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Congress Does Nothing as Commerce Tariff Cronyism Gets Worse

Commerce Department now has 120 people working full-time deciding which businesses are exempt from tariffs.

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/NewscomTom Williams/CQ Roll Call/NewscomThey can't say they didn't see this coming.

In April, just weeks after President Donald Trump imposed new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, the highest ranking members of the Senate Finance Committee wrote a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross outlining a number of anticipated problems with the department's plan to grant tariff exemptions to some American businesses. This process—usually referred to as the "tariff exclusion process" in official documents—seemed to lack "basic due process and procedural fairness" warned Sens. Orrin Hatch (R–Utah) and Ron Wyden (D–Ore.) in their joint letter to Ross. They worried that, without mechanisms to ensure transparency and accountability, the tariff exclusion process could be "abused for anticompetitive purposes."

Four months later, Hatch's and Wyden's warnings have proven accurate.

Thousands of American companies have filed more than 33,000 requests for exemptions to the steel and aluminum tariffs, but fewer than 1,500 have been granted and the vast majority remain in limbo. In hearings before Congress and in the media, executives at tariff-hit businesses have complained about the confusing and unresponsive process. The opportunity for cronyism is apparent and U.S. steel manufacturers have, according to multiple media reports, successfully exerted significant control over the exemption-granting process. In short, everything Hatch and Wyden warned about has come to pass—and yet the Department of Commerce has not addressed those concerns.

Instead, the department has left Congress, the American public, and thousands of businesses trying to navigate the exclusion process nearly entirely in the dark. It has not provided even basic information about how the process works, including rudimentary details like which officials are responsible for making final determinations, or the metrics by which those decisions are made.

"It's very difficult to get ahold of anyone," at the department, says Todd Adams, president of Sanitube LLC, a family-owned Florida-based small business that manufacturers steel tubes, valves, and fittings for the food and beverage industry.

Adams' business has applied for several exemptions from the steel and aluminum tariffs, but it has been a costly and time-consuming process for a business with no legal team or lobbyists, he told the House Ways and Means Committee last month.

"When they want to get ahold of me, I'll get a call at 6:30 at night," he said. "I'll try to answer their questions, but it's a one-way stream of information."

"The process has just been a fiasco," Ken McInnis, director of supply chains and global purchasing for RotoMetrics, a Missouri-based tool and die company, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this week.

Officially, the tariff exclusion processes for steel and aluminum are outlined on a pair of web pages set up by the Department of Commerce earlier this year. They include bare bones information—links to forms that must be filled out, an explanation of the 30-day public comment period on all applications, and the like—without providing a shred of detail about who is deciding which exemptions get granted, or why, or how. It leaves you with the impression that the department is trying to make a high-stakes game that's full of political influence look like a rote bureaucratic operation.

In response to requests for more information, a Commerce Department official tells Reason that there are 95 staff and contractors working on the steel and aluminum exclusion requests, with 25 additional contractors currently on-boarding.

But who those people are and what they are being told to do matters—and it matters a lot.

Applications for exemptions that have been denied usually come back with no explanation of why they were not accepted. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R–Ind.), whose office has conducted a review of the waiver applications granted and denied by the Commerce Department, found last month that not a single application has been accepted if U.S. Steel or another domestic steelmaker had objected to its granting. Because there is no publicly available rubric for the granting or denying of exemption application—nor any opportunity to appeal the department's decisions—businesses are left entirely at the mercy of government officials and the steel lobbyists who appear to be directing the process.

Those are significant "due process flaws that do not exist with respect to most other government procedures," says Willie Chiang, vice president of Plains All American GP, a Texas-based pipeline company that's been on the losing end of the exemption process.

"A petitioner's ability to state its case is limited to the submission of a standardized form and supporting electronic documentation," Chiang told the House Ways and Means Committee last month. "No forum is provided for interaction with those determining the merits of either the petitioners' or the objectors' arguments. In addition, there is no opportunity to respond to objections—even if the objections contain incorrect information."

