Trump's campaign has whipped a nation up into a fervour and
given oxygen to the most abhorrent of racist, white supremacist
throwbacks to the darkest chapters of America's history. When
violence spilled over in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August
12, culminating in what appears to be a white supremacist
terror attack and the murder of civil rights activist Heather
Heyer, Trump could only respond with a limp call condemning
violence on all sides. It was only after a storm of criticism,
including from within his own Republican Party, over his
failure to denounce the white supremacist groups responsible,
that he explicitly denounced the KKK and neo-Nazis. Only a day
later, he changed his mind again, staging a press conference to
defend some of the protesters at Charlottesville as "very fine
people", presumably caught up with some very unfine people.
It is just the latest in a string of volte faces from the US
president. Trump talks the big league talk on the stump, but as
soon as he realises the challenge before him, he switches tack.
We've seen it countless times before. The Mexican wall? It's
political fluff, the Mexicans aren't going to pay. The Muslim
ban? That was never going to work.
We are quickly building a picture of a POTUS who is all
sound and fury. Even on tax reform, among his less off-the-wall
proposals, Trump's policy proposals are already hitting the
rocks. Business leaders will at least be breathing a sigh of
relief that the Trump administration has abandoned plans for a
border adjustment tax, even as multinational CEOs are
distancing themselves in revulsion at Trump's response to
Charlottesville. But how now will he be able to plug the
revenue gap as he seeks to bring in sweeping corporate tax
cuts? Moreover, as salacious Russian scandals circle closer and
closer and one senior administration figure after another falls
away, will Trump be in office long enough to see them
Taxpayers want stability more than anything else and that is
the one thing Trump's shambolic administration cannot provide.
Without that, all his corporate-friendly measures amount to
little more than fake news if they never see the light of day.
Managing editor, International Tax Review