Why We Must Hang with Trump on Tariffs

RUSH: It's amazing. The Drive-By Media now understands the concept of tax cuts and tax increases, but it took tariffs and a tariff war with the ChiComs for the Drive-Bys to understand it. I'm being ironic and a little sarcastic. They know it and understand it. It's just that since the Republicans own mantra of tax cuts, since that is a Republican owned belief... Democrats don't believe in cutting taxes; Republicans do, and the Democrats know it. So whenever the concept of tax cuts comes up, the Democrats and the media have to destroy it, as they did the latest round of Trump tax cuts.

Two years ago, they started... Well, a year and a half ago, they did story after story lying after lying after lying about how the tax cuts didn't mean anything. They weren't gonna get you any additional money. They were gonna cost you money (because they lie about it). But since tariffs are not thought of as tax cuts or tax increases period (at least in the vernacular), then the Drive-Bys are free to tell the truth about them. It's just a teachable moment. It's a instructive moment to see how the Drive-Bys deal with things.

Because the bottom line is, anything and everything that can harm Republicans, they will do it. This whole Mueller thing? Do you realize there's nothing -- and I'm blue in the face over this, but this illustrates the point. This was never an investigation. This has been a political operation from before it began. This entire thing has been a feint. It has been an effort to make people think that it was a deep investigation involving the greatest of intelligence agencies trying to track down data to prove that Donald Trump colluded with Russia.

In fact, it's never been anything but a purely political operation, and the reason... A lot of people are starting to come to this belief now. I'm glad to see it. You know, people who for two years have been analyzing this as a legal matter, as an investigative/counterintelligence matter -- and have been analyzing it as such and having breaking it down and trying to explain it to people as such. They have finally, after enough time has passed, figured out that there was nothing about this other than the criminal justice system has now been weaponized by the American left.

It's been politicized and corrupted, and that's why there are all these investigations to go to find out what really happened, the inspector general and Barr's own investigation. Because the left, the Washington establishment, whatever you want to call them, politicize the DOJ. They politicize the intelligence apparatus. They politicized the FBI, and they weaponized all these things as weapons to be used against a Republican president and his party. Well, it's the same thing here when you have tax cuts.

That's something that is specifically tied to Republicans; therefore, it's gotta be destroyed. The whole concept of tax cuts has to be destroyed. "They don't work! They're a lie. Your taxes don't really get cut. You don't end up with any more money. The Republicans are doing what they always do," they say, "they are lying to you." But now, here come tariffs on China and the ChiComs have responded with tariffs on us. Now, all of a sudden, the Drive-Bys can't wait to tell you the truth about this. Two hours or so ago, the ChiComs announced that they're going to increase tariffs on about $60 billion worth of U.S. goods.

That news is the latest excuse to drive the stock market down through the floor. Never mind it's gonna have a minimal effect on the economy, given that $60 billion is such a small number. The ChiComs are also threatening to start cashing in some of their Treasuries and cashing out, but they will never do that. Well, I don't want to say "never," but that's just a threat. It is time to hang with Trump on this. He's absolutely doing the right thing.

It's why I spent two days last week informing everybody of what the Trump presidency is really all about, and it's reordering this world order established after World War II that basically had us getting our pockets picked because we won, because we were the lone superpower. So we had to go out of our way to prove we didn't threaten anybody. We had to go out of our way to prove we wouldn't to want conquer anybody .We had to go out of our way to prove we were the nice guys, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

It led to a series of unfair economic and trade arrangements. And Trump has been talking about the unfairness of Chinese trade since the 1990s, by the way, so he's totally consistent on this. But the ChiComs have decided to increase tariffs on about $60 billion worth of U.S. goods. It's a small number when compared to the totality of the United States GDP. The reason the number is so low is because the ChiComs import so few U.S. goods.

I mean, they're putting tariffs on goods they import, but they import so few and so little that it really is an insignificant number. It is more a statement, a political statement. It's the ChiComs standing up and saying, "Oh, yeah? Oh, yeah? You're gonna try to change this arrangement so that it's not unfair to you? Fine. Well, we'll hit you back." It's a game of will right now that's going on. We, on the other hand -- and this will express the difference. We import close to $400 billion worth of ChiCom products. They import an infinitesimally small percentage of that.

Anyway, up until the time that Trump raised the tariffs on the ChiComs last year, China had... (I know numbers are hard to follow on radio, but do your best.) China had a 10% tariff on all U.S. goods while our tariff on Chinese goods was 4%. Now, a lot of people think that these tariffs are brand-new, that there weren't any tariffs until Trump came along. No! Folks, it's one of my points last week. It has been an unfair arrangement for decades.

