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As progressive tariffs continue, China scores biggest trade surplus in history

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When Senators Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders agree on an economic policy, most Republicans object. They were objecting when the Democratic Senators pushed tariffs against China a couple of years ago because they knew it was a bad idea. Unfortunately, sound advice from fiscal conservatives couldn’t break through President Trump’s bubble. Now, most Republicans believe in the progressive concept of “fair trade” instead of the conservative notion of “free trade.”

The saddest part is most Republicans who support the President’s tariffs don’t even realize he stole the idea from the progressive Senators in the first place. They’re so locked into tribal bickering and party politics that they don’t take a moment to question anything the President does. This isn’t the first time conservatives have abandoned sound principles for the sake of party unity. People who still claim to be conservatives were silent when the President pushed for his bump stock ban. They started nodding their heads in sheepish agreement as Republican lawmakers and the President started echoing leftist calls for red flag gun laws that betray the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Amendments. They call for the wall at all costs, and while I definitely agree we need a wall, I would not accept breaching Natural Rights to property through the use of eminent domain, which President Trump used gleefully before he was elected President.

Now, as we’re seeing results of China’s economy rebounding with a record trade surplus in spite of the ineffective tariffs the President has imposed, two groups of people continue to pay the fees to the United States government. It’s not China. Their companies are simply charging more to compensate. That means the money being fed to the United States government is coming from American businesses and consumers.

Republicans understood this when they opposed Schumer’s and Sanders’ Chinese tariff proposals, but since the President adopted them, suddenly tariffs are a good idea.

There’s a reason trade deficit is not a true indicator of economic success. As the economy gets better, companies in the country tend to import more. Trying to reverse the trade deficit is both illogical and counterproductive. We should be focused on cutting regulations and costs to American businesses, not raising them as tariffs invariably do. This is why the free trade market-driven economy works so well in the 21st century. The only benefit of tariffs is driving more revenue paid by Americans into government coffers.

Notice how the economy rebounded when the President and Capitol Hill cut taxes. The reaction was strong and nearly universal. You could see more jobs being created, more wages being earned, and more companies wanting to do their business in America instead of abroad. How many jobs have come back to America since the President started his tariff money-grab nearly a year ago? The benefits have been negligible. In fact, one can argue that the tariffs have started taking away many of the gains that came from cutting taxes in the first place.

The President demonstrated his total misunderstanding of the benefits and detriments to tariffs during the GOP primary season. Now, the same lawmakers who opposed tariffs then have either remained silent or expressed tepid optimism about them. This optimism isn’t based on a new understanding of what tariffs do. It’s based solely on the fear that they would get ousted like Jeff Flake or Bob Corker if they challenge the President’s policies.

The positives that came from the tax cuts are systematically being reversed by the negatives of tariffs. Conservatives used to understand this. Now, they’re sticking their collective heads in the sand in hopes when they pull them out, the tariffs will be gone.

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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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