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Mexico To Pay For Wall After All!

You’ve got to hand it to Donald Trump and his hand-picked advisers!

While some have been getting upset just because his pick for Education, Betty Devos, seemed unaware of the difference between judging a child’s proficiency or their progress (she actually didn’t seem to understand that there could be a difference) or her beliefs on the teaching of evolution, his economics team have shown the sort of startling grasp of economics that Joe Hockey had when he said that he’d pay for Liberal promises by not spending money on Labor proposals that we couldn’t afford. (You may need to think about that for a second.)

No, they’ve announced that they’ll make Mexico pay for the wall by imposing a twenty percent tariff on Mexican imports!

Gee, that’ll fix those Mexicans. Using the same concept, I think we could solve all our Budget problems overnight by imposing 100% tariff on goods from
China.

Now some of you may see a little flaw in this logic, but in case you haven’t picked up yet, I’d just like to put forward the question that’s on my mind. Is the Trump team really that stupid or do they now believe that if the public was stupid enough to vote them in, then Americans will buy just about anything… Apart from Mexican goods, of course, after the 20% tariff.

And no, the flaw in the argument isn’t simply that a 20% tariff would lead to a reduction in people purchasing things from south of the border – although such a thing is likely, and in that sense, Mexico would be “paying” for not paying for the wall. However, just as Australians would be the ones paying it if we imposed that 100% tariff on Chinese goods, then it’ll be those suckers in the USA who’ll be paying the tariff on Mexican goods.

“You’re an idjut,” I can hear some of those good ole boys who support Trump, “President Trump is only imposing it on Mexican goods, so they’ll have to pay it.” And I’m trying to wonder if they’d ever get it, no matter how many times I tried to explain.

But much and all as people may try to suggest otherwise, many of Trump’s supporters were educated and intelligent… Or at least capable of grasping reality. Surely some of them must be starting to get edgy. Surely some of them must be worried that they dismissed some of the stranger things Trump said as part of the game; necessary to get him elected, but once he was POTUS, then he’d start using the sort of business acumen that enabled him to be so successful… After all, how many people can have as many bankruptcies as him and still end up so wealthy?

I can hardly wait until Australia’s (sometimes) resident village idiot, Tony Abbott, comments on this one.

>Sigh< It's going to a long four years.

55 comments

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  1. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    It is indeed truly bewildering. It was always “interesting” to see how Abbott could make a fool of himself when he was PM, but Trump has truly taken this characteristic to boss level.

    I’m going to enjoy the backlash for the politicians who start sucking up to him, starting with Theresa May, and I’m sure soon to be followed by our very own hopeful Malcolm – hopeful that the TPP will somehow magically come into existence, hopeful that Trump will accept refugees from our gulags. Couldn’t wish it on a more agile and innovative fellow.

  2. Keitha Granville

    Apparently DT is a classic narcissist, to the point where he may be used a san example for people studying personality disorders !
    Sadly, Americans and then the rest of the world wil be the losers.

  3. silkworm

    Creationism (denial of evolution) and climate change denial go hand in hand.

  4. Alan Baird

    I’m pretty sure “Our Tone” would’ve filled Trump in on wot a wet Mal was. He won’t get far by even seriously SINCERE sucking up. Trump has Tone’s attitood to a tee: you’re either going to suck up or he’ll give every impression of wanting to have you eliminated if he was dictator… like his mate Vlad. He’s SO thin skinned… curiously fick on so many issues but.

  5. Carol Taylor

    Keithia, Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a spectrum and the Trump personality covers every single one. In fact, as spectrums go, Trump is a veritable rainbow. Lying? There is no such thing, because he said it, the statement morphs into gospel. It’s like trying to convince a person that sheep fly, if Trump says sheep fly, then they fly..of course they do, and anyone who says otherwise should be investigated and thrown into prison. Even mild criticism means a life-long vendetta – I wonder what Mexico did 20 years ago to upset him? A comedian who was Mexican, a Mexican waiter who brought the wrong meal at a roadhouse 18 years ago? His vengeance will extend to anyone who dares even comment on him and has the wrong expression on his face.

  6. Clean livin

    Ah…you are all forgetting that there are alternative tarrifs, as there are alternative facts!

