Free Trade

As U.S. Steel Slows Production, It's Time To Stop Pretending Tariffs Work

The biggest American steelmaker says there has been reduced demand for their products in recent months, probably because they raised prices after Trump slapped tariffs on foreign steel.

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The largest American steelmaking company will reduce production at two facilities due to decreased demand, despite a year-old effort by the Trump administration to prop up domestic steelmakers with protective tariffs.

It's time to admit those tariffs have failed to achieve their primary policy aims.

U.S. Steel announced Tuesday that it would idle one blast furnace at its biggest facility in Gary, Indiana, and another at its plant in Ecorse, Michigan. In a statement, the company said the decision to shut down the two furnaces was because "market conditions have softened."

The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. Steel, like other domestic steelmakers including Nucor and Steel Dynamics, has reported weaker-than-expected demand and reduced profit expectations in the second quarter of this year. Although President Trump provided a brief boost to the industry last year when he slapped 25 percent tariffs on foreign steel, that balloon appears to have popped.

Those tariffs "allowed domestic producers to raise prices, but falling demand for steel has blunted the benefit of the tariff in recent months," the Journal reported.

Gee, who could have predicted a relationship between higher prices and slackening demand?

On their own, the idling of two U.S. Steel furnaces would be a rather unremarkable blip on the national economy, but Trump has spent the past year turning the steel industry's successes and failures into a metric for his administration's trade policies.

That's why the latest evidence that Trump's trade war is not going according to plan is also some of the most damning yet. Though Trump has expanded his use of tariffs in attempts to combat what he sees as unfair trade practices by China (and threatened to use them to change Mexican policy regarding Central American migrants), the American steel industry's success has always been central to the current administration's argument for greater protectionism. "If you don't have steel, you don't have a country," Trump has proclaimed as justification for his tariffs.

He's also used the supposed resurrection of the steel industry as proof that his bellicose trade policies were working. "Our steel industry was dying, and now it's very vibrant," Trump told The New York Times in January.

Those claims were always heavily embellished. Despite what Trump has said, repeatedly, there were not seven or eight new steel plants opening in the United States. At most, he could plausibly claim to have helped bring a few idled plants back online last year. Hiring remained flat. In November, the American Iron and Steel Institute, an industry group, reported that direct steel jobs were down 4 percent from where they'd been four years ago—mostly because increased automation meant fewer workers were needed even as plants modestly expanded production.

Meanwhile, the tariffs were exacting a painful toll on steel-consuming industries that suddenly had to navigate higher prices from both foreign-sourced steel (because of the tariffs) and domestic steel (because manufacturers like U.S. Steel raised their own prices once the protectionist tariffs kicked in). Through April l, U.S. consumers and businesses had paid about $900,000 for every steel job created or saved by Trump's tariffs, according to an analysis by the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

That happened despite the fact that American steelmakers were strong advocates for the tariffs and appear to have exercised significant influence over their implementation.

Shareholders have lost too. Despite being able to charge higher prices for much of last year, major American steelmakers have seen their stock prices tumble during the trade war. When the tariffs were imposed on June 1, 2018, U.S. Steel stock was trading at nearly $37 per share. On Wednesday afternoon, the price was hovering around $15.25. Other big domestic steel producers have faced similar sell-offs.

Again, this should have been anticipated. The same thing happened in 2002 when President George W. Bush briefly hit imported steel with protectionist tariffs.

Bush ultimately withdrew those tariffs about nine months after they had been imposed. Trump's steel tariffs have been in place for more than a year, though the Trump administration did ease up last month by exempting steel imported from Canada and Mexico.

At this point, it should be abundantly clear that Trump's steel tariffs are working no better than Bush's did. If the tariffs were boosting domestic production—even at terrific cost to consumers, businesses, and shareholders—the administration could at least argue that the trade-off was a necessary one. As it stands, there is no redeeming argument for Trump's steel protectionism. The only question is how much longer it will take for the president to realize that.

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  1. The steel market is notorious for its volatility.
    Always has been.

    1. Yeah

      Look at the 1yr and 5yr charts for USS and Nucor.

      That is not volatility. It is a gradual drop.

    2. The steel market is notorious for its volatility.

      Seems like a good argument against having the FedGov toss wrenches into the gears.

      When actually, from what I’ve seen, there’s a sort of ‘free-market tariff’ that was already starting to be applied to Chinese steel in that Chinese steel is notoriously untrustworthy and will not uncommonly be subjected to extra testing and inspection that domestic steel won’t be. At least in construction – I don’t know anything about manufacturing.

      1. I was recently looking into some car support jacks (made of steel) as a Father’s Day present for my dad. After reading a bunch of reviews of a bunch of different brands you get the impression that most of these used to be produced in the US but now, of course, most of them are produced in China and the quality can be hit or miss. There were lots of complaints about quality. Apparently Shin Fu bought a bunch of the companies that make these things and started using Chinese materials then shipping them to the US for assembly, then slapping a Made in the USA sticker on them. But people noticed the drop in quality big time. The one company that apparently makes these things entirely in the US of US sourced materials is US Jack and those things were 3x more expensive than other brands. But, you get what you pay for, I guess.

        1. Americans are tops in making support jacks. Germany settles for superior automobiles. I limit my purchases to vehicles assembled in Germany. I get what I pay for, no guesswork involved.

    3. ITT, Leo makes a fool of himself then doubles down with his sock Juice, and jeff still wants to import child rapists and hates that we all know it.

      1. Oh, and jeff makes 1000 excuses why he won’t post a link. He says it isn’t incriminating, but won’t post it.

        We all know why.

        1. Too focused on his child rape videos?

      2. Hello Satan,

        I see you are doubling down on your Evil. I’d like to thank you for it, but I can NOT bring myself to do it!

        Go to Hell!!!

        But then again, it seems that you are already there…

  2. I oppose Trump’s use of tariffs to achieve pretty much anything, but you’re making some assumptions, here, that may be unfounded:

    “It’s time to admit those tariffs have failed to achieve their primary policy aims.”

    What makes you say that profits for shareholders, more business for steel producers, or even more jobs for steel workers was the primary policy aim?

    What if the primary policy aim was to get steel workers in Pennsylvania to vote for Trump?

    Then there’s this from yesterday:

    “Trump and Xi Agree to Discuss Trade at Next Week’s G-20 Summit in Japan”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-xi-to-have-extended-meeting-at-g-20-11560865968?

    What if Trump’s primary policy goal was to get a better trade deal? What are you going to say IF IF IF he achieves that ahead of November, 2020?

    I feel a bit like I did in the early part of the Iraq War. Yeah, I opposed the war, but plenty of people at Hit & Run seemed to oppose it on the basis that Saddam Hussein didn’t have WMD. What would they have done if immediately after the invasion, Bush’s invasion had uncovered huge stockpiles of anthrax and been able to trace it, legitimately, to the anthrax strain with which we were attacked during 9/11?

    Would you suddenly have folded all your cards on opposition to the Iraq War? Would you have pretended your criticisms never happened or that what you said was never said? The internet never forgets. What do you think Bush finding vast stockpiles of WMD would have done to the credibility of people who primarily opposed the Iraq War on that that basis?

    I opposed the Iraq War on humanitarian grounds and on the grounds that removing Saddam Hussein from power wasn’t in the best interests of the United States. Those arguments would have remained true even if our troops had found vast stock piles of WMD.

