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Chosen One chooses chaos: A president’s desperate flailing and ignorant tweeting further endangers the economy

2019-08-23

Yes, him worries -- the world. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Looking to the skies earlier this week, Donald Trump dubbed himself “the Chosen One” — proclaiming that he, alone among presidents, was called to tame cheating China.

Friday, he captainqueegily punched out a series of tweets equal parts desperate, delusional and, let’s not mince words, megalomaniacal.

What pushed him over the edge was word that China was slapping tariffs on another $75 billion of U.S. goods, including soy products, which will surely sting the farmers Trump claims to love. Markets plunged.

So the man who has called trade wars “good, and easy to win" came further unraveled.

Fellow Americans, your president "hereby ordered” American companies to begin withdrawing from our top trade partner, a laughable demand from any chief executive in a free economy.

He chillingly proclaimed Jay Powell, who he named Federal Reserve Board chair last year, is an “enemy” — for failing to force already low interest rates far lower, far faster.

He blamed China for a drug scourge, saying "fentanyl kills 100,000 Americans a year.” The actual annual overdose death total, from all narcotics, is about 70,000, fewer than half of which are fentanyl-related.

That was in the morning. In the afternoon, he hopped back on Twitter to further hike tariffs on Chinese products, which is to say taxes on American consumers.

Tax cuts he championed have the deficit heading to the $1 trillion mark. Revised job figures show employment growth has officially slowed since Obama’s second term, despite that costly shot in the arm.

Now comes economic decisionmaking as schoolyard shoving match. The greatest threat to the U.S. economy isn’t a red menace; it’s an orange one.