essential elements that make the country run.

Either that or he’s doing it on purpose so that when he loses he can blame the oncoming depression on Biden, Obama, and those pink elephants dancing on the South Lawn of the White House.