Trump Administration

Surrendering on COVID Spending Is a Predictable, Fitting End for Trump's Tenure

One of the underappreciated failures of the Trump presidency is his squandering of an incredibly rare opportunity to reset how Washington operates.

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President Donald Trump's decision to sign on Sunday night a bill that averts a government shutdown and provides $900 billion in emergency spending for COVID-19 relief was a fitting end to his term in office—a predictable surrender that followed days of manufactured drama and bluster, ultimately changing nothing.

When the 5,000-page, $2.3 trillion bill landed on his desk a week ago, Trump objected to a variety of its provisions. In a video statement, he called the package "a disgrace" and demanded that Congress authorize larger stimulus checks for all Americans while cutting frivolous spending on foreign aid and the arts, among other things.

By then, it was probably too late for Trump to force Congress to make meaningful changes to the legislation. As a lame-duck president with a track record of not caring about policy specifics, he wasn't in a very strong position. But it wasn't too late to create unnecessary and meaningless drama, which is about the only thing the president has delivered consistently. Trump withheld his signature long enough to force some unemployment benefits to lapse and raise the prospect of a month-long government shutdown—one that would likely not have been resolved until President-elect Joe Biden takes the oath of office.

In the end, however, Trump signed the bill, sent a meaningless list of demands back to Congress, and nonsensically claimed victory—the equivalent of drawing a frowny face on the last page of the bill, right next to his own signature.

It's a pattern that has played on repeat for nearly four years now. Trump prides himself on being unpredictable—he "thrives" on chaos, or so he claims—but the reality-TV-star-turned-president's approach to governing is as formulaic as an episode of The Apprentice.

When Congress sent Trump a budget bill in March 2018 that annihilated previous spending caps and put the country on a trajectory toward larger deficits, Trump threatened to veto it—on the very day when he was expected to sign it.

Hours later, he backed down and inked the budget, but not without issuing a stern warning to Congress. "I will never sign another bill like this again," he promised. "I'm not going to do it again. Nobody read it. It's only hours old."

But when Congress sent Trump an even larger budget in 2019, he dutifully signed it.

Trump's pattern of bluster-and-surrender has played out elsewhere too. He promised a "good and easy to win" trade war against China that has proven to be neither of those things. It turned out to be disruptive, messy, and expensive—and the "deal" struck last year between the U.S. and China has been mostly ignored by both sides.

He came into office promising to blow up the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), then spent two years sowing chaos before eventually agreeing to a deal that was just a slightly updated version of the status quo.

While there are many reasons for libertarians to be disappointed with the past four years, one of the underappreciated failures is Trump's squandering of an incredibly rare opportunity to reset how Washington operates—particularly with regard to budget-making and spending.

Trump entered office without being beholden to any of the usual power structures that help someone get elected president, and he brought with him a powerful bully pulpit that he's never been afraid to use. A version of Trump who actually cared about making a difference could have used those things to shine a spotlight on the waste and cronyism that dominate federal spending.

He did that on occasion, of course, but never demonstrated any serious interest in setting policy or governing—he spent four years being distracted by whatever Democrats were saying about him on CNN and whether NFL players were kneeling before their games. He ranted and raved, and he approved one spending hike after another.

As Reason's Matt Welch has summarized, Trump's record on spending includes "a half-dozen continuing resolutions, plus a few longer-term omnibus deals, that together eliminated Obama-era spending caps, suspended the debt ceiling borrowing limit, and ratcheted up the size of government, all at the tail end of a historically long economic expansion and stock market bull run." Even if you exclude the epic amounts of money the government has spent in response to the pandemic, Trump increased federal spending by as much as President Barack Obama did—and in half the time.

Fittingly, then, Trump will exit office with almost no legacy other than an astonishing increase in government spending. Most of his regulatory reforms will be undone quickly by the incoming Biden administration. The major tax reform that passed under his watch was mostly the product of the very Republican establishment Trump has spent years demolishing. He hasn't brought the troops home. He hasn't built the wall.