China had a 10% tariff on all U.S. goods while our tariff on Chinese goods was 4%. It was like that for decades. There was no outrage from the Drive-By Media. There was no outrage from the Washington establishment because they're the ones that put the deal together. Donald Trump is the one who noticed it. Trump did not start this again. Even after Trump increased the tariff on Chinese goods to 10%, our tariffs were still lower than what the ChiComs had on our goods.

It's not like Trump has started a trade war. As we've said for months now, folks, Trump is just finally addressing the trade war China has been waging on us for decades. What else would you call it? They import very little of what we produce, and what they do import, they slap massive tariffs on. Meanwhile, we import gobs of stuff from them. We don't have hardly any tariffs (until now) on any of that that, and it led to a $500 billion annual trade deficit with the ChiComs.

This is what Trump means when he says, "Our stupid leaders were giving them $500 billion a year." This is where the figure comes from, and we set that up as part of the world order, and it was the same way we've dealt with member nations in NATO and in other international economic and trade agreements. We agreed to take it on the chin. Look, I know you're shouting at me, "Why would anybody do this?" You have to understand the... Not just the liberal mind.

You have to understand the establishment and elite mind, and by that, I mean the people who believe they run the country. Many of them are not elected. They are just titans of this or that, many of them in the State Department. It's all rooted in the idea that it just isn't stable if the world only has one superpower, even if it's us, because in these people's minds we are not necessarily the good guys. And that's really the root of it. You may have forgotten this.

Madeleine Albright, when she was the secretary of state for Slick Willie, when the Berlin Wall came down, she fretted over it. She was very distressed. You know why? Because with the Soviet Union imploding, it left the United States as the single superpower in the world, and that made the world (in their stupid view) unstable, because if you don't have the concept the United States is the good guys, then you can see the world that way.

We're the only superpower, and therefore the world is unstable -- and in their minds, the world was unstable because we become an instant threat because of our singular superpower status. But if nobody's out there presenting the United States as the solution to the world's problems, if nobody's out there presenting the United States as the good guys -- and they don't. I remember during the Obama administration, the ChiComs would send trade negotiators over, and the trade negotiators from the ChiComs would say things like:

"You've got no business telling us how to run our country. Look at your civil rights abuses. You had slavery! You had this; you had that," and the Obama negotiators agreed! They said, "We have no right to enforce a moral penalty or moral behavior on the ChiComs. We have no right to enforce a fair deal dealing with China because we do have our own baggage." That was not exclusive to Obama. That is the attitude of the (whatever you gonna call it) administrative state, the Washington establishment.

By the way, to give you further evidence of this, I went back (because I knew I had seen this) to the New York Times, October 17th, 2016. This is one of the reasons why Kathryn and I wrote the Rush Revere time-travel adventures with great Americans series, incredible Americans. The headline of this New York Times story (it's one of their big Sunday news features) is: "Why We Still Care about America's Founders." Why we still care? As though maybe some people don't and it's...?

Listen to the way it starts: "There’s a lot to dislike about the founding fathers and the war they and others fought for American independence. The stirring assertion that 'all men are created equal' did not, of course, apply to 500,000 black slaves... Nor was it valid for Native Americans, women or indigents. Those who remained loyal to the British crown, and even fence-straddlers skeptical of armed rebellion, were often subjected to dreadful treatment, including public shaming," this is what the founders did, "torture, exile and execution.

"In a defensive war waged for liberty and to secure basic rights, the Americans invaded Canada in an effort to win by force of arms what could not be won by negotiation..." This is just three years ago, 2-1/2 years ago, the New York Times has a story that basically confirms what I have been trying to get people to believe for the longest time. The American left does not like this country, does not believe that any of these original sins that are part of our founding can ever be fixed, can never be corrected, because they are permanent.

Which is what then gives them, in their minds, the right and the requirement to essentially attack this country and to transform it, to remake it. So now we have this socialist movement of young Millennials, and it's all rooted in the fact that the American founding was so deeply flawed and dishonest. This headline would be more accurate if it said, "Why Do We Still Care About America's Founders?" Because they get savaged in this story.

It's a long-ass story. I had to staple it together, it's so many pages. So the idea that America is flawed, that America is an unjust superpower, that America is responsible for an unstable world as the lone superpower, explains why we give away the store. Which explains why we let the U.N. tell us what to do and pick our back pocket. It's why so many American presidents, whatever the U.N. says about it -- climate change or getting out of South Africa -- we're right in there agreeing with it because we have to accept the premise that we are not the good guys.

