Donald Trump

The 5-Step Process for Playing Defense Against Trump's Bad Ideas

What could President Trump really do to punish American companies for moving abroad? Well, Congress might try to replace global corporate taxation with a 20% VAT-style levy on everything sold inside the U.S.

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By now we should be familiar with the pattern: President-elect Donald Trump tweets out some crazy-sounding policy-related ideas, journalists and Democrats freak out, the conversation quickly progresses from an argument over the proper adjectives to describe the idea to meta-arguments over Trump's possible motives and whether we should even be paying that much attention to what the president-elect tweets in the first place. Then before you know it there's a new crazy-sounding policy-related idea transmitting from Trump Tower through social media, and away we go again. From flag-burning to alleged massive voter fraud, it's a profoundly unsatisfying way to process an unusual politician's public utterances.

Instead of beginning with generalized hyperbole and speculative divinations of dark motive, I suggest something closer to the opposite: Working from the practical specifics backward, and saving the ominous political vagaries for last, so that you can rally defenses where necessary and also arrive at a bit of perspective before declaring every impotent brainfart proof of incipient fascism.

You can use my still-in-beta 5-Step Process for Playing Defense Against Trump's Bad Ideas™ on any number of topics—why, just yesterday, the incoming president was complaining that China didn't "ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency"! But to get things rolling here I'm going to apply it to Trump's weekend tweetstorm about unleashing "retribution" against U.S. companies that dare close down any operations in America while opening facilities abroad. First, the president-elect in his own words:

The U.S. is going to substantialy reduce taxes and regulations on businesses, but any business that leaves our country for another country, fires its employees, builds a new factory or plant in the other country, and then thinks it will sell its product back into the U.S. …… without retribution or consequence, is WRONG! There will be a tax on our soon to be strong border of 35% for these companies …… wanting to sell their product, cars, A.C. units etc., back across the border. This tax will make leaving financially difficult, but….. these companies are able to move between all 50 states, with no tax or tariff being charged. Please be forewarned prior to making a very … expensive mistake! THE UNITED STATES IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS

Trump had previously tweeted that "Rexnord of Indiana is moving to Mexico and rather viciously firing all of its 300 workers. This is happening all over our country. No more!"

So how do we deal with statements such as these? By asking ourselves five questions.

Question 1: What could President Trump do right away about this, using his executive authority?

Scott Lincicome, a Cato trade analyst and must-follow on Twitter, sorted through the policy translation this way:

In other words, the president does not have the authority to wave a magic wand and conjure a 35 percent tariff. However, he might well be referring to a concrete proposal percolating in the House of Representatives, which gets us to

Question 2: What relevant legislation might Congress—including a 52-48 Republican Senate majority that includes at least 11 GOP senators who didn't endorse Trump and three others who likely hate his guts—pass?

Lincicome's Option 1 refers to a proposal floated (without a bill yet attached) within the House GOP as part of a corporate tax overhaul that would see rates chopped from 35 percent (hence Trump's tweeted number?) to 20. In what would amount to a pretty radical restructuring of international trade flows, corporate taxes would no longer be collected from wherever American firms earn profits, but rather on every sale from every company (domestic or foreign) inside the United States. According to the Wall Street Journal description,

where a company establishes its formal headquarters would matter less. So the plan could deter the practice of putting a company's legal address in a low-tax country, a move known as an inversion. Under the plan, the U.S. would also give up any claim on taxing its companies' foreign sales.

The location of profits wouldn't matter either, sharply limiting the benefit companies have gained from putting intellectual property in tax havens. Instead, the system might encourage companies to locate manufacturing in the U.S. to export to foreign markets. […]

The proposal would operate like provisions other countries use to border-adjust their value-added taxes so those levies apply only to domestic consumption.

