Donald Trump made his moronic Mexico border wall a focal point in his presidential campaign, promising that Mexico would pay for it even after Mexico’s current and former presidents repeatedly said they wouldn’t. Now that he’s officially POTUS, he’s faced with having to deliver on his ridiculous “policies” – and he’s already failing miserably.
To make up for the fact that Mexico will NOT pay for Trump’s border wall, Trump is forced to punish taxpayers by implementing a 20% tariff on Mexico – a strategy that has been ripped apart by both political parties and is leaving many of Trump’s own voters disgusted. One of the best criticisms of Trump’s idiotic plan comes from Nobel Award-winning economist Paul Krugman, who blasted Trump over Twitter on Thursday after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tried to brush the fiasco off by saying the tariffs were “just a thought.” Krugman’s first reaction was perfect:
“Oh my God. These are spoiled children playing with loaded guns.”
Then Krugman tried to educate a completely undeserving and unprepared Trump administration on basic economics:
“International trade policy is governed by rules — originally the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade [GATT], now folded into the WTO [World Trade Organization]. A key part of these rules is that countries agree NOT to just impose new tariffs or import quotas unilaterally. So if the US just goes ahead and imposes a 20 percent tariff on Mexico, it has in effect repudiated the whole system (which it built!).”
Krugman went off on a brilliant rant where he slammed “Agent Orange” (his personal nickname for Trump) for being so ignorant and putting America in such a horrific position. He wrote:
“The Mexican tariff incident is truly amazing, because it shows dysfunctional, ignorance, and incompetence at multiple levels. The motivation for Spicer’s initial remarks seems to be that Trump is feeling disrespected (again): people are making fun of him (again) because he promised that Mexico would pay for the wall, and it won’t. So someone had the bright idea of claiming that a tariff will do it imagining that the House plan for a border tax adjustment as part of corporate tax reform is the same thing. But it isn’t.
For one thing, that adjustment can’t be country-specific; also, it isn’t really just like a tariff. But wait, it gets worse. Tariffs aren’t paid by the exporter; it depends a bit on the details, but it’s basically a tax on domestic consumers. Wait, it gets worse still: the claim that everyone else taxes imports is wrong too. A VAT [Value-added tax] is NOT like a tariff. It’s a sales tax that is neutral in its effects on trade. Now, the proposed border tax adjustment is a bit different. It might in fact act like a combined export subsidy and import tariff. But for that very reason, it might well be considered WTO-illegal because it’s not just doing what others do. And even if it somehow doesn’t bring down the world trade system, its effects would be dissipated by a stronger dollar.
So let’s sum up: Trump was probably feeling low, so aides told him they had an answer to his critics but they didn’t understand either the economics or the world trade rules, and didn’t realize how explosive the whole thing was. Now they’re trying to walk it back, looking even more ridiculous in the process. How are we going to survive years of this?”
We couldn’t have said it any better. Trump obviously does not care about America’s history of working in cooperation with other countries on tariffs and trade policies, and he has no interest in learning as he threatens a system that was put in place for a reason.
Krugman ended his rant with one more epic burn, retweeting Time’s economic correspondent Neil Irwin’s thoughts:
“I remember when officials rolling out a policy had spent more time thinking through the policy than I, a reporter, had.”
Those were the good old days.
Featured image via Twitter and Pool / Getty Images