Trump tariffs, taxes and trade wars making 1800s protectionism great again

When Donald Trump announced YUGE tariffs on solar panels and residential washing machines earlier this year, he officially launched a new global trade war. Under the guise of “America First,” Trump’s used his Nationalist Populist philosophy to advance big government elitism that harkens back to Barack Obama’s approach to economic policy where Washington picks the winners and losers.

Unfortunately, Trump was just getting started. Last week, the New York liberal with an “R” after his name announced the next round of attacks on the free market–an across-the-board tariff of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

Facing a heavy backlash from conservatives like Sens. Ben Sasse and Mike Lee, Trump assured America that “trade wars are good, and easy to win.” He went on to say that “the steel industry is in bad shape” even though over 70 percent of the steel used in America comes from America.

Trump’s billionaire Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, appeared on CNBC to do some damage control, and he assured consumers that the tariffs will have a “trivial” impact on prices because it only amounts to a few pennies on cans of soup and soda, and a few hundred dollars on a new car. While these amounts may be insignificant to a man worth over ten figures, to the average American family a few hundred dollars is anything but “trivial.”

Ross continued in his defense of steel tariffs by pointing out that it’s been done before, and he’s right. Most recently, tariffs on steel were tried by George W. Bush with disastrous results. Prices for products using steel rose 40 percent as the economy lost tens of thousands of jobs while saving 1700 steelworker jobs at a cost of approximately $800,000 each.

Countries affected by the steel tariff aren’t sitting idly by. For example, the European Union responded to Trump by announcing plans to target imports of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Levi Straus jeans, and whiskey producers from the U.S. Not to worry though. Trump’s “winning” response to the EU was a threat to add a Tax on cars imported from Europe which, of course, will make autos even more expensive.

Yeah, that’ll show ’em who’s boss!

Tariff is simply another word for “tax,” and when you add Trump’s interest in raising the gas tax and creating a new internet sales tax to pay for his big government agenda, you can kiss that extra money in your paycheck from the recent tax deal good-bye.

Trump promised to build a wall on our southern border to keep out illegals. Instead, he’s building a wall made of tariffs, taxes and a trade war around the US economy to keep out free trade as he makes 1800s protectionism great again.


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His politically incorrect and always “right” columns are featured on,, and

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21 comments for “Trump tariffs, taxes and trade wars making 1800s protectionism great again

  1. EX-GOPJohnt✓Fᵉᵈᵉʳᵃˡ ᶦˢᵗ
    March 5, 2018 at 4:25 AM

    I was booed from the cheap seats when I rejected a binary choice, but said if I did my vote would have went to Hillary. (We have to get over the liberal foil Trumplicans use appealing to our deep seated tribal instincts). One of my many reasons was the utter insanity of some of the proposals Trump suggested. Trump called for up to 45% tariffs and that would result in a worldwide economic collapse. Nothing the dreaded Hillary proposed would have been as catastrophic. I, often challenged the binary sheep to chase their tails in a binary debate and offered to take the Hillary position.
    Yes, Trumps so bad and so risky even though I would never vote for Hillary a game theory case could have been made..and was. I’m leaving out many other factors like losing the battle for the soul of the party, policies advanced with an R that would have been fought, losing the next generation and staining what “conservative” is, the pendulum swinging resulting in more liberal judges for what I assessed was a short term rental by someone that would not bring the most important big wins: such as a real repeal, tackling the debt. Opposing Trump is the only way to ensure his power is muted. He doesn’t have a mandate. Never forget this election cycle folks. Never! Enabling the GOP at this point is collaborating with an enemy.No, I don’t have a quick fix. No, I don’t have any guarantee other than we will reach the tipping point as long as the R/D paradigm exists as is. Make the distinction. Be part of the solution and give no quarter to the collaborators. Battle lines are drawn and if that means a two front war to take out 1/2 the problem so be it. Pain cannot be avoided.

  2. Education Matters
    March 5, 2018 at 5:54 AM

    Tariffs are like a blockade we impose upon ourselves. Why would we do to ourselves in peace time what we would do to enemies in times of war? It makes no sense. No, Mr. President, trade wars are not easy to win if the aggregate is a YUGE loss. How ’bout those LG jobs in TN? Was that a win for the community or what!