So are American consumers and retailers and gas-purchasers really ready for a Republican-pushed VAT-style consumption tax at home? Veronique de Rugy explained in this space why she, for one, is not:

To pay for their desired cut to the corporate tax rate, Republicans are suggesting a conversion of the corporate income tax into a "cash flow tax," or a consumption tax base with a deduction for payroll. Protectionist "border adjustments" then make it "destination-based" by exempting exports from taxation and denying deductions for imports. The move might be better described as belonging to the idiotic school of export mercantilism, meaning there would be higher prices for consumers (including domestic producers that use imported parts). I can also guarantee that contrary to the promise lawmakers will make about it, this feature would not appreciably boost exports.

But the real danger from the plan comes from how it would change political incentives. Whereas corporate income tax rates have declined throughout the rest of the world as nations compete to keep businesses from fleeing their jurisdiction, the destination-based cash flow tax would be inescapable. If you sell in the U.S. market, you would pay the tax, regardless of where your company is located.

That means that future politicians would have little incentive to keep rates down.

This is just a recipe for bigger government, as Europe discovered when it instituted the very similar value-added taxes.

There will be a lot of lobbying and horse-trading and public discussion between now and any such kind of corporate tax overhaul. So this, the most likely vehicle for President Trump's retribution against American companies, will not likely happen any time soon. And for other reasons as well, including possibly:

Question 3: Are there any other constitutional or treaty-based limitations on President Trump's stated goals?

It certainly prevents the literal, unilateral application of Donald Trump's tweets, yes. On the narrower, more likely, and yet still far-off case of the GOP-led Congress ushering in a VAT-style territorial consumption levy as part of corporate-tax overhaul, the question gets more complex. While the World Trade Organization has certainly allowed for border-adjusted taxes in VAT countries, such a large change will be litigated within an inch of its life. And how will America's co-signatories within the North American Free Trade Agreement respond?

Generally speaking, and despite domestic politics to the contrary, America has disproportionate influence in its favor on global trade disputes, so the betting is that such a law, if passed, would eke through. But that wouldn't stop other countries from figuring out ways to retaliate, thereby hurting the very American exporters the proposal is designed to boost, which consumers are hit with 20 percent price increases for a lot of stuff.

Question 4: But might something good come out of this?

Sure, anything's possible. Lowering the corporate tax rate, which would be a good thing (especially when paired with eliminating various carve-outs, holidays, and loopholes), seems likely, and maybe this process can somehow end up with lower net taxation and tariffs, plus greater simplicity and predictability. But I doubt it.

Why? Because a president who ran and won an upset victory on protectionism is surely going to govern as a protectionist. A dealmaker who is already intervening in the siting decisions of Indiana factories is not someone likely to be eliminating tax complexity. Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who used to be a free-market conservative, said this weekend after being asked about Carrier that, "The president-elect will make those decisions on a day-by-day basis in the course of the transition and in the course of the administration." That is a recipe for ad-hoc rule, not set-it-and-forget-it tax reform.

Question 5: How might he be changing the political conversation in such a way to make what is currently unlikely possible?

This in some ways is the most important question, yet by asking it first instead of last many Trump opponents are inviting people to tune out their critiques. Yes, it is ridiculously authoritarian for a powerful politician to suggest, say, revoking the U.S. citizenship of people who burn American flags, but that's just not going to happen given our current Supreme Court jurisprudence, as well as composition of the Senate. If a president-elect wants to begin even a totally speculative conversation about a right or principle you hold dear, by all means get after it, but when you don't work through and foreground the practicalities of it, many people's ears will soon become desensitized to the sound of shrieking.

But not that we've worked down this far, let us acknowledge something very troubling. Mike Pence is hardly the only former free-trader to totally change his spots in the face of Trump's protectionist political success. Arguably the most chilling moment of the Republican National Convention is when party chair Reince Priebus crowed from the stage that "Donald Trump wants to bring jobs back from overseas and hold companies who want to send them abroad accountable." Trump advisor Stephen Moore—an economist who worked for Cato for 10 years, founded the Club for Growth, and defended trade and immigration for decades—sent shockwaves through Republican Washington last month by proclaiming that he's now a "populist" firmly on the Trump train. (Do read Moore's own explanation for his conversion, and especially Donald Boudreaux's open letter in response.)