    I oppose Trump risking our trade relationships–even if he does come back from Japan next week with a better deal for the United States than we had before. Just because you won doesn’t mean risking your life savings on one roll of the dice was a smart thing to do. But let’s not pretend that Trump hasn’t been and isn’t fighting for a better trade deal with China. He’s been doing it all along.

    They did the same thing on Trump’s threatened tariffs against Mexico. They pretended as if there were no logic behind it, completely ignored what Trump’s demands were, and when Mexico completely capitulated to Trump’s tariff threats–and Mexico made some commitments to pursuing “safe third country” status–Reason still acted like none of those things ever happened and Trump was just pissing into the wind.

    At some point, this becomes ridiculous–and you don’t want that point to be a few weeks from now IF IF IF and when Trump comes back with a better deal.

    1. “I oppose Trump’s use of tariffs to achieve pretty much anything, but….”

      I’m not a racist, but….

      I’m as big a supporter of free speech as anybody, but….

      You’re not a member of the Church of Our Lord and Savior Donald J Trump, but somehow you always have some principled argument about how, in this one specific case, Trump is right and his critics are wrong. What’s with the hypotheticals about what Trump might have wanted to achieve rather than going with what he says? Are you not familiar with the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy? And of course Trump’s going to get a better trade deal with China – in fact, it will be the most fantastic trade deal in history. According to Trump, whose fucked up zero-sum view of trade means he doesn’t know a goddamn thing about trade.

      What was wrong with the trade deal we had with China before, where Chinese export subsidies effectively meant China was paying us to buy their shit? That was a great deal for me. If it wasn’t a great deal for everybody else, well, good thing I’m not a collectivist who buys into this nationalist “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” bullshit about Making America Great Again. I don’t exist for the purpose of serving the needs of society, thank you very much.

      1. “but somehow you always have some principled argument about how, in this one specific case, Trump is right and his critics are wrong”

        I’m no fan of Ken’s, so you know I’m serious when I say that comment is sheer stupidity, and unfiltered TDS. It is literally the exact opposite of what he iust wrote.

      2. “You’re not a member of the Church of Our Lord and Savior Donald J Trump, but somehow you always have some principled argument about how, in this one specific case, Trump is right and his critics are wrong.”

        That appears to be in your eye–rather than anything I wrote. That’s generally true when people attack the messenger rather than the message.

        “What was wrong with the trade deal we had with China before”

        Part of me thinks I should quote this:

        “I oppose Trump risking our trade relationships–even if he does come back from Japan next week with a better deal for the United States than we had before. Just because you won doesn’t mean risking your life savings on one roll of the dice was a smart thing to do. But let’s not pretend that Trump hasn’t been and isn’t fighting for a better trade deal with China.”

        —-Ken Shultz

        The other part wonders why I should bother. If you didn’t read or understand it the first time, why would a second reading make any difference? I mean, I just pointed out that Trump will still have made a mistake–even if he gambled and wins. Why can’t you see that I said that I supported the deal we had before? It isn’t because of anything I wrote. I spelled it out in plain English. It must have something to do with what’s going on in your head.

        I think I see what’s going on in your head, too. Like a lot of people, you seem to imagine that because you oppose what Trump is doing, that means you need to support every criticism of him. That’s false. That’s a perfect recipe for losing all the credibility you have with all the people you might need to persuade in the future. It’s basically Jane Fonda Syndrome. Because you oppose the Vietnam War doesn’t mean you have to pretend that American POWs are lying about being tortured. She could have opposed the Vietnam War despite the fact that they tortured our POWs. Instead, because she wanted people to oppose Vietnam and similar conflicts in the future, she sold her credibility short–for no good reason.

        IF IF IF Donald Trump comes through with an improved trade deal before November 2020, you will lose all credibility if you argued that the only purpose of imposing tariffs was to protect the steel or any other industry. Especially considering that he used the threat of tariffs as leverage less than a week ago to drive the Mexican government to the negotiation table and secure a deal, it’s entirely reasonable to think that Trump isn’t doing this to protect the steel industry alone. He’s trying to drive the Chinese to the negotiating table, and he’s using tariffs to do it. As I’ve already said, I think that’s a bad idea. I’ve opposed it from the word “go” over and over.

        If you read my comment and came away with some other interpretation, that’s about your TDS, Jane. It’d be one thing if you were just potentially making a fool of yourself, but Boehm and others are making a fool out of libertarianism when they do this Jane Fonda shit in the name of free trade.

        Trump is wrong, but he’s not wrong for the reasons that are being laid out here–and what you don’t seem to understand is that even if he comes back with a better deal next week than we had before he became president, he’ll still have been wrong to so foolishly gamble with our trade relationships that way. If you can’t even comprehend that observation, then it’s you who’s the phony. How’s it feel?

        1. Honest question, because I respect your logic. Your argument hinges on “he’ll still have been wrong to so foolishly gamble with our trade relationships”.

          Given that no action is most definitely action in any trade partnership and one that signals weakness, i.e. a punching bag is reliable. Its reliably going to get beaten. Then, what is the foolishness of the gamble? (Note, I’m not saying it is not foolish, I am asking specifically why.)

          Doing nothing was/is certainly enriching a very militaristic and aggressive China. This certainly is opposition much better than having an armed conflict down the road. There are flashpoints for such a conflict and they are growing under this empire.

          1. Doing nothing was/is certainly enriching a very militaristic and aggressive China.

            And it was/is certainly enriching a very militaristic and aggressive USA.

            As Jerryskids correctly pointed it out:

            What was wrong with the trade deal we had with China before, where Chinese export subsidies effectively meant China was paying us to buy their shit?

          2. “Doing nothing was/is certainly enriching a very militaristic and aggressive China. This certainly is opposition much better than having an armed conflict down the road. There are flashpoints for such a conflict and they are growing under this empire.”

            I’m old enough to remember when China really was a far more aggressive military threat to the United States and our allies. That threat has been greatly reduced by our trade ties. If China went to war with the United States tomorrow, their economy would fall through the floor. If your goal is to decrease the military threat of China to the United States, you could hardly do anything worse than harm our trade relationship with China.

            P.S. One example: China used to fund and support guerrilla movements all over the world. Nowadays, when you hear someone in the news talk about “Maoist guerrillas”, they’re talking about the movement’s ideology, rather than from whom they get their arms and their funding. Nowadays, China’s quest for ever more raw materials in the developing world has made them a force for stability rather than communist revolution. When China goes into a country in the Third World, anywhere, they want all revolutionary activity to cease–because it gets in the way of extracting natural resources. The biggest reason the old communist rebellions from Angola to Peru stopped spreading all over the rest of the developing world has a lot to do with a) the collapse of the Soviet Union and b) free trade becoming so important to China’s economy.

            In my estimation, when we gamble with our trade relationships, it’s even worse when we add the security benefits of trade into consideration. I wish we could build a similar trade relationship with Iran.

    2. Everything before the word “but” is horseshit.

      Not that you care, but I’d respect you more if you just said you want to ban abortion and you’re willing to tolerate literally all manner of horrible nonsense to that end. Be a pragmatist, even an evil one. It’s so much less embarrassing that these repeated novellas defending Trump’s every nonlibertarian action in such an unconvincing and servile way.