  3. darkstar58
    March 5, 2018 at 7:11 AM

    US Steel production is at its highest ever, while it is an industry making about as much profit as ever as well. It also produces most of the Steel we use in the US already, and the only reason jobs are being lost in this industry is because people are being replaced with machines that make production more efficient and economical

    Is it really “protectionism” when Big Govt decides we need to attack the Free Market to punish villains like Canada, Brazil and the EU (also known as “our allies”) and give an already thriving industry more of Americans hard earned money?

    To me that seems like nothing more than good old fashion redistribution of wealth to benifit a chosen industry solely because said industry asked Big Govt for it. So Big Govt obliged, saying that Americans should be forced to buy the American products at higher prices so the American industry wouldn’t have to complete in that nasty Free Market stuff – which is, you know, basically Socialism

    And its a plan developed and fought for by life-long Democrat (who turned Republican just to work for Trump,) Wilbur Ross

    So the life-long East Coast Liberal Trump is implementing the life-long Democrat Wilber Ross’ Socialist economic policies …and a chunk of so called “Conservatives” are cheering it on and defending it as brilliant and needed

    That is where we are today; Socialism being the new “Conservativism” just to protect and honor their new god, Trump

  4. Dale McNamee
    March 5, 2018 at 12:49 PM

    Anybody here remember the “Nixon/Ford/Carter” years and the “protection” of the auto and steel industries against “unfair trade practices” and “dumping” ?

    The results were high prices, inflation, and lousy quality… In particular, the autos that came out of Detroit…

    Trump and his moronic advisers ( remember his phrase about surrounding himself with “the best people” ? ) have never learned the lessons or have ignored the lessons of the past and won’t do any better this time…

  5. Charlie Hall
    March 5, 2018 at 11:20 PM

    The US Steel industry refused to invest in the new steelmaking technologies developed after World War II that made steelmaking both safer and more efficient. Then it screamed “unfair competition” when the modernized efficient steelmakers in Europe and Japan beat the pants off of them in fair competition.

    Both Reagan and Bush 43 tried to “protect” the steel industry. You accurately described the impact of Bush’s actions but when Reagan gave US Steel tax breaks to help insulate it against foreign competition, it didn’t invest in modernized plants but rather took the money to buy an oil company. Protection for badly managed businesses is rewarding bad behavior.

    I am a Democrat but I agree with you 100% on this one. Protectionism is bad policy and always has been. I regret that some of my own party members do not understand that even though the Democratic Party has a much longer history of supporting free trade (sine 1876, to be exact) than does the Republican Party (only since Eisenhower). Keep fighting this and you will get support from me and many likeminded Dems even though we may disagree on most other issues.

  6. Charlie Hall
    March 5, 2018 at 11:22 PM

    It is not socialism; Trump is not having taxpayers buy steel plants. But protection of businesses from competition is the worst form of corporate welfare. Basically, Trump is a welfare pimp.

  7. TheRight1961
    March 5, 2018 at 11:22 PM

    Until just now I had not read the full text of the “trade wars are easy to win” tweet. It’s an embarrassment to have our president saying such things. He actually thinks that if we buy more from a country than they buy from us then we are “down”, and by not trading at all we have improved the situation, since we were “down”, and not trading would make us “even”, I guess. Never mind that they are buying products produced here, and taking away those buyers lowers the demand for those products, putting downward pressure on the price our producers get (and maybe taking enough buyers out of the picture that some products can’t be sold). And never mind that we are buying their products freely because they are good products for a good price, and stopping the trade removes the ability to buy those low cost products, so we will pay more to someone else, maybe to another country, or maybe to our own producers, but if it is our own producers, a small segment will reap the benefit while everyone pays the higher price.

    By this argument we could improve our lives by cutting off all trade, since then we would be even — no trade imbalance! Wonderful! But our standard of living would be so much lower. Make poverty great again!

    Trump often says that as a businessman he buys the cheaper materials imported from somewhere else. He seems to think it is advantageous to do that. Surely he realizes that if it is advantageous for him then it is advantageous for many others. But somehow it is better to take that advantage away from himself and everyone else who currently enjoys it, so that higher cost US producers can produce those things for us and we can all pay more. Doesn’t he realize that there are some things that we do produce better and for an overall better price and value than other countries? Wouldn’t it make sense to produce lots of those things and ship them around the world, and let the other countries produce lots of the things that they can make cheaper and better than us?

  8. TheRight1961
    March 5, 2018 at 11:33 PM

    This is a semantic quibble, but the definition of socialism is kind of slippery nowadays. I actually prefer the older, clear definition that you refer to, but anymore the word is also used to describe a heavy handed regime of regulations and laws that has the purpose of redistributing wealth.