    But seriously, this bloke Trump trumps Abbott tenfold.

    it took Abbott 2 years to get to the stage of being ridiculed. POTUS, as all things American, bigger,better, quicker, achieved this in less than 1 week.

    Well done POTUS, the world waits tomorrow for more mirth!

  7. jimhaz

    Maybe he thinks only US Mexicans are buying Mexican goods, or would lose jobs as result, so does not care.

    It is more likely though, that he and all his opportunistic advisors, think to level 1 of an issue only.

  8. Kyran

    He is a curious fellow, isn’t he. The radio has been abuzz with the fact that he can’t unilaterally introduce a tariff, by decree, proclamation, bellowing or tweeting. Whilst these appear to be the limits of his abilities demonstrated to date, he needs to get enough Democrats and Republicans to agree to a grate big new tax. NPR is reporting this has the same likelihood as Little Red Riding Hood forming a committed relationship with the Big Bad Wolf.
    In keeping with your prophetic capacity and his pathetic capacity, I think the answer is hidden in your article (in true Nostradamus style).
    “After all, how many people can have as many bankruptcies as him and still end up so wealthy?”
    Here’s what he will do. Start a private company to build the wall and contract with Mexican manufactures to supply all of the materials. Then he will only contract with Mexican labour contractors to provide all of the labour to build the wall. When the job is done, he will wind up the company and seek bankruptcy protection to avoid paying any of the bills.
    As an eedjit with many decades of learning through stupidity, it makes perfect sense to me.
    Whilst his enormous wealth seems ‘Palmeresque’ (ie he keeps telling people he is wealthy but never provides any evidence), it may well be time that we accept that wealth is a good thing for a leader to have. However imaginary the wealth is.
    Our problem in Australia is that we have accepted a multimillionaire as PM, when we should have aimed higher. We should look for a gazillionaire. Oh sweet Eureka. I have it.
    There is only one other person I know of that has actually gone backwards financially through owning a casino. (Seriously, how can you do that?) James Packer for PM!
    Ok, I’ll cut back on the caffeine intake.
    Thank you Mr Brisbane. How long did Rip Van Winkle sleep for? Take care

  9. jimhaz

    Maybe he is paying back Alicia Machado, as she has a spanish name.

    “There’s a difference, according to Bill Maher, between the terrible governing of President George W. Bush and the ruthlessness of Trump, who, he said, “lives for vengeance.”

  10. Needagoodlaugh

    Good ole ‘buyer’s regret’ will be the largest growth sector in the US…
    I nearly froze in shock when I first heard about the tariff, its probably the craziest idea I heard from Trump and his mob of idiots in this last week. The yanks will be paying the tax and as they import extremely large quantities of fruit, vegetables, and other food stuffs (not to mention goods) from Mexico.
    Trump (it is alleged) may also get rid of the 90 days visa waiver program and insist the Aussies sit an interview – Guess my next holiday will be in Europe rather than the States!

  11. jimhaz

    Can you imagine the black markets that would arise. Even with a wall with mega-dollars involved, they’ll find a way in for goods.

    “McCain said he has not spoken with Pence, but that it will take “a lot more than walls” to close the border.
    “I know what it takes to have border security,” McCain said during a break in the hearing on James Mattis’ nomination to be Trump’s secretary of Defense. “It’s a lot more than walls … it’s surveillance, it’s electronics, it’s interception teams, it’s a broad mosaic.”

    i presume Trump does not intend to charge Mexico for recurrent expenses – which would be very large.

  12. Matters Not

    Trump’s ability to self immolate knows no bounds.

    The top imports from Mexico in 2015 were vehicles, electrical machinery, machinery, mineral fuels, and medical instruments, the USTR reported. But the country is our second largest supplier of agriculture goods, including vegetables, fruit, wine, beer, and snack foods. Yes, if you’re worried about your avocados and your Coronas, you’re not off base.

    It’s much more than that, though. Mexico not only provides vehicles and produce, but it also sends us computer and phone equipment, appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners, as CNN Money detailed last year. And a big tax on imports from Mexico could mean an increase in prices for American consumers. And you know what that means? Essentially, you’re still paying for the wall on the border of Mexico and the United States, whether you like it or not.

    So US consumers will pay for the wall after all. Trumped again. But wait there’s more.

