(Portsmouth, NH, USA) In spite of his show of bravado, Donald Trump may have been more rattled by the news that President Barack Obama's release of a certified copy of his original birth certificate. The President had already publicly shared a "certificate of birth," which is a legal document sufficient for proof of citizenship in the state of Hawaii - and to just about everyone except a group of Americans affectionately known as "birthers."
Trump appeared undaunted by the news, but also lost track of some of his private papers during a visit to a diner in New Hampshire yesterday. The owner found the papers on the seat after Trump left and turned them over to this reporter on the condition that the names of the diner and the owner remain anonymous.
The papers consist of two handwritten sheets with "TOP SECRET" written in red crayon on the top of each page. In smaller letters is the heading "Eliminating America's Debt."
The notes on the pages are hard to comprehend for someone unfamiliar with economics, so I shared the notes with locally prominent economist Harold Winterfield, who is also the town librarian. Winterfield found that position six months after the massive university lay offs that included his own teaching job.
"It looks like Trump is drawing from his experience with Chapter 11 bankrupties - and that experience is extensive," said Winterfield. "Trump has negotiated at least 4 bankruptcies and managed to come out of the experiences relatively unscathed.
"For example, he has a section titled "Reorganization" and he seems to be toying with the idea of combining some of the smaller states. In fact, it looks like he's toying with the idea of combining this state (NH) with our neighboring state Vermont. I assume that he plans on fewer federal dollars being paid out to the new bigger state than the two have received separately.
"There's also this section on "Downsizing" which is intriguing. It goes without saying that you can't just "downsize" a part of the State of California the way you would an underproductive resort facility. I could be underestimating his savvy here, though. He draws direct lines from the "Downsizing" section to the sections labeled "Medicaid" and "Medicare" which both have big red slashes through them. Needless to say, if he cuts or eliminates those programs, he could indeed see a significant "downsizing" of the population - and the parts of the population affected tend to be those who are taking full advantage of entitlements, mostly old, poor and disabled people."
It seemed to this reporter that there would be some significant Constitutional barriers to all or parts of this plan. When asked, Winterfield shrugged.
"Could be," he said. "I know economics, not the Constitution. If you want to know about the Constitution, check with my colleague Nancy Hopewell. She's been the night manager at the 7-11 since the University laid her off 2 years ago."
Unfortunately, Ms. Hopewell wasn't available in time for this article to make deadline.