      1. Tony, we leave the evil to you.

    3. I thought Trump stated his policy goals where to boost American steel and aluminum production for national security reasons? If he did it for any reason beyond that then I’m pretty sure his actions were unconstitutional.

      By that stated goal, and an apparent reduction in domestic production, it seems to me that he did fail to achieve his goals.

      1. ” If he did it for any reason beyond that then I’m pretty sure his actions were unconstitutional”

        Lol.

          1. 6. Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended, authorizes the President to adjust the imports of an article and its derivatives that are being imported into the United States in such quantities or under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security…
            Under current circumstances, this tariff is necessary and appropriate to address the threat that imports of steel articles pose to the national security.

            1. Get to the part that says it is unconstitutional.

              1. Those are the parts that state his purpose was to increase domestic production for the purposes of national security. And that his authorization to use executive order is derived from the sole purpose of promoting national security.

                So either his goal was national security, and he apparently has failed to increase domestic production (which is Boehm’s premise) or he wasn’t authorized to raise tariffs through executive order alone. Certainly none of Ken’s proposed purposes, politics or as a means for renegotiating tariffs, are reasons for which Congress has authorized the President to have this power unless you can find another statute that says otherwise.

                1. “Those are the parts that state his purpose was to increase domestic production ”

                  I don’t care. Get to the part that says it is unconstitutional.

                  1. If the President is usurping Congress’ constitutional authority, then the President’s actions are unconstitutional.

                    It’s such a simple argument, maybe even you can understand it.

                    1. Don’t you have some unraped kids to introduce to your friends?

                    2. Tulpa, if you feel the urge to rape kids, I would suggest getting help.

                    3. “If the President is usurping Congress’ constitutional authority, ”

                      He isn’t you colossally stupid fuck.

                    4. So, Tulpa, please tell us, how if the President is imposing tariffs using a fraudulent pretense, in subversion of the authority granted to him by Congress, how his actions can be considered constitutional, since it’s the Constitution that grants Congress the authority to set tariffs.

                    5. Congress: The President can only borrow our constitutionally-granted tariff-raising power if it’ has to do with national security.

                      President: Okay I’m going to raise tariffs, it’s not really about national security, but I’m gonna lie and say it’s about national security just so I can abuse the power that Congress gave me.

                      Legit? Or not legit? Tulpa unsurprisingly is totally on board with powerful executives abusing their authority in subversion of the will of Congress, to carry out their singular will, as long as that president is orange.

                    6. “So, Tulpa, please tell us”

                      No jeff. You want to import child rapists. You don’t get to have a conversation with me.

                    7. “Tulpa, if you feel the urge to rape kids”

                      Ahahahahhajaj just because I am one of the few humans who can stand to interact with you doesn’t make me your friend.

                      Ahahajajaj you lose every fucking time Ahhahahaaj

                    8. lol Tulpa tries to claim some moral high ground

                      Trolls look at Tulpa and say “damn u nasty”

                      Good luck with that, you lying piece of filth

                    9. And note to the readers reading this sad discussion: When challenged even in the slightest, Tulpa of course changes the subject and engages in his petty insults. It’s his defense mechanism.

                      He CAN’T argue honestly beyond the level of a third grader. So when he loses, he just throws out the insults. It’s his immaturity and raging narcissism.

                      So, Tulpa, please tell us, how if the President is imposing tariffs using a fraudulent pretense, in subversion of the authority granted to him by Congress, how his actions can be considered constitutional, since it’s the Constitution that grants Congress the authority to set tariffs.

                      You can’t answer, and you won’t, all you have are insults. Because I’ve won the argument. You lost.

                    10. “lol Tulpa tries to claim some moral high ground”

                      It’s not hard to be more moral than you, a guy who literally lusts after the mass importation of people who rape children.now cry at me more for not engaging you the way you want bitchboy.

                    11. “a guy who literally lusts after the mass importation of people who rape children.”

                      Which is a total lie, but you don’t care, you only trot out this lie when you cannot defend yourself from my argument and so you seek to change the subject.

                      Try responding to my argument, Tulpa, IF YOU CAN.

                      Or, since you can’t, go ahead and continue with your immature diversions and petty insults. It is entertaining on some level to see you have your little tantrum because you lost an argument to me, a person you utterly loathe.

                    12. OMFG HOW ARE YOU STILL CRYING AT ME YOU CHILD RAPIST IMPORTING CLOWN!!

                      Holy shit you’re pathetic.

                    13. Wait, what’s that? Tulpa still didn’t respond to my argument – because he can’t – and is continuing to whine, deflect, cry, and insult? No way!

                    14. Ahahahahhahahaj HOW THE FUCK ARE YOU STILL CRYING AHAHAHHAHA HOW DO YOU ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE THIS TRIGGERED

                      AHAHAHAH REMEMBER WHEN YOU LIED ABOUT NEVER RESPONDING TO ME AGAIN!!?!?!? AHAHAHAHAHAHHA

                      CONTROL YOURSELF SALLY AHAHAHAHAHAH

                      OH AND THAT STUPID FUCKING GIBBERISH THING YOU FAILED AT AHAHAHAHAHAH

                    15. Look at Tulpa as he throws more irrelevant diversions into the discussion.

                      So, Tulpa, please tell us, how if the President is imposing tariffs using a fraudulent pretense, in subversion of the authority granted to him by Congress, how his actions can be considered constitutional, since it’s the Constitution that grants Congress the authority to set tariffs.

                      Do you have a reasoned response to this argument? Yes or no?

                      I’m gonna guess no.

                    16. Pedo Jeffy, you are the advocate for illegal aliens who rape kids. Not Tulpa or anyone else other your than friend Buttplug.

                      So really, fuck off and die, you boy hungry sick piece of shit.

            2. ” or under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security…”

              Sorry bro. You lose. Your post, and you didn’t seem to even read it lolololol

              1. That was my original point. His reason had to be raising domestic production for national security, otherwise he didn’t have authorization. My original post:

                I thought Trump stated his policy goals where [sic] to boost American steel and aluminum production for national securityreasons? If he did it for any reason beyond that then I’m pretty sure his actions were unconstitutional.

                  1. Is it because he wrecked the shit out of your “argument”?

                    1. Hey you busted out your sock Leo. You still lost.

        1. But you tell us, by what other means and for what other purposes is the President authorized to raise tariffs unilaterally by executive order?

          1. You already did you blathering fucking retard

            ” or under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security…”

            Desperately dig yourself out of that one dumbass. Meanwhile, I’ll go with my original instinct and laugh at you.

            Because EVEN THOUGH YOU’RE SO FUCKING STUPID THAT YOU ANSWERED YOUR OWN QUESTION WITHOUT REALIZING IT, we have all dealt with you enough to know you CANNOT STAND BEING WRONG so you’ll plow ahead furiously like a trick in Tony’s ass.

            1. You already did you blathering fucking retard

              ” or under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security…”

              2 possible scenarios here.

              1. You only realized how wrong you are after posting the first time and are being intentionally obtuse here as a means of saving face.

              2. You don’t realize how wrong you are and are being unintentionally obtuse.

              Either option is amusing for different reasons.

              1. Bro, no kne buys this sock of yours, especially since it’s been caught lying and just sauntered away.

                Fuck off now Leo.

