[Guest post by Troy the Legislator]
Hi! It’s me, Troy the Legislator! You might remember me from such bills as “Reducing Barack Obama’s Unsustainable Deficit Act” or “The Pension And Social Security Measuring Equivalence Permanent Linking of Everyone’s Actual Savings Environment Act”! I’m a Congressman from the heartland of America, and Patterico has invited me to do a guest post, to give you guys a little peek into how the legislative sausage is made! I hope you’re not eating breakfast! Some people get a little nauseated at first. It’s OK. You get used to it.
Let’s start with this morning’s tweet from our President, Donald J. Trump:
When a car is sent to the United States from China, there is a Tariff to be paid of 2 1/2%. When a car is sent to China from the United States, there is a Tariff to be paid of 25%. Does that sound like free or fair trade. No, it sounds like STUPID TRADE – going on for years!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 9, 2018
Nicely said, Mr. President! Sure, some eggheads who are out of touch with reality may argue that Chinese tariffs are just a tax that China puts on its own citizens, meaning Trump is complaining about how the Chinese government treats its own people. But how do you think that argument is going to play in Peoria? I can tell you the answer to that: not well! And I should know. Peoria is in my Congressional district!
Listen, even Elon Musk is in support of imposing tariffs on Chinese automobiles! And as a Congressman, let me tell you: when a rich guy with a Special Interest in legislation talks, I listen! Oh, hi, Elon! Yeah, just leave the envelope on the corner of the desk like usual. Is it all there? Good! See you next month!
Where was I? Oh yeah: tariffs. I say tariffs don’t go far enough. We need to do something about the Number One issue facing our economy: failing businesses.
Few people realize just how many Americans are put out of work when a business goes under. But according to these statistics that a lobbyist just handed me, 80% of businesses fail in their first year. Think of all the voters put out of work!
Sure, the eggheads say the businesses fail because they don’t provide goods or services to the public at a price the public is willing to pay. They say that without the “creative destruction” of businesses that nobody wants to use, resources will be tied up in terrible business models that use those resources inefficiently, resulting in a lower standard of living for everybody.
I say fooey to those eggheads! This is intolerable. Americans are being put out of work. We have to protect these businesses!
I’m just kind of spitballing here, so stay with me. This plan could change. How about bailing out every failing business with government money? Steve, go poll that while I explain it to the folks. We wouldn’t have to worry about the cost. The plan would probably pay for itself because when people stay at work, they earn money — and what do you think they do with that money? You guessed it! They spend it. And through the magic of this thing I heard about called the “multiplier,” we’ll actually come out ahead.
Whoops. Steve says my proposal sounds like a “bailout” and isn’t polling well. That’s OK, that’s why there’s always Plan B. How about we just force Americans to buy whatever goods the business is selling? For example, if it’s a hardware store, you just pass a law saying every citizen living within 20 miles has to buy $10 worth of goods from that store. Problem solved! Steve, run that over to the lawyers while I talk to the folks.
See, like Donald Trump, I believe that to Make America Great Again, you have to put business first. Working Americans need to know that the people in Washington have their back. Oh, here’s Steve with the legal analysis. OK, the eggheads say that making people buy stuff is unAmerican and unconstitutional — unless you call it a tax. Then it’s just fine.
OK, Plan C. How about, if a business is failing, we just put a huge tax on whatever its competitors are selling? That way, people have no choice but to buy from the failing and inefficient businesses! We can impose a bailout on behalf of businesses that can’t compete on their own, without calling it a bailout! And we can impose a huge tax that will bring in tons of revenue to fund my “fact-finding” trips to the Philippines! Go poll that, Steve!
Hang on one second. Steve is whispering in my ear. What is it, Steve?
Awesome! Steve says my proposal is basically what tariffs already are, and they poll great!
See? If we didn’t already have tariffs, someone like me would have to invent them! It’s the American way!
— Troy the Legislator