    40 percent of the imports coming from Mexico to the U.S. includes materials that were first made in the U.S. So, think of it like this: The United States produces car parts. Those parts are exported to Mexico, which assembles the parts to make a complete vehicle. Then, those cars are imported back to the United States. The Hill reported that over a five-year period, the United States imported $341 billion of cars and car parts from Mexico. Forty percent of that — $136 billion — was what Mexico had originally bought from the United States to install in cars. So, technically, this tax could be taxing our country’s own products

    Thus , this tax could be taxing our country’s own products . How’s that for Trump’s promise to reduce US corporate taxes? Methinks it’s a classic Mexican standoff in the making. What a clever donaldi he is.

    https://www.bustle.com/p/what-does-the-us-import-from-mexico-youre-right-to-be-worried-33444

  13. Carol Taylor

    Ah yes, Matters Not BUT if America doesn’t import farm machinery and medical instruments from Mexico that means that in next-to deserted towns and cities in America, factories will start to pop up like mushrooms. Jobs, jobs, jobs and America basks in a New Age of prosperity. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to work? The only problem being..that it doesn’t, and even if it did, then it would take a decade to do so, that is, if America had managed to pull itself out of the Trump-inflicted recession by then.

  14. Kaye Lee

    And the millions of US jobs that are dependent on trade with Mexico…well they can all go join in building the wall I suppose.

  15. Michael Taylor

    I guess some things just can’t be fully explained in a tweet.

  16. Matters Not

    Carol Taylor, if the factories do reopen in the ‘rust bucket states’ then they, in all probability, will be of the ‘high tech’ variety. Resurrecting the ‘well paid’ jobs in the US automotive, and like industries, simply isn’t going to happen.

    All smoke and mirrors – even the Trump team are now running quickly away from this brain explosion, claiming it was just ONE of the many ideas under consideration.

    Question: Would you buy a used car from this man? Answer: We just did – it doesn’t start, the brakes don’t work and it’s perched on a very steep incline.

  17. jimhaz

    Yes, explaining this is a tweet would be rather difficult. I could imagine David Helgott speaking like this.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2015/07/31/donald_trump_this_run_on_sentence_from_a_speech_in_sun_city_south_carolina.html

    “Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart—you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I’m one of the smartest people anywhere in the world—it’s true!—but when you’re a conservative Republican they try—oh, do they do a number—that’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune—you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged—but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me—it would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are (nuclear is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of what’s going to happen and he was right—who would have thought?), but when you look at what’s going on with the four prisoners—now it used to be three, now it’s four—but when it was three and even now, I would have said it’s all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because, you know, they don’t, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years—but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us.

  18. Terry2

    I had always assumed that it’s the consumer, the end user that always pay the tax; any taxes on intermediate entities are passed on down the line.

    Am I missing something here ?

  19. Rossleigh

    I’ve started a group on Facebook where we can all share “alternative facts”…

    https://www.facebook.com/rossleighAIMN/?fref=ts

    More importantly, I found this rather interesting.

    “How To Make America’s Robots Great Again”

  20. Robert G. Shaw

    I was busy laughing at the notion of the Wall this morning when suddenly it hit me.
    Twice actually.
    Now I’m no economist but the idea of tariffs being laughable suddenly became…not so funny.

    First, it will force a push to provide those same/comparative products from US industries/companies. Why buy Mexican product at the increase rate when I can buy it here? Even at the marginally increased US rate?
    I have little doubt that US industries/companies will be more than happy to pick up any slack or gaps in product and its delivery. It’s nearly impossible to see how it couldn’t judging by its size, range, and capital potential.
    Trump will achieve a victory of sorts because it will tie in with his “American jobs/growing the economy” narrative.

    It also helps explain why the Mexicans are beside themselves with worry. If the US slows down on purchasing its goods due to the tariff then they, the Mexicans, are in a near unimaginable world of economic pain. And that’s not even to begin to talk about the illegal immigration issue that, apart from all other considerations, returns somewhere upwards of 23 billion dollars to Mexico.

    I suspect that this threat of tariffs is a poker bluff to signal to the Mexicans, and I would suggest the Europeans also, that such high domestic stakes, like the very ones that made Trump president in the first place, warrant such unusual strategies.
    Whether that strategy entails the revelation of an ace or a 5 of clubs is yet to be seen.
    Personally, I think not.

