Before we even get this article underway, it should be pointed out that this isn’t an opinion piece on the economics of tariffs based on my own personal preferences. It’s no surprise that when we (Think Liberty, Being Libertarian,etc.) post about tariffs, it instantly becomes a hot topic. There are those that feel that despite the economic ramifications in the immediate, the long-term benefits of tariffs used as a negotiation tactic are worth the short-term price of admission. This is another argument for another time, try to keep in mind that here we’re going to focus on something a little different: How do tariffs affect the populations general outlook on American politics?
A recent analysis conducted by the right-leaning organization “Tax Foundation” has found that the Trump tariffs have had an impact on consumers, which is something we all knew was going to happen. What this analysis focuses on, specifically, however, is exactly who is impacted the most of the consumers that have taken a hit. Those hit the hardest? Lower- and middle-class families. The research suggests that the lowest quintile is seeing a change in 0.33% change in after-tax revenue, while the top quintile experiences a 0.23% change. If we include the tariffs that are still in the planning stages but not yet rolled out, this number grows to 1.04% for the lowest quintile and 0.72% to the highest.
To add to that, Trump has just approved another round of “bailouts” for farmers, bringing the rolling total of subsidies $9.5B of the $12B Trump had promised in July. Even with these subsidies, many in farming industries are arguing that the subsidies will not be enough to offset the cost that comes with the tariffs. Websites have released reports listing the companies that are being hit hard by Trump’s tariffs, and exactly what difficulties they’ve experienced. Here are just a few from; CATO, Kiplinger, Reason, TechCrunch, Investors.com and more (a quick google search can show you there’s a litany of information on this topic.) GM, Ford, Toyota and other auto manufacturers are reporting economic pain from Tariffs, and we’re seeing articles reporting that even furniture stores are feeling the sting, as well.
And, while the revenue increase from Tariffs ($41.9B) is nothing to shake a stick at, neither is the loss of 94,300 full-time jobs (and growing.)
Now, as was stated at the top of the article, this has not been outlined to make an economic case against tariffs, but let’s instead look at the other implication that comes from these trade policies: Politics, and the outlook of those who are affected by the policies. On one hand, we all know that the politics of the left have the effect of driving out lower and middle-class families from the market. We see this evidenced in places like California and New York, where progressive and left-leaning politics have done their best to almost entirely edge out the lower and middle classes from being able to afford lives in those areas. Instead of capitalizing on this opportunity served up on a golden platter by the hubris of left-leaning policy, the right instead has created a golden platter of their own for the left to feast upon in the form of tariffs.
You can read more from Vinny Marshall on Think Liberty here.