One of the true perverse pleasures of the Trump Administration has been experiencing just how excruciatingly bad Wilbur Ross is at doing live television.
Whether it's nodding off on camera during meetings, praising the Saudis for their quiet streets, holding up actual fucking soup to make a point about tariffs, talking about trade with the nuance of a blunt instrument, or just attacking us with his unbridled charismatic energy, Wilbur Ross has proven himself to be a 19th Century politician in a 21st Century reality.
But even we were unprepared for this morning when Wilbur went on CNBC and painted his masterpiece. Even with Davos in full swing, Wilbur Ross sat down in front of a live camera and managed to come off as one of the most out-of-touch fake billionaires on the face of the earth, who just happens to run the Commerce Department.
With the markets in a perma-panic over Trump and Wilbur's trade war with China, Ross used his time on TV to say this just before the opening bell:
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday the U.S. is still “miles and miles” from a trade deal with China.
“Frankly, that shouldn’t be too surprising,” Ross said in a “Squawk Box ” interview. The U.S. and China have “lots and lots of issues,” he continued, and the Trump administration will need to create “structural reforms” and “penalties” in order to resume normal trade relations with Beijing.
“We would like to make a deal but it has to be a deal that will work for both parties,” he said. “We’re miles and miles from getting a resolution.”
The markets responded by plummeting at the open.
But Wilbur wasn't done. The government shutdown that dominates our news cycle is - of course - a symptom of partisan rancor, but both sides have made the smart conscious choice to paint furloughed government workers as innocent victims. In fact, the one thing that socialists and MAGA types have made a point of agreeing on is that we need to help the people who aren't getting paid while working on behalf of the American people.
Well, everyone expect Wilbur. In fact, Secretary Sleepy doesn't even understand why these losers need food banks...
"I don’t really quite understand why...Because, as I mentioned before, the obligations that they would undertake, say borrowing from a bank or a credit union are in effect federally guaranteed."
Oh, you bet your ass he kept talking...
"The 30 days of pay that some people will be out, there's no real reason why they shouldn't be able to get a loan against it."
That sound you hear is us kissing our fingertips.
And to make it clear, WIlbur generally doesn't even comprehend why everyone is getting so worked up over a handful of people missing a paycheck or two. The economy is, like, big...
"Put it in perspective, you’re talking about 800,000 workers, and while I feel sorry for the individuals that have hardship cases, 800,000 workers if they never got their pay, which is not the case they will eventually get it, but if they never got it, you’re talking about a third of a percent on our GDP."
So, yeah, fuck those government workers, says a cabinet-level government worker who just torpedoed the stock market.