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Economy

Trump tariffs another in-name-only moment for the in-name-only president

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As a man who likes the title but not the responsibilities of the office, Donald Trump has proven himself to be America’s President In-Name-Only. From the primaries to today the New York Liberal with an “R” after his name has demonstrated a lack of any core convictions as he makes policy decisions based on the need to feed his narcissistic personality.

One of the consequences of Trump’s lack of character is the frequency in which he’s forced to take action based on the rhetoric he continues to feed his dwindling base. Even though most of the promises he makes are nothing more than the politically convenient ramblings of a man who has no intention of keeping them—he bragged in a TV interview that he could change into whatever he needs to be—Trump’s never-ending need for the praise and adulation of his followers has forced him to at least give the appearance that he will keep his word.

This has given birth to a host of in-name-only legislative efforts by Mr. Trump. Some of his biggest hits on the in-name-only charts deal with two of his major campaign promises: rescinding DACA and withdrawing the US from the Paris Climate Accord.

When Trump issued his executive order rescinding DACA, he immediately teamed up with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to create an amnesty program for DREAMers. At the same time, he made a promise to reinstate DACA after six months if necessary.

In addition to statements from the White House that he never intended to rescind DACA, Trump has advocated amnesty for nearly two-million illegals (a number that was originally around 800,000). By the way, the deadline has come and gone, and DACA still exists.

When Trump announced in June that the US was withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord, he immediately committed to re-entering it under better terms. In addition to statements from members of the White House team that Trump would work on getting the US back in, Trump stated in a January TV interview with Piers Morgan that the US is ready to re-enter the Paris deal.

“The president said he is open to finding those conditions where we can remain engaged with others on what we all agree is still a challenging issue.” – Rex Tillerson on CBS’s Face the Nation

“He left the door open to re-entering at some later time if there can be a better deal for the United States.” H.R. McMaster on ABC’s This Week

Following Trump’s recent trade-war announcement that he was adding across-the-board tariffs to steel and aluminum imports, he proudly crowed that he was keeping a campaign promise on trade. Yet, when faced with an avalanche of blowback for the obviously anti-free-market policy, Trump turned this into another in-name-only moment.

On the day of the announcement, Trump immediately granted exclusions to the tariffs for Mexico and Canada—two of America’s biggest providers of imported steel—despite repeated statements from the White House indicating otherwise.

“We have made clear these will be across-the-board tariffs with no exclusions. The problem with exclusions is that they are a slippery slope. Once you start, where do you stop?” — White House, March 2 (Wall Street Journal)

“There will be no country exclusions.” — Pete Navarro, President Trump’s radical trade adviser, March 4 (CNN’s State of the Union)

“I have no reason to think he is going to change.” — Wilbur Ross, President Trump’s protectionist commerce secretary, March 4 (NBC’s Meet the Press)

As a believer in free trade, I’m ecstatic that Trump at least partially broke his promise, but it serves as the latest evidence that Trump is nothing more than an in-name-only president willing to take make-believe actions to make it appear he’s keeping his make-believe promises.

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.

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Democrats

The real reason Kamala Harris and others keep dodging on Medicare-for-All funding

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The real reason Kamala Harris and others keep dodging on Medicare-for-All funding

Arguably the first major “dumb” moment for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was when she replied to a question about paying the $32 trillion price tag associated with Medicare-for-All. She said, “You just pay for it.”

Conservatives were laughing at the response while many Independents and even some Democrats were scratching their collective heads. But she meant exactly what we said. Let’s put a pin in that for a moment and move on to an interview Kamala Harris did with CNN.

Even the Democrat-friendly CNN reporter couldn’t help but press Harris about how she plans to pay for Medicare-for-All without raising taxes on the middle class. Bernie Sanders has acknowledged he’d have to raise taxes to pay for Medicare-for-All. What strange math does Harris know that Sanders does not? Is it simply artful dodging of the question over and over again as the Senator kept calling it an “investment”? Is she just pandering, knowing darn well she’ll have to raise taxes on everyone in order to fund socialized medicine but pretending like she won’t? Or is she being absolutely serious?

I’m going with that. She’s saying what she means. In essence, she’s saying what AOC said. Harris is just going to have the U.S. government pay for it even if tax dollars won’t cover it.

At this point one might be thinking that both Harris and Ocasio-Cortez are delusional. If that were the case, I wouldn’t be too worried. But they’re not delusional, at least not to the point that they don’t really know what they’re insinuating by saying the government is going to “invest” in Medicare-for-All and we’re just going to pay for it. There’s only one way to do this without drastic tax increases. It’s called Modern Monetary Theory and AOC has been on board with the disastrous concept since before she was elected. Now, it seems Harris is going to invoke the same methodology to pay for her version of Medicare-for-All and whatever else she has up her sleeve.

In essence, Modern Monetary Theory erases the fear of budget deficits and skyrocketing national debt by printing money. And more money. And again. Rinse. Repeat.

It’s the precursor for hyperinflation, though its proponents claim otherwise. They’ll tell you we’re already running trillion dollar deficits and nothing bad is happening, so why not keep going? Why not run five trillion dollar deficits? Or more? The government and the Fed have the power to keep printing as much money as they want, and as long as the U.S. Dollar is the world reserve currency, there’s really no way for hyperinflation to set in.

But it will. There’s no possible way to avoid it once the world takes note because they’ll instantly seek other avenues to replace the Dollar. That includes OPEC and the designation of the petrodollar being shifted. Nobody wants to rely on a currency that is being devalued by its own government. They’ll bail. And when they do, hyperinflation will set in.

