Sunday 17 December 2017

Would the real Donald Trump please stand up?

Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States as Melania Trump looks on Picture: AP
Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States as Melania Trump looks on Picture: AP
David McWilliams

David McWilliams

There have been so many Trumps on display in the past few days that it's anyone's guess who will actually turn up for the first 100 days. The first few days have been extraordinary and kind of scary in terms of the president's grasp on economic reality.

For example, he said he would slap a 20pc tariff on Mexican goods to make "Mexico pay for the wall". But what he doesn't understand is that when you impose tariffs, it is the poor white Americans who buy dishwashers made in Mexico at Walmart that actually pay the tariff. This is how tariffs work. The consumer pays. So it's poor white Americans - the very people who voted for Donald - who will pay for the wall.

But economic logic apart, what is even more fascinating is the various Donalds on display so far. Economics is only the half of it. Who do you think will be the dominant Donald?

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