Sunday's bill-signing is likely to be the last significant legislative act of Trump's presidency, and it is a fitting cap for a president who should be remembered mostly for speaking loudly and carrying a small veto pen.

NEXT: The New York Times Helped a Vindictive Teen Destroy a Classmate Who Uttered a Racial Slur When She Was 15

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  1. Sunday’s bill-signing is likely to be the last significant legislative act of Trump’s presidency, and it is a fitting cap for a president who should be remembered mostly for speaking loudly and carrying a small veto pen.

    Sadly, being that much of the good things he did were through easily reversible executive orders, this is likely true.

    1. At least we can return to a federal government run by competent bureaucrats who have useful experience in the public sector.

      1. What you will have is a President who will listen to the bureaucrats, who are often the experts on a subject. The President makes the decisions, but at least with Biden he will make an informed decision. Not someone who just wings its.

        1. The bureaucrats believe in white privilege, institutional racism, and sex hormones for children with gender dysphoria. A monkey pushing random buttons is better than a socialist trying to remake society in control of the federal government.

          1. Absolutely..

            Quite frankly, handing America over to an Islamist group who hates it and wishes to do it serious harm, would still be less damaging than the plans of Moderation4ever’s “Top Men”.

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            2. Not mention Moderation4ever typed that Biden “will make an informed decision.” LOLOLOLOLOLOL Is he serious? Biden has an IQ of 40. He thinks it’s 1962. He doesn’t recognize his own family. C’mon, man!

              1. You dog faced pony soldier! How can you talk that way about our next Nobel prize winner?
                SleepyJoe will pull us out of this mess or you will die trying!

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                2. He’s no one-horse pony, that’s for sure.

        2. M4E once again exposes he’s a simple minded Statist. And none of the lefties on this site will call him on it, because he hates Trump.

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        3. M4E read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and admired the Vogon.

          1. Remind me which ones were the Vogons? They the dudes reading the bad poetry?

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            2. The Vogon were hide bound bureaucrats who reveled in their bureaucracy even when it didn’t make any sense. Much like many federal bureaucrats I’ve met. Some are really good and a lot just take up space and live for the bureaucracy because it gives them power.

              1. Losersucker76 youre a goddamn nerd!

                Lying Mormon loving white trash fascist piece of trash!

                Your mom is a Mormon cunt!
                Your daughter is a cunt too!

                1. sarcasmic needs his meds.

                  1. Not everyone who disagrees with you is a sock.

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          3. Losersucker76 what will you be lying about today?

            Are you sure you aren’t Mormon because you lie like your cunt Mormon mother?

            Tell your daughter she’s a cunt.

        4. “I wish the president would just shut up and listen to the bureaucrats” is a heck of a take.

          Looks like Biden is your perfect president, as that is what he most assuredly will do.

          1. The thing I feel confident about is that the bureaucrat likely knows his subject. If your in the State Department and your assigned to work on foreign country you likely get to be an expert on the country. You read there newspapers or other media. You know their politics and who has power and who doesn’t. Same for other subjects. Do you think that either Biden or Trump know more about corn than some expert at the Department of Agriculture? We can see what happens when the President tries to act like he is an expert on infectious diseases. He telling you to drink a disinfectant.

            1. I understand where you’re coming from. But I have watched the bureaucratic state make a fool of itself over the last 20 years on many subjects. I’m fine with a president listening to the advice of bureaucrats, but I want a president who can also think for themselves and understand that bureaucrats, like everyone else on this planet, have biases, limits to knowledge, and are wonderful at providing poor information with no accountability.

              Nuance is good. But we are going from a president who didn’t listen to a single bureaucrat on just about anything (with positive results, actually), to a president who will do nothing but kow-tow to the entrenched, unelected, and unaccountable bureaucrats.

              1. Thanks for acknowledging my point and I think that you and I would agree that the President (or anyone making decisions) must listen, consider what was said and who is the person giving the advice. In the end it is a person’s decision and once it is made you can not blame others for the choice you made.

