Authored by William Robert Barber
Team Trump is on the march. The political-socio-cultural nuances of society, as well as the enterprising wherewithal of business in America is about to take an abrupt turn to the right. The regulatory machinations of the governing progressive über-left are being lined up for thoughtful revision or outright repeal. China and Russia are on notice: The Obama doctrine of mistaking cooperative appeasement as leadership has ended.
While Obama’s foreign policy twists and turns to the beat of “mother may I,” China and Russia have successfully been playing a very weak hand; they have appreciated the artfulness of bluffing into their strategic policies.
China is the world’s largest importer of oil. In other words, if the importation of oil was embargoed via a Saudi-USA agreement, China would be depending on Russia, Venezuela, Libya, and other odd sources to feed their navy. 15% (and rising) of Chinese exports are sold to the United States. Factually, the US purchasers generate far more profit on Chinese goods than the Chinese enjoy when selling their goods to America. The Chinese accept US$ as payment and invest such monies in US infrastructure, real estate, debt instruments, and equity. China is wholly dependent on a strong and vibrant USA. If China ever posed a military threat to the United States, we would enforce an oil embargo, initiate a naval blockade, and seize all of their US assets.
Economically, Russia is death warmed over: As goes the price of oil so goes the cash influx needed to satisfy domestic demand. Imposed trade sanctions create trade limitations. The combination of import/export restrictions on consumer goods and vital financial services, expenditures of Russian treasury and blood onto Syria and Ukraine are not only costly; but such efforts, saving the Assad regime and enabling conflict along the Ukrainian border is of zero benefit to the Russian people.
The country is a plutocracy. Interestingly, even the wealthiest members cannot trust the Number One plutocrat. Those with wealth and power within Russia are subject to a whimsical Putin. Acting on a whim; the Number One plutocrat could confiscate their wealth, destroy their families assets, and terminate their being. For Russians with business and governing responsibilities it is understood that fear is on the one hand the glue that binds fealty and on the other the knowing that such binding of fealty is wholly tentative. The question is: Sustainability, how long before a competing plutocrat or some grievous financial necessity forces a change of control?
Over the last eight years, Putin’s strength was in direct contrast to Obama’s weakness… that is obvious fact. A fact that on the 20th of January will abruptly and blatantly contrast the former president from the newly empowered.
“Draining the swamp” requires definitive means. If one believes (as I do) that the degree of corruption is proportional to the size of government. That corruption is a constant and steadfast component of governing. That it is impossible, under common terms and conditions, to stop the growth of government. And that the sole alternative to impeding government growth (because growth requires money, and all government income is derived from taxes, fees, and borrowed funds), it is self–evident that to stymie the growth of government one must decrease the quantifiable of tax revenue by abating the percentage of taxable revenue.
Trump’s ability to legislate his policy through the morass of congress is as true a test of governing agility as G. Washington’s term as president. The challenges are certainly as perplexing as Gordian’s Knot: according to legend, Alexander circumvented the anticipated by pulling out his sword and cutting the knot in half. Well, a few thousand years later, let’s see how Trump responds to the multiple of knots coming his way.