SOTU reaction

President Trump delivered his State of the Union address last night and, overall, it was an acceptable performance as far as market participants go. By which I mean no (new) cause for alarm, no drastic policy pronouncements.

There were the usual exaggerations – claiming the largest tax cut ever when it’s really the fourth largest, claiming faster wage growth when wage growth actually decelerated in 2017 from 2016’s pace, etc – but that’s par for the course at Mar-a-Lago. The actual facts are here if this sort of thing is still important for you. I’m over it.

The section about opening up more experimental trials for the terminally ill – is that not the ultimate no-brainer for both sides of the aisle? If someone’s got nothing to lose and they want to try something that could potentially give them more time, or even reverse a serious illness, why shouldn’t that be a thing they can do right here at home? Yes, it’s risky, but so is life. 30,000 US citizens died in automobile accidents last year.

The part where I thought the President really knew his stuff was the four-pillared immigration plan. Democrats, if they have any brains in their heads, ought to take the deal. Give him the funding for his stupid wall, which will never be built anyway, in exchange for a DREAMer path to citizenship. Trump said it best last night – a compromise in which no one gets everything they want, but everyone gets something. I think, in the olden days, they used to call that…I want to say ‘Politics’?

I thought we’d hear more specific stuff on infrastructure spending. Maybe that’s for another time. Oh, and no real strategy for North Korea beyond the usual demonization. This makes sense because there actually is nothing that can be done about North Korea. It’s gotta collapse and the Chinese have to want that to happen. They don’t. It’s a card to play that they hold in reserve.

Stocks seem to be bouncing this morning. I don’t know that there’s any reason to connect that with the speech last night, but people will I guess.

Carry on.

 

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