Trump is forcing Republicans to decide between Trumponomics and the contrary beliefs they have championed (rhetorically, at least) for decades. With each new intellectual turncoat, and every new political victory, the ideological landscape is altered that much more. President Trump might not have the votes in the Senate for the worst of his economic ideas in 2017, but opinions could shift faster than we currently think possible.

Fighting on the level of ideas, even in the abstract, will remain crucial during the Trump presidency. But recognizing where the short-term damage might come, and reshuffling priorities accordingly, is the first step toward making sure that those long-term appeals don't fall on deaf ears.

NEXT: Justin Trudeau's Praise of Fidel Castro Gets 'Three Pinocchios'

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  1. these companies are able to move between all 50 states, with no tax or tariff being charged. Please be forewarned prior to making a very … expensive mistake! THE UNITED STATES IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS

    National borders are not state borders. So who cares?

    1. Because the issue is exactly the same. If a company moves to a different location, there are some people who are hurt and some people who are helped. If they move to lower costs, then the country as a whole benefits. It’s just that the harm is concentrated and easily visible while the benefits are diffuse and harder to track.

    2. He’s saying, you have all this territory you can move within to lower your costs, so don’t complain if you don’t get to move outside it & to do the same.

      1. I also don’t understand this view

        “The move might be better described as belonging to the idiotic school of export mercantilism”

        That school of thought has produced the asian tigers (Japan then Korea then China) who all three went from zero to global power in

        1. [Apparently reason cuts off ‘less than’ signs, to finish.]

          …. global power in less than 25 years each.

          You can disagree with mercantilism, but it is not idiotic.

  2. From flag-burning to alleged massive voter fraud, it’s a profoundly unsatisfying way to process an unusual politician’s public utterances.

    Speak for yourself, Welch. I’m enjoying it enormously.

    This was the point at which it all became so clear. The evidence was now overwhelming.

    Greatest troll ever. It’ll be a thousand years before we produce another one like that.

    1. Alinsky you magnificent bastard I read your book.

    2. “Alinsky you magnificent bastard I read your book.”

  3. We may have to start importing adult diapers and toilet paper to keep up with media pants shitting over what our intellectuals fantasize that Trump might do.

    1. Step 1: Shit pants

      1. Step 2: [prolonged incoherent shrieking]

        1. Step 3: Profit?

          1. Profits are for Evil KKKorporations, Groovus. It is known.

            There may not actually be a Step 3.

            1. Step 3: A Fair Living Wage for the Media complex and hanger on’s. No Profit is left over for the Fat Cat investors.

        2. Step 3: rend garments

        3. Step 3: Link Trump words/actions to as many items of the following as possible: racism, misogyny, islamophobia, homophobia, xenophobia.

          1. “Driver crashes into SF fire hydrant, soaks homeless shelter”
            http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/…..694730.php

            Trump.

            1. “Always look on the bright side of life!”

              A few smelly homeless hippies and bums FINALLY took an accidental shower! Adding soap would have helped, but we’ll settle for what we can get!

          2. In the spirit of the season: Misogyny, the Musical

  4. No. The mere idea that Trump could even entertain this notion, that he would even suggest doing such a thing, goes to the character of the man who is going to be our next PRESIDENT. We can’t just let this slide as, “Oh, well, It’s just Trump being Trump.” It’s an unacceptable attack on an entire segment of the population from someone who is clearly very influenced by racism.

    1. Racism? No, not entirely. Trump isn’t a particularly brilliant guy, probably above average in intelligence, but not the brilliant philosopher king people seem to want to vote in every 4 years. Trump is no different than most Americans in that his view of life is an amalgam of what he learned as a child (hand on stove kinda stuff), what he was taught in church/seen on TV/read in books and magazines…all tossed together in a way that most people toss a green salad. Racism is one element…a minor one…but one non-the-less.

