In a new column in the New York Times, Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman asked a question that many others have asked about Donald Trump’s White House: Why are his top advisers sticking around when it is apparent that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has been gathering evidence of many different Trump crimes, and the president is probably on his way down?
According to Krugman, the individuals left working for Trump in the White House are the “worst and dumbest” of all the people he hired, and they literally have nowhere else to go because they are so incompetent.
In the column, entitled “Donald Trump and His Team of Morons,” Krugman had this to say about the current president:
“There have been many policy disasters over the course of U.S. history. It’s hard, however, to think of a calamity as gratuitous, an error as unforced, as the current federal shutdown. Nor can I think of another disaster as thoroughly personal, as completely owned by one man.”
“You can’t fully make sense of his policy pratfalls without acknowledging the extraordinary quality of the people with whom he has surrounded himself. And by ‘extraordinary,’ of course, I mean extraordinarily low quality. Lincoln had a team of rivals; Trump has a team of morons.”
In his scathing piece, Krugman identified by name several of the president’s key advisers for their ridiculous and insensitive comments about the current government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history.
One of those, Kevin Hassett, chairman of Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers, said the federal workers who have been furloughed should be happy about their situation because they are getting a “free vacation.” He seemed oblivious to the fact that many people can’t afford to miss several paychecks and still be able to pay their bills each month.
“You don’t have to be a public relations expert to know that you’re supposed to express some sympathy, whether you feel it or not. After all, there are multiple news reports about transportation security,” Krugman wrote.
Krugman didn’t spare from his criticism the Trump advisers who have his ear but don’t actually hold official positions. He singled out Fox News host Sean Hannity for expressing his sympathy for the plight of wealthy people who would have to take less expensive vacations in a down economy.
“Even if your real reason for favoring low taxes is that they let your wealthy friends engage in even more high living, you’re not supposed to say that out loud,” Krugman pointed out.
He then clarified one of the many factors that bedevils the Trump administration: the White House “morons.”
“There’s the Trump effect,” Krugman explained, saying:
“Normally working for the president of the United States is a career booster, something that looks good on your résumé. Trump’s presidency, however, is so chaotic, corrupt and potentially compromised by his foreign entanglements that anyone associated with him gets tainted — which is why after only two years he has already left a trail of broken men and wrecked reputations in his wake.”
The famous economist and political commentator then asked who would still be willing to work for Trump at this point:
“Only those with no reputation to lose, generally because they’re pretty bad at what they do. There are, no doubt, conservatives smart and self-controlled enough to lie plausibly, or at least preserve some deniability, and defend Trump’s policies without making fools of themselves. But those people have gone into hiding.”
He concluded by saying that the people who are still in the White House have been distilled down from ‘the worst and the dumbest” to “even worse and even dumber.”
And of course Krugman is right. We have an incompetent president surrounded by incompetent people who enable his lies and his misdeeds. They are damaging the entire country and it will take a very long time for the United States to recover from their stupid, misguided actions.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.