President Trump is forcing congressional Republicans to quickly replace Obamacare with a program that lowers health care costs or face the wrath of angry voters.
Donald Trump faces immediate challenges—managing the war against ISIS, fixing Obamacare and boosting growth to create jobs. However, as the fallout from his recent conversation with the president of Taiwan indicates, an increasingly assertive China poses the most vexing and far reaching challenges for American prosperity and security.
Obamacare is becoming a nightmare. Health insurance premiums will jump an average of 22 percent in 2017, and federal spending to assist moderate income families is spinning out of control.
According to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the economy is in great shape and safe from another financial crisis. They believe more liberal policies to better distribute the benefits would deliver Americans into another golden age, but the facts belie all this. Obamacare, state and local minimum wages laws, new federal overtime rules, and disincentives to work imposed by the recent buildout of federal social programs have raised the cost of hiring workers. Higher businesses taxes—especially for smaller enterprises–and tougher regulations have pushed up the cost of deploying capital. Consequently, Americans are suffering through one of the weakest recoveries on record, and conditions in Europe are no better. The U.S. Justice Department is proposing Deutsche Bank pay $14 billion to pay for its role in a mortgage securities scandal that contributed to the 2008-2009 financial meltdown, and other European banks still await their medicine. Even a settlement one-third that size would require the bank to sell new stock to replace lost capital, and it is not well positioned to do so. The largest bank in Europe’s largest economy has a balance sheet still burdened by dodgy securities and is badly run and not very profitable. Virtually all European banks are
To win the presidency, Donald Trump must overcome skepticism among many voters about his positions on free trade, immigration and many other issues. On trade, that is hardly an insurmountable task.