Sept. 11, 2019-
What was life like for you on Sept. 11, 2001? Let’s review that day.
Earlier in the year, as the nation changed leaders in Jan. 2001 – from President Bill Clinton to President George Bush – an economic downturn was quite was obvious.
At least it was to me. My valued clients – CEOs from financial institutions to car dealerships – had been complaining to me that many of their prospective customers had weak credit ratings and poor net worth.
As economic data was published two months later, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) confirmed America was mired in economic quicksand.
Comprised of university professors, business professionals and public policymakers, NBER is a nonprofit research organization. It’s well known for declaring the beginning and ending dates for recessions.
Terror in America
So I was preoccupied with solving the challenges of my clients on the morning of Sept. 11. But like the rest of America, I was shocked to learn of the foreign attack by 19 terrorists on American soil.
It was unthinkable so I rushed to turn on my TV.
The 19 terrorists were members of the Islamist extremist network, al-Qaeda. They hijacked four commercial airplanes in a coordinated attack. Two of the jets flew into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. A third aircraft flew into the Pentagon.
As word of the shocking events reached the crew members and passengers aboard a plane in the “Keystone State” of PA., several passengers and crew members received phone calls about the horrors about the Twin Towers and the Pentagon as four terrorists held them at gunpoint.
The passengers launched a counter-attack to regain control of the aircraft. But it crashed and 44 people perished.
All told, nearly 3,000 Americans were killed that day – the largest loss of life ever on American soil from a foreign attack.
Then and now
The biggest headlines in America today deal with the economy, the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, political polarization, the president’s efforts to keep America safe and the anniversary of Sept. 11:
- The economic expansion has accelerated. The policies introduced by President Trump which has been a catalyst for the vigorous have skyrocketed the stock market by 40 percent, doubled the gross domestic product (GDP) and business optimism. Yes, America is benefiting from a dramatic increase in capital investment, productivity and wage gains coupled with the plummeting unemployment rate to an historical low.
- Hurricane Dorian is affecting millions of Americans and Bahamians.
- For national security, with the help of Mexico to stem the tide of illegal aliens, the president is building the border wall over the objections of Democrats.
- The memory of 9/11 in which 2,996 Americans were killed, more than 6,000 injured, and $10 billion in property damage resulted from the series of four coordinated terrorist attacks.
Unfortunately, today is the 18th anniversary of that tragic day, but one headline has been ignored by the media.
As the federal deficit exceeds $22 trillion today, America’s fiscal ability to deal with economic and national security threats is worse than ever.
In Sept. 2001, the U.S. national debt was $5.8 trillion. George W. Bush had been in office as president just eight months. He inherited that massive debt from President Bill Clinton.
However, when Mr. Bush left the White House he handed over a $10 trillion national debt to his successor President Barack Obama.
From 2008 to 2016, the national debt exploded by 93 percent to $19.4 trillion as a result of President Obama’s policies.
Despite the economic progress thanks to President Trump’s policies, the U.S. Debt Clock rapidly ticks away every split second:
But President Trump – in facing dysfunctional Congressional Republicans who failed to pass budget reform and the failing ObamaCare – has been forced to cut deals with Democrats to raise the debt ceiling.
Not to quibble with economic growth and hurricane-recovery efforts, but what America needs is economic patriotism. Unfortunately, what’s trending is fiscal dysfunction to tragic proportions.
U.S. bonds are more like pathetic junk bonds. America has an imploding health-care system that’s pushing America’s economic prospects into oblivion.
Interest payments and entitlements now devour more than 60 percent of the federal budget.
In less than a decade, the Congressional Budget Office forecasts the public debt will be unsustainable.
On another front, President Trump has boldly tried to curb America’s trade deficit with Communist China. The annual trade deficit is $500 billion.
So far, he’s making progress. American companies are fleeing China to manufacture products in other countries and in the U.S., too.
