Trump’s Real Job

President Trump should give up his childish feud with the NFL and attend to his real job. His frequent attacks on the press, the intelligence community, so called rapists from south of the border, among many other things, in addition to being incredibly stupid, seem a tactic to deliberately divert public attention from failures of his administration. And the NFL players should think again about how most effectively to make their political points.

During the campaign the President promised a more restrained use of our military around the world, which is a view I share. However, he has failed to appoint the State Department officials needed to develop and oversee the diplomacy that could replace excessive reliance on our solders. Almost a quarter of our ambassadorships remain vacant, including to Germany and France. The ambassadors to the UK and Italy were only appointed last month. When I attended the American Embassy’s Independence Day celebration at the Ambassador’s residence in Rome in July, there was still no Ambassador.

According to Wikipedia: “The Washington Post has identified 601 key positions requiring U.S. Senate confirmation. As of September 22, 2017, 122 of Trump’s nominees have been confirmed for those key positions, 157 are awaiting confirmation, and 18 have been announced but not yet formally nominated.” In other words Trump has not even appointed half of his administration.

Our indefensible assistance to Saudi Arabia’s indefensible war in Yemen needs the POTUS’s urgent attention. As Russia and our allies in Syria finish off ISIS, what is our strategy for the future of the region and Iran’s role in it? What about Afghanistan and Iraq, where I worked extensively for the last 15 years? Our objectives re our relationship with China (not to mention Russia) need to be clarified and our strategy for achieving them better articulated.

And then there is the mess that is the DPRK (North Korea). School boy taunts that threats from Kim Jung Un “will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” is not a credible or wise strategy. Even without a full deck at the State Department, Trump’s senior advisors repeatedly warned him not to attack the North Korean leader personally:

“Trump’s derisive description of Kim Jong Un as ‘Little Rocket Man’ on ‘a suicide mission’ and his threat to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea were not in a speech draft that several senior officials reviewed and vetted Monday, the day before Trump gave his first address to the U.N. General Assembly…. Some of Trump’s top aides, including national security advisor H.R. McMaster, had argued for months against making the attacks on North Korea’s leader personal, warning it could backfire.” http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-fg-trump-northkorea-20170922-story.html

And then there is Trump’s domestic agenda (Obama care, Tax Reform, etc.). How is that doing? He should cancel his twitter account, finish appointing his government and listen to what his cabinet and advisors have to say and get on with his job as the President of the United States. And by the way, the campaign is over. It is time to stop further dividing the country and to reunite us to the extent possible.

 

About wcoats

I specialize in advising central banks on monetary policy and the development of the capacity to formulate and implement monetary policy.  I joined the International Monetary Fund in 1975 from which I retired in 2003 as Assistant Director of the Monetary and Financial Systems Department. While at the IMF I led or participated in missions to the central banks of over twenty countries (including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Croatia, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgystan, Moldova, Serbia, Turkey, West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Zimbabwe) and was seconded as a visiting economist to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (1979-80), and to the World Bank's World Development Report team in 1989.  After retirement from the IMF I was a member of the Board of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority from 2003-10 and of the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review from 2010-2017.  Prior to joining the IMF I was Assistant Prof of Economics at UVa from 1970-75.  I am currently a fellow of Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise.  In March 2019 Central Banking Journal awarded me for my “Outstanding Contribution for Capacity Building.”  My most recent book is One Currency for Bosnia: Creating the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I have a BA in Economics from the UC Berkeley and a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago. My dissertation committee was chaired by Milton Friedman and included Robert J. Gordon.
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1 Response to Trump’s Real Job

  1. Joe Cobb says:

    It is clear Trump is a political amateur. There are about 3-4000 jobs for that “presidential appointment” list, even now that the Senate can rubber stamp them through.
    For someone who came into office with some “drain the swamp” ideas, the President cannot just summon the usual suspects from Bush and Ford backgrounds; he doesn’t trust them.

    Ron Paul suggested years ago many of those foreign embassies could be closed, except for the political plum appeal. The workers are still working to approve visas, etc. So why have a fancy person to attend socialite parties?

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