It's a far cry from the "fair and transparent process" that Ross promised in March when the steel and aluminum tariffs were unveiled. At the time, the secretary said that he, "in consultation with other Administration officials, will evaluate exclusion requests, taking into account national security considerations. In that evaluation, the Secretary will consider whether a product is produced in the United States of a satisfactory quality or in a sufficient and reasonably available amount."

Aside from holding some hearings and sending some letters, Congress has so far not done enough to check the Commerce Department's power grab.

The latest effort to do something was launched last week by Sen. Ron Johnson (R–Wis.), who wrote to Ross last week on behalf of "a number of Wisconsin business leaders" who "have expressed concerns to me about the uncertainty and arbitrary nature of the exclusion process."

Johnson has formally requested detailed information that would fill-in key blanks about the exclusion process, including the identities of officials responsible for the final decisions on applications, "the department's metrics by which it evaluates whether to approve an exclusion request," and the department's process for determining whether claims made by businesses objecting to applications—which is to say, domestic steelmakers—are accurate.

If the department provides that information by Johnson's deadline of August 25, we will gain valuable insights into the tariff exclusion process. But it's already too late for some businesses, and who knows how long it will be before Congress acts on the information that it may receive next week.

They can't say they did not see these problems coming. Hatch, who raised a serious of relevant questions all the way back in April, told Reason this week that he continues "to monitor the exclusion process and my concerns about its impact on American manufacturers, businesses and families have only grown."

But those growing concerns have not turned into action. It's true that Hatch (and Wyden) peppered Ross with questions during a hearing about the tariff process last month—but those questions have not made the Commerce Department more transparent or forthcoming.

Until the department can provide adequate answers about the tariff exclusion process, and ensure due process for applicants whose requests for exemptions are denied, Congress should move to revoke the administration's authority for laying tariffs in the first place. After months of asking nicely, it's time for the elected representatives to play their part in standing up to an opaque, unaccountable, bureaucratic system that seems to be engaged in rampant cronyism at the expense of thousands of American businesses.

Photo Credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom

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  • Brandybuck||

    To Trumptarians, this isn't a bug it's a feature

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Did anyone actually expect Congress to do something? Surely no one's naive enough to expect them to do their fucking jobs.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    This is why congressional approval is so low. It's bad enough to have an economic ignoramus in charge trying to plan the economy because he thinks he's doing the right thing; it's an entirely different thing to have an apparent majority of people in Congress paying lip service to how bad the trade war is, but are too feckless to actually do anything about it.

  • Robert||

    Congress imposed these tariffs in the 1st place. The admin. isn't allowed to create tariffs anew. However, Congress passed bills allowing certain exemptions under conditions that the admin. is in charge of determining. That's how the executive winds up "imposing tariffs", i.e. by not making such exemptions.

  • TuIpa||

    Shut the fuck up Hihn.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Robert is another Hihn sock?

  • TuIpa||

    Yup.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Ok, so that's at last four now. David Nolan. Robert, amd the other two makes escape me at the moment.

    Hihn is really pathetic.

  • Cathy L||

    Oh look, one of your socks believes another one of your socks when it accuses someone else of socking.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Wait, am I a Hihn sock, or a Tulpa sock? I'm confused.

    Seriously though, if you pay attention to my writing, I am clearly not anyone else.

    You claim to be intelligent, so you should be able to figure that out.

  • Robert||

    Sock it to me!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Guess Reason should have supported Trump's 2017 and 2018 budget proposals to gut a bunch of federal agencies.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Reason is fine with managed trade as long as Trump is not doing it.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Keep pushing that false dichotomy narrative.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Sometimes he says some really smart things, but when it comes to Trump and tariffs or immigrants, he can't get statist enough.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    No no no. It's a false trichotomy.