    The other thing that needs stating, very loudly, is that the US already has the Secure Fences Act of 2006.
    Both Obama and Clinton voted yea for it.
    Very loudly.

    It appears as though Trump has come to their way of thinking.
    Or is it that Obama and Clinton came to his?

    Hard to say really.

    ____

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/01/trumps-accomplice-in-mexico/514430/

    My smile evaporated quickly enough.
    This isn’t going to be as easy as I thought.

  21. Matters Not

    Not sure that the concept of ‘trade’ is best illuminated by reference to Nation States. For example, does Australia really sell iron ore to Singapore or is it the case that BHP (and Rio Tinto) ‘trade’ with subsidiaries based in Singapore? When we speak of Mexico trading with the US, aren’t we actually talking about many US subsidiaries based in Mexico (to employ the cheap local labour- not bound by awards, WH&S and the like) trading with parent US companies, which ironically might have a ‘home’ in a tax haven such as Ireland?

    The now deceased TPP – in theory – was a ‘free trade’ agreement between 12 Nations, including Mexico. But a more accurate construction of reality might be – a set of legalised ‘loopholes’ that allowed Trans National Corporations to legally trash any particular national sovereignty? The use of ISDS arrangements being a clear example.

    We need to change our words.

  22. Zathras

    Here are some extra points.

    The cost of consumer goods manufactured in Mexico (particularly electronics and cars) will rise and sales will fall, resulting in a downturn in employment for American retailers who sell those goods.

    The cost of other items such as fresh fruit and vegetables will simply rise for American consumers.

    In any case, Mexico will pass the cost of the tax onto American consumers so it will ultimately be the Americans themselves who end up paying for the “wall” (actually a series of fences according to Trump in a later interview).

    Damaging the Mexican economy at a time when it’s growing is also likely to result in more illegal immigrants.

    In any case, such a tariff will likely violate World Trade Organisation rules and legislation would have to be carefully structured.

    The current ham-fisted populist approach may win headlines but let’s wait and see what the real result will be.

    The Trump administration is likely to be a series of sensationalist media grabs, followed by deflections and denials when outcomes don’t match the rhetoric.

    The use of “Alternative Facts” has already been implemented.

  23. Matters Not

    Rossleigh, one addition to the robot revolution, that has many Chinese factory owners in a real panic, is the advent of 3D printers. Rapid advances in both ‘quality’ and ‘speed’.

    Ironically many owners are now relocating to Vietnam to offset the rise in labour costs as well.

  24. Möbius Ecko

    Not mentioned is the illegal drug trade.

    Wouldn’t surprise me that in retaliation Mexico stops cooperating with the CIA and USFDA, maybe even going as far kicking US agents out of the country.

  25. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks, Rossleigh. I suspect that your time has well and truly come – so much to laugh about, and so many quizzical observations to be made in this Brave New World! Been over to the fb page. Love it.
    Kyran, Hilarious.
    Robert, Sobering reflections
    Matters Not, Yes. Nation States simply don’t have the power that trans-national corporations do.
    Everybody, This article and thread has been a pleasure to read so far.

  26. harshmind

    To get the wall built within four years, they have to average over a mile a day. Now, Trump build great walls, beautiful walls, and he does it cheaply. I imagine he can give a few of his mates a multi-billion contract each to get it done, and they can get sub-contractors in who they plan not to pay. Imagine the party once Trump is no longer constrained from receiving “emoluments”. I’m looking forward to the wall being half way across in January 2021. With a lovely gold TRUMP sign for the tourists to pose in front of.

  27. Kate Ahearne

    Wow indeed The entire senior level of the State Department gone – resigned!

  28. Robert G. Shaw

    Resigned or pushed?

    My guess is the latter.

    Sorry, my wager is the latter.

  29. Kate Ahearne

    Robert, I don’t know. The link is to the Washington Post, but no doubt there’ll be a lot more said in the next few days. It looks as though one or two people would have been ‘pushed’ as you put it, but the whole lot? It actually looks like a disaster for Trump. As the article puts it, there’ll be no ‘muscle memory’ at the top echelon of an enormous, complex organisation. Good grief!

  30. Matters Not

    They were pushed. A job lot.

    Re the wall. Plenty of time for the ‘tunnellers’ to demonstrate their skills. And those who like to ride the thermals. And … and …

  31. Kate Ahearne

    Matters Not, Haha. And the aeroplane has been invented.

