Trump and the GOP: Making China Great Again

Donald Trump likes to brag about how great the economy has been for the last year. Some of the things he takes credit for are just plain bizarre. For example, there are these Tweets from a couple days ago:

Obviously, Trump wasn’t part of the negotiations for this. Also, he’s repeated this lie many times. Fiat Chrysler always had the intention to expand their facilities in Michigan. In fact, they announced the plan almost exactly a year ago, before Trump became president. (Source) And since they planned to do this before Trump became president, it’s just bizarre to claim it’s because of tax reform.

Then, before that, Donny Tweeted:

The decision to build a Toyota-Mazda plant in Alabama also predated Trump’s occupation of the White House. It also predates the passage of the #GOPTaxScam by about a year. In fact, Alabama won a competition of sorts between a number of states and won because they provided the largest tax incentives and abatements. In all, the state has promised the companies $320 million in tax incentives and another $380 million in tax abatements. At its peak, the plant will provide 4,000 jobs, which means the state of Alabama will be underwriting the companies at a rate of about $175,000 per job, which means they won’t even break even with the plant for at least 20 years. (Source) Also, since most American companies average a 21% effective tax rate before without doing anything to build the economy, and now they get 20% while doing nothing, it’s hard to see a positive in this.

This one is my favorite Tweet of the week, though:

What Donny didn’t tell you is, in that poll, more people give President Obama credit for the economy than Trump, and a majority graded Donny’s first year either an F or a D. The entire poll basically said “Trump sucks,” but Donny found the one nugget he could fool his “base” into believing. (Source)

However, forget the Tweets and Trump’s incessant braggadocio. The constant cries of “Make America Great Again” ring hollow when you look at the actions of Trump and current Republicans. Take the latest tax scam, which does nothing more than “starve” the government of revenues, thus making it almost impossible for the federal government to invest in the economy. By extension, that also limits state investment in economy. And if you think that is a minor thing, you haven’t been paying attention. Government investment is the key to ending a recession and it is also the key to preventing a recession in the first place. Go ahead; name the last time Republicans threw us into recession and Democrats didn’t use government investment to extract us from that. You can’t.

One other thing we have to consider; this country is no longer the only thriving economy in the world. We have a lot of competition now. We cannot pretend we are the only intact economic superpower, which is what we were for the first couple decades after World War II. China and India are far larger than us, as a market, and they are very aggressively trying to improve their economies. If we want to maintain our status as “the richest country in the world,” and not fall behind, we have to stop pretending.

And yet, Trump and the Republicans have repeatedly shown they don’t understand this concept. Throughout his campaign, Trump constantly talked tough about China and their tendency to cheat to gain an advantage, but since he has occupied the White House, he’s essentially handed China victory after victory.

Start with his asinine decision too withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords and pretend climate change is not a thing. China is also a signatory to the accords, which means they now have the ability to become a leader in addressing this terrible problem. And they are. For all intents and purposes, China is becoming a major leader when it comes to manufacturing and promoting solar power. We have essentially ceded a long-term trillion-dollar industry to China, Germany and other countries because we have a major political party, the Republicans, who have decided that admitting the climate is changing is somehow politically poisonous. Given our current absolute dependence on fossil fuels, this is a stupid concept on more than one level. We really can’t afford to operate this way.

Then, there is the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Now, I realize there are some unicorn progressives and professional lefties who reactively hate all “free trade” agreements, but the fact of the matter is, the TPP was designed to counter China and create a trading bloc to compete with them. Now, since Trump, backed by the GOP, took us out of that agreement, China has joined it and they are now running the show. That means China is not only a major competitor on their own, but now, they have partners to help them; partners that we should have.

But even that’s nothing when compared to the advantage Trump gave China with he basically referred to all African countries as “shithole countries.”

See, here’s the problem. Many countries on the continent of Africa are among the fastest-growing in the world, and China has already been investing heavily in them. Not only do they represent fast-growing markets themselves, but they also represent major investments for other countries. China gets this and Republicans in this country simply do not. Now, with our government referring to them as “shitholes,” what are the odds that any country in Africa will want to deal with us on anything. Once again, Trump and his Republican minders have ceded advantage to China. And there is no doubt China will run with it.

One more example that Republicans are failures on economy, and they are dragging us all down with them.

Also published on Medium.

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