Features

Trump backs down over border wall

Donald Trump agreed to halt the 35-day US government shutdown.

932-Trump-634
Trump: blunt and transparent

Last Friday, amid "mounting public frustration", Donald Trump agreed to halt the 35-day US government shutdown that has left hundreds of thousands of federal employees without pay for more than a month, reports The Guardian.

Although the Democrats continue to refuse to grant the president the $5.7bn in border wall funding he was requesting, he agreed to a bill that funds the US government until 15 February, thus enabling nearly 800,000 employees to return to work and receive delayed payment. The decision unilaterally to end the longest and most costly shutdown in government history was greeted with relief, but it has led to criticism from Trump's own supporters that he "caved in".

Trump's "abject humiliation" was inevitable, says Michael Gerson in The Washington Post. Not only has he "lost themost visible and important confrontation of his presidency", he's also exposed the fact that his methods are "blunt and transparent".His typical tactic is "to raise the stakes of a negotiation impossibly high", then "make a maximal demand" trusting that "the triumph of his stronger will" will lead his opponent to submit before he does. The problem with such an approach is that "you can angrily hold your breath for only so long".

Still, the perception that he "got owned" by House speaker Nancy Pelosi might tempt Trump to try and "salvage some political capital with the minority of Americans who still seem inclined to support him" by taking some new extreme measure, says The New York Times. Indeed, in his remarks announcing the halt to the shutdown he made "threatening noises" about "declaring a national emergency if Congress cannot reach a compromise by the time this agreement expires". Polls suggest that such a move would be "wildly unpopular", and might even encourage congressional Republicans to come to a deal without him.

Recommended

How long can the good times roll?
Economy

How long can the good times roll?

Despite all the doom and gloom that has dominated our headlines for most of 2019, Britain and most of the rest of the developing world is currently en…
19 Dec 2019
Why Wall Street has got the US economy wrong again
Economy

Why Wall Street has got the US economy wrong again

The hiring slowdown does not signal recession for the US economy. Growth is just moving down a gear, says Brian Pellegrini.
25 Oct 2019
Inflation spiked in the US last month – is this the shape of things to come?
US Economy

Inflation spiked in the US last month – is this the shape of things to come?

Prices in the US rose much more dramatically than expected in July. Can we expect more of the same, and what does that mean for your money? John Stepe…
14 Aug 2020
If companies have too much power, we need more competition, not higher taxes
US Economy

If companies have too much power, we need more competition, not higher taxes

Free-market capitalism is breaking down and that is going to lead to higher taxes down the line. John Stepek explains why that matters for investors.
11 Aug 2020

Most Popular

Gold and silver have taken a vicious beating – is the bull market over already?
Gold

Gold and silver have taken a vicious beating – is the bull market over already?

The gold price has tumbled recently, leaving traders nursing losses – just a nasty correction or has the gold bull market run out of steam? Dominic Fr…
12 Aug 2020
No, the UK did not “plunge” into recession yesterday
UK Economy

No, the UK did not “plunge” into recession yesterday

That the economy took a massive hit due to Covid-19 should be news to no one, says John Stepek. The real question is what happens now.
13 Aug 2020
Eagle Lightweight GT: the reincarnation of the E-type Jag
Toys and gadgets

Eagle Lightweight GT: the reincarnation of the E-type Jag

Jaguar’s classic E-type sports car has been reinvented for the modern age. The result – the Eagle Lightweight GT – is a thing of beauty.
7 Aug 2020