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Jul 25 2018

Opens Your Wallet for $12 Billion Crutch

Before the Libertarian Party succumbed completely to the kookery currently personified by Gary Johnson, it was led by Harry Browne, who sure got this right:

The government is good at one thing. It knows how to break your legs, and then hand you a crutch and say,

The crutch is of course paid for by others on a coercive basis.

A $12 billion crutch is currently in the news:

The Trump administration said Tuesday it would extend $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers amid signs the U.S. agricultural sector is beginning to feel the impact of President Donald Trump’s escalating trade disputes with major U.S. trading partners.

The trade war was set off by tariffs of the sort that deepened the Great Depression. At least the catastrophic Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act was imposed by Congress, as per the Constitution. Nowadays, our command and control economy is directed from the White House, thanks to a loophole that allows the Executive Branch to inflict tariffs on consumers in the name of “national security.” Inexcusably irresponsible, supine with cowardice, Congress does nothing to stop it.

Farmers are less than delighted with the largesse:

Farmers and the majority of farm-state lawmakers have previously appeared to be lukewarm on the idea of the government doling out aid to offset losses due to tariffs and drops in the market. Many have told POLITICO they would prefer the Trump administration to expand access to foreign markets, rather than start spats with trading partners that lead them to erect barriers on U.S. exports, restrict access and seek out other sources of supply.

“The best relief for the president’s trade war would be ending the trade war,” Brian Kuehl, executive director of the advocacy group Farmers for Free Trade, said in a statement Tuesday. He said farmers need trade policies that promote stability and allow them to plan for the future.

“This proposed action would only be a short-term attempt at masking the long-term damage caused by tariffs,” Kuehl added.

It could be worse. If Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the future of the Democrat Party as the Chairman of the DNC assures us, we may be only an election or two away from the federal government collectivizing farms à la the USSR and communist China. In both cases, many millions starved to death as a consequence.

Freedom works; ham-fisted authoritarian statism does not work. How many times do we need to keep learning this?

On a tip from Varla. Hat tip: Legal Insurrection.

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