Because they have the same economically-destructive effects as protectionist tariffs. Abraham Lincoln’s original battle plan was called “The Anaconda Plan” because its goal was to strangle the economy of the South by blocking international trade. The only difference is that with protectionist tariffs we do to ourselves in peacetime what our enemies try to do to us in wartime: Harm us by blocking valued imports from other countries.
Protectionist tariffs are the quintessential anti-populist, monopolistic policy because they are the result of a price-fixing conspiracy between small groups of greedy, rent-seeking corporations (with the help of their unions) and pandering politicians. They do legally what the antitrust laws are supposed to prevent. They line the pockets of plutocrats and politicians at the expense of all consumers, including corporate consumers who utilize such products as steel and aluminum to manufacture their own products. Twenty-five percent tariffs on steel and aluminum will not make your next new car, washing machine, or anything else made of metal cheaper, contrary to what tinfoil hat economic commentators like Pat Buchanan say. Even higher taxes will not “make America great again” but will only enlarge the power and purse of the corrupt, criminal state. Americans should be sickened at Donald Trump’s pontifications yesterday about how wonderful it supposedly is that, thanks to his new tariffs, the Washington “swamp” will now be tens of billions of dollars richer, and American consumers that much poorer. The same swamp that works devilishly, day in and day out, to try to get rid of Trump himself by any means possible. He and Buchanan should be wearing Abe Lincoln style stovepipe tinfoil hats.1:55 pm on May 14, 2019 Email Thomas DiLorenzo