      In other words his philosophy is a collection of ideas selected buffet style. To identify one thing (racism) as the root source of his bad ideas is simplistic. His system of ideas – particularly the principles that support is ethics and therefore his political views – are the root source of his behavior. We’re likely to see more contradictory ideas and irrational behavior come from our newly elected President. Its a reflection of the ideas he has chosen to plop down on his plate.

      What’s certain is that *if* he continues being a wild twitter twit he will deliver nothing but distractions to the news media. Maybe that’s his intent.

  5. What Trump has are better described as verbal spasms than ideas. The bigger picture here is that America is failing as an economy. Americans can either accept responsibility for this by acknowledging that they are idiot children who elect nincompoops to tell them we can have everything without paying for it… or they can blame the “furriners.”

    The election was a national referendum of the question: “Are we seriously fucked?” Ironically, both major candidates were a different version of the answer, “Yes.” We’re going to spend the next four years with America blaming everyone but Americans for this and, almost certainly, destroying the national economy (and kicking the global economy squarely in the twig-and-berries).

    1. Well stated. We’ve diagnosed an effect and mistaken it as the cause.

    2. Two cheers for this. Couldn’t be more right.

    3. What I love is we’ll get 27 pants-shitting articles like this about what Trump might do during the next week, and not one mention of all the regulatory crap Obama and the bureaucrats are pumping through the system right now.

    4. What Trump has are better described as verbal spasms than ideas.

      Well, that’s preferable to carefully crafted propagandistic messages from the progressive Minitruth.

      The bigger picture here is that America is failing as an economy

      The American economy is the worst! Well, until you’ve actually lived under any of the others.

      We’re going to spend the next four years with America blaming everyone but Americans for this and, almost certainly, destroying the national economy

      The next four years may involve lots of pussy grabbing and pearl clutching, but I’m pretty certain that Trump isn’t going to “destroy the economy” and is, on balance, going to be less harmful than Clinton would have been.

  6. What could President Trump really do to punish American companies for moving abroad? Well, Congress might try to replace global corporate taxation with a 20% VAT-style levy on everything sold inside the U.S.

    So what you’re saying is, is that *Trump* could do nothing – its *Congress* that would have to step in to enable him?

    By blaming everything on the President, you actually allow the people who have the power to get away with shit like this. Every time you confuse ‘Trump’ with ‘Congress’ you actually make this sort of thing more likely because the people in Congress know that they can support it without worry about personal blowback – because all the negative consequences will be blamed on Trump instead of the people actually responsible.

    1. That will change though. Right now, it is ‘Trump’ who can be blamed for stuff that he has talked about. Once Congress acts, then the blame will shift to ‘Republicans’ as a party – which is as it should be since it is not the institution itself (Congress/Prez) that does anything.

  7. And, by the way, Welch, you owe Foster an apology. This is almost exactly what he’s been telling you on the podcast, and you’ve been answering him with, “He’s going to be the president.”

    1. MORE unseemly Kmelephilia!

      1. *ponders version of “Karma Chameleon” subbed with “Kmelephilia” instead*

        1. His is not an easy name to set to music.

          1. It comes and goes.

            1. Red, gold, and green, should be a snap to coordinate, however.

    2. The hell I do!

  8. Ok, I actually read most of this article and even clicked one some of the links. I can’t find the source for this VAT rumor. Anyone?

    Also, when I was trying to post earlier, I got a ‘GURU MEDITATION’ server error. Are they running this debacle on Apache?

    1. Trump doesn’t seem to have anything to do with it. It’s Paul Ryan pushing this shit.

      http://www.nationalreview.com/…..ionism-vat

      1. Ryan is a douchebag. If Trump is smart, he’ll figure out a way to get rid of him as Speaker.

    2. According to the response headers, last time I checked (a few days ago) they’re running nginx behind Varnish.

      1. *stares intently at handle*

        Oh, it’s you, Carl. What the fuck, man?