                I disagree with you that President Trump did OK on gut decisions. I trust that President Biden will consider the advice he is given and will accept responsibility for the choices he makes.

                1. You have a bizarre impression of who Biden is. I really will never understand politician sycophancy, but have fun with that.

                2. I trust that the only “advice” Biden will be actually given is to eat one more bite of his mashed potatoes, if he wants any applesauce for dessert.

        5. “What you will have is a President who will listen to the bureaucrats, who are often the experts on a subject…”

          I occasionally think you really can’t be as stupid as you appear, and then you go and prove me wrong.

        6. “Biden”? “Informed decision”? What planet are you on?

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  2. Trump is a putz but Biden is a schmuck.

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    2. Trump is Barney Fife but the Biden puppeteers are Cthulhu.

  3. While there are many reasons for libertarians to be disappointed with the past four years

    Buckle up, Eric.

    1. I’d rather have a competent tyrant who acts civil than an inept tyrant who’s rude and offensive online.

      1. Biden’s an inept tyrant, too, but he’ll have experienced handlers and media cover.

      2. Libya was nothing when compared to a rude tweet.

        1. We came. We saw. He died! Ha ha ha!

      3. The mean tweets nearly destroyed our country.

    2. The proper Washington etiquette will be followed, the cocktail parties will be glorious, and the Koch checks will cash.

      Eric will be just fine the next four years.

      1. Rich Uncle Charles has a pile of pro-Chicom articles for him to write. His future is golden.

  4. The reason there was no bailout of state and local government in the stimulus is because of President Trump. The reason Biden can’t spend $427 billion of previously authorized stimulus is because the senate Republicans refused to support the bill unless the Democrats agreed to restrict that spending.

    Can anybody find evidence for Binion praising Trump or the senate Republicans for refusing to sign off on the stimulus before the election? Feel free to link it.

    It didn’t matter that Trump fought to cut $772 billion from Medicaid, opposed the Green New Deal, killed a $1 trillion bailout of state and local government, and negotiated a full withdrawal deal with the Taliban to get us out of Afghanistan, Binion condemned Trump for everything he did in every possible way anyway.

    Did Binion give Trump credit for vetoing the $740.5 billion National Defense Authorization Act, a veto that congress will probably vote to override later today and tomorrow? Binion wouldn’t have given Trump credit for vetoing the $900 billion stimulus bill either.

    Why take anything Binion writes about Trump or anything else seriously?

    1. This is a Boehm article. And Trump was a putz, and ineffectual. He’s also a dramatic blowhard. All his yammering on about having the election stolen has been done entirely out of self-interest, lining his pockets and he sows confusion and tricks gullible, moronic people into thinking they’ve been had.

      1. “This is a Boehm article.”

        All the same stuff applies anyway.

      2. Because honesty, transparency and fair dealing were always the hallmarks of Washington, D.C. before 2016.

        1. SleepyJoe was a part of all that for almost 50 years.
          Pure as the driven snow.

    2. At least try and get your author correct if you’re going to attempt to use the subject of their his articles against him.

      1. “The reason there was no bailout of state and local government in the stimulus is because of President Trump. The reason Biden can’t spend $427 billion of previously authorized stimulus is because the senate Republicans refused to support the bill unless the Democrats agreed to restrict that spending.”

        All of this is true regardless of whether Boehm or Binion shit the bed this time.

        “Can anybody find evidence for Binion praising Trump or the senate Republicans for refusing to sign off on the stimulus before the election? Feel free to link it.”

        Do you have evidence of Boehm praising Trump or the senate Republicans for refusing to sign off on the stimulus before the election? Feel free to link to it.

        “It didn’t matter that Trump fought to cut $772 billion from Medicaid, opposed the Green New Deal, killed a $1 trillion bailout of state and local government, and negotiated a full withdrawal deal with the Taliban to get us out of Afghanistan, Binion condemned Trump for everything he did in every possible way anyway.”

        All of this remains true, and Boehm would have condemned Trump for everything he did in every possible way anyway.

