In July 2016, Michael Bloomberg warned that electing “dangerous demagogue” Donald Trump as president would be a giant, papaya-colored mistake. Commenting on the fact that the perennial bankruptcy artist was pitching himself as a successful businessman who would bring his private-sector experience to the Oval Office, Bloomberg told the crowd at the Democratic National Convention: “Trump says he wants to run the nation like he‘s running his business? God, help us. I’m a New Yorker, and I know a con when I see one.” Unfortunately, a number of Americans and the Electoral College bought that con, which brings us to the horror show of today, a situation so bleak that the former mayor of New York is reportedly considering, as he does every four years, a run for office.
CBS New York reports that Bloomberg is mulling a bid for office in 2020, though as a Democrat instead of an Independent. A source close to the billionaire says “the move is fueled in part by regret” that he didn’t run in the last presidential election, “because he feels he could have either won outright or prevented Donald Trump from winning.” In a 2016 op-ed announcing his decision to stay on the sidelines, Bloomberg wrote that while he believed he “could win a number of diverse states . . . [it would not be] enough to win the 270 Electoral College votes necessary to win the presidency,” and could have effectively helped Trump or Ted Cruz. Because—spoiler alert—that happened anyway, Bloomberg is apparently considering an attempt to save us all from the agony of the words “eight years of Donald Trump.”
Of course, it’s far from clear whether Bloomberg will actually throw his hat in the ring considering the man has mulled, and then decided against, presidential runs every election season since 2008. But political consultants who spoke to CBS New York point to the fact that he’s made “a number of key moves, including spending $80 million to help Democrats win Congressional races, and collect[ed] a lot of political I.O.U.s in the process.” As another person close to Bloomberg put it to the New York Post, “That’s an indication of where his head is at.”
Whether Bloomberg runs or not, one thing is for certain: Trump will throw a presidential hissy fit on Twitter once he gets wind of the news. Back in February 2016, the then-candidate huffily told Fox Business that Bloomberg, who is worth an estimated $50 billion to Trump’s reported $2.8 billion, was “not a friend of mine anymore,” after Bloomberg said in an interview he was thinking about entering the race because he found “the level of discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters.” Bloomberg, the most anodyne of politicians—a diminutive technocrat obsessed with counting calories and taxing sodas—shouldn’t provoke Trump as much as he does. (With barbs like “distressingly banal,” the Democrats might finally have a street fighter of their own!) But something about Bloomberg seems to get under Trump’s comparatively penurious skin. After the Democratic National Convention speech, Trump tweeted, “‘Little’ Mike Bloomberg, who never had the guts to run for president, knows nothing about me. His last term as Mayor was a disaster!” Trump, who said in 2012 that Bloomberg was “doing a great job as Mayor of New York City,” also told his followers that should his ex-pal run for office again, voters “would run him out of town.”
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Wall Street: the White House is pulling its trade policies out of its a$$
“I don’t think the people in the White House have an ideal path for the way this is going,” Rob Lutts, chief investment officer and president of Cabot Money Management, told CNBC on Tuesday. “I actually believe they’re making this up as they go along.”
G.O.P. attempts to child-proof the economy
In related news, Senator Bob Corker is reportedly pushing to include an amendment to the Senate’s farm bill that would let Congress approve or disapprove of tariffs imposed on countries on national-security grounds, as Trump has done with his steel and aluminum tariffs. “There’s going to be more and more pain accruing. July 1, there’s another round of tariffs on us. July 6, there’s another round of tariffs on us. And we’re already seeing the impact on the economy,” Corker said Tuesday. “This is a farm bill, if you look at the impact on the ag[ricultural] community of these tariffs, it is severe. So I don’t know of a more appropriate piece of legislation to put this on.”
Unfortunately, many of Corker’s colleagues are scared stiff by the possibility of getting called out by President McTweets-a-Lot on social media, so the effort will likely fail:
Some Republicans privately believe Corker may get at least a procedural vote this week, if not a straight vote on his amendment. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has routinely cast doubt on Corker’s effort, and McConnell’s chief deputy said he’d prefer not to tar the farm bill with such a contentious debate.
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said he’d prefer the tariff proposal be referred to the Senate Finance Committee as a standalone bill, where it could take weeks to work though the panel. Whether Corker will get a vote during debate on the farm bill is “still being litigated,” he said. . . . Corker and Senator Pat Toomey, with a coalition of liberal, conservative, and moderate senators, were rebuffed earlier this month when trying to attach their amendment to a defense bill. G.O.P. leaders did not want to confront the president so directly, and Corker was told his amendment had procedural problems because the defense bill wasn’t a revenue bill.
Also on Tuesday, Trump suggested his “tax all the foreign cars!” idea would go into effect soon, so now would be a good time to restrict his ability to apply a tariff to every item he can identify from a window seat of Air Force One.
Report: Federal debt set to explode within the next 10 years
Once upon a time—as in during the two terms Barack Obama was president—Republicans put on a good show of caring about the debt. Then the chance to pass a giant corporate tax cut came along, and all of a sudden the $1.84 trillion experts estimated would be tacked onto the federal deficit by passing the legislation didn’t seem so bad. And now, this is happening:
By the end of this year, the ratio of federal debt to the United States’ gross domestic product will reach 78 percent, according to the C.B.O., the highest ratio since 1950.
The debt is projected to grow to 96 percent of G.D.P. by 2028 before eventually surpassing the historical high of 106 percent it reached in 1946.
Currently, the federal government’s debt burden is about $15 trillion, according to Marc Goldwein, senior vice president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan think tank.
The 1946 high was prompted by a spending push to fund World War II, and other spikes in the debt have been driven by economic downturns. But the current bump comes amid a relatively healthy economy, suggesting a structural gap between how much the country collects in taxes and how much it spends.
While the administration has yet to comment on the analysis, back in April its National Economic Council director shrugged off a report that the national debt would surpass $33 trillion by 2028. N.B.D.!
Trump is apparently still thinking about shutting down the government if he doesn’t get his border wall
Trade Angst Hits Emerging Stocks with $8 Trillion in Bear Market (Bloomberg)
Harvard Billionaires Bail Out Alma Mater from Poor Fund Returns (Bloomberg)
The S.E.C. Has Had Its Own Questions About LaCroix (W.S.J.)
U.S. charges S&P analyst, two others with insider trading in paint merger (Reuters)
Andreessen Horowitz raises fund dedicated to cryptocurrencies (Financial Times)
Trump Calls on Allies to Quit Buying Iranian Fuel, Oil Prices Spike (New York)
Scaramucci’s SkyBridge sues Premium Point Investments (Reuters)
Elon Musk: This is why we have to build civilizations in space (CNBC)
Wealthy Pro-Trump Donor Denies Reliving 2016 Election Through Role-Playing Game (BuzzFeed
Want to Run a High-Flying Hedge Fund? Don’t Be a Cheapskate (W.S.J.)
Florida man rides on hood of car going 70 mph (UPI)