The Biden transition has now officially begun. Still, last night, Donald Trump tweeted that he would "never concede." What he will do, Paul Krugman writes, is trash the nation on his way out the back door. That is clearly evident in Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's decision to take back money in government aid programs which has not yet been spent:
For a few weeks in March and April, as investors panicked over the pandemic, America teetered on the edge of a major financial crisis. But the Fed, backstopped by the Treasury, stepped up with new programs offering to buy assets like corporate bonds and municipal debt. In the end, not much of the money was used — but the assurance that the money was there if needed stabilized the markets, and the crisis faded away.
Maybe the new coronavirus surge won’t provoke a second financial crisis — after all, we now know that a vaccine is on the way. But the risk of crisis hasn’t gone away, and it’s just foolish to take away the tools we might need to fight such a crisis.
Mnuchin’s claim that the money is no longer needed makes no sense, and it’s not clear whether his successor will be easily able to undo his actions. Given everything else that’s happening, it’s hard to see Mnuchin’s move as anything but an act of vandalism, an attempt to increase the odds of disaster under Trump’s successor.
Trump's motivation is clear. He intends to punish the clear majority of voters who didn't cast their votes for him. If he can't live in the house, he intends to burn it down -- and Steve Mnuchin is setting the fire.
Image: the trentonline.com