              2. 3) YOU don’t understand the actual conversation, and look like a hydrocephaly sufferer.

              3. 3) He’s a troll who likes to focus on the minutia of an argument often completely out of context to score points in a game that nobody else is playing. Then reflexively resort to ad hominem to attack you not your argument.

                I feel bad for him in a way. He debates in a manner most similar to when Hihn gets angry, but without providing any actual argument, ever. At least Hihn takes positions and argues those positions. Tulpa really provides no value that I can see.

      2. “I thought Trump stated his policy goals where to boost American steel and aluminum production for national security reasons? If he did it for any reason beyond that then I’m pretty sure his actions were unconstitutional.”

        The idea that it’s unconstitutional for the president to do things for more than one reason is absurd.

        The idea that it’s unconstitutional for the president to negotiate changes in agreements with foreign countries is absurd.

        While I oppose every tariff Trump had imposed for being to long term detriment of the American economy, I believe he has the right to do both within the framework of the Constitution and the framework of GATT and all the other treaties our Senate has ratified.

        Just because we don’t like what a president does, that doesn’t make it unconstitutional. Much better to save that wolf cry for when there’s a real wolf.

        1. Ken, the Constitution grants Congress the power to set tariffs.

          Congress delegated its tariff-making powers to the President only in instances dealing with national security, as noted by Leo above.

          So if the President is trying to set tariffs, for reasons other than national security, how is that considered a legitimate use of his power, and not a usurpation of Congress’ constitutional powers?

          1. How are all the child rapists you want to import going to get here if you spend this much time being wrong on a website full of people who laugh at how stupud you are?

            1. Oh look it’s Tulpa trying to throw his little tantrum in this discussion as well.

              We get it, we all see it, you lost, and your only defense mechanism is to troll, lie, and insult.

              But some of us are still trying to have a productive conversation, so why don’t you go shoo.

              1. “Oh look it’s Tulpa”

                Yes, we know I trigger you.

                Cry more now.

                1. I’m not the one throwing a fit. It’s you.

                  1. All your posts prove otherwise bitch.

                  2. Pedo Jeffy, YOU are the one throwing the fit. Petulant child that you are.

                    1. Oh look, it’s Tulpa’s evil twin brother, Shithead.

                      Aren’t you tired of murdering Democrats all day?

              2. No Pedo Jeffy, you are unable to make anyone lose their shit. You are too unimportant for that. You are just a worthless annoying pile of offal that shitposts here. I’ve explained just how worthless your posts are literally dozens of times now, but to no avail. You are simply a stupid child.

                You said what you said about child rapists. That’s how deep to bringing in any vile piece of shit just for the sake of your open borders mania. You could at least own up to that, but no, you’re also a weasel and a liar.

                You should get together with Tony and drink a Drano together. Do something good for once.

          2. “Ken, the Constitution grants Congress the power to set tariffs.”

            The Constitution says that it and the treaties that are ratified by the Senate are the highest law in the land. If GATT gave the president the discretion to do this, and it was ratified by the Senate, then he’s using this power in a constitutional way. To pretend otherwise is childish, ignorant, dishonest, or some mixture of the three.

            If you have a link that explains by what authority his tariffs are unconstitutional, I’d love to see it. But I’m not about to take your word for anything because you’ve repeatedly exposed yourself as both ignorant and dishonest about these things. In fact, I don’t know why anyone bothers to converse with you at all.

            No, things aren’t unconstitutional just because you don’t like them, and if you think they are, then you’re a stupid asshole.

            1. He’s making the point that there was a not blanket grant of discretion as your comment seems to imply. The discretion was dependent on there being a national security justification. The executive branch relied upon an argument that tariffs would increase the domestic production and thus enhance national security. If that argument is not supported by the facts then a fact finding court should allow the newly developed facts to inform their oversight when they judge the credibility of Trump’s position.

              1. Well, even I wouldn’t go that far. I’m not sure how you could ever prove that his intentions weren’t legitimately for national security, even if the actual results don’t prove effective.

                My point was only to Ken’s moving of the goal posts to defend the Trump tariffs he claims to hate. No kneed to try to deduce Trump’s motivation when he stated it as a point of record in his executive order. By that logic, Trump’s tariffs have predictably failed to deliver thus far. Boehm 1, Ken 0.

                1. “My point was only to Ken’s moving of the goal posts to defend the Trump tariffs he claims to hate.”

                  And my point is that I’m not defending Trump’s tariffs. In fact, I’m condemning them more than the author is above.

                  He’s saying they’re bad because they failed at their supposed primary purpose.

                  I’m saying they’re bad even if they succeed.

                  The fact that Trump’s tariffs might succeed in driving the Chinese to the negotiating table and accept a better deal for the United States will be devastating to bogus TDS arguments like the one outlined in the story above. My argument condemns Trump’s tactics–even if they’re successful. And you really should brace yourself for the possibility that before November 2020, Trump may achieve a better trade deal with the Chinese than we had before.

                  If you can’t see that, then the problem is in your head, not mine.

                  1. “My point was only to Ken’s moving of the goal posts to defend the Trump tariffs he claims to hate.”

                    It’s worse than a bad interpretation. This is factually incorrect, and it isn’t just that I didn’t move any goalposts anywhere. It’s also that I didn’t defend Trump’s tariffs.

                    I only pointed out that the author is wrong to ignore the fact that Trump’s tariffs might succeed in getting a better trade deal than we had before. I suspect the reason the author didn’t point out this possibility is because either a) it’s beyond his intellectual capacity to address, b) he doesn’t think readers are intellectually capable for dealing with the truth, or c) he can’t think of a good way to condemn Trump’s tariffs in that situation.

                    I’m perfectly fine condemning Trump for gambling with our trade relationships with a trade war–even IF IF IF he wins–and anyone who only condemns Trump for gambling with a trade war if and when we lose is far less pro-free trade than I am.

                    P.S. Your sentence is factually incorrect.

              2. “The executive branch relied upon an argument that tariffs would increase the domestic production and thus enhance national security. If that argument is not supported by the facts then a fact finding court should allow the newly developed facts to inform their oversight when they judge the credibility of Trump’s position.”

                If we don’t want a president to use emergency powers, then they shouldn’t be granted. Give a president emergency powers at his discretion, and when he thinks it’s in his best interests to use them, that’s what he’ll do. Give a kid an ice cream cone and tell him he can only eat it in an emergency, and he’ll think of an emergency to justify eating it. If you don’t want a kid to eat an ice cream cone, don’t give it to him.

                Meanwhile, if the president invokes emergency powers with dishonest justifications, that may be wrong, but dishonestly isn’t necessarily unconstitutional. Again, just because we don’t like what the president does, that doesn’t make it unconstitutional. If the president is invoking constitutional powers dishonestly, then he’s still invoking constitutional powers.

                The constitutionality of the president’s other powers don’t depend on whether the president is being dishonest either. For example, if the president were to veto legislation and give dishonest reasons for his veto, that wouldn’t be unconstitutional. The House might impeach him for being dishonest. The Senate might remove him from power for being dishonest. Apart from that, the voters might even vote him out of power in the next election.

                The Supreme Court, however, doesn’t and shouldn’t rule that the president’s use of emergency powers was unconstitutional–just for being dishonest. The constitutional question is whether the powers he’s invoking are constitutional, not whether he’s being completely honest about why he’s invoking them.

                The only times I can think of where the president’s use of emergency powers were more or less overruled for being unconstitutional were 1) Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus, which was declared unconstitutional in Ex Parte Milligan after the Civil War was over and 2) Bush the Lesser’s treatment of terrorists at Guantanamo. I don’t believe either case hinged on the honesty of the president.

                Why the president invokes emergency powers simply isn’t a legitimate question–which is the very best reason not to give the president emergency powers in the first place. If you give the president the constitutional discretion to do something, he’ll do it whenever he thinks it’s in his best interests to do so. The only thing more childish than believing that the president will only use such powers in a true emergency is the belief that his decision to invoke emergency powers can be declared unconstitutional simply because he invoked them for dishonest reasons.

            2. Ken, GATT has been superseded by the WTO, as you must well know. And the WTO doesn’t grant power specifically to our chief executive, it grants power and places limitations on our government broadly. So Congress’ constitutional power to set tariffs was not transferred to the executive branch via the WTO.
              And that’s not even really relevant in this case, because Trump did not cite WTO or GATT as a justification for his tariffs, he cited Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. That act only permits executive power to set tariffs for reason of national security.

              The claim that the tariffs are unconstitutional is not based on just a feeling that I don’t like them, or I don’t like Trump, or some such thing. The claim is based on the notion that the justification of national security is a false pretense, one that is belied by Trump’s own tweets on the matter, among others.

              Read this:
              https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/05/04/congress-should-take-back-its-authority-over-tariffs-trump/

              If Trump himself all but admits that the tariffs are really about getting trade leverage and not specifically about national security, then why should we take his public Section 232 rationale at face value?

              I agree that SCOTUS is probably not about to declare his tariffs unconstitutional, but that is because SCOTUS is not about to second-guess the president’s determination of what is or is not about national security. But if Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 allows the president to effectively set tariffs for any reason whatsoever as long as it’s under the guise of national security, then that act constitutes an effective transfer of tariff power from the Congress to the executive, and the act itself would then be unconstitutional. If not, how could it not be?

              1. “Ken, GATT has been superseded by the WTO, as you must well know. And the WTO doesn’t grant power specifically to our chief executive, it grants power and places limitations on our government broadly.”

                You’re a fucking idiot.

                You’re so stupid, you support your argument that Trump doesn’t have the constitutional authority to do this with a link to an article explaining why congress should take the constitutional authority to do this away from Trump.

                That’s typical of you, though. Stupid is as stupid does, and you both believe and say stupid things. That’s what makes you a stupid person.

        2. Any second now Leo’s sock Juice will be along to tell you how he wrecked you.

          1. He may have wrecked Ken, but really you wrecked yourself. Probably because you didn’t check yourself. They really need to bring back the Preview button for you.

            1. Aww you jumped because I tagged you. Please don’t cry anymore.

        3. The idea that it’s unconstitutional for the president to negotiate changes in agreements with foreign countries is absurd.

          But the idea that it’s unconstitutional for the president to use emergency powers delegated for national security purposes to negotiate changes in trade agreements is not so absurd. Yes, it’s debatable, but you declaring it “absurd” is you engaging in just the kind of deflection you’re complaining about.

        4. Congress authorized him to act on their enumerated power, conditionally. He can’t raise tariffs for any reason beyond those conditions Congress has specified.

          If he wants to raise tariffs as a negotiating strategy, he can ask Congress to act on his behalf or grant him the power to do it on his own. He didn’t. He found a loophole that allowed him to do it for the purpose of national security.

          I’m not saying he didn’t do it for national security reasons. I’m saying your stated purposes weren’t within his authority as President. I’m siding more with Boehm here, that if we take the President at his own word (quote above) that his tariff policy failed.

    4. Is that IF^3 or IF+IF+IF?

      And when. Then you are not asking a question you are making a certainty prediction.

      “Mexico completely capitulated” Do we get to keep It?

      You can do better than this Ken.

      I see what you did there.

    5. “I oppose Trump risking our trade relationships”

      If you’re being screwed in a relationship, demanding better treatment entrails risk. Is it better to remain screwed forever?

      But there really isn’t much risk. The US is the biggest import market and one of the most open import markets. I don’t see the Japanese flouncing off in a huff if we ask for more reciprocal trade terms.

  3. Or, do we need to tariff more?

  4. I’m not calling for more government spending, but maybe the production slowdown is tied to the failure to get an infrastructure bill passed.

    1. I would guess that partly it’s just a run-of-the-mill slowdown. The steel market has been pretty ridiculous for years. It had to slack off at some point.

  5. > “If you don’t have steel, you don’t have a country”

    My county doe snot have a steel company. Does that mean it’s not a county? While my state does have one tiny itty bitty steel mill, it get’s 90% of its steel from out of state. Does that mean it’s not really a state?

    I’m sorry, but his logic does not hold. If it’s necessary for a country to have steel, then shouldn’t every state have steel too? And every county in every state? And every person in every county in every state? Gee, this is starting to sound an awful lot like Mao’s Great Leap Forward!

    1. Countries didn’t even exist before Henry Bessemer.

    2. We have plenty of steel. USS still runs blast furnaces. It takes enormous investment to open a steel mill. Nucor and others run electro arc mills. They also do a lot of recycling and have a more nimble ability to respond to demand.

      Still none of them are generating much profit. Trump has no clue because it is not on Fox & Friends.

      I have worked in former boom towns in the rusty belt. When it is over it is over.

    1. Did you think that was good news?

      1. It isn’t? China is a horrible human rights violator. India and Vietnam are, while not miles better, still better.

        1. Trade and human rights are not the same thing.

          The tariffs are not at all conditioned on human rights. Not a dime.

          1. Why? Because you say so?

            It’s politics by other means. Your opinion on it changes squat.

            Also, you didn’t say why it was bad.

            1. Ya think?

              https://tinyurl.com/y2dtkfag

              Explain how the tariffs have revitalized the domestic steel industry. It is tanking actually.

              Tariffs changes squat. There is nothing on the table about human rights or form of government. Zero. Nada nothing.

              So apple is going to need to put out more cash to change production to safer locations. Many other companies. Because of Trump no other reason. They have enough to cover it in a two year window. Investors are going to see a lower estimate on ROI.

              Ya think the Chinese person working every day supports or benefits from these tariffs and trade wars?

              1. “Explain how the tariffs have revitalized the domestic steel industry.”

                Huh? Why the fuck would I do that when it isn’t in the same universe as my point?

                Are you ACTUALLY retarded?

              2. “Tariffs changes squat. ”

                Ahahahahhah MEXICO MOTHERFUCKER ahajahahha

                You lost this. Go home.

                1. Hello Tulpa

      2. Well of course it’s good news, isn’t it?

        Government interference in international trade causes a company to change its plans. What’s not for a libertarian to like?

        Maybe the government should just outright force Apple to make its products in America. Then libertarians everywhere would cheer!

        1. Your child raping buddies are waiting on you to sponsor them jeffo.

          1. “Your child raping buddies”

            I don’t really consider you to be my “buddy”, Tulpa.

            1. Pedo Jeffy, you are the child rape enthusiast here, not Tulpa. And since everyone hates you, no one is getting on your jizz soaked cum rag of a bandwagon to gang up.