    3. GayJay was running on a 30% consumption tax.

  9. Might not a “5-Step Process for Playing Offense With Trump’s Good Ideas” be a better idea? The Democratic Party, the MSM, and academia will already be handling the defense-against-the-bad angle. And, of course, they’ll be handling the defense-against-the-good angle as well.

    As I’ve been saying for months, the best strategy for libertarians is to see Trump as a chance to make lemonade. It’s what the left has done with the Democratic Party for generations, and it enabled them to take it over.

    1. The left have not completely taken over the Democratic party yet, but it’s for all intents over at this point. The old guard of the Democrat elite are avg age of 76. Once they’re gone, Bernie babes shall assume the reins of power and the commie train will be full speed ahead. Libertarians have a long, long way to go in taking over the GOP.

      1. So you’re saying the future DNC might be run out of someone’s parent’s house?

        1. I think it’s entirely possible.

    2. Might not a “5-Step Process for Playing Offense With Trump’s Good Ideas” be a better idea?

      [spits drink all over Citizen X]

      1. What the fuck is this? Cheerwine?

        1. Diet Mountain Dew Code Red

          1. That explains the instant multiple melanomas.

        1. And if any of those things happen, goody. If.

          1. My point is that libertarians could help them to happen, instead of joining the left in whining from the sidelines.

            1. There are good proposals and there are bad ones. We support the good and fight the bad. It doesn’t matter who is holding the office.

              1. Except that Reason seems to spend 95%+ of their energy on Trump’s bad proposals.

    3. That yellow liquid spattering in your face is not lemonade.

      1. He wants to cut taxes, cut regulations, protect gun rights, and appoint good people to the Supreme Court. That’s a lot to like.

        1. Here’s some things not to like:

          Jeff Sessions

          That is all.

          1. Incrementalism works by taking what you can get and moving forward from there. Being a purist gets you nowhere.

            1. It’s nothing to do with being a purist. Trump gave Sessions that job for being a loyalist. Has he made even one good cabinet pick yet? Next up, he could pick Romney or ye gads, fucking John Bolton for SOS. Think about that.

              1. Let’s wait until he actually is president before panicking.

                1. No one is panicking, at least not me. I’m just being objective.

  10. Rush Limbaugh was saying that it will be very interesting to see how the conservatives who still cling uselessly to conservative ideology will deal with Trump’s never-ending string of successes due to his left-wing populist policies, which Rush now favors.

    1. Not just Rush.

      There are more commenters on these fora than I would have thought who are clamoring to change “Free minds and free markets” to “You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold!”

      It’s bizarre.

      1. TOP. MAN.

      2. People like winning. Fiscal conservatives feel like they’ve been losing on the policy front for 20+ years.

        At some point being principled is thin gruel, especially for partisans and politicians.

  11. Trumps a business man, what do they, they try to solve problems so everyone throws everything in, some may be briliant some may be stupid and maybe illegal but if no one mentions them then someone will say he didn’t look at all options. I’m fine with the way he is working and I love that the left just goes crazy every time he says anything he is the ultimate troll.

  12. Twitter sure does have a way of making everyone sound like an idiot.

    1. Now you know how you sounded like when you were going through your, “KE$HA!!one!11!!” phase, Sparkster. *ducks*

      1. I no wit ur tkn abt

  13. thereby hurting the very American exporters the proposal is designed to boost, which consumers are hit with 20 percent price increases for a lot of stuff.

    No Matt. that is wrong and you are not helping your case here. American consumers will be hit by the lesser of 20% or the cost of moving production abroad. If you can produce the stuff here for say 10% more, production will stay here. If moving overseas saves more than 20% of the cost, then production moves overseas and the goods are 20% more expensive. Which it is depends on the good. But I doubt it would be 20% in many cases. In most cases the cost of staying here will be less than the tariff.

