RUSH: We’re gonna start in Lynchburg, Virginia, with Nathan. Welcome, sir. It’s nice to have you here with us.
CALLER: Nice to talk to you, Rush. Hey, let me just jump right into this. I’ve been unemployed for four months in this little sleepy college town of Lynchburg, Virginia. I’ve been seeing the manufacturing jobs around but they just weren’t hiring and it’s been that way… I’ve been looking for a real good job for a year because I have kids, I got a wife, I got bills and you just can’t make it on the bare minimum. So anyways, I just got one of the major manufacturing jobs in Lynchburg because they opened their doors for the first time, and they’ve actually hired people like me. I’m starting out with great pay, great everything, 401(k), everything.
RUSH: You got a job? You found a job now after all this time?
CALLER: After all this time, looking on the internet. I also want to talk to you about tariffs and how you think Trump’s tariffs will effect the world economy, the American money, the American dollar. How do you think that’s gonna work out?
RUSH: Well, I think the way to look at this tariff business is it is always an ongoing negotiation. Even when Trump slaps tariffs on, it’s a negotiating move. The objective is to get the tariffs removed because the other guys are going to behave more fairly to the United States. Trump is not going to stop until he achieves that. We have evidence to know these things now. You know, we’re not a year and a half ago where we have to predict what Trump is gonna do or hope what Trump is gonna do.
We’ve got a year and a half of evidence. And we have a good idea, especially those of us who have read The Art of the Deal. We have a fairly good idea now, a somewhat informed idea of Trump’s objectives and how he gets there. Now, in a purely sterile environment, any average conservative would stand up and stop tariffs, would oppose tariffs. They’re taxes, and they are not good, and they are harmful, and they choke off this…
But! The tariffs are there not because Trump believes in tax policy. The tariffs that he slapped on steel are not because Donald Trump believes that this should be ongoing American policy. Those tariffs are there to level the playing field with America’s trading partners, because American workers have been getting the short end of things with people like Obama and others who doesn’t understand at all what they have been doing economically.
Folks, that answer that Obama gave that man in Elkhart, Indiana? The guy is just looking for some encouragement. Is a job coming back? Will there be a replacement job? Obama couldn’t even offer that. And then has to put Trump down because he listens to Trump talk about how he’s gonna restore jobs and the economy, and Obama says, “How? Magic wand?” Thereby telling us that he doesn’t have the slightest understanding of economics and policy and how to start things and how to orient things for the benefit of America, for all the obvious reasons.
So normally I would opposed tariffs the first moment they’re proposed. Do you know, by the way, that until the income tax system in 1913, tariffs were the primary source of income for the United States government? But if you look at these things as ongoing negotiating ploys — and in this case, they’re designed to save American jobs and to raise American incomes by leveling the field and restore the American steel industry — then you’ll have a better understanding. You know, Trump says not believing in tariffs is an endgame. It’s part of the process to get fair and equitable treatment in trading partners with them all over the world.
RUSH: Grab sound bite No. 5, Larry Kudlow. This is this morning on CNBC. He’s with Jim Cramer. It turns out… We just had a caller asking about tariffs and what it all means for Trump, and I answered that it’s not tariffs; it’s not policy. This is not the beginning of a trade war. This is Trump negotiation to level the playing field. Kudlow pretty much says the same thing. Here’s how he describes it…
KUDLOW: President Trump has it right. We developed an experimental policy here, low tax rates, lower regulation, no punishing business, let’s reward success, take a rip at the ball. That’s American capitalism. Our European friends and others should consider these supply-side kinds of policies to reawaken business. We would welcome the Europeans to follow our lead. And, by the way, the president would welcome the Europeans to engage us in a serious manner with respect to a lot of unfair trading practices. I know they’re our friends. I know they’re our allies. This is something of a family disagreement. It’s a trade discussion. It’s not a trade war. It’s a trade discussion. We can fix this.
RUSH: Bingo! So the tariffs say, “Hey, wake up, gang. We’re not gonna have this continuing unfair arrangement and I’m gonna put these tariffs on to send the signal.” But it’s not the final move in the policy, and Trump’s not wedded to tariffs as an end to themselves. It’s the part of the process, it’s a negotiation ploy, if you will. But I love the way Kudlow characterizes this. “We’re developing an experimental process…” He’s being kind of facetious using “experimental” because it’s not experimental; it works.
“We developed an experimental policy here, low tax rates, lower regulation, no punishing business, let’s reward success, take a rip at the ball.” Let’s go up there and swing at it. “That’s American capitalism. Our European friends and others should consider these supply-side kinds of policies to reawaken business” and economies. “We would welcome” them. Trump is trying to lead, he is leading, and he’s trying to get everybody on the same page. You’ve heard him say “Make America Great Again,” put America first.
But then he says people in the U.K., they ought to be putting the U.K. first, just like I’m putting the America first. He says we all work with each other on that basis. It’s not exclusionary. It’s simply common sense, versus people like Obama who believe the United States ought to be subservient to foreign countries because we’ve been so bad and big and unfair in the past. I’ll tell you, folks… (sigh) You don’t know… Well, some of you I think do. But on balance, people do not know how blessed we are that Donald Trump won this election, how blessed we are that that woman is not in the White House, how blessed we are that the Obama legacy has died.
You have no idea the good fortune for this country in that simple fact alone.
RUSH: I want to go back to tariffs for a moment. I want to answer this guy’s question. He was concerned about the tariffs and it’s Trump policy. I said, “No, it’s not policy. It’s part of the negotiation.” Here is a great illustration. This is another way to look at tariffs. Donald Trump: “Mexico will pay for the wall.” Mexico: “You dumb gringo, there’s no way we’re gonna pay for the wall.” President Trump: “Mexico will pay for the wall.” Mexico: “Nope. We not paying for the wall, Loco.”
President Trump: “I today am implementing high tariffs on X and Y and Z from Mexico!” Mexico says, “I guess we are paying for the wall.” You have to look at these things not as static but rather dynamic instruments in the entirety of the Trump economic policy.