Sunday, 4 March 2018

Crazy Eddie

I sometimes think we’re living in a country run by Crazy Eddie.  Remember him?

There was a certain novelty to the guy at first – an endearing quality to his shouting and haranguing on television ads. 

Same story in his stores, you were barked at, belittled, and hustled like a lamb to the slaughter of his cash register. Eventually, however, old Eddie went bust.

President Trump almost makes you long for the simple homespun qualities of George W. Bush. But that’s hardly fair to our present POTUS, for so far he hasn’t destroyed the Middle East, nor does he have a budget surplus to blow.

Still, it would be a nice break to bask in Barack Obama’s icy calmness or Ronald Reagan’s reassuring smile every now and then.

For President Trump is wearing us all out. The man thrives on trouble and strife.

But I’ll grant him one thing – he’s enabled this political junky to go cold turkey. I’ve sworn off politics and returned to more important matters - like worrying about The Mets and Manchester United.

This doesn’t preclude me from considering the consequences of the president’s policies.

For instance, the new corporate tax rate of 21% will definitely enrich corporations and their 1% handlers, leaving the frothy promise of one-off bonuses for lesser souls like you and me – if we’re lucky.

What the new tax rate does guarantee is a huge bump in the deficit. The piper will have to be paid and cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are inevitable.

The carried interest loophole for hedge fund executives, however, remains untouched, while a last minute provision to the new tax legislation will benefit wealthy real estate investors. Eddie may be crazy but he ain’t stupid!

Forget about any meaningful infrastructure investment. Of course, the president’s idea of such spending is that the private sector should provide the bulk with the Feds kicking in a minute remainder.

Speaking of which I have a nice little stretch of the Connecticut Turnpike up around Greenwich available at a bargain price; you can charge your own tolls, and before you know it you could end up in the White House.

On the plus side, assuming the stock market is still booming, a congratulatory fist-bump for El Presidente and everyone else with some bucks in the game! And yet, personally, I prefer a cool hand on the rudder when the markets swoon which they inevitably will.

What does this president really believe? Between lies and exaggerations it’s hard to tell. You have to hope he doesn’t believe his own hype. The alternative of a self-deluded, nuclear-packing narcissist running the show is too frightening for words.

I always felt better knowing that the actor who played Crazy Eddie went straight to the pub then home to his wife after his manic TV rants.

But then our guy in the White House doesn’t even take a pint, and Melania doesn’t seem to be very good company these days.

On a private matter, doesn’t Mr. Trump understand that the US eventually benefits from mass immigration? Back in the mid 19th Century many Irish immigrants arrived unwashed, hungry, and illiterate from a broken, priest-ridden land. Now their descendants are running the US.

Because they have less choices immigrants tend to start their own businesses, thereby creating jobs for native-born Americans. A case in point - Steve Jobs’ father was a Syrian immigrant, Abdul Fattah Jandali.

Donald Trump hasn’t cracked a book since Goodnight Moon, but he’s a TV junky, and thus instinctively knew that there’s little difference anymore between reality shows and reality itself – whatever that is. Just keep shouting, threatening and tweeting, and you never know what you might achieve. 

Anything is possible when the Democratic Party is led by Chuck Schumer who puts all his cards on the table by offering funding for a Mexican wall in exchange for long term amnesty for Dreamers.

Crazy Eddie understood that if he got you inside his store he’d make a sale.

Likewise President Trump knows you don’t have to be lucky for four full years – you just need to keep the waters muddied and get a couple of breaks around polling day.

Bah humbug, enough of this politics, the Mets and Manchester United need my attention!

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