While President Bush was preoccupied with launching wars in the Middle East, he ignored the threat from the world’s second-largest economy, China, which has grown at the U.S. expense.
China has been stealing American technology and intellectual property, and manipulating its currency to overtake the U.S. America engulfs more products than it produces and is selling too many private assets. Increasingly, foreigners are buying prime real estate, corporate debt and equities and U.S. government bonds.
Published reports confirm China is embarked on a quest to dominate America economically, technologically and militarily.
While President Trump is correct to solve trade issues, he is attacked by the mainstream media and liberal pundits as being too nationalistic with his populist rhetoric.
While it was encouraging that the GDP has improved – a vast improvement over President Obama’s paltry 1.1 percent average in the last year of his tenure – the rest of the world increasingly owns America.
Publicly and privately, foreigners have more than $8 trillion in IOUs from the U.S.
The Trump Administration understands the significance of these alarming trends. It represents nearly half of the GDP. Ouch!
Unless President Trump overcomes political opposition by Republicans and Democrats in Congress, the IOUs will be more than 60 percent in 2027.
Just look at Venezuela and other nations. In trying to solve their economic crises, no socialist or Communist country has succeeded.
Temporarily, the foreign investments are rescuing America fiscally-speaking.
But it will not continue if foreign investors come to believe America will be unable to service its massive debt.
If foreigners stop buying U.S. treasuries, too many dollars in circulation will cause prices to spike and inflation will rear its ugly head.
Many economists and politicians – Democrats and Republicans, alike – are way too complacent.
Just because the dollar has long been much of the world’s reserve currency, the nation shouldn’t continue to print dollars that increasingly go to pay interest on the climbing debt.
Many Conservatives only want to debate tax cuts. Liberals refuse to consider entitlement reform and spending cuts, and want to raise taxes and promote socialism in America, which President Trump has vowed to prevent.
But these developments hinder the Trump’s Administration’s goals to keep bringing business profits home to America, and to keep the GDP at higher levels not seen since the Reagan Administration. As would more federal benefit programs.
Key solutions: Economic growth and shrinking the federal debt. Short of these achievements, America will have another recession.
The Democrats keep resisting President Trump for purely political reasons and shift farther left to socialism – and the Republicans lack fiscal discipline and inability to agree on replacing ObamaCare – has been most distressing.
A question of pride
Unless politicians in Congress grow up and face economic realities, future Americans will be saddled with unfair, massive debt. That would be a sad legacy.
So the only answer to economic preparedness is economic patriotism.
P.S. You, too, can get daily economic updates by visiting NBER.
From the Coach’s Corner, related information:
Myths and Truths about Dealing with China and the Tariffs — Five decades ago, the U.S. and China did not have diplomatic relations. But in 1972 it was universally felt that diplomatic relations with China was a worthwhile optimistic goal. Now as it turns out, China’s behavior has become an economic and political powder keg. Here is the solution.
2 Achilles’ Heels Threatening U.S. – Health Care, Debt — Regarding the nation’s economy: An Achilles heel is an idiomatic reference to qualities that is likely to lead to a collapse. That means two economic forces – health care and the federal debt – are Achilles’ heels and threaten America’s prosperity. Here are solutions.
A Little-Known Benefit of the President’s Trade Tariff Policies — There’s an often-overlooked indicator the Trump trade tariffs are important for a stronger U.S. economy. Shockingly, before the election of President Trump, too many production workers were drawing welfare-related benefits to supplement their wages.
Governments – from Cities to Federal – Dangerously in Debt — The U.S. economy has been slowly mending. However, the situation is bleak for governments at all levels. Why? High debt is dangerous and economic growth is dreadfully slow.
Why President Trump’s Growth Budget, Reforms Matter — Deficit-spending and the resulting massive debt severely damages America’s economic prospects and hurts each American. But a disciplined approach will make America great again — by shrinking the national debt and implementing other needed reforms.
“I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.”