Here’s a clip of Donald J. Trump talking economic policy with CNBC last week.
And here’s the transcript (typed by yours truly):
Interviewer: “You’ve raised a lot of eyebrows with your position on debt and treasury bills. In an interview the other day, you said you might try to purchase it at a discount – won’t that undermine the full faith in the credit…”
Trump: [interrupts] “No, if we can buy it at a discount that’s a great thing. We have a lot of debt. We have $19 trillion in debt that’s going to be 21 because frankly the budget was horrible that was made 6 months ago, the omnibus budget was a disaster, when it does what it represents it’s going to bring us up to 21 trillion dollars.”
Interviewer: “Who would sell to you at a discount?”
Trump: “We have to do two things, I’m a low interest rate person, now, now if you have inflation we’re going to have to change that theory because you’re going to have to stop things, slow things down, but now we have low interest rates. We have to rebuild the whole infrastructure of our country. I know the infrastructure, I’ve really gotten to know it even better now. You go to airports, they’re falling down. You go to, I mean, you go to La Guardia, you land at La Guardia, it’s an embarrassment. Look at Kennedy, look at LAX and Newark. These airports…”
Interviewer: [interrupts] “If you try to buy debt back at a discount, interest rates are going to go up!”
Trump: “No, you can buy debt back, you buy debt back and you take advantage of certain things. You can, as an example, there are people, large owners, do you know China has right now 1.8 trillion dollars of our debt? Okay? 1.8 trillion dollars. They’re cheating us, and they’re friends of mine.”
Interviewer: “They’re not going to sell to you at a discount!”
Trump: “Oh, you never know. You never know, all of a sudden, they have to sell at a discount. You don’t, you don’t know that. At some point, they might want to get out, maybe they need their money, maybe they want to get out. When you do it, when you can take advantage, you do that. But you might want to issue new long term debt at low interest rates and you might wanna a combination of buy back some debt and rebuild our infrastructure. George, we’ve spent more than 4 trillion dollars in the Middle East, and our country’s going to hell.
Other recent declarations not from this transcript:
“I am the king of debt, I do love debt. I love debt. I love playing with it.”
“I have borrowed knowing you can pay back with discounts” [Note: that’s a euphemism for “I have borrowed knowing that I would default”]
“I was swashbuckling, and it went well for me.”
I don’t think that many people are so brazen that they’d step onto a CNBC program and:
- Openly lie (“I can buy back debt from the cheatin’ Chinese at a discount, because we’re friends, even though I just said that they’re cheating us”); and
- Declare two completely contradictory things (“We’ll buy back debt because we have too much of it #21trillion” and “We’ll take on even more debt to rebuild all of America’s infrastructure”).
In case you’re interested, take a look at the PolitiFact website, which is dedicated to fact-checking the things that the nominees have been saying.
Here’s Trump’s scorecard:
Here’s “Lyin’ Ted Cruz” for comparison:
And here’s Hilary:
The trouble is: most Trump supporters will see that and declare that he’s being vilified by the media, and targeted by the establishment, and taken out of context. And if they don’t declare it, Donald will.
Oh, the fun.
Rolling Alpha posts about finance, economics, and sometimes stuff that is only quite loosely related. Follow me on Twitter @RollingAlpha, or like my page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rollingalpha. Or both.