While a lot of states are turning blue, Ohio is one of the few states getting redder—but that is only because so many people are leaving. With the exception of Columbus, the cities in Ohio are suffering from an exodus due to a sluggish economy. Cleveland, Toledo, and Youngstown have been hit especially hard, and have been subjected to the largest population drops in the state.
When Trump decided to go to Ohio and make an ass of himself, it was because he was told he has to hold Ohio if he wants any shot of re-election next year. Despite his reason for wanting to help, there are smart and stupid ways to go about it. A smart way would be to help secure strategic investments for Ohio cities in their medical and science sectors, which is exactly how Pittsburgh and Philadelphia turned around their exodus. Conversely, a stupid way would be to hold a pointless rally at a declining plant and spend most of your time bashing a dead Senator. Is it any surprise which way Trump went?
Unfortunately, if this was just Trump’s buffoonery, I wouldn’t be writing this. The fact is that Trump isn’t just NOT helping matters in Ohio, but that he’s seemingly doing everything he can to hurt its people. Very soon, he’s going to hurt them even more.
Let’s start with what he’s done so far:
First is Ohio’s agriculture sector. Farmers in the Buckeye State have been devastated by Trump’s trade war with China. Soybean farmers, in particular, lost 75% of their soybean sales to China, which amounts to almost half a billion dollars. The GOP governor lamented the effect of Trump’s trade war on the state’s farmers.
Their suffering grew tremendously during Trump’s recent, idiotic government shutdown which halted loans, payments, and data they desperately needed. The state’s agriculture department is not as robust as California’s, which was able to pick up the slack for their farmers. The outlook is not pretty.
Second, there’s construction. $112 million dollars is expected to be taken from five Ohio planned military construction projects to fund Trump’s vanity wall. This includes a major project at Wright–Patterson Air Force Base that was expected to boost needed construction jobs.
Third, there’s the manufacturing sector. It’s hard to overstate the impact of the decline of these kinds of jobs in Ohio. These poor people might be suffering the most right now. The Lordstown factory that Trump failed to save was in a county that voted Democrat in every election since the Carter administration, but in 2016, they gave Trump a chance when he falsely promised that he would save their jobs.
Instead, he imposed tariffs. HUUUUUGE tariffs.
Trump doesn’t believe in much, but one unshakable false belief he clings to is that tariffs always help his red-state workers and hurt foreign workers. Therefore, bigger tariffs mean even bigger help for us and bigger hurt for them. Of course, Trump doesn’t understand the intricacies of the global supply chain. The moron doesn’t even understand how umbrellas work.
When Trump just suggested he would impose tariffs to punish China, he wound up driving the cost of raw material used in Ohio factories to over 50%. One such manufacturer in Cleveland lamented losing a major proposal to a Chinese factory when Trump went tariff-crazy. Once imposed, Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum cost automakers Ford and GM about $1 billion each. GM’s CEO even cited the tariffs as a reason for shutting the Lordstown plant. (Trump blamed union dues. Figure that one out.)
As bad as things are right now in Ohio, they are about to get a whole lot worse:
A confidential government report has provided President Donald Trump with a legal rationale to impose heavy new tariffs on foreign cars as soon as this spring, a prospect fiercely opposed by White House officials and congressional Republicans alarmed by its enormous economic and political stakes.
Trump is preparing massive new tariffs on foreign automobiles that will cost the US hundreds of thousands of additional U.S. jobs, particularly in the Rust Belt. The tariffs on steel on aluminum are horrid, but the auto industry employs six times as many people. The result will be catastrophic.
“The reality is auto tariffs would put Ohio into a recession,” said Dan Ujczo, a Columbus-based international trade lawyer who has been closely studying the impact of recent trade actions on Ohio companies.
Not just in Ohio.
It will take years to reverse the damage that Trump has imposed on our nation. After years of false promises and ruinous policies, Ohio has finally started to sour on Trump. Sadly, they’re in store for a lot more suffering ahead until we get rid of him.