Scott Tibbs

Siding with Communist China?

By Scott Tibbs, July 5, 2023

Either Donald Trump does not understand how taxes work - that costs put on businesses are ultimately passed down to the consumer - or he is just outright lying about opposition to tariffs on goods from China. Given that Trump was a businessman for decades before he ever ran for office, it is obviously the latter. As someone who has built skyscrapers and run casinos, Trump knows that businesses do not have a money tree. Taxes and burdensome regulations need to be paid for, so they are passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices, reduced quantity or reduced quality.

For Trump to claim that people opposing increasing import taxes are "siding with Communist China" is a hypocritical and dishonest smear. This is not about siding with a Communist nation. This is about the government not imposing additional costs on American consumers. This has been the consistent position of economic conservatives (Trump is not one of them) for generations.

Are there legitimate arguments to be made that government should interfere in the market by increasing taxes on foreign goods and favoring American-made goods? If China is subsidizing its own businesses or doing other things to put American companies at an unfair disadvantage, then that is a policy argument worth having. But Trump, as usual, goes to the most simplistic argument possible to describe his opponents as not wrong, but morally corrupt for opposing him on policy. Trump is behaving exactly like Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi when he speaks like this. Unlike economic conservatives, Trump is the one running to the left on economic policy.

Trump is a former President of these United States, and may well be our next President. This is why he owes it to the American people to be precise in his policy arguments, rather than resorting to the Obama/Biden/Pelosi handbook of demonizing opponents over policy differences. This may benefit Trump politically in the short term, but it does not benefit the country or the Republican Party, and it certainly does not benefit our bitterly divided political culture. This shallow dishonesty is why Trump is morally unfit to serve a second term as President.

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