President Trump promised his tax cut would give us — at least! — 3 percent growth. We didn’t get it. He claims the economy is the best ever, yet pleads with the Federal Reserve to cut already low rates — and whines when Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell suggests rate-cutting won’t go on forever.

Stocks sold off as investors questioned whether the Fed would cut again at its next meeting in September. The Dow Jones industrial average had shed 333 points, or 1.2 percent, by the end of the trading day. Trump saw the market slide and blasted Powell on Twitter for not going far enough to stimulate the economy.
“Let me be clear. What I said was it’s not the beginning of a long series of rate cuts,” Powell said at a news conference.

To repeat: Trump gave us a tax cut that produced huge debt (recall Trump promised to wipe out the debt), short-term economic oomph, and now the economy is so precarious that only the promise of continual rate cuts will satisfy Trump. I dunno, but this doesn’t sound like the record of a president confident he can win on the economy.

Likewise on trade, Trump was going to make better deals than politicians of both parties. He’d use tariffs to get his way because trade wars are “easy to win.” That, of course, isn’t true, so Trump has invented the excuse that tariffs in and of themselves are positive because the Treasury is taking in all that money. Well, taxes — which tariffs on imported goods paid by U.S. consumers are — also fill up federal coffers, but that’s not a serious argument Republicans (or anyone) wants to make. The New York Times reported:

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The tone of Chinese statements, from the government and from various research groups in China that work closely with the government, has grown tougher in recent weeks, and some say Mr. Trump’s talk of the ease of winning a trade war is starting to be matched by some on the Chinese side.
“The U.S. administration went into this thinking they had a strong hand, like in poker,” said Andy Mok, a senior consultant on trade at the Center for China and Globalization. “The best the U.S. can hope for in the trade war is as little political and economic damage as possible.”

So which is it: We are going to win the trade war, or an interminable trade war is a plus? Meanwhile, farm subsidies (i.e., taxpayer money) are going primarily to the richest farmers to ease the pain inflicted by ill-conceived tariffs.

Trump’s national security arguments are equally incoherent. Pulling out of the Iran deal was supposed to force Iran back to the table. That didn’t happen. Trump’s attempt at “maximum pressure” faltered when he signaled he had no stomach for military action. That provoked a truly inane move: sanctioning Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who would be the person to lead Iran if it returned to the negotiating table. None of this suggests a rational, step-by-step policy is in place to contain Iran and remedy the shortcomings in the Iran nuclear deal.

And that brings us to North Korea. Trump has had three summits with dictator Kim Jong Un. He insists he’s made progress and the threat from North Korea is diminished. That spin was blown to bits, however, when North Korea returned to its pattern of missile testing.

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NPR reports: “A week after similar tests, North Korea has again fired two short-range missiles into the waters that separate it from Japan, according to South Korea’s military.” The report continues, “South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff announced that the missiles, which flew about 155 miles and reached an altitude of 18 miles, were launched about 20 minutes apart early Wednesday morning from the Kalma area near North Korea’s Wonsan port, according to the Yonhap news agency.”

So Trump gave Kim unprecedented international respectability and excused his human rights abominations. In return, North Korea has made no moves to denuclearize and has resumed previously “halted” testing (the one accomplishment Trump bragged about). Worse, the administration now must avoid confronting North Korea for fear of revealing what a dismal failure Trump’s diplomacy has been.

No wonder Trump resorts to fearmongering on immigration and blatant racist attacks on African Americans. (Pro-tip: When denying you are a racist, don’t call an African American journalist “dumb.”) If he had to defend his record — or even explain it — he’d be in deep trouble.

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Given all this, Democrats would do well to lessen their obsession with comparatively minor differences among themselves and instead focus on the chaos-inducing, racist president who has yet to deliver on a 3 percent bump in gross domestic product, a win in the trade war with China, a better Iran deal or progress in denuclearizing North Korea. Just a thought.

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