    This kind of thing just drives me nuts. The case against the tariff is that it costs consumers whatever the extra amount it costs to produce the stuff in this country. It isn’t that it will cost consumers an automatic 20%. Tariffs and taxes effect incentives and markets and companies adjust to them. You know that in every other context, why do you forget it here?

    1. Well, we already make stuff here that Americans want to buy. Like electronics and cars. Thing is they’re all shit quality. Well, that’s not exactly true. Japanese auto mfgs actually makes cars here in the USA. So how does that work out in the deal? We punish our guys for going overseas, so what happens to the Japanese, are they then punished also for being here?

      1. Like electronics and cars.

        As someone who is very much into cars, the lie that American cars are junk is just that, a lie and hasn’t been true for about 20 years now. It is just not. And a lot of foreign cars are junk. Ever drive a Range Rover or a Jag? Even Japanese cars are actually not what they once were. The South Koreans are the new Japanese.

        Beyond that, the tariffs don’t apply to goods made here. The only reason the Japanese build cars in the US is because Reagan slapped a tariff on Japanese imports. That hasn’t exactly ended the world economy has it?

        1. I’m not a fan of tariffs, but the US managed to grow into an economic powerhouse, with a lot of liberty, back when we had them. I don’t think they are necessarily the end of the world.

          1. I agree. And at some point, you can’t have an economy where entire regions and groups of people are told to fuck off, I don’t care how rich it makes you overall. It won’t turn out well and it won’t end up looking in any way free as those people left behind turn to other means to exact their revenge on everyone else.

            1. And at some point, you can’t have an economy where entire regions and groups of people are told to fuck off,

              That is pretty much what trade protectionists do.

        2. As someone who is very much into cars, the lie that American cars are junk is just that, a lie and hasn’t been true for about 20 years now.

          Yeah, exactly. Beyond that, the market is absolutely brutal towards any model with a reputation for shoddy construction. The worst car made today outpaces the initial build quality of the best cars from ten years ago.

          The South Koreans are the new Japanese.

          I can see someone that’s never stepped out of a brand new Kia and into a six year old Ford.

          The SK marques are fine budget cars, but I have yet to step foot in one and go, “wow, maybe I should take a look at Hyundai for my next car.” Totally unimpressive.

          1. Hyundai makes some damn nice looking cars, like Sonata and Genesis. Haven’t driven one. Wouldn’t even own another American made car though, they’re all shit quality, every single one. They might look nice and drive nice when new, then they fall apart.

    2. The case against the tariff is that it costs consumers whatever the extra amount it costs to produce the stuff in this country

      Plus, the increased expense for other goods and services due to the inefficient allocation of labor.

      1. Plus, the increased expense for other goods and services due to the inefficient allocation of labor.

        Not necessarily. That assumes that the people put out of work will find new jobs and be reabsorbed by the economy at lower wages. That hasn’t happened. We have long term severe structural unemployment in this country.

        Beyond that, if you are so concerned about the inefficient allocation of labor, then you should also be concerned about the availability of unnaturally cheap goods from abroad. If say China subsidizes its exports, that allows the US to buy consumer goods at below market rates with the Chinese taxpayers and consumers picking up the difference. Shills like Veronica DeRugy will tell you that is just fabulous. I don’t think it is and it is not for the reason you give here.

        Subsidized goods warp the economy. It makes consumption of that goods higher than it should be and causes investment to artificially go away from investment in manufacturing and towards the service sector. Why make anything if you can get it from China with the Chinese picking up the tab? That is not good and not something that is in anyway natural or consistent with the free market.

        1. That assumes that the people put out of work will find new jobs and be reabsorbed by the economy at lower wages. That hasn’t happened. We have long term severe structural unemployment in this country.

          I wonder if the economy ever experiences long-term unemployment of great piles of usable lumber, or huge vats of light sweet crude, or enormous tubs of pig iron.

        2. Subsidized goods warp the economy. It makes consumption of that goods higher than it should be…

          Should or would?