We have to accept the premise that we have our flaws; we have no right to preach to anybody else about anything -- and that is absurd. There isn't a single human being alive that hasn't made mistakes. You have kids. You've raised them. Are you disqualified as an instructor, as a mentor because of the mistakes you've made in your earlier life? You tell your kids the right way to behave. You tell them not to steal. You tell 'em not to do this be with not to do that. You tell 'em how to behave, you raise them the way you think is right, to be the best you can be and your kids say, "Well, I know you got drunk on a keg of beer when you were 17. You got no right to preach to me."

That's essentially what's happening. The idea that we at one time may have had some flaws -- never mind that they've been fixed -- disqualifies us for any kind of economic or moral leadership. Well, Trump doesn't believe any of this. Trump thinks this is crazy. Why should the United States, as the world's lone superpower, basically punish ourselves, particularly if the effort is oriented around showing people we don't mean 'em any harm and we just want them to like us? That's what Trump is trying to fix in addition to very specific unfairness of the trade arrangements we have with the ChiComs.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here we have Madeleine Albright. Leave that up a minute. Leave that up. (singing along with it) Doesn't sound like a video game to me. I don't play video games. I don't know what a video game sounds like. Anyway, they're playing this tune... There is vocal in it, but that's not the point. It's Black Light and it's about the Dream Syndicate.

All right. All right. I want to get to this Madeleine Albright quote. This story is back in 1998. "The Clinton administration," she said, "is striving to expand the number of countries that are democratic and have free-market systems. We very much don't want to be out there by ourselves as the organizer and the only superpower. People don't believe that. They think we just want to be king of the hill, but we do not."

Well, why the hell not?

If we're the good guys, why don't we want to be the king of the hill? If we are here as the solution to the world's problems -- if we're the good guys, if we are the beacon of light and freedom and all of this -- why do we not want to be king of the hill? Trump wants to be king of the hill, but he doesn't want to pound other people into the sand to get there. He wants -- and he's been very clear about this. He thinks that every president, prime minister, premier around the world in free societies, ought to be doing what he's doing: Trying to make their countries the best they can be.

And if everybody's doing this in unison, then everybody benefits. But in the Madeleine Albright world where everything's a zero-sum game, we can't become king of the hill unless somebody gets squashed. It's the way the Democrats look at the economy: "If somebody earns a lot, somebody has to lose a lot in order for the winner to get his." It's not the way the works. And Trump looks at this and says this is absolute stupidity. We're the good guys. We save the world. We promote liberty and freedom. Why wouldn't we want to continue to grow? Why wouldn't we want to stand for those values and help spread them around?

That's what he's essentially trying to do. That's what his presidency is.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I want to just finish this tariff business and explanation by quoting a Steve Moore piece. Steve Moore has been head of the Club for Growth. He has been a Wall Street Journal editor, op-ed contributor, editorial board member. He's got his creds, got his credentials in economics. Trump the nominated in for the Fed board and left said, "Nope, nope. We don't want you. You're too conservative, you're too right-wing, you're too smart, you're too controversial.

"The Federal Reserve Board is the closest thing this country has to knighthood and we're not gonna knight you," stupid stuff like that. He's got an article in the Hill today. He said, "Start with the basic facts: The average tariff that we imposed on China when Trump entered the White House was about 4%. China’s tariffs on us were about 10%, and, even when including the 10% tariff that Trump first imposed on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports in 2018, our tariffs were still lower than theirs.

"So the playing field is not level and is especially tilted against us given that Beijing’s non-tariff barriers in China can make it prohibitively expensive to do business there. We have an open market competing against the world’s second-largest economy whose doors are slammed shut," and this has been accepted by American leadership for decades. There's also another element to this. "What do we have to do to make sure they don't nuke us? (sniffles) What do we have to do to make sure they don't drop any bombs us? What do we have to do to make sure they don't attack us?"

Where did that get us on 9/11, for example? This kind of defensive, "Show them we don't mean them any harm. We're so rich, we can afford these imbalances. We're so rich, we can afford the U.N. to pick our pocket. Yeah, we're so rich we have a $22 national debt. Yeah, we're so rich." But this has been the attitude, not just of Republicans but Democrats as well. It's the Washington attitiude. It's the State Department. It's the striped pants. It's the white shoe law firm attitude.