              You are one who favors bringing child rapists here. You said what you said. So stop lying about it. We all know better.

    2. Good for India and Vietnam, I guess?

      1. In India they have a way of sort of shaking their head which means neither yes or no. I’m going with that.

  6. Are you people blind. Demand has gone down because the steel companies raised prices. Why did they raise prices when they had a great opportunity to capture more of the market when China’s steel was more going to be more expensive.

    The problem is not tariffs but incorrect pricing strategies by our steel companies.

    1. The problem is not tariffs but incorrect pricing strategies by our steel companies.

      Yeah – that’s probably it.

    2. I think the billion dollar companies know how to price their product.

        1. My bad. You’re right, I should just take this random guy’s word for it.

          1. Seems like you can take the steelmakers actions for it.

            1. I’m defending the pricing which is contrary to this thread.

                1. You must be fucking with me. Can you tell me the story of the child porn guy instead?

                  1. If he does, Pedo Jeffy will jump in and get worked up about it. Then he will just go into an eruption and have a mess on his hands. And that’s a sticky situation I really don’t think we want to see.

      1. Well they do and do not.

        Commodities like finished steel trade on futures contracts. My gas bill company keeps wanting me to do that. Lock in a price for the next six months.

        So the manufacturer is betting on a price. The trader is betting on a price. The consumer pays the difference.

        Tariffs introduce an artificial price differential. What happened with steel was the opposite of intended outcome. The price and demand for domestic steel dropped. So politics, Trump thought there would be a boom market. That did not happen.

        Trump deals with China as if it were a catering firm negotiating for a contract. That is a grave mistake.

    3. Wait a second – are you telling me that a company raised their sale price when supply was artificially constricted? What dastardly mind would have thought of such a thing???

      1. Not much game theory knowledge in this comment section

        1. Apparently not much understanding of commodity pricing here, either. And yes, steel is a commodity.

      2. What dastardly mind would have thought of such a thing???

        Certainly no one in the building trades. It’s an industry notoriously full of choir-boys and do-gooders.

        1. Choir boys and do-gooders? Let’s not go overboard. They’re ok, but they’re not Teamsters.

          1. I got to deal with some Teamsters at the Trades Council “Labor Temple” for a project I was on – fun guys! Very nice. Promised they meant me no harm.

            1. Promised they meant me no harm.

              While beating the hell out of you, right?

              1. In fairness, their tires did cross the property line on my site.

                1. That’s what you get for putting the property line there.

  7. The price of steel isn’t way up, so steel tariffs aren’t hurting steel users very much. Jobs in the steel industry aren’t way up either, so steel tariffs aren’t helping steel workers very much.

    Conclusion: tariffs have little effect.

    The only things that are way up are ridiculous hype and hysteria by media and pundits. Reason writers need to calm down.

    1. What happened to free markets? It takes very little economics knowledge to know how much inefficiency is created by tariffs.

      1. Libertarians agree, we can’t have free markets. Because if we have free markets, then individuals might trade with evil countries like Communist China, which would do bad things to America if they could, and if they could do bad things to America, then it would undermine all our freedoms. So libertarians agree – using taxation to coerce individuals to direct their spending where the state thinks is the best way to spend that money is the only correct libertarian answer. The health of America is more important than that pesky individual choice.

        1. God bless America

        2. “Libertarians agree”

          How the fuck would you know you child rapist importing prog fuck?

          1. Libertarians agree? When 2 libertarians argue, you end up with 3 opinions.

      2. How much inefficiency? Not very much.

  8. C’mon people. You’re not looking at the libertarian angle here. Of course it’s the job of the state to direct those ignorant individual consumers to spend their dollars in ways that benefits America. We can’t ever create libertopia if individuals are free to spend their money wherever they wish, can we? What if they spend their money subsidizing Communist China? No no, the only way to create libertarian paradise on earth is to coerce individuals to support the state. That’s the only way!

    1. “You’re not looking at the libertarian angle here”

      Jeff the Prog opining about shit he doesn’t understand, AGAIN, instead of eschewing his disgusting pro-import of child raping immigrants position.

      1. CRY MORE, TROLL

        You lost an argument and now all you are going to do is shit on every comment that I made, because you cannot stand that you lost.

        No please, continue to point out to everyone here was a sad, pathetic, whiny, sore loser you are.

        1. “CRY MORE, TROLL”

          No one cares about your life long nickname you child rapist imprting loser.

        2. Someone please tell me the story

          1. Ask jeff to link to it, then watch him give excuses.

            1. Go ahead ask him. Then watch as he says shot about me, and lies, and makes lame ass excuses, but never links to it.

              Because he knows what is in it.

              1. But Tulpa, you claimed that the link no longer exists. How can I link to a page that no longer exists? Are you lying by suggesting that the page really does exist?

                1. See? More shit about me, and excuses. But no link.

                  Because he knows what the link says.

                  If jeff were an Instrument I’d be his Menuhin.

          2. What story? The reason why Tulpa calls me a “child rapist importer”?

            It’s quite simple really. There was an article a while back about migrants in ICE custody who had applied for asylum, but who had also been accused of raping kids. Everyone including me was disgusted by this behavior, but some said that this was reason enough to deny asylum to these migrants. I pointed out that the decision should not be as simplistic as simply denying all asylum to all people accused of anything bad. Because asylum claims ought to be based on what was done TO the refugee, and not necessarily based on the moral character of the refugee him/herself. Even bad people can be the victims of oppression. To do otherwise, is to legitimate repression, so long as it’s only the “bad people” who are repressed. I NEVER SAID “let all the child rapists in”. I was making a nuanced and morally complex argument, about how to weigh claims of asylum in the context of the moral character of the applicant, and the nature of the oppression claimed by the applicant. This type of argument is evidently too complicated for simplistic morons like Tulpa who cannot see beyond “my team good, their team bad” and instead just devolve into simple appeals to demagoguery.

            So, there is the story.

            1. See? No link. Just a self serving story and excuses.

              1. He wants to import child rapists. He won’t link to the thread because it proves I am right.

                1. You claimed that the link doesn’t exist anymore. How can I link to a non-existent page?

                  1. Ok I’m off work for the night. I will be back down here tomorrow. Cheers boys

                    1. And jeff will still be making excuses about why won’t post the link.

                      And you can bet money it’ll be my fault somehow.

                  2. See? Nothing but excuses. He told me repeatedly he had the link, but he never posts it.

                    You don’t need to speculate as to why.

                    1. How can I have the link to a page that doesn’t exist, Tulpa?

                    2. See? Still making it about me instead of just posting the link he says he has.

                      This is what he will do, ad nauseum.

              2. Are you disputing what I wrote above?
                You are free to try to point out where you think I have erred, by providing evidence of such.

                1. And still no link. He said he had it, but he keeps making it about me, JUST LIKE I SAID he would.

                  He knows it looks bad for him. Tjat’s why he’ll spend 10000 words making excuses instead of just posting it.

                  1. 30 posts deflecting, when one link would prove him right, if he wasn’t lying.
                    Draw your own conclusions.

                    1. Nearly an hour later, and something like 30 posts, and still, he’s doing exactly what I said. No link. Nothing but excuses.

                      My fault somehow.

                    2. I mean, look downthread. He posted three times in a row, and it was nothing but excuses.

                      What more do you need to know?