When radical progressive politicians give strange responses about how they’re going to pay for their huge projects, take them at their word when they say they’ll just pay for it. They have a plan in mind that’s more dangerous than anything our economy has faced.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Democrats

Socialist revolt: Sanders campaign staff union ‘fighting for $15’… for themselves

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Sanders campaign staff union fighting for 15 for themselves

Senator Bernie Sanders has marched with McDonald’s employees. He’s called on Walmart and other large corporations to pay their employees a “living wage.” He’s pushed legislation to make the national minimum wage $15 per hour. But as it turns out, he’s not only underpaying his own staff, but his leadership team is using the same arguments against the union that businesses have used against Sanders’s own rhetoric.

The Sanders campaign issued a statement Thursday from campaign manager Faiz Shakir. [Emphasis added]: “We know our campaign offers wages and benefits competitive with other campaigns, as is shown by the latest fundraising reports. Every member of the campaign, from the candidate on down, joined this movement in order to defeat Donald Trump and transform America. Bernie Sanders is the most pro-worker and pro-labor candidate running for president. We have tremendous staff who are working hard. Bernie and I both strongly believe in the sanctity of the collective bargaining process and we will not deviate from our commitment to it.”

According to union members, many on the staff are working as much as 60 hours per week, which brings their hourly compensation well below $15 per hour. Yet the work they do out in weather conditions, talking to people about policies, and memorizing said policies is arguably more skill-intensive than the entry level jobs the campaign says deserves to be paid higher.

The real minimum wage should be zero

In a free market economy, businesses negotiate deals in order to acquire the resources they need, including human resources. This is why setting an arbitrary minimum wage is philosophically ludicrous, especially at the national level. Businesses and employees should be allowed free and open negotiations. If a job is worth $5 per hour and there are people willing to do the work for that wage, so be it.

Then, there’s the real-world challenges with a national minimum wage that Sanders and other Democrats never tackle. For a small-town store in West Virginia, $15 per hour may be enough to force it to shut down. Meanwhile, it’s hard to get anyone in a city like San Francisco to do any challenging work for $15 per hour. When the national government sets mandates for states based on a universal criteria, it’s bound to fail. The United States is too economically diverse when it comes to labor for Washington DC to get involved.

Then, of course, there’s the non-partisan CBO’s report that raising the minimum wage would kill 1.3 million jobs.

Socialist politicians rarely have the stomach to turn their policy proposals towards themselves. But they’re not interested in equality for all. They want to be part of the ruling elite while the rest of us are equally miserable.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Conservatism

A trillion dollar deficit is much more dangerous than the GOP acknowledges

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A trillion dollar deficit is much more dangerous than the GOP acknowledges

Spending. It’s the thing that helped me make my decision to leave the GOP a few years ago as there seemed to be very little difference between them and the Democrats when it came to fiscal responsibility. Where we spend the money is the only big deviation, but both sides of the political aisle have an addiction to spend more than the country has available. In the past, this was dangerous because of the crushing force of national debt that will eventually bring about an economic collapse. Today, the risk is much, much greater and within immediate striking distance.

What a trillion-dollar budget deficit represents today is an avenue through which Modern Monetary Theory could actually be realized in the United States. Those who are familiar with MMT may still be as complacent about it as I was a year ago; “It’ll never happen, not in America.” But as Democrats push Medicare-for-All, the Green New Deal, open borders, state-funded education, reparations, and outright socialism, there’s only one conclusion that any economist or political pundit can come to: If the new thinking of the Democratic Party gets a foothold and initiates some of their plans, then MMT is the only possible way to make it happen.

They don’t even need to initiate all of them. Just one or two will be enough for catastrophe.

In other words, they’re policy proposals are already writing checks the U.S. can’t cash, so every scenario in which a partial implementation of these policies takes place can only happen through MMT. For those who don’t want to read up on it, MMT is essentially the practice of printing the cash to pay the bills. Proponents say it will be different this time from every other failed attempt at MMT because America is responsible enough and too crucial to the world economy for it to cause hyperinflation. Reading the delusional excuses for promoting MMT reveals an uncanny ability to deny reality while simultaneously suppressing common sense. It’s the type of thing that only progressive economic scholars can truly comprehend, and that should terrify you.

By moving the budget deficit into the ten-digit arena, we’ve broken a threshold that gives MMT legs. Whether it’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez saying, “You just pay for it,” or Elizabeth Warren constantly saying the rich will be taxed until it’s paid for despite the basic arithmetic that demonstrates this is impossible, they’ll all latch onto the notion that if we can spend a trillion dollars in one year that we don’t have, why can’t we spend two? Ten? Fifty?

On one hand, I want to do whatever it takes to convince Republicans they need to do what they campaign to do: cut spending. It’s not as easy as just pulling the plug on frivolous programs, services, agencies, and whole departments… except that it truly is that easy. It’s not popular. Some say it’s political suicide. But considering it’s never been tried in the modern era (no real cuts have been made to spending in decades), now is the time to be bold and do what’s right for the nation. The rise of the internet in general and social media in particular gives conservatives an outlet through which they can educate the masses about the need to make cuts. It’s something we plan on doing as part of the American Conservative Movement.

But on the other hand, one thing that can’t happen in trying to convince Republicans they’re doing it wrong by allowing them to lose. The Democrats are now more than the lesser of two evils. They’re dangerous. The plans they will implement are existential threats to America. Sadly, many of them know this. The Justice Democrats, who are driving the leftward lurch within the Democratic Party, are shockingly aware of what they’re trying to accomplish. Destroying and rebuilding America in their image is the end goal. That image is not a pretty one, even to the Justice Democrats, but things are rarely pretty when radicals get their hands on it.

Modern Monetary Theory will be implemented if the Democrats get full control. Unfortunately, Republicans aren’t helping fight it as long as they’re pushing such untenable budget deficits. It’s time for a heavy dose of fiscal conservatism.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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