Talk Doesn’t Cook Rice, But It Might Cook Markets

There’s a well-known Chinese proverb that says, “Talk doesn’t cook rice.”

The warning here is a reminder that simply thinking about, planning and especially just talking about something won’t get what you want done. To really get something done, you must take action.

While I agree with this sentiment, I also think it’s important to note that certain kinds of talk can serve to sabotage a project.

That certainly seems like what’s happening now politically, as President Trump’s latest and, in my opinion, truly stunning comments Tuesday regarding the ugly events over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, have the potential to sabotage what’s left of the administration’s pro-growth agenda.

While making a pitch for a massive infrastructure buildout, a proposal that on the surface is truly red meat to big-spending politicians on both sides of the aisle, the president essentially reverted back to blaming deadly violence in Charlottesville on both sides of the protest.

The comments, which were delivered in a combative way to the press (a tactic the president obviously enjoys, and that has worked well for him), basically pushed away even members of his own party who also found the remarks to be astoundingly tone deaf to the reality of the situation.

Equivocal comments such as, “I think there is blame on both sides,” when speaking of neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan violence that killed one person and injured more than 30 others, is the kind of rhetoric that makes members of Congress cringe.

Indeed, the president’s remarks Tuesday completely obscured the message he wanted to deliver on infrastructure. The comments also sparked intense criticism from Congressional Republicans who don’t want any stench of racism to cling to them.

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