    We have only three choices available to us:

    Managed Trade (NAFTA, etc.)
    Trump-style trade wars
    Worldwide Global Communism (what the Left really wants)

    So if you are opposed to the status quo ante - managed trade - and if you are opposed to what the Left wants - worldwide communism - there is only Trump's Trade Wars that we must all enthusiastically support. #MAGA!

  • sarcasmic||

    There is a fourth choice which is true free trade, which means nobody has any tariffs at all. All tariffs are a trade war. We have been in a trade war since the nation was founded, because there have always been tariffs. That means Trump isn't starting a trade war, because there already was one. Not only that, but these tariffs aren't his fault. He offered free trade and our trading partners rejected him. So it's all their fault, not his. He is completely blameless.

  • ||

    With all the bitching, I kinda miss the days when we used to bomb the shit out of a foreign nation without congressional approval.

  • Mcgoo95||

    OBL should be proud of this post... Of course, it is possible he learned from you.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    In fairness, this was a much better attempt than anything that we've seen from the anti-OBL parody guy. His work is horrible.

    Plus after reading this, I'm not convinced that LC1789 (who has said all of these same things) isn't really a parody account after all... among lefties.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    LC makes solid logical arguments and is definitely legit. Ironically, Sarc's Snarky comment is at least partially right.

    I'm not sure why everyone has such a problem with the he idea that we have to fight to get our trading partners to knock off their bad behavior and cut back in their tariffs. Many of them have had a sweetheart deal at our expense for decades. It isn't logical to expect them to give up, or at least compromise, without some kind of struggle first. Applying some kind of duress is just s logical strategy to get them to relent.

    I understand why the possibility of a trade war is so offputting. Outside of the status quo, I haven't heard anyone suggest a better plan to improve things.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm not sure why everyone has such a problem with the he idea that we have to fight to get our trading partners to knock off their bad behavior and cut back in their tariffs.

    Because tariffs hurt Americans, that's why. As explained by Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations, society gains wealth when they can purchase stuff at the lowest available price. That means no protective tariffs.

    Tariffs do hurt our trading partners as intended. That is the seen.
    The unseen is 325 million Americans having to pay more for stuff, as well as the businesses being hurt by having to pay more for materials.

    Tariffs help to prop up protected industries. That is seen.
    The unseen is the what could have been produced had those resources not been wasted on producing things that could be purchased more cheaply from foreigners.

    The better plan to improve things is to get rid of trade barriers that prevent Americans from buying stuff at the lowest price.

    If by "improve things" you mean "force foreign governments to bend to the will of our politicians" then do it the old fashioned way: drop bombs on them.

    Don't punish American consumers.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "Don't punish American consumers."

    Ok, do you have an alternative plan to convince other nations to engage in free(r) trade?

    "If by "improve things" you mean "force foreign governments to bend to the will of our politicians" then do it the old fashioned way: drop bombs on them."

    You find this preferable to peacefully pressuring our trading partners to level the playing field? Or is that your way of saying you have no ideas on the subjects.

    Foreign tariffs hurt Americans too. As well as other unsavory trade practices, like China's institutional IP theft. So.......too bad so sad for those Americans?

  • sarcasmic||

    Ok, do you have an alternative plan to convince other nations to engage in free(r) trade?

    Yeah, lead by example.

    Are foreigners obligated to buy stuff from us? Do they owe us? Do we have a basic right to sell them stuff that is violated when their governments tax their citizens who buy imports?

    I say no, no, and no.

    You find this preferable to peacefully pressuring our trading partners to level the playing field?

    What you call "peacefully pressuring" I call "punishing hundreds of millions of Americans who buy imports." And no I'm not a fan of initiating wars of aggression. Responding to a military attack is a different matter.

    As well as other unsavory trade practices, like China's institutional IP theft. So.......too bad so sad for those Americans?

