The Best and Most Honest Benchmark for Measuring Trump’s Success Is Also the Cruelest

There are going to be lots of surveys, statistics, and other data to rely on in the coming years to see if Donald Trump is keeping his promises and doing what he said he intended to do. Spending cuts and hiring freezes will be part of it, but the reality is that there is a really good benchmark we will be able to use. And it is both harsh and cruel, but also perhaps the most honest benchmark for measuring Trump’s success.

In the past decade, under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the Washington metropolitan area in Northern Virginia and the Maryland suburbs have thrived. Billionaires have moved in, Fortune 500 companies have relocated there, and real estate prices are sky high.

If that area’s real estate market collapses and the area heads into recession, we will know that Donald Trump is successful. As Washington’s power has grown, that region has grown with it. As Washington lets go of power and the states rebound in strength and clout, that area should correspondingly grow weaker.

Sure, it sucks for those who live in the Capitol, but the rest of Panem the nation will benefit dramatically by the economic collapse of the Washington metropolitan area. It will mean Washington’s influence on our daily lives is shrinking and federalism is growing. I don’t believe in a lot of zero sum games and I think a lot of liberal policies are based on the wrong premise of zero sum games. But I believe in this zero sum game. For the rest of the nation to strengthen, Washington must weaken. When Washington weakens, its regional economy will weaken too.

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Erick Erickson

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