Aftermath

Before the election there were dark warnings of the possibility of violence by Trump supporters in the event of a Clinton victory. Well, we are getting the violence, but it seems to be coming from Trump opponents, although it must be said that it can no way be attributed to Hillary Clinton who was quite gracious in her concession speech the following morning.

 

 

Republicans ought to think about waiting a bit before popping the champagne corks. President-elect Donald Trump is likely to propose an infrastructure program with a price tag in the vicinity of $1 trillion dollars. The Trump proposal may wind up looking a lot like the program Obama signed into law in 2009 that did little to no good. And there is that matter of where that $1 trillion is going to come from. The accumulated debt already on the books is now $20 trillion and headed upwards. And that doesn’t count the present value of unfunded entitlements under current law.

 

On the other hand Obamacare is almost certainly going to be dismantled and replaced with something more market friendly. We can expect an effort to inject competition into the health care finance system by allowing insurance companies so sell across state lines. That would be all to the good. It would eliminate lots of bureaucracy and facilitate efficiency gains by enlarging risk pools. Perhaps they will take up the issue of tort reform in an effort to reduce the practice of defensive medicine.

 

Dodd-Frank will come in for a significant overhaul. And there may be an effort to resurrect some form of Glass-Stiegel, which would separate commercial and investment banking.

 

Early on we can expect Trump to nominate a replacement for Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. With respect to the nominee, there are two questions lurking not very far in the background. First, will Trump’s nominee come from the list the Heritage Foundation drew up for him early on in the campaign? Second, will Chuck Schumer, the presumed minority leader, try to mount a filibuster? Or will he hold his firepower to see if Trump will get a chance to tip the balance of the Court if one of the more liberal Justices steps down?

 

Personnel is policy so we should be able to get a sense of the broad outlines of what a Trump administration would look like after he makes a few announcements for key cabinet and staff positions.

 

JFB