After dropping over 700 points at one point yesterday following China’s announcement they would raise tariffs on U.S. imports in retaliation for Trump’s plan to raise tariffs on China imports, the Dow eventually closed down 617 points — the second-largest one-day drop in 2019 so far.
In response, Trump fired off a series of tweets that demonstrated his ignorance of how trade and economics works by repeating his provably false claim that US consumers don’t need to worry about paying his tariffs because China will pay them. Ironically, in the same tweet he simultaneously admitted tariffs are paid by consumers by suggesting they can be avoided if “you buy from a non-Tariffed Country.”
…completely avoided if you buy from a non-Tariffed Country, or you buy the product inside the USA (the best idea). That’s Zero Tariffs. Many Tariffed companies will be leaving China for Vietnam and other such countries in Asia. That’s why China wants to make a deal so badly!…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2019
The simple fact is Trump’s trade war has created an economic hell since he launched it in January 2018 with tariffs on solar panels and washing machines.
Despite claims to the contrary, tariffs are hitting consumers hard. How hard? According to a recent estimate by the National Taxpayer’s Union Foundation, the annual cost of Trump’s tariffs will be $41.65 billion next year — exceeding the taxes Americans will pay for Obamacare ($34.6 billion).
The cost to consumers was confirmed over the weekend by Trump’s economic advisor Larry Kudlow in an appearance on FOX News Sunday. When host Chris Wallace pointed out how US consumers and businesses pay the tariffs, Kudlow replied, “Yes, to some extent. Yes, I don’t disagree with that.”
I wonder how long before Kudlow is thrown under the bus and gets canned.
Considering this economic reality, you’d think some of the so-called conservatives in Congress would at the very least call on Trump to do the job they’re supposed to do under the Constitution and end the trade war. Alas, in the Age of Trump, where Trumplicans and Trumpservatives now run the Party of Raegan, there’s no reason think anyone will stand up to Trump.
In fact, if you’re a spineless coward Republican running for re-election in 2020, you’ll not only support and defend Trump, you’ll go so far as to belittle and make light of those suffering from his trade war.
Sounding like a classic Washington elitist out of touch with his constituency, Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted over the weekend that he stands behind Trump and his trade war because “when it comes to China, we must be willing to accept short-term pain for long-term gain.”
When it comes to China, we must be willing to accept short term pain for long term gain.
Stick to your guns Mr. President. We’re behind you!
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) May 10, 2019
Another elitist running for re-election is Sen. Tom Cotton. Yesterday, in an appearance on CBS This Morning, he drew a parallel between economic suffering and soldiers killed in battle, and essentially called those suffering from the trade war unpatriotic if they didn’t support it.
"There will be some sacrifice on the part of Americans, I grant you that. But also that sacrifice is pretty minimal compared to the sacrifices that our soldiers make overseas that are fallen heroes or laid to rest," @SenTomCotton on trade war with China pic.twitter.com/lqlEZtaeBs
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) May 13, 2019
I did find one bright light over the weekend in a tweet from Rep. Justin Amash where he pointed out how Trump’s love of tariffs means he “loves collecting big taxes on Americans.”
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) May 12, 2019
Talk like that is one reason I support Amash’s possible run for president in 2020.
The cost of Trump’s trade war is no longer hidden, but according to Trump and the GOP the suffering is minimal, so shut up! Besides, with an election coming up, nobody will do anything to stop it anyway.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His politically incorrect and always “right” columns are also featured on NOQReport.com.
His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.