Billionaire conservative megadonor Charles Koch slammed President Donald Trump’s announced plans to impose fresh tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in a Washington Post op-ed, arguing that such policies would do far more harm than good for the U.S., both economically and culturally.
“Just as the United States benefits from the ideas and skills that opportunity-seeking immigrants bring with them, free trade has been essential to our society’s prosperity and to people improving their lives,” Koch wrote in his op-ed, published online Wednesday night. “Countries with the freest trade have tended to not only be the wealthiest but also the most tolerant. Conversely, the restriction of trade — whether through tariffs, quotas or other means — has hurt the economy and pitted people against each other.
“Without a doubt, those who can least afford it will be harmed the most. Having just helped consumers keep more of their money by passing tax reform, it makes little sense to take it away via higher costs,” Koch wrote.
Over the past few weeks, pundits from all ends of the spectrum have been scrambling to explain Hillary Clinton’s unexpected loss in the US presidential race, with reasons spanning from the plausible to the highly dubious; WikiLeaks, Bernie Sanders, fake news, Jill Stein, Russia, bad algorithms, and the FBI have all been accused of having sole or part responsibility.
Lately, however, a new, entirely bogus culprit has emerged from center and center-left circles: “identity politics” and its close cousin, “political correctness.”
Sen. John McCain said Russian President Vladimir Putin is “destroying” his country’s reputation in a blistering op-ed article for one of the country’s leading news websites early Thursday.
The Arizona Republican accused Putin of allying himself with tyrants and ruling through violence and repression, a scathing retort to a New York Times editorial by Putin last week.
“He is not enhancing Russia’s global reputation,” McCain said in the piece published on Pravda.ru. “He is destroying it,” adding that by befriending tyrants and making enemies of the oppressed, Putin was losing the trust of nations seeking to “build a safer, more peaceful and prosperous world.”
“President Putin doesn’t believe in these values because he doesn’t believe in you [the Russian people],” he wrote.
“He doesn’t believe that human nature at liberty can rise above its weaknesses and build just, peaceful, prosperous societies. Or, at least, he doesn’t believe Russians can. So he rules by using those weaknesses, by corruption, repression and violence. He rules for himself, not you,” he added.
Questioning Putin’s alliance with Syrian President Bashar Assad, which he called one of “the world’s most offensive and threatening tyrannies,” McCain asked: “How has he strengthened Russia’s international stature?”
What should be done about the economy? Republicans claim to have the answer: slash spending and cut taxes. What they hope voters won’t notice is that that’s precisely the policy we’ve been following the past couple of years. Never mind the Democrat in the White House; for all practical purposes, this is already the economic policy of Republican dreams.