That’ll show ’em!
Donald Trump believes deeply and unwaveringly that he can personally produce economic prosperity by coercively micromanaging markets to create his preferred outcomes. In other words, he is a thoroughgoing statist. He is proving this yet again with regard to his tariff obsession.
China has responded to Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods by reducing its purchases of American crops. Trump is now promising to compensate American farmers for their losses by buying their crops with money (allegedly) raised from the tariffs, and then to give those crops away as humanitarian aid.
Trump said on Twitter on Friday that the U.S. will use its money from the tariffs to buy American agricultural products “in larger amounts than China ever did” and send it to “poor & starving countries” for humanitarian aid. The president indicated potential purchases of $15 billion from farmers.
In other words, Trump has effectively raised taxes on Americans — for that is the real result of his tariffs — and is going to use the massive money raised from taxing Americans to pay off other Americans who cannot make a living selling their products on the global market because of his trade policies. This is economic redistribution, plain and simple, which is to say progressive economics. And remember that Trump himself created the conditions that “demanded” this redistribution in the first place.
To top matters off, he is trying to save face in this boondoggle by promising to send the government-purchased crops to poor countries, which plays into the mentality that increased humanitarian aid, paid for with a tax increase on Americans, is a proper function of the U.S. Federal Government — in a nation with the biggest national debt in world history.
Trump’s Twitter explanation of this: “Our farmers will do better, faster and starving nations can now be helped.” By saying “starving nations can now be helped,” he is implying that helping them is what the U.S. government ought to be doing, but has not been doing, thus supporting the progressive redistributionist premise that foreign aid is an essential responsibility of the governments of rich nations, i.e., that the governments of rich nations ought to be coercively imposing “foreign aid taxes” on their own citizens.
As usual, progressives use the coercive power of the state to create problems which they then propose to solve by means of asserting even more arbitrary state power. Go ahead, Trumpists, explain to me how this is not pure statism of the most reprehensible and historically debunked kind.
No formerly great republic was ever suckered by its ruling class more embarrassingly than Americans were suckered in 2016 by the Washington elite.