        “Did Binion give Trump credit for vetoing the $740.5 billion National Defense Authorization Act, a veto that congress will probably vote to override later today and tomorrow? Binion wouldn’t have given Trump credit for vetoing the $900 billion stimulus bill either.

        Did Boehm give Trump credit for vetoing the National Defense Authorization Act?

        Boehm wouldn’t have given Trump credit for the vetoing the $900 billion stimulus bill, and there’s no good reason to take anything Boehm writes about Trump or anything else seriously either.

      2. But Boehm and Binion are the same thing. Like Aubergines and Eggplants.

        1. Certainly, in this case, the glass slipper would fit either one of them.

          They’re both excellent examples of TDS victims.

          Look at any post on trade policy, immigration, or Section 230 over the last few years, where I’ve made comments, and you’ll probably find me saying that Trump is wrong about trade policy, wrong about his policy goals with immigration (my defense of intelligent open borders is persistent), and that Trump is wrong about wanting to do away with Section 230.

          I still say we should have reelected him anyway despite his flaws. He was right about all sorts of things, too, especially in foreign policy–a real pragmatist a la Reagan, Shultz, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Weinberger, and others. A total repudiation of neoconservatism.

          Somebody find Binion or Boehm praising Trump for any reason over the course of Trump’s term.

          I bet you can’t.

          I used to make fun of Objectivists around here for not being able to admit when Ayn Rand was wrong. Objectivists got nothin’ on TDS victims, who wouldn’t give Trump credit for negotiating a full withdrawal from Afghanistan if he negotiated a full withdrawal from Afghanistan.

          1. But mean tweets. C’mon man!

            1. They were just terrible, so mean.

    3. We don’t have state and local bailouts because of the Turtle.

      It’s time to admit Trump accomplished basically nothing beyond what a bog standard RINO would have. He signed the McConnell/Ryan tax cuts and he nominated the judges the Federalist Society told him to. He caved every single time he had the opportunity to actually do something different than business-as-usual Republicrat rule.

      In the meantime he was such a toxic douchebag he actually lost what should have been an easy re-election to openly socialist democrats. So much winning.

      1. “It’s time to admit Trump accomplished basically nothing beyond what a bog standard RINO would have.”

        Is that why the establishment Republicans like McCain excoriated Trump for working together with Putin to destroy ISIS in Syria without a U.S. invasion, why the establishment Republicans screamed bloody murder over Trump’s decision not to go to war in Syria to protect the Kurds from the Turks, and why the establishment Republicans did everything they could to undermine Trump’s deal with the Taliban to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan completely?

        “Congressional Republicans on Monday slammed President Donald Trump’s plan for a swift reduction of U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan, warning that it would be a gift to America’s enemies and would undermine progress already made in the region.

        “A rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan now would hurt our allies and delight the people who wish us harm,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said bluntly.”

        —-Polltico

        November 16, 2020

        https://www.politico.com/news/2020/11/16/mcconnell-trump-afghan-troop-reduction-436821

        Foreign defense policy is just one example of Trump doing things that the establishment Republicans would not do.

      2. “…It’s time to admit Trump accomplished basically nothing beyond what a bog standard RINO would have…”

        Why do lefty shits infected with TDS adopt such benign handles? Perhaps they hope people will treat their bullshit as other than bullshit.

  5. Hopefully the experiment with Trump will teach people that there is easy way to cut spending. The idea that you select someone from outside and they will cut the spending should now be dead. The fact is most people would cut spending so long it is not spending for things they value, you know cut spending for others.

    Here are some more practical ideas. First tax at level appropriate to the spending so people know what government services cost. Next compromise. I cut some of mine, if you cut some of yours. There is no magic. Cutting government spending is hard, it can be done but it will be hard. Accepting that is the first step.

    1. So your solution to the problems created by establishment beltway creatures, is to put us back entirely in their hands, and expecting them to fix the problem they created in the first place? Especially from a low IQ, senile 50 year swamp creature like Biden? Seriously?

