If You Like Your Steel, You Can Keep Your Steel

Government power to force us to pay more for everyday items is bad, no matter who wields it.

In 2010, President Obama subjugated 1/6th of the U.S. economy to government-controlled markets. The result has been disastrous. Disastrous, that is, unless you have a job with a big health insurance company, or you are one of the consultants sucking the lifeblood from the medical industry dealing with enough regulations to sink the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.

Government does a very poor job picking winners and losers in the economy.

The market, even with cheats, liars, thieves and greedy capitalists, does better, by many orders of magnitudes. It doesn't matter if the government is picking winners and losers under Barack Obama or Donald Trump.

The latest job report just came out, and since Trump took office, there's been consistent job growth, the likes of which we haven't seen since the year 2000 and 2001. Do we think that's some endorsement of MAGA? In a way: Yes, it is, because Trump has gone a long way toward pulling down the wall of regulation that's been strangling businesses for the last 10 years or more.

But now, with awful tariffs aimed at our neighbors, Mexico and Canada, and our European allies, Trump is endangering those gains by forcing us to buy more expensive products. You really don't think Mexico, Canada, and Europe will suffer for the tariffs and come begging America to "please, stop?" You really don't think that Trump will make them say "Uncle?" You really don't think that Gary Cohn resigned as director of the National Economic Council because he felt that tariffs were not a big issue?

Cohn ran Goldman Sachs, a company that's been dedicated to the free market for a century (notwithstanding the cheats, liars, greedy capitalists, etc.). He left because he knew tariffs are no better than Obamacare's march toward national healthcare. In fact, it's worse.

Obama merely took American money and handed it to American insurance companies, filtered through the clumsy hand of government regulations. Trump has taken on multinational corporations with vested interests and investments in foreign nations, along with the governments of those countries. Those nations can fight back far more effectively than local doctors and hospitals.

Along with tariffs on flat steel imports from the United States, Mexico will impose tariffs on lamps, pork legs and shoulders, sausages and prepared foods, apples, grapes, cranberries, various cheeses and other products.

The products were selected to affect exporters in states that are politically important to Mr. Trump. American agricultural exporters have been particularly concerned that Mexico would retaliate against their products.

And consumers will pay for it, in cars, jobs, and cash. If you like your car, you can keep your car, but it might be about 15% more expensive, to prop up failing steel jobs in the rust belt--people who voted for Trump. Whether you like it or not, it's a campaign contribution to Trump, just like Obamacare was a contribution to Obama's 2012 run.

The latest news is that Trump is considering something more heinous--forcing us to buy power from struggling coal and nuclear power plants to keep them running. Granted, we should have invested more into nuclear, with the NRC serving for two decades as the anti-nuke agency, preventing any licenses from being issues. And we should have invested more into clean coal years ago, but Obama and his ilk attempted to murder the entire industry.

But now, if they live, it should be by the market, and if they die, it's by the market.

Punishing 25% tariffs and forcing power policy to favor one small group of workers over every job in America, is dumb policy. Maybe Trump's tariffs are nothing more than a temporary negotiating ploy--a "double dog dare" response that will soon be repealed. I hope they are, because every day they exist is going to cost jobs here, and cost consumers in very real ways.

President Trump needs to stick to the knitting, and keep tearing down Obama-era regulations. He needs to keep working to repeal Obamacare, which needs a Republican majority in Congress. These poorly thought-out moves could seal Obamacare's future, and cost us dearly for many more things than health care.

Comments
No. 1-24
JaneKMiller
JaneKMiller

@Jack -- You wrote this:

It would be prudent to accept that fact and try and figure why that is. Rejecting the other side out of hand or acting as if they are somehow beneath notice is not going to help matters or win people to your side.

And my response is: yes yes YES!

And yes: apply that logic to the other big Republican economic offering: trickle-down economics.

Americans don't believe that if you lower taxes for rich people it will make everybody richer.

That's the Republican pitch from the 1980s, and it failed failed FAILED to convert any significant part of the population.

But instead of doing what you said above, the GOP strategy seemed to be a campaign of subterfuge and to build a coalition with Satan et. al. in order to get the votes they needed to execute their agenda of lower taxes for upper incomes.

Americans don't like that idea and the GOP has tried for 30+ years to convince them. It's time to move on and focus on places where they can truly make headway with decent Americans.

FloridaMan
FloridaMan

One of my biggest worries about Trump is that he'd apply obsolete and outmoded theory and doctrine from the last century into this one because that's what happens when you inexplicably reach back a generation when you're supposed to be looking forward. Tariffs are one of them. They had a place in the 1700's, they don't any more. Furthermore; the age of America manufacturing everything in the world is about five decades behind us. Once Asia modernized and built cities, that was the end of that.

streiff_is_a_moron
streiff_is_a_moron

I seriously doubt Trump can even spell tariff. Watch for his dumb ass to tweet "Terriffs are Terriffic!" very soon.

phantonym
phantonym

I think you're right -- he doesn't like tariffs in general. I actually think that's one of the most important things government should be doing. Doesn't bother me one tiny bit. Trump tariffs? I don't know enough to know if they are a good or bad idea. But, most people seem to think they are really really dumb.