        3. Yeah, I never agreed w Milton Friedman that if other countries raped their taxpayers to subsidize exports into whichever country Friedman happened to be in, that was just fine.

      2. Which is somewhat overstated, because you’ll be paying for those same workers either way… either you’ll be paying for them to sit on their asses and collect welfare or state paychecks of some sort, or you’ll be paying them rather more to perform productive labor and collect private sector paychecks that the government takes a bite of. Hard to say in which case you come out ahead economically, but I can certainly tell which case is more politically empowering for Big Government.

    3. Let’s say Trump lowers corporate tax to 15%, significantly lowers all federal income taxes if not 0% at the lowest levels(his plans change) and then slaps on a 15% tariff.
      Will the average american worker be better of?. probably.

      All this is peanuts anyways, the fed still can’t move interest rates, meaning we still have not recovered anyways. I foresee interest rates going lower before it ever goes higher.

      How this zombie economy has not completely rotted out is astonishing. what is labor participation rate again?

      1. It is not a zombie economy. You forget that in the last ten years we figured out we are sitting on more oil than the middle east. The economy should be booming. It is only not because Obama did everything he could to create a depression.

        1. I know what totally won’t cause another depression: Smoot-Hawley II: The Revenge of the Idiots.

          1. Smoot Hawley was not the cause of the depression. The New Deal caused the Depression. You should get your economic history from something written after 1958.

            1. LOL — Are you serious John?

              When did the Depression start?

              When was FDR elected?

              You’re a fucking idiot.

              1. IT wasn’t a “Depression” until FDR made it one with the New Deal. We had had worse downturns than 1929 in both 1873 and 1837 among other times. The reason why it was a depression was because the economy didn’t recover. And it didn’t recover because of hte New Deal. S-H contributed to the initial downturn but the economy had adjusted to the tariffs and was poised to recover when the New Deal Truck hit it.

                Again, read some newer research on the subject.

                You are really getting to be almost Fransisico stupid. I didn’t think that was possible, but you are really giving him a run. You are just a fucking moron. And you seem to like being ignorant.

            2. S-H didn’t cause the depression, but it certainly exacerbated it. We’ve been through this before.

              If any single actor touched off the Depression it was Churchill. But S-H was symptomatic of the whole era: the advanced nations kept trying to out-industrial policy each other and just proceeded to repeatedly step on their own dicks. The problem with the Trump tariff is that it could touch of a round of renewed protectionism that will leave all nations involved poorer.

              1. Oh, I agree with all that. My initial comment was snark, which I assumed was fairly obvious (but I guess not)

                1. The problem with the Trump tariff is that it could touch of a round of renewed protectionism that will leave all nations involved poorer.

                  It could but I seriously doubt it will. Moreover, what has left a lot of nations poorer is export based trade policies that have fucked their consumers to subsidize exports and get their elites rich. Putting a stop to that would make everyone richer.

                  1. Moreover, what has left a lot of nations poorer is export based trade policies that have fucked their consumers to subsidize exports and get their elites rich.

                    Are you taking progressive assertions about exploitation of third world countries at face value now?

                    The last 20 years have been amazing for overall productivity increases. We’ve lifted 1 billion people out of true abject poverty (5 years faster than the UN goal, despite foreign aid being somewhere between useless and counterproductive).

                    It’s one thing to think American workers are hurt, it’s another to just casually assume the rest of the world is getting poorer because their trade policies are shitty.

                    They are shitty, but their current export-mercantilism/free-trade Frankenstein is 100% an improvement over previous policies and the results speak for themselves.

    4. Either way it still increases costs to consumers.

  14. I guess we’re all just populists now…

    1. Your mom is a populist.

      1. Your mom is popular.

        1. Not really.

          1. Popular like a doorknob.

            1. One just grabs her and twists.

    2. Can one be a nationalist without being a populist? Asking for a friend.

      1. Yes you can. One is not the same thing as the other. More importantly, one can be patriotic and reject transnationalism without being a populist.