  9. EX-GOPJohnt✓Fᵉᵈᵉʳᵃˡ ᶦˢᵗ
    March 6, 2018 at 12:15 AM

    Trade Deficits Don’t Matter – Unless Caused by Government …

  10. EX-GOPJohnt✓Fᵉᵈᵉʳᵃˡ ᶦˢᵗ
    March 6, 2018 at 12:31 AM

    The only thing the R and D’s stand for is more government..with various talking points on how to use it for our good of course.

  11. rreese
    March 6, 2018 at 5:55 AM

    A rally call to those of us who were left with no choice but third party, and to bear the scoffing and ridicule from the R’s.

    Exactly right – tariffs are a horribly bad idea.

  12. canino
    March 6, 2018 at 7:05 AM

    Donald Trump needs to learn about the Smoot-Hawley tariffs from 1930. The tariffs decimated our economy and ruined the GOP for a generation, paving the way for FDR and his New Deal. And the New Deal is responsible for a great many of America’s current problems.

    One of my biggest fears is that Trump could very well wind up setting the stage for someone even worse to come in, like Bush II for Obama. The economy is already running hot and if Trump gets in all these tariffs and trade restrictions, he could blow it all up like Hoover did. If he does that, capitalism and free enterprise in the US would be effectively dead, as the socialists on the far-left will point to the failure to appeal to the masses and take over.

  13. StridentConservative
    March 6, 2018 at 11:45 AM

    “One of my biggest fears is that Trump could very well wind up setting the stage for someone even worse to come in…”

    Unfortunately, my friend, that’s EXACTLY what’s going to happen.

  14. Charlie Hall
    March 6, 2018 at 1:40 PM

    Providing help to those who are unable to help themselves is a form of wealth redistribution and has precedent in medieval Judaism and Christianity, early modern England, and Colonial America. That wasn’t really socialism — the term had not been invented yet!

    This tariff craziness is NOT that. It is wealth redistribution to the politically powerful from the less powerful. Liberals and Conservatives need to unite to stop it. I am on board.

  15. TheRight1961
    March 6, 2018 at 6:16 PM

    That was a terrific article. We need better economic education. I’m tired of all this talk about countries “making so much money” off of us, as though we don’t benefit from buying the stuff! Yes, the problem is the government policies. If the buying, selling, borrowing and lending is done by people just living their lives without government overspending or distorting the money supply, the deficits and surpluses will reflect the desires and choices of people who are making the best “deal” they can for themselves.

  16. Education Matters
    March 6, 2018 at 8:49 PM

    That charity wasnt statism either. it was voluntary on the basis of religious or moral motivations, not confiscation at the barrel of a gun ( or point of a sword). The liberal canard of equality between compulsion and charity wears thin. It wasn’t that the term hadn’t been invented. But, forced participation in communal schemes had been employed in colinial America early on. The result was famine. I forget if it was Plymouth or Jamestown.

  17. EX-GOPJohnt✓Fᵉᵈᵉʳᵃˡ ᶦˢᵗ
    March 6, 2018 at 11:12 PM

    They ridicule and don’t want us as reminders of their capitulation. I’ll stand with you and my other allies against the uniparty and FOR liberty. They can join us and be welcomed as prodigal sons if and when our principles align.

  18. EX-GOPJohnt✓Fᵉᵈᵉʳᵃˡ ᶦˢᵗ
    March 6, 2018 at 11:35 PM

    Well said. Yes, it’s a frustrating environment. It took me many years to partially educate my union democrat father. Well, maybe the credit should go to Ted Cruz videos and the rally we went to. Now, he’s Republican and I’m not 🙂

  19. canino
    March 7, 2018 at 6:44 AM

    We’re already seeing the Democrats rub out Republicans repeatedly in the special elections since November, 2017. Now they’re making gains in hard red states like Alabama and Texas. Because Trump insists on being a leftist on most issues, he can’t unify the right and only causes more infighting. We had one good shot at hopefully saving this country in the primaries, and the voters picked the biggest leftist of them all. America lost once he and Hillary became the nominees.

  20. TheRight1961
    March 7, 2018 at 5:02 PM

    That is funny. My father was always a Republican and still is. Although he objects to Trump, he voted for him as “way better than Hillary”. I didn’t vote for him, and have been a “former Republican” since the Indiana Primary.

  21. canino
    March 15, 2018 at 10:23 AM

    Is it possible for you to approve my comment in the Pennsylvania article that was marked as spam, or is that a Disqus thing?

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