By Brett Arends, MarketWatch
Are you kidding me?
I’m used to partisan, inaccurate drivel from all sides these days, but the media’s coverage of President Trump’s tariffs and the so-called “trade war” takes some kind of cake.
There’s no serious doubt that some in the media would absolutely love to tank the stock market. They figure that would hurt Trump’s re-election chances in 2020. Monday’s stock market slump, which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.40% tumble 2.4% and the Nasdaq Composite 3.4%, looked just like what the doctor ordered.
I write this, incidentally, as someone who is no fan of the president. But I remember when politics was supposed to stop at the water’s edge.
And, anyway, facts are facts. Most of what the public is being told about these tariffs is either misleading or a downright lie.
I’ve been following the coverage all weekend with my jaw on the floor.
It wasn’t long ago the media was complaining because Trump was cutting taxes. Now it’s complaining that he’s raising them. Confused? Me too.
Uncle Sam benefits
Yes, tariffs are “costs.” But they do not somehow destroy our money. They do not take our hard-earned dollars and burn them in a big pile. Tariffs are simply federal taxes. That’s it. The extra costs paid by importers, and consumers, goes to Uncle Sam, to distribute as he sees fit, including, for example, on Obamacare subsidies.
It wasn’t long ago the media was complaining because Trump was cutting taxes. Now it’s complaining he’s raising them. Confused? Me too.
And the amounts involved are trivial. Chicken feed.
President Trump just hiked tariffs from 10% to 25% on about $200 billion in Chinese imports. In other words, he just raised taxes by … $30 billion a year.
The total amount we all paid in taxes last year — federal, state and local — was $5.51 trillion . This tax increase that has everyone’s panties in a twist is a rounding error.