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Trump’s Faith in His Market-Based Negotiating Skills

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This was a bad week for anybody who believed for five nanoseconds that Donald Trump was going to get anything through Congress. The vote on ObamaCare was postponed again. ObamaCare is now permanent. Trump is never going to get enough votes to replace...

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This was a bad week for anybody who believed for five nanoseconds that Donald Trump was going to get anything through Congress.

The vote on ObamaCare was postponed again. ObamaCare is now permanent. Trump is never going to get enough votes to replace it with something else, which would have been worse anyway. The monstrosity should be repealed. It should not be replaced by anything. But once the Democrats ram some welfare state policy down the throats of the Republicans, the Republicans never repeal it. Their constituents get their hands on money from Uncle Sugar, and they will not tolerate a repeal of the law which gives them access to the money. In other words, the voters like the welfare state as long as it benefits them. There is no philosophical opposition among the American people to the expansion of government wealth redistribution.

Then there is NAFTA. Trump campaigned on a promise to get this country out of bondage to NAFTA. This week, Trump said that he is going to stick with NAFTA. He is simply going to renegotiate parts of it. Big deal. Fat chance.

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That law was a monstrosity from day one. Surrendering American sovereignty to some international organization is always a bad idea. From a philosophical standpoint, getting a better deal out of NAFTA is a bad idea. It means surrendering to the idea of the transfer of any national sovereignty to an unelected agency of the New World Order. A better deal can always be renegotiated later by another President to turn it into a worse deal. There is only one deal worth considering: getting out now. That deal is now off the table.

So, those conservatives who naïvely thought that Trump was going to get ObamaCare repealed now know that he isn’t going to be able to do this. He doesn’t have the votes in Congress. Congressional Republicans never have the stomach for repealing anything that the Democrats get passed into law. Other conservatives, who recognize that NAFTA has been a disaster philosophically, now know that they are not going to see the USA pull out of NAFTA.

ObamaCare is now going to go the way of all flesh. It is an economic disaster, and it is going to become a much worse economic disaster. The Democrats will get blamed, but not entirely. Because the Republicans have twice refused to overturn it, they now are up to their eyeballs in responsibility for it. The good news is this: when the Democrats come back into power during the next recession, they will probably not repeal it. Their fingerprints are all over it. Nancy Pelosi rammed it through the House of Representatives. The Democrats’ Left wing wants a single-payer system where the government funds the whole thing, but the Left didn’t get that through in 2010, and I don’t think it’s going to get it in the future. They may. Democrats may figure they have the votes, and they might as well replace ObamaCare with something much worse. But I think it is going to stay on the books. It is not full-scale socialized medicine.

I had thought that Trump might get us out of NAFTA. That was the only thing he promoted in his campaign that I thought he might pull off. Now, he has waffled. He is pretending that he has the ability to renegotiate bits and pieces of the law. I doubt that he has ever read the law. He thinks of himself as a negotiator. In politics, negotiations are not the same as they are in business. The criteria of success are different. Negotiations in business mean that people on both sides are trying to get money. Negotiations in politics mean that people on both sides are trying to get power. NAFTA already provides power to non-politicians. It was the transfer of power from politicians to faceless bureaucrats who are not elected. This is what the New World Order always wants. It is what it usually gets.

Gary North
Gary Kilgore North (born February 1942) is an American Christian Reconstructionist theorist and economic historian. North has authored or coauthored over fifty books on topics including Christian theology, economics, and history. He is an Associated Scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

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