  32. Annie B

    jimhaz –

    I read the outpouring of trump inanities from Sun City, SC – and frankly didn’t believe it could be possible . ( humble apologies to you ). So I went to the link and listened ……… Ye gods and little fishes ?? 🙁

    ((( THAT ))) is a presidential uttering ?

    How could the Persians ( who don’t exist anymore btw – trump may have had a brain nudge – and remembered the country had been renamed Iran ??? ) …. even come into that meandering rhetoric … how could he utter such nonsense. … He does, because he can. ( or he thinks he can ). It honestly reads as something coming from a person high on illegal drugs. !!

    I am wondering about Canada ? …. Are they quaking in their collective boots, or assembled at the drafting tables for plans to build a wall. ? Yeah – I know – being absolutely sardonic here – but, in an effort to lighten the load, here is a video which has had over 2 million views. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQ1D_1A9ds4 It is a giggle ( today ) .. .. tomorrow ? … who knows. I would think Canada is weighing their pros and cons as of this moment ( but not embracing illegal dumping of Americans in parachutes as per this video ). … They would however, have to be a tad concerned. ?

    …………..

    ( btw – to those who don’t like CAPS in posts here …. it is only shouting / loud voiced – and possibly abusive – when ensconced in brackets ) …. Other than that, Caps are ok to point up a word that is important and needs emphasis for the statement.

    And no – that is not a comment for you Jimhaz. Just sayin’ because of another article I read on AIMN recently, complaining about the use of CAPS ~!~

  33. Ian

    What’s the bet Chump ends up buying the Wall materials from Mexico before the tariff goes on “……because I got ’em cheap and the savings are Uuuuuge”

  34. Annie B

    Kate A …. ( ref. Mobius Ecko post – at 8:09 pm ).

    Re : “It actually looks like a disaster for Trump. As the article puts it, there’ll be no ‘muscle memory’ at the top echelon of an enormous, complex organisation. Good grief! ”

    This is grass roots action. … Couldn’t be more delighted, if it means the expulsion ( somehow / when ) of the most dangerous bod in history to assume a leadership of power. Does it matter if they were pushed, or resigned of their own account ? The result is the same. Not good – for the incumbent, or for Americans, and possibly ( but hopefully not ) for the rest of the world – considering ‘domino effects’ of political goings-on.

    This trump bod – like all flashes in the pan, will see his presidential days end. …. It simply will NOT be tolerated, beyond a certain point – and that point is already near. … not fond of the arrogance of Americans, but I do believe they are overall good people who want the best for their country …….. and Trump ain’t it.

  35. Kate Ahearne

    Annie, ‘Couldn’t be more delighted’ Me, too. Absolutely gobsmacked. Can’t wait to see the follow-up. As you say, in the end, it doesn’t matter whether they jumped or were pushed – the State Department will be in the same pickle whichever way it turns out, But there will probably be other repercussions depending on which it was. Either way, it’s a lose/lose for Trump, and hopefully for his agenda..

  36. Kate Ahearne

    Well, now it seems that two distinct narratives are developing. (Thank you Professor Google.) No surprise there. The one that probably best serves Trump’s cause, or so he seems to think, is that they were sacked.

  37. Kaye Lee

    According to CNN so ?….

    Patrick Kennedy, who served for nine years as the undersecretary for management, Assistant Secretaries for Administration and Consular Affairs Michele Bond and Joyce Anne Barr, and Ambassador Gentry Smith, director of the Office for Foreign Missions, were sent letters by the White House that their service was no longer required, the sources told CNN.

    All four, career officers serving in positions appointed by the President, submitted letters of resignation per tradition at the beginning of a new administration. The letters from the White House said that their resignations were accepted and they were thanked for their service.

    The White House usually asks career officials in such positions to stay on for a few months until their successors are confirmed.

    “Any implication that that these four people quit is wrong,” one senior State Department official said. “These people are loyal to the secretary, the President and to the State Department. There is just not any attempt here to dis the President. People are not quitting and running away in disgust. This is the White House cleaning house.”

  38. Kate Ahearne

    So do you think it’s a storm in a tea-cup, Kaye? Nothing significant going on?

  39. Kaye Lee

    Not at all kate. it scares me shitless.

  40. wam

    The mexicans rich wont pay just the farmers and the american rich wont pay just the poor who buy cheap food.