      If you want to know what the real problem is, try looking in a mirror. You vote for this bullshit. It’s YOUR fault.

      1. Does it work to put the non establishment beltway creature in charge? Trump did nothing. Nor did all the so called “Tea Party” candidates. They went to Washington and spent more.

        And I don’t vote for more spending. I like to see less spending and I have outlined what I think has to happen for spending to be cut. I just admit that it will be hard.

        1. So you’re blaming the people who at least tried to do something over the people who are doing the spending? Then your solution is to give all the power back to those same people who created the problem in the first place. The same people who also did everything to stop and also destroy the outsiders.

          Do you listen to yourself? And I don’t give a damn what you think you voted for. In reality you voted for massive increases in spending because that’s what the people, you voted for have promised to do.

          1. You ain’t seen no spending like SleepyJoe is gonna be spending!

        2. No reduction in spending is possible for so long as we have a universal franchise. Because anyone who wants to reduce spending will be voted out.

          First, it’s time to end the experiment of the 19th Amendment. Second, it’s time to institute IQ tests and civic tests for voting. Anything other than that is a waste of time.

          1. You monster. Everyone is equal in every way.

          2. You sure you want this? What has been pointed out is that party lines are now being aligned along education levels with people with higher educations voting Democrats and the opposite for Republicans. What you might see are people supporting M4A, free college and climate regulations getting elected.

            1. IQ and credentialism aren’t the same thing.
              Just because the masses can’t afford $350,000 degrees and debtloads doesn’t mean that they’re dumb.

              Sometimes it’s better to pick a well paying trade rather than pay for a masters in gender studies.

              1. No one said anyone was dumb. The suggestion was to IQ test voters and that is likely to favor those with an education. IQ tests have traditionally favored the more well educated. This is because questions tend to favor book learning rather than natural intelligence. The well educated also more likely to be familiar and comfortable with testing and so likely to do better. This is one of the reasons that IQ testing has fallen from favor.

                1. “No one said anyone was dumb…”

                  I did.
                  You are.

                2. Except you paint with broad brushes. Democrats are setting themselves up to be the party of the educated elite who rely on the least educated and most downtrodden to get elected. That’s why they have to have massive get out the vote efforts and have to do things like vote harvest.

                  Republicans basically get everyone in between.

                  Not sure how that would play out over IQ tests, but pretending that Dems represent the smartest people and Repubs represent the dumbest people is a nice little tribalist trope, but not truly reality.

                  1. Sorry IS, but I think you are far off here. Your assumption is there is a small Democrat elite leading the humble masses. I see a party making inroads with minorities and young people, many educated working white collar, technical or trade jobs. The Republicans have retreated into a smaller and smaller group, predominantly older white males. And increasing less educated.

                    Again IQ test do not test natural intelligence but favor book learning. Democrat advantage here.

                    1. LOL! Do you generally ignore the obvious so that your narrative remains intact?

                      Progressives had to form a coalition of disparate victim groups headed by white educated elitists. This coalition is going to face a huge issue now that Dems have the presidency and the left wing of the party demands subservience by the moderates.

                      You have the GOP gaining in all demographics except white educated males. You have Democrat moderates realizing the extreme positioning of their leaders and those trying to take charge. You have the Repubs becoming the party of the working class and of populism (i.e. classical liberalism). Sure, Dems could stop the massive bleeding if they shift back towards the center, but that doesn’t appear to be what’s in store.

                      I know tribalism glasses always make the world seem rosy, but take them off once in a while to see what actually is.

          3. First, it’s time to end the experiment of the 19th Amendment.

            Nope, nothing wrong with the 19th.

            But we can absolutely drop:

            12th – President and VP elected together
            16th – Allows the feds to levy income tax
            17th – Direct election of Senators

            And we should have a serious conversation about:

            24th – Voting rights can’t be dependent on collection of taxes

      2. “So your solution to the problems created by establishment beltway creatures, is to put us back entirely in their hands,..”