                    3. And now, when you’ve been called out on your bullshit, you’re appealing to the mob and deceptively framing the discussion. The last resort of someone who’s completely lost the argument.

                    4. “I mean, look below. Tulpa didn’t deny that he fucks chickens. What more do you need to know?”

                    5. Post the link jeff. You’ve bloviated enough. Post it and shut me up.

                    6. Yes I totally fuck chickens. Like Crusty and SIV.

                      Now post the link and shut me up.

                    7. If the link does exist, then there is nothing stopping you from posting such an incriminating link. So why don’t you?

                      If the link doesn’t exist, then I can’t post a link to something that doesn’t exist. So why demand the impossible?

                    8. See? More excuses. He said he had it. Now he won’t post it.

                    9. Post it and shut me up jeff.

                  2. You offer no proof or evidence that what I wrote above is incorrect or untruthful in any way. You just go back to your time-tested tactic of throwing sand in the air to obscure the discussion when you are on the losing end of yet another argument.

                    If you think I’m wrong, demonstrate where you think I’m wrong, and bring evidence.

                    But you can’t, so you just troll and cry, and in this case, try to shift the burden back on to me. I have already recounted the events as I understand them to be. Now the burden is on you to demonstrate otherwise – if you can.

                    1. And there he is, still blah blah blahing at me, when he could post the link he says he has. We can all see the lengths he is going to to avoid posting it.

                      Draw your own conclusions.

                    2. I think watching him go to idiotic lengths to avoid posting an incriminating link is hilarious. And I imagine I’m not the only one.

                    3. Previously, when you thought the link to the original conversation would benefit me, you claimed the link didn’t exist, that it was destroyed in the redesign of the website.

                      Now, when you think the link will benefit you, you suggest that it really does exist, but that I am trying to conceal it from everyone in some plot of deception.

                      So, either the link does exist, or it does not.

                      If it does exist, then why don’t you track it down, post it here, and make your case that what I wrote above is incorrect in some way.

                      If it does not exist, then I guess you’ll have to make your case some other way.

                      Either way, though, you aren’t going to make any argument, instead just troll and whine. Because evidently that is the only thing in life that you are good at.

                      Really, Tulpa, you should find a more productive hobby.

                    4. If the link is so incriminating, then what is stopping you from posting it, Tulpa?

                    5. Because you are not interested in links, or the actual story. You are only interested in pushing a false narrative against someone whom you dislike.

    2. Legendary thread

  9. Gee, who could have predicted a relationship between higher prices and slackening demand?

    Perhaps we need an Affordable Steel Act that mandates the purchase of steel? It would merely be a tax, of course.

    1. Actually the solution was ALWAYS to monetize steel. Have the govt set a floor at which it will buy steel for a stockpile and a ceiling where it will sell from that stockpile.

      The money that pays for that is ‘backed’ by that commodity in the stockpile. And the quantity of commodity in the stockpile itself signals when the govt should ‘spend’ that commodity itself.

      Of course, the last thing anyone in this country seems to actually want is a currency that’s actually backed by something that’s already been produced. We FAR prefer debt cuz we no longer understand market equilibrium.

  10. Reason Day 1: Tariffs *totally* distort Muh Free Markets! Crony Capitalism!
    Reason Day 2: It’s Time To Stop Pretending Tariffs Work!

    Reason: Free trade is when American workers pay payroll and income taxes, while Emperor Xi’s imports pay no tax.

    Adam Smith disagrees, favoring tariffs to offset local taxes on production:

    “It will generally be advantageous to lay some burden upon foreign industry for the encouragement of domestic industry, when some tax is imposed at home upon the produce of the latter. In this case, it seems reasonable that an equal tax should be imposed upon the like produce of the former. This would not give the monopoly of the borne market to domestic industry, nor turn towards a particular employment a greater share of the stock and labour of the country, than what would naturally go to it. It would only hinder any part of what would naturally go to it from being turned away by the tax into a less natural direction, and would leave the competition between foreign and domestic industry, after the tax, as nearly as possible upon the same footing as before it.”

    1. So, do you think capital gains should be taxed at the same rate as ordinary income?

      1. I think you posted about 40 times and did nothing but make excuses and blame me, which doesn’t look suspicious or imcrimnating at all.

        You’ve spent an hour dodging one simple link. Post it and shut me up.

        1. If the link is so incriminating, what is stopping you from posting it?

          1. What is stopping you?

            Post it and shut me up.

            1. Watch his excuses flow.

              He can post it and shut me up.

              And yet he doesn’t.

            2. Posting one link won’t shut you up.

              But, if the link is as incriminating as you say it is, posting it would certainly embarrass the hell out of me and give you quite a few laughs.

              So, why not post it?

              1. See? More excuses. Nothing but. He’ll post 1000 times, and there will always be another excuse.

                Post it and shut me up.

                1. He could have posted it 100 times over by now.

                  That tells you all you need to know.

                  1. So, there is supposedly this highly incriminating link about me that Tulpa refuses to post for some reason. Huh.

                    Maybe the link doesn’t exist.

                    Maybe the link does exist, but isn’t incriminating.

                    Maybe Tulpa would rather troll and push false narratives about people instead of constructing arguments.

                  2. All that you need to know is that Satan is evil.

                    Satan = Tulpa (among many others) = The Evil One.

        2. Guys, just fuck already and get it over with.

          1. Well evidently Tulpa is steady with chickens, so far be it for me to intrude upon his current loving relationship.

            1. Pssst… Stop feeding the trolls. You’re giving him the exact response he’s looking for.

      2. Capital gains taxation is complicated by inflation and *unrealized* gains.

        But treating net gain in asset value after inflation as income every year, taxed at the same rate as income, sounds about right to me.

        I’m also for a wealth tax.

        1. A wealth tax? Really?
          Why is that?

          1. Why not?
            Why is income taxed and not wealth? Because rich people like it that way.

            It’s the absurdity of our political discourse that a wealth tax hasn’t been a part of our political discussion until Warren brought it up this year.

            Switzerland has a wealth tax. They seem one of the best run countries in the world.

            Government protects persons and property. Even with the person part, your person is under threat in proportion to your property. That protection is a serviced received, in proportion to your wealth, so you get taxed in proportion to your wealth.

            1. Huh. So you’re a Warrenite class warrior. How unsurprising. “Eat the rich!”

              What do you want government to do with all that money coming from the wealth tax?

              1. The point of a wealth tax (that works as opposed to a wealth tax that is intended to punish) is not to raise direct revenue. It is to eliminate the private incentives that distort/corrupt govt action when some people know they personally won’t have to pay for what they advocate govt doing. Somehow everyone sees this happen when it is poor people advocating for a safety net but goes all blind when it is wealthy people advocating for their own ‘safety net’. eg Warren Buffett’s role in the financial crisis. Or the perpetual love of deficit-financed govt over tax-financed govt.

        2. I imagine you’d be in favor of an inheritance tax as well?

          1. I don’t see the need or justification once you have the wealth tax.

            The inheritance tax mainly acts to enrich family business vultures like Buffett.

            You need it now because we don’t mark assets to market and tax unrealized gains. If you let wealth rollover generationally, it ends up not getting taxed generation after generation.

