Nick’s Note: At the Daily, we normally don’t delve into politics. We’re more interested in showing you the best ways to build your wealth.
But in the past couple weeks, headlines about President Trump have taken center stage, and longtime PBRG friend Bill Bonner had some provocative words on the subject. Once we read it, we knew we had to share it with you…
By Bill Bonner, chairman, Bonner & Partners
The world’s press once again erupted in outrage.
The hacks were upset… appalled… indignant.
Of course, it was The Donald that set it off.
But this time, they charged him not with being a boor or a nincompoop. This time, the charge was the sort that could get a man hanged, or at least impeached – treason.
And this time, we rise to his defense, not in the spirit of mischief and mockery, but in earnest.
Deep State War
Let’s try to connect some dots here.
The question on the table: Did Donald Trump just go to war with the Deep State?
There are three parts to the Deep State agenda – the Warfare State, the Welfare State, and the Police State. Together, they keep the money flowing to the insiders.
Until now, Mr. Trump has shown himself willing to go along with all three.
So far, he’s been unable – or unwilling – to significantly cut spending on the Welfare State.
He made no attempt to rein in America’s 17 different spook agencies. And he actually increased Pentagon spending by some $700 billion over the next 10 years.
But what justifies spending so much on defense? And why put up with a vast, Police-State spy system in what is supposed to be a free country?
What are we so afraid of?
Terrorists are a trivial enemy. Even with all the encouragement given to them by the U.S. – bombing, assassinating, killing thousands of civilians – the “insurgents” can’t seem to get their act together.
They present no plausible threat to the USA; they have no tanks, no planes, no ships, and no marching bands. Worse, like last season’s TV shows, the public has lost interest in them.
What does that leave? Russia!
The idea is absurd. But apparently, it’s the best Deep State strategists can think of. Russia has a tiny economy, with GDP less than one-tenth of America’s.
Its military capabilities are impressive, but no match for the UK, let alone the U.S. The Pentagon spends 10 times more than the Russian military.
Why worry about Russia? Its tanks are not going to pour across the Rhine. Its soldiers are not going to raise the Russian flag on top of the Eiffel Tower.
Nor is it going to land troops in Alaska and take away our national parks. The Russians are not going to start a war with the U.S., because they couldn’t win.
And yet, the elite insist that the Russians are “bad guys.” Per House Speaker Paul Ryan:
There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals…
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:
I’ve said a number of times and I say it again, the Russians are not our friends and I entirely believe the assessment of our intelligence community.
Friends, schmends… Russia has “values” and “ideals” of its own, just like every other country. And like all the world’s people, Russians do the best they can with what they have to work with.
But for the Establishment, Russia is a bête noire… a bogeyman… a monster from the steppes. Attila with a Kalashnikov. Genghis with nuclear warheads.
And the sight of a U.S. president treating the Russian president with friendly respect is anathema. When asked if he believed the assessment of the FBI that Russia had interfered in the 2016 presidential election, Trump conceded that he “saw no reason why they would.”
He might just as well have supped with the Devil himself.
From CNN anchor Anderson Cooper:
…one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president… I’ve ever seen.
James Fallows of The Atlantic:
…shameful performance… [Trump is a] conscious tool [or] useful idiot… those are the choices…
CNN’s Jim Acosta:
This president of the United States [is] essentially taking the word of the Russian president… over his own intelligence community… It was astonishing, just astonishing, to be in the room…
John Brennan, former CIA director:
It was nothing short of treasonous…
“It was beyond the pale,” added another former CIA official.
In comparison to the hysterical shrieks of the elite warmongers, Donald Trump sounded like a sensible man:
I think that the United States has been foolish. I think we’ve all been foolish. We should’ve had this dialogue a long time ago; a long time, frankly, before I got to office.
Off the Reservation
But even some of Mr. Trump’s dearest supporters seemed to think he has gone too far off the reservation. Newt Gingrich, for example, seemed to suggest that the president needed to edit his transcript. “It is the most serious mistake of his presidency and must be corrected – immediately,” he tweeted.
And here is Dan Coats, the president’s own Director of National Intelligence, sticking to the Russians-are-bad-guys trope and referring to allegations of election interference:
These actions are persistent, they are pervasive, and they are meant to undermine America’s democracy.
And here is Indiana Representative Jim Banks:
I want President Trump’s diplomatic efforts to be successful, but I’ll take the word of a Hoosier over Vladimir Putin any day.