        That’s M4e, and if you’re spent any time here, you’d know his intellect is at least as deep as a 5YO.

  6. Ya see liberaltarians think all you need to do is just swoop in and reset things. But the truth is the bureaucracy is so entrenched it would take something in the megaton range to do that. The fantasy world that reason koch writers live in is that they think they have all these great ideas if someone anyone would just listen. Reality always sets in especially when you realize that nobody in the LP can win damn election at the federal level and so they are just useless tools to promote some billionaires business ventures and increase the earnings per share a few pennies.

    1. The Democrat party is a labyrinth of special interests, corporate do-gooders, and social activists. The Republican party is a hollowed out carcass of Zombie Reaganomics with war-mongering Neocons still feasting on the eyes and tongue. Thankfully, libertarians who want to promote real limited government are too busy fooling around with a live-action joke, known as the Libertarian party.

      1. I know. Just look at all the wars the republicans got us into the last 4 years.

      2. “a live-action joke, known as the Libertarian party”

        That’s a perfect description of the LP.

        Far too many idiots think that libertarianism should be an American political party instead of a social and economic philosophy, which is why libertarian ideas are relegated to the fringe instead of being popularized and widely adopted.
        Everyone who says “I voted libertarian” but means a party instead of a candidate who is the most likely to advance libertarianism, deserves a kick in the cunt.

    2. it would take something in the megaton range to do that.

      I’m listening…

  7. “Trump will exit office with almost no legacy other than an astonishing increase in government spending.”

    In fact, Trump was/is the most libertarian president since Cal Coolidge.

    Eric Boehm and Reason lie.

    1. “Mr. Madison wished to relieve the sufferers, but was afraid of establishing a dangerous precedent, which might hereafter be perverted to the countenance of purposes very different from those of charity. He acknowledged, for his own part, that he could not undertake to lay his finger on that article in the Federal Constitution which granted a right of Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.

      THAT was a libertarian president.

      1. Madison came after Coolidge?

        Boy, have I ever got this whole “how time works” thing wrong.

  8. Sometimes an article is so predictably stupid there is just nothing to say. This is one of those times.

  9. What will Reason write about after 12:00 pm EST on January 21st, 2021?

    1. More TDS.

    2. How much we should have anticipated that Biden is an authoritarian. Libertarian websites are created to drive ad traffic, not develop effective public policies that can be enacted by legislatures.

      1. Best answer!

      2. Which is a shame considering how simple it would be to fix everything by prohibiting government from initiating force.

    3. Losersucker76 can’t be trusted because he is a known Mormon loving liar. He spews LDS Propoganda bullshit and is a pussy who won’t admit he’s wrong.

      I hope your cunt Mormon mom dies!

      Your daughter is a cunt!

      1. Have another tallboy, sarcasmic.

    4. If 2009 repeats they’ll whine about Republicans not approving Biden’s nominees fast enough.

    5. What will Reason write about after 12:00 pm EST on January 21st, 2021?

      They’ll have at least a solid four years of claiming everything that Biden does wrong is actually Trump’s fault.

  10. So Trump is just damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t on this one.

    I would love if consistent journalism would start becoming a thing.

    1. There has been nothing but consistency. Everything Trump did was bad. Everything SleepyJoe did is good.

      1. I apologize, you are correct. I was looking at the wrong type of consistency. LOL!

      2. I don’t know.

        If Trump had ever actually done anything;

        like, say, negotiate a better free trade deal than NAFTA,

        or end the war in Afghanistan and make peace with the Taliban,

        or maybe negotiate peace agreements between the Serbs and the Kosovars or Arabs and Israelis,

        or end the incarnation madness with some sort of First Step “Act”,

        THEN I know for a fact Reason would have all kinds of articles praising him… right?

  11. “failures of the Trump presidency is his squandering of an incredibly rare opportunity”

    You can’t squander something that you never had any idea could be squandered! Kinda like trying to drain a swamp by filling it with more swamp creatures in the hopes that it will drain by overflowing.

