President-Elect Proposes 35% Tariff
In a threatening seven-part tweetstorm (above), Donald Trump vowed “retribution” Sunday against any company that “leaves our country for another country,Â fires its employees, builds a new factory or plant in the other country, and then thinks it will sell its product back into the U.S.”Â
Trump added that the U.S. will impose 35 percent tariffs against those companies, but that would have to clear Congress, where one Republican immediately voiced skepticism:
Pres-Elect Trump means well. But won’t his 35% tariff idea raise prices on American families? How would it not be a new 35% tax on families?
â€” Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) December 4, 2016
Trump’s tweetstorm came days after he brokered a deal with heating and air-conditioning manufacturer Carrier to keep a factory in Indiana in exchange for $7 million in tax breaks from the state. Under the deal, Carrier will reportedly keep 800 jobs in the U.S. â€” while still shipping 1,300 to Mexico. But it’s unclear whether Trump’s proposed 35 percent tariff would apply to Carrier’s Mexico operations.Â
It’s also unclear whether the tariff would apply retroactively to Trump’s own businesses.Â
“Today, Donald J. Trump Collection shirts â€” as well as eyeÂglasses, perfume, cuff links and suits â€” are made in Bangladesh, China, Honduras and other low-wage countries,” The Washington Post reported earlier this year. “Trumpâ€™s daughter Ivanka, a vice president at his company and frequent campaign surrogate, markets hundreds of additional products under her own line of jewelry and clothing. Many are made in China.”
What retribution, more tax dollar handouts you mean? You’ve already shown your hand @therealDonaldTrump https://t.co/wR20OoskZR
â€” JJ5 (@mamajbj) December 4, 2016
“Retribution” is a not a word you normally hear from elected heads of state in the free world. https://t.co/44aNNxawLC
â€” Real Charlie Sykes (@SykesCharlie) December 4, 2016
Trump threatens “retribution” for companies who move jobs out of U.S. â€”except Carrier apparently, who’s still sending 1300 jobs to Mexico. pic.twitter.com/HEF376CUIT
â€” Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 4, 2016
Iâ€™m confused â€” Is #Trump slapping a 35% tariff on his own company/partners for making Trump ties, suits overseas? Can media get answers?
â€” Mike Signorile (@MSignorile) December 4, 2016
â€” Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) December 4, 2016
Companies tend not to want to create many good jobs in countries lead by authoritarians who undermine the rule of law and seek retribution.
â€” Evan McMullin (@Evan_McMullin) December 4, 2016
Businesses to face “retribution” if they don’t do what Trump says? From the party that’s favored limited government? https://t.co/HW4jkBmIm3
â€” Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) December 4, 2016
Tariffs make sense to help nascent industries in developing countries, before they can compete globally. They make no sense as retribution.
â€” Reality Matters (@DataLogicTruth) December 4, 2016
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‘Thinly-Veiled Incitement to Violence and Overt Racism’: Trump’s Truth Social Post Sparks Outrage
Donald Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter “due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” but on Friday night took his social media approach to his Truth Social website.
Trump accused Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of having a “death wish” after a government shutdown was averted.
“Must immediately seek help and advise (sic) from his China loving wife, Coco Chow!” he said of Elaine Chao, who served in his cabinet for four years as Secretary of Transportation.
Trump’s post generated outrage online.
“Nothing to see here,” conservative lawyer George Conway tweeted. “Just a former president of the United States seeking to incite violence against the minority leader of the United States Senate and launching a racist verbal attack on the leader’s wife.”
Former federal prosecutor Shanlon Wu wrote, “Donald Trump using blatant racist tactics in his desperate attacks on McConnell by trying to ridicule Asian American former Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao’s name calling her ‘Coco Chow’ — [McConnell] and [GOP] should call him out and reject his racist hate — will they do it?”
“Hardly shocking that Trump would threaten Mitch McConnell by capitalizing the words ‘death wish’ — dog whistle invitation to Trump’s extremist supporters — same Trump who believed his own VP Pence deserved to be lynched by the angry Jan. 6 mob Trump incited to violence,” Wu added.
Janai Nelson, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, wrote, “I double dare all major media outlets to call this what it is: thinly-veiled incitement to violence and overt racism.”
Podcaster Fred Wellman said, “Elaine Chao was Trump’s Secretary of Transportation for 4 years and he just called her the ridiculously racist nickname ‘Coco Chow.’ Yes…you are a racist if you still support this broken *sshole.”