The word he was taking was what U.S. intelligence agencies were putting out – that is to say, the word of Deep State operatives. Their claim was that Russia hacked into U.S. computers, specifically the systems of the Democratic National Committee, to try to influence the presidential election of 2016.
We bring the Deep State into the conversation because it may turn out to be the “who” in this “who-dunnit.”
The Deep State, as we define it, is the loose collection of special interests… government insiders… and financial elites that control the country.
Remember, too, that Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto described how all governments are taken over by the “foxes” – aka the Deep State – smart, elite insiders who use the power of the state for their own purposes.
The Deep State is the major beneficiary of the Warfare State, the Welfare State, and the Police State. And if Donald J. Trump really was a threat to any of them, the insiders had a better motive than the Russians for wanting to slow him down.
Besides, U.S. intelligence agencies had much more money to work with… much more talent to draw on… and many more opportunities to get up to mischief.
That’s why some analysts believe that the mischief at the heart of the Russiagate story was more likely gotten up to by U.S. spooks rather than foreign ones.
Two retired NSA and CIA analysts, William Binney and Ray McGovern, with a combined 63 years of experience, came forward over the weekend and made an astounding charge.
They said the hack – made by a program called “Guccifer” – was almost certainly an inside job, carried out by America’s own intelligence professionals and made to look like a Russian job.
Want to know where Guccifer came from? “Ask the FBI,” proposed the two intelligence experts.
In the last half-century – since Eisenhower spoke out and JFK was assassinated – no president has ever seriously challenged the Deep State.
There was one brief moment, early in the Reagan administration, when it looked as though the feds’ wings might be trimmed.
Our colleague, David Stockman – who, as President Reagan’s budget advisor, had the clippers in his hands – tells the tale in his marvelous memoir, The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed.
Writing on the inner workings of The Swamp, David recalls:
More than anything else, I was struck by the dramatic contrast between how hard and with what care, pride, and discipline the nation’s citizens worked to earn our national income and wealth on the one hand, and the feckless, inconsistent, and muddled manner in which it was shunted around the halls of Washington on the other.
But there was never any effort to restrain the deepest elements of the Deep State – the military and the spooks.
And despite initial successes – budget and tax cuts – the insiders were soon back in control, and Stockman left Washington.
By the end of its second term, the Reagan administration had added more spending and more debt than any previous administration.
As our regular readers would know, we don’t trust Hoosiers or Putin. After all, Mike Pence is from Indiana.
And when Donald Trump says, “I’d rather take a political risk in search of peace than risk peace in the name of politics,” it makes sense to us.
But Deep State warmongers can’t stand peace; it endangers their supply lines. In the absence of a real enemy, huge wealth transfers to the Warfare and Police States make no sense.
Reagan got bamboozled into big “defense” increases because he feared communism.
The Warfare State hawks and intelligence insiders lit up his imagination with images of Soviet hordes streaming across Europe… infesting Latin America… and rolling tanks towards Singapore.
We found out a few years later that it was all nonsense. The Soviet Union could not even hold itself together, let alone attack the world’s number one military power. Besides, communism is a self-correcting malady.
(In the late 1980s, another of our colleagues, who had been working with former CIA director William Colby, predicted that the Soviet Union would soon go out of business. He was dismissed and laughed at, not only by the mainstream media, but by Washington’s security professionals. The Soviet state collapsed a few years later.)
So what is going on? We don’t know, of course. But we’ll take some guesses.
Senator Chuck Schumer and The Washington Post wonder whether Putin has something on the U.S. president – a kompromat.
Did he do something naughty with hookers? Does he owe the Russians a lot of money?
Anything is possible… but it is even more likely that the Deep State has something on Mr. Trump, as it might have on almost everyone. So the “hidden-motive hypothesis” could go either way.
And Mr. Trump is no fool. He’s not really going to enter a serious, protracted war with the Deep State.
If he did, he would soon be isolated… marginalized… driven out of town… or worse.
He has already made peace with the Warfare, Welfare, and Police States. What would he gain from stirring up trouble now?
The best hypothesis is probably the most obvious one: The Helsinki meeting was just another episode in Mr. Trump’s reality TV show.
The ratings were great. Nothing else matters much.
Business as usual. Bankruptcy and depression still lie ahead.
Chairman, Bonner & Partners
Nick’s Note: The controversy around the president is just a symptom of a much larger problem facing America…
The country is on the verge of breaking apart. And your wealth, freedom, and even safety could all be caught in the crossfire.
To learn what’s causing this—and how you can protect yourself—read on here.
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