    Red herring.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Unilateral reduction of OUR tariffs. We get far more benefits from it than the importers do, and it knocks the soapbox out from under their grandstanding. Everything else is grandstanding.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It's also open season on our markets for any foreign predatory practices.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's also open season on our markets for any foreign predatory practices.

    The benefits outweigh the costs, even if the benefits are unseen and the costs are seen.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    knock off their bad behavior and cut back in their tariffs

    Their "bad behavior" is a tax on their own citizens for imports, and/or subsidies (more taxes on their own citizens) for their exports. Either way, they are impoverishing themselves in order to "win" in trade. So if that is what they are going to do - let them! They are screwing themselves over, and we get cheaper stuff. It's only a problem if you fall for Trumpian "trade deficit" nonsense.

  • sarcasmic||

    Plus after reading this, I'm not convinced that LC1789 (who has said all of these same things) isn't really a parody account after all... among lefties.

    I often wonder that myself.

  • Mcgoo95||

    If he is, he's the best there is.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    All the trolls discussing how much they hate me.

    Just more street cred for me.

  • BYODB||

    Do people seriously believe that steel and aluminum tariffs began with Trump? Serious question.

    That's not a defense of Trump or tariffs, it's curiosity about why no one gave a shit about it until Trump.

  • JoeJoetheIdiotCircusBoy||

    "no one gave a shit about it until Trump" because Trump increased the tariffs, dumbass.

  • BYODB||

    So, the tariffs before were the proper amount of tariffs?

    I think you missed the question.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Liar.

  • Aloysious||

    Congress is useless? You don't say.

    Judging by the picture, zombies are making fiscal policy.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Yet we are assured this is a good thing, an excellent part of Trump's dealing and wheeling which will result in zero tariffs world-wide. Omelets and eggs? More like green ham.

  • Curt||

    So, first we established tariffs on the basis of cronyism. Then we established exemptions to those tariffs on the basis of cronyism. Now we find that the requests for exemptions are being handled on the basis of cronyism.

    I, for one, am shocked!

  • Lost in the Woods||

    It would seem that the existence of selective exemptions and the opaque exemption request process create even more harm than the tariffs themselves. Tariffs, while very problematic, are at least out in the open and (in theory at least) are applied to everyone. The exemptions are a nightmare for anyone or any entity trying to buy, sell, or use steel or aluminum. They create extreme uncertainty about near term costs. Random competitive advantage or disadvantage based on the vagaries of who is granted what exemption. And as for the long term, who knows what to expect in a month or year. Which makes business planning extremely difficult. I wish these issues were discussed more extensively in typical news coverage. Thanks to Reason for shining some light on this. But then, how many non-libertarians will ever see this article?

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Fuck, is this the end days?

    Proggies want to confiscate as much private wealth as possible and turn it into endless handouts (for the deserving).

    Trumpistas want to take crony-capitalism to the next level.

    More central lefties and righties waste their time (and my money) fighting over symbolic but mostly useless social causes.

    And I am almost out of beer in the fridge.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    And I am almost out of beer in the fridge.

    This is the real tragedy here. No one should run out of beer. A chicken in every pot 6 pack of beer in every fridge!

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Throw in some pot. You can keep the chicken.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Trumpistas want to take crony-capitalism to the next level.

    No no no. It's not "crony capitalism". It's 19th Dimensional Underwater Interstellar Chess that will eventually lead us to Totally Free Trade, The Best Free Trade Ever, Believe Me #MAGA. You see, denying a tariff waiver for the small business in Florida or Missouri is totally part of the plan. You just have to have more faith in the Master Negotiator, Expert Deal Maker, who hires All The Best People (like Omarosa) to Make America Great Again. And if you don't agree, you're a cuck who suffers from TDS and hates America. Winning!

  • TuIpa||

    Jesus Christ you're stupid.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Shut up Tulpa.

  • TuIpa||

    Jesus Christ you're stupid. Why do you even come here? You're not a libertarian, have all the other sites really kicked you off like Ace did?

