Congressional Democrats are pushing back against the Trump Administration with something called a “Better Deal”, which apparently is NewSpeak for “more government.” Excerpt:
Fittingly, top Democrats were back in D.C. this week to offer more detail on “A Better Deal.” At a Wednesday press conference in front of the Capitol, they outlined plans for an “independent trade prosecutor” to investigate businesses that shift jobs overseas, and an unelected “American Jobs Council” to investigate foreign investments in American businesses.
The American Jobs Council, Schumer said, will “slam the door shut on foreign companies who want to buy-up American businesses and harm our workers.” The council appears to be the centerpiece of a seven-point plan that includes penalties for federal contractors who outsource jobs, guarantees that taxpayer-funded subsidies flow only to American-based companies, and creates a public “shame list” for companies that move jobs offshore, according to The Washington Post’s Dave Weigel, who reported on some of the details of the Better Deal plan this week.
In other words, more bureaucracy and more regulations aimed at trying to freeze a dynamic economy and halt the flow of capital and goods around the world.
Maybe this is, as Slate has suggested, the basis of a plan “to campaign against cable companies, airlines, and other things everyone hates,” but I’m not seeing it. It seems more like the basis for a campaign that says government bureaucrats know what’s best for a country, or one that promises to centralize more rulemaking at the expense of businesses and workers.
The focus on preventing outsourcing—something Trump and the Democrats have in common—ignores the benefits of being able to produce goods in places where labor is more inexpensive. That makes it possible for Americans to buy products that would otherwise be unaffordable, but it also allows global supply chains to lower the cost of living for everyone. Government controls over trade drive up costs and raise prices for the very low- and middle-income workers the Democrats (and Trump) claim to be trying to help.
As a purely political matter, if Democrats are trying to turn Trump’s economic populism their direction, this seems like a misguided effort.
Democrats have never seen a government regulation or tax on the business world that they weren’t in favor of.
Granted, at the moment this is pure political theater. There isn’t the slightest chance Congressional Dems will even get this bill/bills out of committee, much less on the President’s desk to be vetoed. But there are two things the Democrats have always been good at; two things the GOP could stand to take a few pointers on:
- Solidarity. The Dems hang together.
- Persistence. The Dems never give up.
The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight needs to buy a vowel and get together on a few things, like tax reform; instead, it looks like they are going to wander around some more. To paraphrase an old gag: “I don’t belong to an organized political party. I’m a Republican.”