Tariffs are the greatest! Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs. It’s as simple as that - and everybody’s talking! Remember, we are the “piggy bank” that’s being robbed. All will be Great!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2018
See, the only way you could describe protectionist tariffs as "the greatest" is if you don't understand a single thing about trade and this tweet from the "president" clearly illustrates that he does not.
We are not a "piggy bank" that's being "robbed." That's not how anything works.
We have a trade deficit because American consumers buy more than we produce, and that's not going to change. Even during times of economic hardship, our trade deficit dips because Americans have less money to spend, but it doesn't evaporate. It can't. We do not and will never again possess a domestic production capacity that can meet our demands.
Now, tariffs clearly are not "the greatest" because the Trump regime is reportedly drafting plans to bail out American agriculture and farmers who've taken a hit from Trump's trade war.
The Trump administration plans to offer billions of dollars in aid to farmers hit by tariffs on their goods, an emergency bailout intended to ease the pain caused by Trump's escalating trade war in key electoral states, people briefed on the plan told CNBC.
The total aid amount is reportedly about $12 billion.
The announcement could come as soon as Tuesday afternoon, hours after the president proclaimed on Twitter that "Tariffs are the greatest!"
If tariffs are so great and wonderful, why do we need bailouts?
It's not entirely clear how the White House is proposing that we pay for bailing out the agriculture industry, but it appears they want to use authority and funding granted by the annual farm bill to do it. The only problem is this year's farm bill hasn't passed through Congress yet and it's possible it may not.
You may recall that House Republicans failed to pass their version of the farm bill because of an internal squabble between the Freedom Caucus and relatively moderate members of the GOP. The Senate version of the bill has been caught up in committee for months and it's still lingering there at this time.
Congress will be leaving Washington for summer recess this week and they will not return until the second week of September. When they return, they'll have less than 30 days to fund the federal government to avoid a shutdown when fiscal 2019 begins at midnight on October 1st.
If Trump ultimately gets his way and Congress passes a bill that allows him to bail out the industry, it could be a pyrrhic victory as subsiding domestic industries is exactly what Trump has accused other countries of doing. Bailing out the agriculture industry will perpetuate Trump's trade war and, before you know it, temporary subsidies will become permanent subsidies.
Republicans will spend billions to fix a problem of their own making before they'll spend another dime on things we actually need like health care and education.
If you want free money from the government, you might want to consider becoming a farmer. You won't have to actually grow anything or even work on your farm to receive subsidies.