  • sarcasmic||

    Shut up Tulpa.

  • TuIpa||

    Are you drunk again?

  • TuIpa||

    Sarc, upset because I kicked him around in another thread for being a sad whiny sack of shit, decided to come here and whine to prove my point.

    I'm not a cop sarc, you don't have to shit your pants and bust out into hysterics every thing me you see me.

  • sarcasmic||

    Shut up Tulpa.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I often tire of Sarc's bitchyness. I can see your point. Some of these guys are not really libertarian, but some form of anarchist. And it gets old.

    Admittedly, I wouldn't pass any purity tests, but I consider the goal of governing based on the constitution as written as being far more libertarian than anything Sarc, or Little Jeffy advocate.

  • sarcasmic||

    Some of these guys are not really libertarian, but some form of anarchist.

    Bastiat pointed out that socialists can't imagine things not being done by government. If you don't want government schools then you don't want any schools. If you don't want government to raise grain then you don't want people to eat.

    Some of us want government out the the economy. Enforce property rights, criminal law, and contracts. Otherwise butt the fuck out.

    LotS and lc interpret this to mean we want no economy and no government. Even when we specifically say what we want government to do, these people stick their fingers in their ears and shout "I can't hear you lalalala! You don't want any government lalalala!"

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "LotS and lc interpret this to mean we want no economy and no government. Even when we specifically say what we want government to do, these people stick their fingers in their ears and shout "I can't hear you lalalala! You don't want any government lalalala!""

    No. The problem is that your arguments are weak and don't solve legitimate problems. In the case of international trade, it is actually appropriate for the federal government to intercede against mst predatory behavior instigated by a foreign GOVERNMENT. As opposed to competition from a foreign competitor without significant state backing. You make no allowance for this or are unwilling to acknowledge, let alone solve this kind of problem.

    And yes, dealing with foreign governments is a legitimate function of the executive branch.

  • sarcasmic||

    The problem is that your arguments are weak and don't solve legitimate problems.

    By that you mean that our arguments don't involve using force, and the only acceptable solutions to you must include force.

    Kind of like when statists ask for solutions from people who oppose central planning, but will only accept solutions that involve central planning.

    predatory behavior

    Please define that term. If you mean dumping or otherwise selling stuff to us at an artificially low price, I say "Woo hoo!" If foreigners want to tax their citizens for our benefit, so the fuck what? How does that harm us? How is that a problem?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Kind of like when statists ask for solutions from people who oppose central planning, but will only accept solutions that involve central planning.

    Exactly. Shitlord here demands a government solution. HE is the one who wants managed trade, not free trade.

  • sarcasmic||

    By the way LotS, I appreciate you actually having a conversation instead of calling me names like lc.

  • BYODB||


    Admittedly, I wouldn't pass any purity tests, but I consider the goal of governing based on the constitution as written as being far more libertarian than anything Sarc, or Little Jeffy advocate.

    That's because it is, and anarchists are perhaps the most useful of useful idiots given that their entire political philosophy can't survive more than a few years before being replaced by literally anything else.

    Anarcho-anything is a childlike belief in the inherent everlasting goodness of man. You know, the kind of thing an idiot or communist might believe.

  • sarcasmic||

    their entire political philosophy can't survive more than a few years before being replaced by literally anything else

    Which is why I'm not an anarchist. I accept that there will always be a gang of men with the last word in violence who will use that power to steal. Before long the violent thieves will call themselves government.

    Because some form of government is inevitable, the next best thing is to try to limit what it can do.

  • sarcasmic||

    Anarcho-anything is a childlike belief in the inherent everlasting goodness of man.

    Contrast that with a childlike belief that giving men power turns them into angels, especially if they are selected by some democratic process. That once they have power they are cured of the selfishness that poisons us mortals, and are transformed into altruists who only care for others.

  • BYODB||


    Contrast that with a childlike belief that giving men power turns them into angels, especially if they are selected by some democratic process.