It's the establishment attitude about the United States' role in the world. And Trump, of course, has no experience in the Washington way of the world. He's a citizen. He looks at this. He does business. He does business in China with his real estate developments. He can't understand it. It's unfair, why is American leadership continuing to allow these kinds of penalties to be imposed on American companies and individuals? He's been complaining about this for 20 or more years, folks, so it's nothing new -- and it's not anti-Chinese bias.

It's simply a pro-American bias, and it's an average, ordinary American not understanding why all of these arrangements that penalize America have been agreed to and sustained. Now, Steve Moore mentions of "nontariff barriers." China is notorious for that. For instance, they keep out a lot of U.S. products by simply declaring some products unsafe. They just do it. Could be paper clips, it could be thumbtacks, whatever. Just declare the product unsafe and say, "Your market is the closed to us."

There are a lot of other tactics that ChiComs use to protect their market, and we don't. Our market is for the consumer. Our market is freedom and freedom of choice and let people choose whatever they want and let competition reign supreme. I'll give you an example of competition reigning supreme. For those of you who have suffered or are worried about or know somebody's who's had AFib, atrial fibrillation, there was a company out there called Kardia, founded by some people that used to be at Google.

It's a device that you buy for 99 bucks, and it goes with an app on your iPhone. And you put your index finger and your middle finger of both hands on the pad of this device that connects your phone via Bluetooth for 30 seconds, and it is a one-lead EKG. It will tell you whether or not you're in sinus rhythm or perhaps in AFib. And they were selling these things like hotcakes. Then Apple came along last September, and they introduced the same thing in the Apple watch.

You didn't need a companion part. Just put your... If you bought the new Apple Watch, the Series 4, put your text finger on the digital crown. For those of you in Rio Linda, that'd be the knob. On a traditional watch, you would use that to wind it. You don't wind the Apple Watch, but it still has a knob. They call at it the digital crown. Put your finger on there for 30 seconds. It reads your heartbeat, tells you whether you're in sinus rhythm or not. It also records your regular beats and so forth, sends you alerts.

So what are the Kardia people gonna do? Oh, my gosh. Now Apple's come out with this thing, and you don't need a secondary device; it all happens on one device, the watch. So Kardia today announced a brand-new device that is a six-lead EKG. If you go to the hospital to get an EKG and they hook you up, it's 12 to 13 leads. They put that stuff all over your chest and your legs and stick 'em on there. That's a full-fledged EKG.

The original Kardia, the original Apple Watch are one-lead -- and they're good! Don't misunderstand. I mean, doctors accept them. You can send PDF files of your trace, your EKG from either Kardia or the Apple Watch. A doctor will accept them. Both these devices have saved people's lives. So Kardia says, "Okay. We need to up the game." So they've come out with a new device that is a six-lead EKG, which will give the user even more data, more refined data.

And as they say, provide more early indication you could be tending or trending toward irregular heartbeats or what have you. It's the same looking device except you now put your thumbs on the two pads and touch it to your left knee or your left ankle and it's a six lead. It just happened today, this is why the top of my mind. This is a classic example of the competition. Now, all these devices are made in China. The Apple Watch is made in China. The phone is made in China. They're designed in America.

The parts, many of the parts are made in America, but they're assembled in China. I don't know about the Kardia device, but I'm guessing it is, and all of this happens so the American consumer has a plethora of choice. The more choice, the more competition, the lower the price. ChiComs don't have an open market like this. The Chinese people don't have anywhere near this kind of choice, 'cause they're communist country. They are a command and control economy run by the Chinese Communist Party.

One of the ways they compete is to keep the United States out of their market and the goods that they do allow in, there are tariffs placed on them that make them prohibitively expensive for the Chinese consumer and Trump is looking at this and saying, "It's unfair, it makes no sense and why have we agreed to this?" So that's what this argument is all about, and nobody has taken the ChiComs on this way, and so the ChiComs are responding threatening to walk away.

They're the lending to pull out of the Treasury market. They own a tremendous amount of our debt. We have about $22 trillion in national debt; the ChiComs own a significant amount of it. They have been buying Treasury bonds like you would not believe. And they're not alone. That's how we finance the debt. So the ChiComs threatening to cash in their T-bills, that's supposed to scare us. That's supposed to scare Trump, but he's not gonna be scared this way. This is gonna be a long time.

Larry Kudlow was on TV over the weekend, one of Trump's economic advisers, had to admit that in the short haul, this may cause some price increases for the American consumer. They will be negligible, but they will happen. They're not gonna lie about this, but in the long term this is the only decent and fair thing to do.

This article originally appeared on Rush Limbaugh

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