        1. can one be a nationalist and not a racist?

          1. Yes if you are an American. American nationalism is special and unlike any other nationalism in the world in that it doesn’t rely on blood and soil. Nationalism in other countries is exclusive to one race and one place. I can’t move to France and become a Frenchman. I have to be born there and I have to have French blood. American nationalism is different and special. It is not about blood and soil. It is about embracing a set of ideals and the American nation. You can do that no matter where you were born or what the color of your skin.

        2. What John said.

      2. Of course one can be a nationalist and believe that nation is best ruled through an aristocratic and/or oligarchic elite.

  15. IMHO, Trump has cronyism down pat . . but struggles with Eco 101 and the free market

    1. It’s not just your opinion

  16. Welch has the wrong link for Moore’s article. You’ll have to click on the “Read more” link at the bottom of the current article to find “Welcome to the Party of Trump” article.

    And I think Moore’s position is somewhat misreported. Moore only says “Trade and immigration are unambiguously good for the country ? but it will have to be done in ways that are supported by the American people, not shoved down our throats by the elites. In this way, I am more of a populist.” And I think the shoving applies more to immigration than trade.

    I’d love to hear Trump’s answer to “What made America great in the past?” If any reporter will ask this simple question. If he answers “The freedom we had”, that would make my day. But like Welch and many others, I doubt Trump knows this simple truth, that government teachers don’t teach any more (it’s against their financial interests).

  17. “From flag-burning to alleged massive voter fraud, it’s a profoundly unsatisfying way to process an unusual politician’s public utterances.”
    What is profoundly satisfying is to have access to the actual words, not just the media interpretation. Then I process the utterances through what is left of my own brain after the massive disinformation campaign that was the election coverage. A great portion of the time, I find the media reporting (and a lot of these comments) based on something other than what was said.
    eg: Trumps tweets about possible import tariffs. Commentators and media moguls alike panic about a VAT tax. Commentators and media moguls alike panic because they insert the point he will do it without congress. Not what he said.
    Welcome to the revolution!

  18. just before I saw the receipt that said $7527 , I accept that my mom in-law woz like actualey making money in there spare time from there pretty old laptop. . there aunt had bean doing this for less than twentey months and at present cleared the depts on there appartment and bourt a great new Citro?n 2CV . look here……. Clik This Link inYour Browser

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  19. But the real danger from the plan comes from how it would change political incentives. Whereas corporate income tax rates have declined throughout the rest of the world as nations compete to keep businesses from fleeing their jurisdiction, the destination-based cash flow tax would be inescapable. If you sell in the U.S. market, you would pay the tax, regardless of where your company is located.

    “The real danger” is that corporations would actually have to pay taxes, instead of playing bogus accounting games across international borders.

    To globalists, that’s the “real danger”.
    To the peasants, that’s a feature, not a bug.

  20. It’s an unavoidable fact of real politics that if you want to stay in power, you have to pay off someone and buy votes.

    So, the question is not whether this combination of mercantilist ideas and lower taxes is ideal, the question is whether it is less harmful than the other ways in which Republicans might buy votes. Arguably it is, but if you have better suggestions, make them.

    It is certainly preferable to Hillary’s proposals, which involve raising taxes and then handing out that money to her special interest groups via the government, after the Soroses and Steyers of this world take a substantial cut.

  21. two days ago grey McLaren. P1 I bought afterearning 18,513 Dollars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a littleover.17k Dollars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly layouts..it’s realy thesimplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making overhourly.

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  22. til I looked at the receipt four $6371, I didnt believe that…my… mom in-law could trully receiving money in there spare time at their computer.. there friends cousin has done this for under 15 months and as of now paid the morgage on their mini mansion and got a new Infiniti. navigate to this site

    ????????> http://www.homejobs7.com

  23. my friend’s ex-wife makes $79/hour on the internet. She has been unemployed for five months but last month her payment was $13079 just working on the internet for a few hours. check

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