Lying Liars Trade

“China is eating the tariffs”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

It would be easy to just say Trump is lying when he claims that China rather than Americans are paying for his tariffs and leave it at that, but this is more than that.

By continuously claiming that China is paying for his tariffs, Trump is creating an alternate reality that he must perpetuate because it will illustrate that he was lying all along if he doesn't.

He's backing himself into a corner where admitting that his trade war is causing any harm at all is to admit that everything he has ever said about it was a lie. We've already seen the White House leak to the media that they're considering passing new tax cuts to bolster the slowing economy only for Trump to contradict his own staff and say they're not considering tax cuts because the economy is already great. The Great Economy doesn't need a tax cut.

Perpetuating this alternate reality also makes it less likely that he will delay future tariffs because there's no reason not to, right? Everything is fine. Actually, everything is not just fine -- everything is "good," Trump says. It's "Good for all!"

I'm forced to wonder if the Trump White House would even agree or admit it if the economy enters recession next year. Will they admit there's a recession, or simply call it fake news?

It's not hard to me to picture Trump going to war with his own Labor and Commerce Departments when the numbers turn negative.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Will they admit there’s a recession, or simply call it fake news?

    You have to ask?

    It’s not hard to me to picture Trump going to war with his own Labor and Commerce Departments when the numbers turn negative.

    I fully expect Labor and Commerce will just do what Commerce and Justice have already done: Agree with Trump and clamp down on any internal voices that try to point out that actual reality is something else.

    So, no war.

  • muselet

    I’ve come to the conclusion that Donald Trump really and truly believes, to the very center of the screaming void that would house a normal person’s soul, every damn’ thing he tweets.

    He may only believe for as long as it takes him to type a message, but he believes. And his sociopathic lack of empathy means he can’t imagine anyone not believing.

    If (when?) the economy falters, Trump will have a nearly endless list already prepared of bad hombres to blame: The Squad, George Soros, illegal immigrants, asylees, the failing New York Times, the fake news Washington Post, Ds in Congress, sunspots, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Hillary Clinton and her emails, Robert Mueller, Peter Strzok …

    It will be up to the next administration to try to dig us out from under the consequences of the Trump Recession.

    –alopecia

    • Christopher Foxx

      I’ve come to the conclusion that Donald Trump really and truly believes, to the very center of the screaming void that would house a normal person’s soul, every damn’ thing he tweets.

      I tend to agree with you . But then I come up against the reality that someone who believes, in their soul, that they are right doesn’t feel compelled to get reassurance every damn minute. That’s the sign of someone who knows, in their soul, that they are wrong and are desperately trying to get folks to tell them they aren’t.

    • Draxiar

      You sort of touch on something that I hadn’t considered before. While presidents have a love-hate relationship with the press this “president” in particular has done quite a bit of damage to the reputation of the press. Some outlets and journalists have tarnished their own reputation no question. Still, I wonder if the next president, as a defender of the Constitution (because our current version of the president sure as shit isn’t one) has any responsibility peripheral or otherwise, to bolster trusted press outlets from the perspective of how the president interacts with them. I think they do actually. The president will change and so too will the relationship but I think part of that change will be in how the president treats the press.

      Am I making sense?

      • Christopher Foxx

        this “president” in particular has done quite a bit of damage to the reputation of the press.

        Trump’s constant whines of “fake news” whenever his infantile behavior is accurately reported has made much of his base distrust the press. But, then, they largely distrusted the legitimate press anyway because it doesn’t present the reality of the world the way they want. So the damage Trump has done there is largely a reinforcement of what was already there.

        But much of the damage to the reputation of the press is their own damn fault. Their absolute failure to do their jobs, eagerly preferring to skew “news” to spin towards a particular narrative they think will improve ratings rather than inform, has turned much of the “fourth estate” into something not much different than the latest contrived Bachelorette-style “reality” programming.

        That isn’t to excuse in the least Trump’s exacerbating the situation. Yes, he’s reinforced the distrust his base has of anything that tells them things they don’t want to believe. But the constant drumbeat of “enemies of democracy” (another example of a Republican falsely accusing others of what they themselves are doing) has affected the general public’s view.

        The next Democratic President will, undoubtedly, treat eh press with more respect. Although I expect they will continue to treat the press as an enemy (or at least as an opponent). Which, really, is how it should be in a more perfect world.

        Because the press WOULD be an antagonist to those in power. Not in a Fox news way, as a political opponent. But as a speaker of truth, who is fact checking politicians and holding their feet to the fire when they lie, obfuscate, or say something stupid.

        If they were doing their job right.

      • muselet

        You’re making all kinds of sense.

        The next president will have to be careful in his/her relationship with the press. Not to favor some outlets over others, but to restore some sort of normality.

        It will be up to a D president, though, because Rs can’t seem to understand that news outlets don’t exist to cheerlead. Healthy skepticism is seen as the equivalent of partisan advocacy by most Rs.

        This is one more reason I don’t envy the next president.

        –alopecia