The gridlock in Congress over lifting the government's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling was an embarrassment and showed President Barack Obama to be an incompetent leader whose only skill is getting re-elected, says real estate investor Donald Trump.
Congress is set to vote on a deal struck by Republican and Democratic leadership to lift the government's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling and steer the country away from default.
Credit ratings agencies have said they may strip the country of its AAA ratings, and even though a deal is in the works, a downgrade still remains a real possibility.
"Our country is in a mess," Trump tells CNBC. "It really doesn't solve the problem but it was certainly an embarrassing thing for the country."
The deal would shave $2.5 trillion off the country's deficits in 10 years.
Yet even though the tentative bargain might end congressional bickering, the country's leadership will still have to balance the budget.
"This is just joke. This is just a down payment. At some point in life you have to balance the budget."
The president wins, Trump says, in that issue is resolved at least through the 2012 presidential elections.
"As far as I'm concerned that was the only thing he was fighting for."
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The key to righting the economy is fueling more economic growth bringing jobs and manufacturing back to the United States from places like China, Trump says.
"Our leaders are not as smart as leaders in China. China is eating our lunch. Obama is incompetent or close to incompetent," Trump says.
"When I say incompetent, he's competent at getting elected and re-elected but as far as running a country he's incompetent."
China continues to manipulate its currency to give it an unfair edge in global trade, Trump says.
"Our product is better than their product, but when they can price it due to a manipulation of currency at a lower number, so much lower that you really have to buy there, our leaders are not doing their job."
To restore business confidence in the country, the government needs to somehow tax countries that "abuse" the U.S. and focus more on rebuilding the U.S. and less on rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan.
"We put up a school in Afghanistan and they blow it up. We rebuild it and they blow it up again and we rebuild it a third time."
"In Brooklyn we can't get schools built. In Iowa you can't get schools built."
"We have to look inward, we have to get back to rebuilding this country."
Market watchers, meanwhile, expect a short-term relief now that the debt-ceiling crisis appears to be waning.
Ratings agencies can still make good on their threats to downgrade the country from its AAA rating due to heavy debt burdens, and the economy is far from chugging along.
"This looks like a short-term fix and we don't have a long-term solution put in place, which is really what the rating agencies were looking for," says Michael Woolfolk, senior currency strategist with BNY Mellon in New York, according to Reuters.
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