    1. TDS-infected lefty shit heard from.

      1. Why does the truth offend you so much?

  12. More squander and surrender in Trump’s cowardly life of nothing but squandering, surrendering, and whining about everyone being unfair to him.

    Trump, The Cheeseburger Eating Surrender Monkey.

    1. I’m glad I raged against the machine by voting Biden!
      Now we can have freedom and liberty in America.

      1. Things will be so much better with a lifetime swamp creature with dementia in charge.

    2. Trump, The Cheeseburger Eating Surrender Monkey.

      Absolutely. That coward never started a single war and wants to run away from Germany and Afghanistan.

    3. “Trump, The Cheeseburger Eating Surrender Monkey.”

      TDS-infected shits: Embarrassing 1st-grade kids with their attempts at humor!

  13. Kill or be killed.

  14. Yeah Eric the hottest economy in decades, lowest unemployment ever and highest stock market are nothing compared to mean tweets. Trump did nothing!

    1. And all of that stock market and economy was based on debt and ZIRP. Sorry, but no true conservative could think that endless ZIRP and QE is a productive economy.

      1. Yeah that’s been the last 20 years yet somehow Obama didn’t manage to equal it.

    2. And you all think the president is the economy

      1. No, actually most of of us here think you’re a fucking lefty ignoramus.
        But we do tend to agree that a POTUS who reduces regulations tends to help business, and help those who hold stocks. And we fully understand that fucking lefty ignoramuses find that hard to understand.

  15. At this point, I just want to watch America burn. If we can’t make any tough choices, and our only answer is to print more money and devalue the currency, let’s have at it. At some point in the not so distant future, the choices will be made for us when foreigners no longer want our printed money.

    1. I hope the Dems win in Georgia. The sooner the collapse the better.

  16. “Even if you exclude the epic amounts of money the government has spent in response to the pandemic, Trump increased federal spending by as much as President Barack Obama did—and in half the time.”

    That was one of the most disappointing aspects of the Trump era as far as I’m concerned…

    1. Except that he didn’t.
      Eric is practicing a little journalistic technique that they sometimes call “lying”.

  17. Trump was not elected as a spending-cutter or quasi-libertarian. On the contrary, he attacked the other GOP candidates for allegedly wanting to cut Social Security and Medicare–and promised a new healthcare plan where “everyone will be covered.” His administration simply showed the shallowness of *Reason*’s “libertarian moment” triumphalism of some years back.

    1. True…Trump spends as well as anyone…we were looking at a trillion dollar deficit for FY 2020 BEFORE the COVID chaos…if you look at the CBO deficit forecasts from 2016 and compare them to actuals, Trump was able to double the forecasted deficits…which is the same results Obama had for the years following the 2012 CBO forecast…

  18. Surrendering on COVID Spending Is a Predictable, Fitting End for Trump’s Tenure
    One of the underappreciated failures of the Trump presidency is his squandering of an incredibly rare opportunity to reset how Washington operates.

    Reason already had the alternative headline queued up:

    Not Surrendering on COVID Spending Is a Predictable, Fitting End for Trump’s Tenure
    Trump continues to indulge in his dictatorial impulses and endangers the lives of Americans and the American economy by a futile and chaotic attempt to delay COVID spending.

    See, no matter what Trump does, it’s evidence that Trump is stupid/impulsive/chaotic/…

  19. … AND every substantial complaint about President Trump was written, advertised and pushed by the same politicians that will be part of the incoming Biden administration.

    Talk about bringing the satanist book, voodoo doll, instructions and chants just to pigeonhole blame on the point-man while ducking-tail and running. Seriously Boehm? After 4-years of your articles about how horrid the border-wall is – NOW you blame Trump for not getting it done???

  20. Up until Sunday night, when Trump signed this, I had supported the man despite all his foibles, as the alternative was worse. With his apparent “mock” complaining of this perfect example of “swamp” legislation, then turning around and signing it (or for that matter, letting his people help design it to begin with), he has lost whatever credibility he had with me.

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