    I don't know why I would since I'm not a democrat and I'm well aware of the tyranny of the majority. That would be contrasting stupid and retarded, which isn't really a contrast at all.

    It's why I would endorse a constitutional republic instead. Which was, of course, the original point LotS was making.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm well aware of the tyranny of the majority

    That usually means policy being put to a popular vote.

    It's why I would endorse a constitutional republic instead.

    Like I said, giving power to men who are selected by a democratic process.

    Trusting government requires faith that those who are selected are of some higher caliber of man who will not get greedy and use their power to enrich themselves or seek more power.

    I have no such faith, so I have no such trust.

    Maybe that makes me stupid and retarded. I dunno.

  • BYODB||


    Like I said, giving power to men who are selected by a democratic process.

    Trusting government requires faith that those who are selected are of some higher caliber of man who will not get greedy and use their power to enrich themselves or seek more power.

    So, you're just unaware of what a constitutional republic is then or haven't read up on American civics and government.

    Hint: checks and balances are there precisely because the men that are elected are fallible and power hungry. 'Democratically elected' isn't the same problem between direct democracy and a constitutional republic.

    The checks and balances inherent in the American system attempts to use that fallible and power hungry nature of man to serve as a limit as each branch is assumed to jealously guard it's own realm of power.

    That these checks and balances have largely been reduced in effectiveness expressly by progressivism and over 100 years of progressive chisels taken to the constitution was and is expected, and is the reason why the populace is meant to be empowered to be individually armed.

    By no means is it perfect but perhaps it will reassure you to know that no system yet contrived by man can be, or is, perfect.

  • sarcasmic||

    Hint: checks and balances are there precisely because the men that are elected are fallible and power hungry.

    Checks and balances have given way to deference, or what otherwise might be called professional courtesy.

    To borrow from a Heinlein book, I think the founders got one thing wrong. They didn't create an incentive to repeal shitty laws. Yeah, yeah, yeah, the court have that power, but they rarely use it. I think a better idea is to have an elected body whose only power is to repeal laws. On top of that, require 70% to pass, and only 30% to repeal.

    That would hopefully be a check on power.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    sarcasmic|8.15.18 @ 4:12PM|#
    Anarcho-anything is a childlike belief in the inherent everlasting goodness of man.
    Contrast that with a childlike belief that giving men power turns them into angels, especially if they are selected by some democratic process. That once they have power they are cured of the selfishness that poisons us mortals, and are transformed into altruists who only care for others.

    Sarcasmic's anarchist roots appear again.

  • BYODB||


    Which is why I'm not an anarchist.

    I see you say that a lot, so I assume you believe it to be true. I don't believe you're a liar or anything that's for sure.

    The problem is that a lot of the things that you say are the things that an anarchist believes. Which in this case is extra amusing given that you immediately followed the above quote with this:

    I accept that there will always be a gang of men with the last word in violence who will use that power to steal. Before long the violent thieves will call themselves government.

    ...which is the sort of thing an anarchist would say. And I'm under no illusions that plenty of 'libertarians' are really anarchists that are in denial.

    Because some form of government is inevitable, the next best thing is to try to limit what it can do.

    This, though, is something I think we'd agree on which at the end of the day is probably as good as it's going to get. Maybe it's even good enough, since the regulatory state is at the point where a little anarchy might be needed for a time.

  • sarcasmic||

    The problem is that a lot of the things that you say are the things that an anarchist believes.

    Depending on the subject I might say things that a Christian believes. Doesn't mean I have religion.

    end of the day is probably as good as it's going to get

    Yup.

  • BYODB||


    Depending on the subject I might say things that a Christian believes. Doesn't mean I have religion.

