In three sentences in the same paragraph of the interview that Donald Trump gave to the NYT, he managed to first deprecate the technical abilities of some of my best friends and then a good number of the contributors to this blog.

First, he said “I know the details of taxes better than anybody. Better than the greatest C.P.A.”  While I’m not a CPA (note to the NYT editors:  the three letters of that professional designation are not supposed to be separated by periods), I do have an LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center.  I work every day with CPAs and I take it personally when the President of the United States attacks their professional abilities.  I have to assume that the only reason that he did not boast that he knew taxes better than any lawyer with a LL.M. in taxation was that he simply did not know that such an academic degree even exists.

But here’s the worse news for this blog.  In the very next sentence he said “I know the details of health care better than most, better than most.”  Take that Keith Humphreys, Miriam Laugesen, Harold Pollack, and Don Taylor.

I haven’t read the entire transcript.  I assume that if Trump goes after drug policy experts, the blog will have to cease publication and Mark will be forced into retirement.

8 thoughts on “Dissed”

  1. “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”
    NAME THAT SPEAKER!!! (your first two guesses don't count)

    1. I assume this quote comes from one of our more competent Presidents, as to whom it might even be true. But it reminds me of an example I heard in Economics 101 to explain comparative advantage. Apparently, Woodrow Wilson was a better typist than his secretary. (It seems to have been assumed without saying so that he was also better than she at Presidenting, though this probably could use more examination.) Despite Wilson's being the better typist, it was the best use of resources to have his secretary type, even if less efficiently than he could, and let him devote all his time to Presidenting, where his comparative advantage was — at least by assumption — even greater. The instructor even mathed it out.

  2. Trump's recent falsehood that struck me the most was that he has signed more bills than any president from Truman through Obama at this point in his tenure, when in fact he has signed the least. (Why signing bills, as opposed to vetoing them, is an accomplishment is another matter, especially in light of the fact that the number of bills passed is not within the president's control.) Could you imagine the reaction if any other president had uttered such a falsehood? Headlines would blare. I've used the word "falsehood" because I don't know whether Trump knows that he uttered a falsehood, or whether he honestly believes anything that he chooses to believe. Whether he lied so blatantly about something that can easily be checked, or he is delusional, Congress should call for a psychiatric examination and consider action under the 25th Amendment (though I fear that Pence as president could do more damage than Trump).

    1. On second thought, Trump's belief that signing many bills is an accomplishment is not another matter. It also speaks to his insanity. For, even if he had signed more bills than any other president, his boasting about this non-accomplishment would indicate a need for approval that is pathological.

  3. The "greatest CPA" quotation is one of three that Charles Pierce presents as evidence that Trump is "a man in severe cognitive decline, if not the early stages of outright dementia." Pierce says that the "greatest CPA" quotation "is more than simple grandiosity. This is someone fighting something happening to him that he is losing the capacity to understand."

  4. If Trump and the Republicans really decide to go after drug policy experts, I think exile or imprisonment is a lot more likely than retirement. These people have trashed nearly all of the normals that keep a liberal democracy afloat and it doesn't look like they're worried about what happens if they lose the next election because it's increasingly clear that they're going to exploit structural advantages, voter suppression, and control of the judiciary to the max and who knows what comes next if these things stop working for them.

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