One of the ironies of trade protectionism is that, with tariffs and import quotas, we do to ourselves in times of peace what foreign nations do to us with blockades to keep imports from entering our country in times of war.
The Trump administration and the Republicans in Congress have passed one of the best pro-growth tax bills ever. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ranks in the all-time hall of fame along with former President Reagan's 1981 and 1986 tax acts, and former President Kennedy's posthumous tax cuts in 1964. The announcements by Apple, FedEx, AT&T, Fiat Chrysler and over 300 companies with multibillion dollar investments in the United States are early lead indicators of good things to come from the tax-rate cuts.
"America is open for business, and we are competitive once again." That was just one of the key lines in President Trump's highly successful speech in Davos, Switzerland, last week.
There were two big money-and-politics stories in the first week of the new year: The Dow Jones industrial average soared 577 points, and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon ended his political career.
With President Trump's signing of the big tax cut bill, the Republican Party snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Suddenly, the political and economic landscapes have changed. The GOP has turned the tables on the Democrats.
Republicans are supposed to be the party that cuts the job-killing capital gains tax, not raises it. But because of a quirk in the Senate-passed tax bill, the tax on capital gains may go up -- and for some types of long-held assets, fairly substantially.
Warts and all, if I were a voting member of Congress, I would certainly cast a yea for the tax-cut plans passed by the Senate and House that are headed for conference (to work out minor differences) in the weeks ahead.
As the House and Senate work their way through the tax cut and reform effort, let me make one thing clear: Both plans are pro-growth, with the economic power coming from the business side. And where it comes from the personal side, there will be very little growth. That was always been the bet.
President Trump's new chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, Kevin Hassett, walked into the lion's den last week with his first official speech. He used the moment to pound the leftist Tax Policy Center. It was a wonderful sight.
Much as he did in his command performance before the United Nations, when he took back control of U.S. foreign policy, President Donald Trump has seized and energized the tax cut issue. Almost daily, he is pounding away on the themes of faster economic growth and more take-home pay, arguing that his plan will make America's economy great again.