The apparent deal to extend the debt ceiling is "fantastic" for President Barack Obama but a "joke" for the rest of the country, real estate magnate Donald Trump said.
Speaking as Washington politicians move closer to approving a deal that would give the US another $2.1 trillion in borrowing authority, the colorful businessman and TV personality said the nation is tinkering while losing even more ground to China.
In all, Trump said in a CNBC interview, the weeks-long squabble is another black eye for America.
"Eventually you have to balance the budget. This is a long way from balancing the budget," he said. "This is just a joke. This is a down payment at most."
Trump has toyed with the idea of running for presidentand has been a harsh critic of Obama. However, he said the president did manage to score a political victory during the debt debate, removing an issue that had the potential to derail his run for a second term next year.
Beyond that, he said, Obama is incompetent.
"When I say incompetent, he's competent in getting elected and re-elected, but as far as running the country, he's incompetent," Trump said.
In addition to making another broadside at Obama, Trump repeated his worries that the US continues to fall behind China in terms of infrastructure, manufacturing and education.
"China is eating our lunch," he said. "Our country is going down and going down fast."