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Economy

The T in Trump stands for tariffs and trade wars

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During the 2016 GOP primaries, we were repeatedly reminded by the Trump cult about how, as a successful businessman, the New York liberal was the person America needed to “fix” an economy recovering from the financial meltdown of 2008.

I was never all that impressed with Trump’s track record of so-called business success, beginning with a family inheritance and a $1 million loan from his wealthy father, Trump “succeeded” by having more business failures than successes—including four bankruptcies—while achieving the self-proclaimed status as “the king of debt.”

If anything, Trump was exhibit A for what NOT to do to fix an economy. In fact, it was the business practices of real estate investors like him that led to the 2008 crash in the first place.

Yeah, I can hear the cult now telling me about the record-breaking stock market. While the market has climbed to all-time highs, it’s riding a bull market that began in 2009 under Obama. I guess that means Barry gets some of the credit too, right?

I can also hear the cult praising Trump for lower taxes and new jobs after the recently passed tax reform bill. They’re only half right. While individual rates are lower for many, there’s no way to predict how lower corporate tax rates will translate into new jobs; however, without a correlating reduction in spending, Trump’s tax plan will explode the country’s already massive debt.

But hey, maybe he can make America bankruptcy #5.

As a man who routinely sabotages his own agenda, Trump’s recently announced trade war could bring any progress he might have crashing down. On Monday, Trump announced YUGE tariffs on imported solar panels and residential washing machines in order to protect select US manufacturers of these products and to save jobs.

Tariffs have historically done more harm than good, however, with higher prices to consumers and LOST jobs being the result.

For example, when the Bush administration imposed tariffs on steel in 2002, prices for products using steel rose 40%, and there were additional price increases by domestic producers due to reduced competition. Bush’s tariff “saved” 1700 jobs but at a cost of approximately $800,000 each. Additionally, multiple tens of thousands of jobs were indirectly lost.

By the way, trade-wars can also hit agriculture big time according to Sen. Chuck Grassley because “if you take action against a particular country, there’s always a chance for retaliation. A lot of times, that retaliation is in regard to agriculture. And that’s very scary.”

Following Trump’s announcement, Sen. Ben Sasse reminded his GOP colleagues that tariffs are really just another tax on consumers, saying, “Moms and dads shopping on a budget for a new washing machine will pay for this—not big companies.”

The T in Trump stands for tariffs and trade-wars, but it stands for one more thing—a train wreck for the American economy.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Economy

What the partial government shutdown reveals about American’s finances

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What the partial government shutdown reveals about Americans finances

The partial government shutdown has been going on for nearly a month, with no end in sight. About 800000 government workers, according to politicians, are essentially getting paid not to work, but their paychecks won’t come until after the partial shutdown is over. Politicians are using this plight to tug at the general public’s heartstrings in the direction of their agenda. However, every politician and almost every media outlet is ignoring truth, to avoid offending people.

The truth of the matter is: if a person doesn’t have enough money saved up for such a time as this, they suck with finances. If a family is woefully unprepared for an emergency situation, they suck with money. These are objective facts, even Biblical. However, I do not write this to shame those 800000 government workers. After all, the crocodile tears of politicians would be wholly ineffective, if the average American could not see the horror is a month’s wage deferred. American’s finances are in disarray to put it mildly. NBC News reported how majority of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

Though the parameters of what constitutes a livable wage varies greatly according to where you live, these staggering statistics show just how few of us have the means to make ends meet. Depending on where they live, even people who earn $100k per year say they’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, and 59 percent of people making that kind of money admitted to carrying debt. Of those 59 percent, 56 percent say they’re heavily in debt.

And that emergency stash of six month’s pay that experts keep saying we should put away? For more than half of us, it’s just not feasible. According to this survey, 56 percent of us can barely save $100 per month. All things considered, when you break it all down, most of us are just one misfortune away from financial oblivion.

Yet despite the woeful unpreparedness of most Americans to finance an emergency, Americans spend. We have the latest IPhone, subscribe to Amazon Prime, have $200 doorbells on our homes, dine at fast casual restaurants, and drink Starbucks. And despite mandatory financial literacy classes in many schools, we push young people to pursue a six figure education. A recent survey done by YCharts found that nearly two-thirds of millennials aged 22 to 37 believed that they would have seven-figure wealth by the age of 45 or sooner. While seemingly outlandish, this study presented a more optimistic view of the generation’s finances than one might expect. Though with similar spending habits as Gen Xers, it’s overoptimistic to think this generation doesn’t overspend.

We often joke about Congress not balancing the budget like normal people run their finances. Yet in a country and culture of fiscal irresponsibility, it should be unsurprising, though disappointing, that there’s 21 trillion dollars worth of debt.


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Economy

A reminder to GOP lawmakers from Justin Amash

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A reminder to GOP lawmakers from Justin Amash

When Representative Justin Amash (R-MI) hadn’t been in Washington DC for very long when he said this amazing quote. At the time, many weren’t paying much attention. After all, many Republicans say similar things when they get to DC, but over time they become jaded, corrupted, or start to get used to being in the DC Country Club.

Amash is different. He has remained consistent with his message and views throughout his career. Now, it’s time for other Republicans to remember what they were sent to Washington DC to do in the first place. Defense of the Constitution is their top priority as it’s the best protection against a government that wants desperately to control every aspect of our lives. From healthcare to the internet to how we use our energy, government intervention has become so commonplace, it’s often hard to see the fabric of our nation behind all the layers of bureaucracy that has been placed on top of it.

“I follow a set of principles, I follow the Constitution. And that’s what I base my votes on. Limited government, economic freedom and individual liberty.”

If more Republicans followed the same principles and didn’t just use them in campaign speeches, we may actually be able to return liberties that have been taken and remove layers of government that have been formed unnecessarily.


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Economy

Larry Elder, Sean Hannity discuss the shutdown

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Larry Elder Sean Hannity discuss the shutdown

Radio host Larry Elder joined Sean Hannity on Fox News tonight to break down the government shutdown. Elder pointed out that President Obama was being urged by advisers, including Rahm Emmanuel, to abandon Obamacare, but Nancy Pelosi urged him to go big or go home.

Later, they discussed the Speaker of the House’s refusal to meet with Angel Moms. Elder asked what she would say to them. Hannity said she should have given them condolences for their losses.

My Take

The talking heads on Fox News keep repeating the same narratives, but it’s not working. This is an example of mainstream media playing to the base by repeating the narrative for cheers from the crowd but failing to present better information the Republican base can use to argue for the border wall.

Many on the right, particularly in media, are failing to make a compelling case for the wall. They need to adjust their talking points if they really want their audience to help sell the idea to the rest of America.


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