            1. Good. Wealth is the result of income already taxed. It need not be repeatedly taxed.

              1. You clearly don’t know what ACTUAL wealth is. If you think Buffett, Bezos, Gates are wealthy cuz they were dutiful about saving their income, then you’re a complete twit.

        3. But treating net gain in asset value after inflation as income every year, taxed at the same rate as income, sounds about right to me.

          So, ignoring inflation for the time being, suppose I own a share of stock currently valued at $100, and by the end of the year it rises in price to $110. So even if I don’t sell the stock, you would expect that I would pay tax on that $10 of gain, then, right?

          And if next year the price of that share of stock went down to $90, what then?

          1. You pay a tax on your $10 gain.

            Tax code already deals with taxing successive years of profit and loss on capital gains. Ask your accountant.

            1. There is no loss or gain on something you haven’t sold.

              1. Mark to market

      3. Yes: both should be taxed at 0%.
        It’s consumption that should be taxed, through sales taxes and tariffs.

        1. I am with you on that one.

          1. But tariffs are a consumption tax

        2. Well, let me clarify.
          Nothing “should” be taxed.
          IF there is going to be a tax, then a consumption tax is better than an income tax.
          But ideally, a user fee type system for funding the government would be far preferable to either one.

          1. “muh anarchy”

            That’s why you don’t have answers to how governments should work, whether it’s immigration or taxation.

            Goverments bad, m’kay?

            1. I literally said that government should raise money via user fees. That isn’t “anarchy”.

              And yes, government is bad for the most part. It has a very few legitimate functions, but 90% of what it does, it does poorly and shouldn’t be doing at all.

              On the other hand, what do you think government should be doing?

  11. Maybe John favors tariffs qua tariffs, but most everyone else not griping about them sees them as bargaining chips which Trump is using to get more favored treatment (lower tariffs) on US goods rather than a desirable end.
    In discussions with folks who represent some sizable ‘wallets’, that’s also the consensus, otherwise the markets would be tanking, since no one (outside of maybe John) thinks restricting trade is a good idea.
    I bring this up for what seems a valid reason:
    FFS, QUIT WHINING ABOUT WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN, WHAT YOU THINK MIGHT BE THE CAUSE OF A SINGLE DATUM, AND OTHER BULLSHIT. REPORT FACTS.
    ACT LIKE A FUCKING NEWS OPERATION INSTEAD OF A HOSPITAL WARD FOR THOSE SUFFERING FROM TDS; ACT LIKE ADULTS.
    That is all.

    1. But Boehm has reported facts that support his position both here and in his other pieces on tariffs. He posts real scenarios where companies are being impacted by the tariffs.

      Has Trump actually gotten any lower tariffs yet from this strategy? USMCA hasn’t been approved yet. The net effect thus far, as far as I can tell, has been higher tariffs at home and abroad and more government bailouts for farmers at home.

      Serious questions… when is it time to cut bait on this strategy? When does it just become political gamesmanship and an unwillingness to admit he’s wrong?

      1. But Boehm has reported facts that support his position both here and in his other pieces on tariffs. He posts real scenarios where companies are being impacted by the tariffs.

        Any change in government policy has winners and losers, and costs and benefits. Nitpicking the costs is does not support anyone’s position.

        For starters, the fact that tariffs generate government revenue through a tax on consumption is a benefit Boehm consistently neglects to take into account, and that’s just one of many.

        1. Fair enough, and I’ll grant you that consumption taxes are generally preferable to income taxes.

          And it might make sense if this were being pitched as that, a way to fund the government. Why, though, should we accept picking winner industries like aluminum and steel? It seems like cronyism.

          1. Winner industries

            USS down from 45.34 to 15.17 in one year.

            1. I didn’t say he was good at picking or effective at promoting “winners.”

              Likewise
              Alcoa is down 51 to 22 since April 2018
              Century aluminum is down 17.5 to 6.5 since April 2018

    2. “….but most everyone else not griping about them sees them as bargaining chips which Trump is using to get more favored treatment (lower tariffs) on US goods rather than a desirable end.
      In discussions with folks who represent some sizable ‘wallets’, that’s also the consensus”

      TDS works both ways. I’ve not seen any evidence that Trump is doing anything other than trying to protect US industries that were important in the 1950s by using protectionism and potentially ruining 21st century US markets. Which markets does he (or you) think China would even consider buying US products from if they lowered their tarrifs? Farming? More soybeans? Well his tarrifs aren’t doing shit for the farmers of this country except putting them on welfare. I’d be truly interested in knowing which US markets will benefit from China lowering tarrifs.

  12. I think Eric Boehm is in error or misrepresented the Bush steel tariffs. Bush imposed them because Brazil and Russia were dumping steel and undercutting domestic producers. They were selling below the cost to produce. The tariffs lasted about as long as planned, kept domestic production at about the same level as before the dumping, and were pulled when Brazil and Russia agreed to quit dumping.

    But there’s a major difference between the targeted and purposeful tariffs imposed by Bush and the broad, inchoate tariffs-cure-all approach of this most incompetent Administration. The tariffs under Bush had a defined purpose and a recognized, feasible end state. That can’t be said for Trump’s.

  13. […] high-profile tariffs haven’t exactly worked out as planned either. American steelmakers are reducing production because higher prices created by tariffs have reduced demand. Meanwhile, consumers and […]

  14. […] high-profile tariffs haven’t exactly worked out as planned either. American steelmakers are reducing production because higher prices created by tariffs have reduced demand. Meanwhile, consumers and […]

  15. […] high-profile tariffs haven’t exactly worked out as planned either. American steelmakers are reducing production because higher prices created by tariffs have reduced demand. Meanwhile, consumers and […]

  16. […] more high-profile tariffs haven’t exactly worked out as planned either. American steelmakers are reducing production because higher prices created by tariffs have reduced demand. Meanwhile, consumers and […]

  17. […] high-profile tariffs haven’t exactly worked out as planned either. American steelmakers are reducing production because higher prices created by tariffs have reduced demand. Meanwhile, consumers and […]

  18. […] Eric Boehm explains that Trump’s tariffs are so ill-considered that they don’t even succ…. […]

  19. […] As U.S. Steel Slows Production, It’s Time To Stop Pretending Tariffs Work Eric Bohm, Reason […]

  20. […] généralement haussière du marché. Les effets délétères des hausses de tarifs douaniers (ici, ici, ici ou là) sont souvent anecdotiques. L’impact économique total – pour le moment, environ […]

  21. […] demand and reduced profit expectations in the second quarter of this year. On June 19, U.S. Steel announced that it would shut down two blast furnaces at its flagship plant in Gary, Indiana. The […]

  22. […] demand and reduced profit expectations in the second quarter of this year. On June 19, U.S. Steel announced that it would shut down two blast furnaces at its flagship plant in Gary, Indiana. The […]

  23. […] demand and reduced profit expectations in the second quarter of this year. On June 19, U.S. Steel announced that it would shut down two blast furnaces at its flagship plant in Gary, Indiana. The […]

  24. […] demand and reduced profit expectations in the second quarter of this year. On June 19, U.S. Steel announced that it would shut down two blast furnaces at its flagship plant in Gary, Indiana. The company’s […]

  25. […] demand and reduced profit expectations in the second quarter of this year. On June 19, U.S. Steel announced that it would shut down two blast furnaces at its flagship plant in Gary, Indiana. The […]

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