Showing posts with label tariff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tariff. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Words of the Weasel Part 51

Someone invented a new and opaque term for a tax on imports to the country.  This sort of tax has been called a tariff since at least the American Revolution, and "The Tariff" funded the federal government down until the invention of the income tax in the very early 20th century.  The size of the tariff was a serious political issue from the Revolution right on.
   We enacted a very stiff tariff,  the Smoot Hawley tariff right after Great Depression I hit.  Most historians and economists tell us that Smoot Hawley made the Great Depression worse, and prolonged it.  Needless to say, "tariff" became something of a bad word  most places.  The exception was in union circles, the unions like tariffs.
   There is a push to put in a tariff again.  Only since "tariff" is now a bad word, they call it a "Border Adjustment Tax".  And the newsies let them get away with it. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Words of the Weasel Part 45

"Border Tax".  A euphemism for tariff.  I listened to some talking head on Fox News spend five minutes explaining why Trump's proposed "border tax" was not a tariff.  Tariffs have been a hot subject thru out American history.  And the history books all use the word tariff.  We are doing our children a disservice to introduce a new  buzz phrase for an old old concept.
   Could it be that a century of free trade agitation has made people think that tariff's are bad for them?
   In real life, tariffs are good for domestic makers of stuff, for obvious reasons.  Tariffs are bad for everyone else because they have to pay more for stuff.  Everyone else is more people than the makers (both labor and company) of any one kind of stuff.  Since this is a democracy, it is reasonable to support free trade since more people benefit from a free trade regime. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

TPP Trans Pacific Pact?

Obama is negotiating some kinda deal with all the countries of East Asia EXCEPT China.  We think the deal might have some tariff reduction in it.  It would be nice to know how much, on what (everything? just left handed smoke shifters?  Agricultural goods? who knows?)   We hear talk that it will include global warming stuff, pay and benefits to workers, safety standards, all sorts of lefty greeny union stuff.  Obama is on TV saying it will be good for us.
  Maybe it will, maybe it won't, but since we don't have a clue as to what is in it or might be in it, who knows?
   After a lotta wheeling and dealing with the other countries, they might reach a deal.  At that point, it's a treaty IF the Senate votes it thru.  What the Senate wants to do is amend the deal, changing it unilaterally, and then adopt it.  Trouble is, the other counties will back off, because the deal changes will doubtless be bad for them.  To prevent Senatorial meddling that breaks the deal, the notion of "fast track authority" was created.  Congress passes a special law that forbids amendments and requires a straight up and down vote on the treaty, no  funny business.   As a rule, without "fast track"  a treaty isn't going anywhere.
    The US is the biggest market in the world, the biggest economy in the world, and very competitive. Usually trade deals help us by increasing our exports.  Other countries do trade deals with us 'cause they want access to the enormous US market.  We do trade deals with them 'cause we want to sell our exports there.  
  On the other hand, Obama is the worst negotiator in the world. Look at how the ayatollahs have jerked him around.  He might be able to screw up a trade deal to the point that it looses money for America.