    An isolated comment in context could be explained that way, but as a trend with and without context that defense wears thin. Again, not saying you're a liar or anything. Most people don't fit into boxes, so while I'm not calling you an anarchist I'm saying you have beliefs that are in line with anarchist beliefs.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm saying you have beliefs that are in line with anarchist beliefs

    I won't deny that. I certainly don't trust government, and nor do anarchists. But not everything can be done through the private sector. Can't really have a market for courts. They need to use force. You can have competition for the last word in violence like in a market economy. Such competitions are called wars. So no, I'm definitely not an anarchist.

  • sarcasmic||

    You can can't have a competition...

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Faux libertarians who fault others for ostensible lack of libertarianism are among my favorite poorly educated, authoritarian, right-wing bigots.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Shut up bigot!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Little Jeffy! You learn to respect your elders! Now apologize to Tulpa immediately.

    Tulpa quite fairly pointed out your limited intelligence. There is nothing wrong with that.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Shut up Shitlord.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Run along Little Jeffy, is adults are very busy.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Shut up Tulpa/Shitlord.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "Trumpistas want to take crony-capitalism to the next level."

    Bullshit. Trump supporters do no support cronyism. And please just call it cronyism, because capitalism it s not.

  • ShotgunJimbo||

    Welllll...they don't think they support cronyism, and they say they don't want cronyism and drain the swamp and all the other stuff they think they want.

    Then dear leader does/supports all those things in broad daylight, and all it takes is him planting a flag in it that says "great success / great deal / win / def not cronyism" for them to look the other way or do some mental gymnastics to explain it away. It seems to be the other side of the coin of the lefties TDS.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Your perception of events is somewhat skewed. Trump's new tariffs are not designed to be long term. They are being implemented as leverage to level the o,aging field with trade abusers, like the EU and China.

    If they end up being lomg term, and the administration plays favorites, then you will have a point.

  • sarcasmic||

    Trump's new tariffs are not designed to be long term.

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    and the administration plays favorites

    Someone didn't read the article....

    " not a single application has been accepted if U.S. Steel or another domestic steelmaker had objected to its granting"

  • Mcgoo95||

    Also. No good deed goes unpunished.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Reap what you sow?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Trump supporters do no support cronyism.

    And the support in red states for cutting off their farm subsidies? Approximately zero....

  • BYODB||

    I suspect that most people have zero interest in paying the true costs of their food, as well, so ultimately a farm subsidy is a subsidy for everyone. Well, everyone that eats food anyway.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Is this what passes for economics in the discount homeschooling outlines passed out at backwater churches?

  • Dillinger||

    >>>Congress Does Nothing

    full stop.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...seemed to lack "basic due process and procedural fairness" warned Sens. Orrin Hatch (R–Utah) and Ron Wyden (D–Ore.) in their joint letter to Ross.

    I guess someone's cronies aren't getting picked.

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    Of course I would have voted for Gary Johnson in 2016, but I really think libertarians at reason are making too much of an issue of this. Delineated powers outlined in the Constitution say that the executive branch has the power to carry out laws outlined by Congress. So I don't really see any problem with beaurocracies simply carrying out the powers given to them by the Constitution— which is libertarian. This is a Republic— not a democracy— after all.

  • D-Pizzle||

    "'When they want to get ahold of me, I'll get a call at 6:30 at night," he said. "I'll try to answer their questions, but it's a one-way stream of information."'

    I call BS. Nobody at the DofC or other similar federal agency is working after 5 pm.

  • BYODB||


    I call BS. Nobody at the DofC or other similar federal agency is working after 5 pm.

    There are these things called 'time zones' and D.C. is on east coast. I suspect he doesn't live in D.C.

  • Atlas Slugged||

    I worked in Falls Church (DC suburb) for 3 years and was OFTEN at work well past 6:30pm EST. I work for the DOD.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Most dont which is the point.

  • PG23COLO||

    Trump and Wilbur Ross are in cronyism heaven, sorting out economic winners and losers.

    You get what you pay for, voters.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    MAGA!

  • Oli||

    So Trump's tariffs DID generate jobs after all! SO MUCH WINNING.

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