For those who don’t have the time–or the stomach–to keep up with the news every day, it’s tempting to use this blog as a daily “chaos update” of all the troubling revelations, scandals, and upheavals that have come to light in the past 24 hours. There are things to report almost every day that in any other administration would be front-page news for weeks, but now can slide by almost unnoticed amid such a rancid torrent of indignities. Yesterday would include:
- McMaster might be on his way out…because he won’t grovel to Trump.
- Sessions continues to catch abuse…because he doesn’t grovel enough to Trump.
- The White House can’t fill open positions…because people don’t want to grovel to Trump.
- Former Trump staff can’t find jobs…because they the did too much groveling to Trump.
However, yesterday’s biggest news was the huge 25% tariff Trump wanted to put on imports of steel and aluminum. According to reports, Trump decided to announce this tariff without much consultation, and without much preparation. He just called an industry meeting, made the announcement, and his panicked staff rushed around trying to figure out what had just happened.
Trump thinks that the tariff will magically bring back to life domestic aluminum and steel industries that have been in mortal decline for decades, which is a ridiculously oversimplified and wrong notion of how trade and the economy work. But don’t take my word for it. Take instead the reaction of the stock market, which promptly fell 500 points. Analysts know that Trump’s disaster of a policy will simply raise the price of imports, which will raise the cost of thousands of everyday items, from aluminum cans to automobiles.
Financial markets have a simple maxim: tariffs produce recessions. To be fair, a tariff may not actually create a full blown recession, but a tariff has the predictable effect of decreasing economic growth and lowering gross domestic product. Despite Trump’s hyperbolic claims about the health of the economy, it won’t take much to reduce the growth of our economy, especially if gas prices edge higher and healthcare costs continue to rise. Most importantly, if consumers lose confidence in their ability to weather a job loss, borrow money, or save money, they may just stop spending as much, which will drive corporate earnings lower and put an even bigger damper on the economy.
Domestic steel companies are not going to start hiring back workers to the glorious union jobs of the 60s and 70s. But your next six-pack of beer might cost a bit more than it used to. Trump has no idea what he’s doing, but he’s convinced he’s a genius–which is the most dangerous person that can ever hold a leadership position. So far, the pro-free-trade Republicans have been quiet, so we can’t expect Congress to do anything to stop Trump’s stupid policy. And we can include our own John Faso in that rotten basket.
Faso is spending his energy trying to make sure that whatever counter-measures our state comes up with to mitigate the GOP Tax Scam (like allowing individuals to donate the amount of their state and local tax liability to a state-run charity and thus make the amount deductible on their Federal returns) will fail, because the billionaires who own him want to bankrupt the states and force the end of state-run entitlement programs.
Faso is the living embodiment of the attitude that if you’re not wealthy, you don’t deserve any safety net or protection by your government, but if you’re wealthy, you deserve the full protection of the government because you’re just so damned important. Faso has it the wrong way around. So let’s repeal and replace him. Maybe then we can at least have a Rep who will fight back against Trump’s stupid and destructive policies. Resist…