The Truth About Tariffs

864F1F25-F8A5-4935-9CB4-43016F41AFA9“It’s simple economics, Max,” Jarred said. “When the president imposes tariffs on Mexico and other countries, those countries pay the price, economically speaking.”

“The president shouldn’t be unilaterally imposing tariffs, Jarred,” Max said. “According to the U.S. Constitution, it’s Congress alone that has the power to impose tariffs.”

“That’s not entirely true,” Jarred said. “In 1977, The International Emergency Economic Powers Act granted the president the right to impose trade restrictions for reasons of national security, specifically for ‘an unusual and extraordinary threat with respect to which a national emergency has been declared.’”

“So are you saying,” Max said, “that what is happening at our southern border qualifies as a ‘national security threat’ in the context of that amorphous law?”

“Yes, it’s a legitimate national emergency,” Jarred said.

“That’s just ludicrous,” Max said. “If it is an emergency, which it’s not, it’s one that Trump created in his own mind and by his own actions. He’s just trying to fulfill an ill-conceived campaign promise to satisfy his base. He’s chasing windmills.”

“No,” Jarred said. “He’s punishing other countries for defying America. He’s saving our country and our workers.”

“You’re such a lemming,” Max said. “All his stupid tariffs are going to accomplish is to raise the prices American have to pay for imported goods. It’s not going to make domestic goods any less expensive and it’s not going to save any American jobs. That’s naïve. With Trump at the helm, Americans are stuck on shit’s creek without a paddle.”


Written for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (economics), Your Daily Word Prompt (amorphous), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (ludicrous), Ragtag Daily Prompt (chase), and Word of the Day Challenge (paddle).

No Wonder

60F00C78-DD72-4A79-930D-2E638D965902It’s no wonder that the people associated with Donald Trump are defying congressional subpoenas. I mean why not? They apparently are facing no penalties and no negative consequences for refusing to comply with those subpoenas.

But former Trump cronies, from Paul Manafort to Michael Flynn to Michael Cohen, are either in jail or will be going to jail for testifying before Congress. While those who are refusing to respond to subpoenas are walking around scot-free. They are being rewarded for not appearing.

It appears that Congress, the Legislative Branch of our federal government, which is supposed to be a co-equal branch of government (along with the Judicial Branch) and which is supposed to have oversight responsibility over the Executive Branch, is a toothless tiger. What can Congress do when the president, the Justice Department, the Treasury Department, and everyone else in the Trump administration chooses to ignore Congress? Write sternly-worded letters? Ooh!

Oh wait. I almost forgot that Donald Trump, Jr. has agreed to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee. But Junior apparently got to dictate the terms of his appearance before the Republican controlled committee. He set the time limit to no more than two to four hours and is willing to address a limited number of questions focusing on just five or six specific topics.

That’s like a defendant in a murder trial agreeing to testify only if his appearance is limited to a few hours max and the prosecution cannot ask him any questions about the murder. Besides, Junior takes after his father and will just lie and lie. And why not? No consequences.

It’s time for Congress to impeach the bastard.

JusJoJan — So Help Me God

82cab2ad-b8f2-4519-bb50-c409fe129a8dToday’s word for Linda G. Hill’s Just Jot It January prompt is “testify” and it was suggested by Dan Antion over at No Facilities.

What I will never be able to understand is how anyone who is summoned to testify before Congress or who is subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury and who is under oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help him (or her) God can lie.

The Wrong Direction

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It was a very rainy Sunday where we live, so my wife and I searched for a lightweight movie to watch and we finally settled on “The American President,” starring Michael Douglas and Annette Benning.

The movie was entertaining and enjoyable in a rainy Sunday afternoon kind of way. But what struck me most about this 1995 movie is that the Michael Douglas’ character, the President, was trying to push gun control legislation through Congress. And Annette Benning’s character, a lobbyist, was trying to get legislation passed to reduce carbon emission levels in order to combat global warming and climate change.

So we are, almost a quarter of a century later, and our Congress has not only not made any progress in either of these critical issues, but since Donald Trump was elected President, we’re actually moving in the wrong direction.

Our lawmakers should be ashamed of themselves.

One-Liner Wednesday — Vote

F288B686-B838-4A93-A189-125455455BE6Next Tuesday is Election Day in the United States. Without exaggeration, I can say that this is the most important midterm election in our lifetimes, in that the fate of our American democracy and way of life is at stake.

I never thought I’d see happen what has happened to this country since Donald Trump became president. He has nearly torn the very fabric of America apart. And the only option we have to stop him from tearing it to shreds is to go out and vote on or before next Tuesday. Vote to elect people to Congress who will enable it function, as the Constitution requires, as an appropriate check and balance on Trump, something the Republican-led Congress has refused to do.

So if we care for this country, we must vote. We can’t afford to sit on the sidelines and depend upon others. Voting is our civic responsibility, our duty.

But, hey, I’m just an old man. I may not be alive a decade from now, so while it breaks my heart to witness the events of the past two years, I won’t suffer the brunt of the damage Trump has done and, if left unchecked, will continue to do.

But my children and grandchildren will. So I implore you millennials (and post-millennials who are old enough to vote) — you whose future is on the line — to stand up and be counted. You need to be Supermen and Superwomen. I know it’s a corny cliche, but you need to fight for truth, justice, and the American way.bece7a21-d392-4b3d-8a71-72e966adcc5f.jpeg


Written for Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt.