Commentary, Trump Administration

Trump throws a tantrum and assures that millions will continue to suffer

With a national election well underway and his standing in the polls continuing to decline, President Donald Trump is starting to behave like a child who, upset at the path of a neighborhood sporting contest, decides to take the ball and go home.

This is from a story posted last night by the Washington Post:

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 [Treasury Secretary Steven] 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.

That such a stance will be disastrous for the millions of Americans already suffering as a result of the failed national response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the devastating recession it has spawned is something that has been exhaustively and painfully documented. As the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported on Monday, according to the Census Bureau, one-in-seven U.S. households with children did not have enough food to eat in early September. For Black families, the number is almost one-in-five.

CBPP also reports that fully a quarter of the nation’s renters with children are behind on their rent payments and that more than a third of children in renter households reside in homes that have too little food and/or are behind on rent payments.

All in all, it’s a crisis of stunning and tragic proportions — the kind of disaster you’d expect to see in the old Soviet bloc or the developing world.

Meanwhile, the leader of the nation — a man who it seems increasingly likely will be president for only another 100 days or so — continues, in a fit pique, to block desperately needed relief. Like a hostage taker quickly getting down to his last few desperate options, Trump has apparently decided to attempt to threaten his way to reelection. It’s hard to see how this will work out well for anyone.

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