Jonah Goldberg, the editor-in-chief of The Dispatch, wrote, “Look, I think the gross bigotry, stupidity, dishonesty, and demagoguery of this is obvious on so many levels and I’m embarrassed for the country. But, because no one else will, I feel I have to point out he also misspelled advice.”
Republicans suggest defunding Veteran Affairs even though it helps 9 million vets
Republican legislators are starting to suggest defunding the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), the office founded in 1989 to assist with veteran needs. The VA assists with getting veterans mental and physical healthcare, educational opportunities, community support, and other everyday housing and living needs.
An Arizona legislator, captured on video participating in a mock congressional hearing, said he supported shutting down the department.
“That’s sort of what I’m thinking because … I hear no good stories. I had zero in my district,” the legislator said in a video posted by the far-right watchdog group Patriot Takes. “So I guess it’s a matter of us leading the fight to defund it.”
Republicans held an offsite, mock Congressional hearing where they plotted to defund and shutdown the VA.
Healthcare for veterans is on the midterms ballot. pic.twitter.com/PAKFCQZk7Y
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) September 30, 2022
A second video, posted by the same account, showed Republican Florida Representative Matt Gaetz advocating for defunding the VA while speaking at an event held by FreedomWorks, a conservative and libertarian advocacy group.
“This is my question to the group. Is it savable? Why not abolish the VA, take all of the money that we are otherwise spending and go to an any willing provider system inside of our communities?” Gaetz says in the video. “And then, if people get bad care, they can vote with their feet and you don’t have a two-tier system of healthcare in this country with our veterans and then with everyone else.”
Generally speaking, Republican policies favor the privatization of all government functions, thinking that a “small government,” “free-market,” “for-profit” privatization provided by a corporation can solve any market ill.
In reality, if entire communities are deprived of VA access, U.S. military veterans will be left largely on their own to get their life needs met after militaries service. Those who lack money or transportation won’t be able to “vote with their feet” and find a local care provider to handle their specific issues… they’ll either have to spend massive amounts to get such essential care or just go without.
Republican leaders are now floating abolishing the VA and stealing veterans’ health care. And if you think that’s unlikely remember that 84% of republicans in Congress voted against veterans’ cancer care this year. https://t.co/BV1msdniP5
— Bill Pascrell, Jr. 🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@BillPascrell) September 30, 2022
In late July, 41 Senate Republicans voted against a bill aimed at protecting veterans exposed to toxic materials during their military service. The legislation would have expanded care to 3.5 million veterans exposed to toxic burn pits. It would have also added 23 toxic and burn pit exposure-related illnesses to the VA database, Newsweek reported.
After massive blowback, Senate Republicans re-voted on the bill and helped it pass.
Patriot Takes posted the video hoping that it would encourage veterans and military members to vote in the upcoming mid-term elections.
Red states are lining up to stop Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan
Six red states — Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Carolina — are suing the administration of Democratic President Joe Biden over Biden’s plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt for individuals making less than $125,000 a year.
The Biden administration based its plan on a 2003 law. According to the Justice Department, the law, initially meant to help military members, says that Biden can reduce or erase student loan debts during times of national emergency.
The red states’ lawsuit, filed Thursday in Missouri, said that Biden’s plan was “not remotely tailored to address the effects of the pandemic on federal student loan borrowers.” The lawsuit adds that, since Biden recently declared the COVID-19 pandemic as over, he can’t use it as a justification for his wide-scale debt relief plan, ABC News reported.
“It’s patently unfair to saddle hard-working Americans with the loan debt of those who chose to go to college,” Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said of her state’s lawsuit. “The Department of Education is required, under the law, to collect the balance due on loans. And President Biden does not have the authority to override that.”
The states argued that Biden’s plan inflicted a “number of ongoing financial harms” to student loan providers and also “will ultimately disrupt revenue to state coffers.” They also argued that Biden’s plan violates the Administrative Procedure Act, a law regulating how federal agencies ensure that presidential policies are well-reasoned and explained, the aforementioned publication reported.
Despite these claims, the White House has said it will continue with its plan, confident it can survive a court challenge.
“Republican officials from these six states are standing with special interests, and fighting to stop relief for borrowers buried under mountains of debt,” White House spokesman Abdullah Hasan said Thursday. “The president and his administration are lawfully giving working and middle class families breathing room as they recover from the pandemic and prepare to resume loan payments in January.”
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