The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, June 03, 2019


For at least four decades, both Democrat and GOP administrations and congresses have done what they do best. They confront a politically difficult situation or policy in which our country is being ill-served by the status quo. They decide that the political fallout is just too threatening, and therefore, kick the can down the road, avoiding the fallout but at the same time, doing absolutely nothing to remedy the situation. For decades, that has been the situation with international trade. The United States has tended to allow imports with relatively low tariffs and fees while at the same time allowing trading partners in Europe, South America, Asia, and Central America to levy large tariffs and generally restrict imports from the United States. Whether the country was led by Bill Clinton or George Bush or Barack Obama, it was always the same. That changed with Donald Trump.

If you were to believe the establishment and their trained hamsters in the media, Trump is about to wreck our economy by suggesting that China reduce its theft of intellectual property, abide by international currency regulations, and implement fair trade practices. They argue that Trump is being a bully (to China!?) and that a "trade war" is bad for both parties. They're correct on the last point, but Trump (to his credit) decided that kicking the can down the road would stop with him. I suspect that cooler heads will prevail, that both sides will recognize the economic consequences of a long term trade war and decide on some face-saving moves that re-establish something better than the existing status quo. But even if that doesn't happen, it's appropriate to reduce our dependency on Chinese products, to diversify our supply chain, and to bring back at least a small percentage of overseas manufacturing to the United States. Trump is not wrong to want to do this. Kudos for the courage to act.

And then, there's tariffs threatened against Mexico in an effort to have that country stop the flow of central American immigrants who cross Mexico's south border illegally, transit the entire country (South to North) and then land in the United States where they game the system and claim "asylum."

Democrats have refused to modify our immigration laws to discourage asylum gaming, but at the same time criticize the proposed tariffs as a "tax" on the American consumer. That's rich. Right now, American taxpayers pay billions upon billions of dollars each year in social services, border protection, legal services, and hundreds of other costs, all associated with the Democrats' refusal to modify (or even negotiate on) current immigration laws.

It appears that Donald Trump's threat of tariffs has gotten Mexico's attention. Meetings are scheduled this week to see of a remedy that would have Mexico stem the tide of illegal immigrants at its southern border (Mexico's immigration laws are far more strict than ours) can be worked out.

It will be interesting to watch the Democrat's reaction to all of this. It will help all of us determine whether the Dems want to stop the growing numbers of illegal immigrants or whether they truly do become the party of open borders.