Tariffs won’t ruin Christmas? Spencer P. Morrison has the good news (for more from Morrison on the subject of trade and tariffs follow this link):
President Trump says he will impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports beginning September 1. The tariff would affect consumer goods primarily, according to an analysis by Goldman Sachs.
Cue the histrionics.The Washington Post laments that these tariffs will ruin America’s “holiday” shopping season. The Post cites a study claiming that the price of toys will rise by 17 percent, while the cost of laptops and tablets could increase by $120. Basically, President Trump is the Grinch who will steal Christmas by making toys too expensive. How could he do this to poor little Cindy Lou Who—who is no more than 2? Monster!
This is America’s Pravda at its finest. Trump will not ruin Christmas, and the price of toys will not rise perceptibly. Why? Because tariffs don’t work like sales taxes and therefore don’t affect prices in the same way. The media pundits are either willfully ignorant of this fact, or ignorant in general.
Time-Traveling to Roast Chicken Little
Every time President Trump raises tariffs, the media clucks that American consumers will pay the price. This hasn’t happened yet and it won’t happen now. Consider the great washing machine debacle of 2018.President Trump in January 2018 announced that he would impose tariffs on imported washing machines, and that the effective tariff rate would be 40 percent. On top of this, he announced in March that he was imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. The media said this would hurt domestic manufacturers, too.
Liberals lost their collective mind. Low-income Americans would not be able to afford washing machines, they shrieked, and soon we’d be living in a nation of grungy, soiled masses—the average American would look like Pig-Pen from the Peanuts gang.
That never happened.
Image credit: www.amgreatness.com.