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Tweet of the day…..
View related content: Carpe Diem
…. is from Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) – “Liberty Man” – in response to clueless “Tariff Man”:
I am a Liberty Man. Trade is not raid. Voluntary exchanges make Americans wealthier. @POTUS’s tariffs, which create barriers to exchange, are paid for by Americans. Taxing Americans to steer our decisions is social engineering that reduces our economic power and makes us poorer. https://t.co/j2rsiN4l8n
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) December 4, 2018
HT: Eric Boehm writing for Reason –“As ‘Tariff Man’ Attacks Stock Market, Justin Amash’s ‘Liberty Man’ Is the Hero We Need“:
Jokes about “Tariff Man” aside, Tuesday’s tweets demonstrate that Trump still doesn’t understand that it is American consumers and businesses that pay his tariffs—not China, not Chinese exporters, and not people or business that “come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation,” whatever the president means by that. This fundamental misunderstanding of economics, combined with his reckless announcement of the detente that wasn’t, scared investors and continues to undermine his administration’s efforts at reaching a real trade deal with China.
Update: From today’s Wall Street Journal editorial “I Am a Tariff Man“:
Then on Tuesday Mr. Trump belly-flopped into the debate, as he is wont to do. In a Twitter barrage, the President expressed optimism about his weekend meeting and the chances of a deal. But he added that “remember . . . I am a Tariff Man. When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so. It will always be the best way to max out our economic power.” All that was missing was a leotard with a T on the chest and a cape.
Markets apparently didn’t see the super hero humor and promptly sold off. Perhaps they know that tariffs are taxes on commerce, and when you tax something you get less of it. Mr. T’s unveiling also hit on the day after the yield curve on some Treasurys began to invert—which can mean trouble. The economy is still strong enough to survive some uncertainty, but Tariff Man shouldn’t go to war with the laws of economics. He’ll lose.