    As for exclusion, from what has been shown so far it is made from pre-built palings making it a fence and a 5 minute laser attack should cut a bus size hole?

  41. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks, Kaye. I wasn’t quite sure if you were paraphrasing CNN or whether you thought that this development was within the tradition, as some media outlets seem to be telling us. This is the State Department, which operates the diplomatic missions of the US abroad and is responsible for implementing foreign policy and U.S. diplomacy. No wonder you’re scared shitless. Me, too. Yikes.

  42. Zathras

    “..And the aeroplane has been invented.”.

    Quite so.

    Most illegal immigrants in the USA arrive by plane and simply overstay their Visas.

    This wall is simply an expensive political symbol and was actually begun under the Clinton administration for the same reason.

  43. Robert G. Shaw

    Annie, a polite caution: I don’t see this expulsion, which is what I believe it to be, as a bad thing for Trump at all. He’s ‘cleaning house’ (CNN & others) and preparing for the install of his own, of Tillerson’s, people. It’s a consolidation of forces, of personnel, of resources, in preparation for the pursuit of his agenda.
    This is a sound political move.

    I think the affected triumphalism, some might even say ‘alternative facts’, of most of the Left media in their reporting of this story is simply a reflex action.
    Pavlovian.
    Where Trump’s every move is somehow ‘evidence’ of confusion, madness, inexperience.
    Again, I doubt that very much. As a matter of fact we may even see more departures coming from other departments or agencies – EPA, Justice, Commerce, Defense, Education.

    Anyway, that kind of reporting will cost them (if it hasn’t already) and us, dearly.

  44. Kyran

    Matters Not, reckon you are spot on.
    “Mexico is currently our 3rd largest goods trading partner with $531 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2015. Goods exports totalled $236 billion; goods imports totalled $295 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Mexico was $58 billion in 2015.”
    The chump confirmed the trade deficit in one of the incessant broadcasts this morning. Having initially expected the Mexican’s to simply issue a ‘tit for tat tariff’, they seem to be taking a different tack. Apparently, NAFTA has an ISDS provision. The bitter sweet irony in the Mexican’s simply suing the US government, using the laws advocated by the US, is somewhat overwhelming.
    As Mobius Ecko pointed out, the part that isn’t taken into account is the illegal trade. You know, the drugs, man. Apparently the American market is worth $200-750 billion, pa. I can only guess the disparity in the figures is due to the ‘illegal’ thing. It’s not like they file tax returns, or disclose the content. S’pose, if it’s good enough for POTUS…..
    Anyhoo, the value of the trade between the Mexican cartels and America is estimated between $19-29 billion pa. Again, I can only surmise the reason for the discrepancy is their failure to lodge tax returns. Don’t they know that’s how they got Al Capone? And, possibly, the new POTUS?
    Anyhoo, it doesn’t matter that these criminal organisations are unlikely to pay a 20% tariff.
    “Mexico’s involvement in the illicit drug trade in the United States:
    Marijuana: Mexico is the number one foreign supplier of marijuana to the United States, and marijuana is thought to be the top revenue generator for Mexican drug cartels.
    Cocaine: Mexico does not produce cocaine, however, Mexican cartels move Columbian cocaine through South and Central America and into the United States. An estimated 93 percent of cocaine headed to the US from South America moves through Mexico.
    Methamphetamine: Mexico remains the biggest foreign supplier of methamphetamine to the United States, and Mexican drug cartels set up labs to manufacture meth on both sides of the border, controlling labs in Southern California as well as domestically.
    Heroin: While Asia and the Middle East remain the biggest producers of heroin, Mexican black-tar and brown heroin is on the rise. In fact, 39 percent of heroin identified under the DEA’s Heroin Signature Program (HSP) in 2008 came from Mexico, making Mexico the source country for many of the heroin abusers west of the Mississippi River.”
    The sheer genius of this. The product won’t be taxed and its usage is only likely to increase, probably starting in the White House. What it leads to is an increase in prison populations. ‘Incarcerate’ is always better than ‘treat’. There you have the new infrastructure spending. More prisons, lots of prisons, prisons for everyone, who is not ‘elite’, even if only by their own definition. The only rational alternative (in a clearly irrational world) is to build a ‘tollway’ for the cartels. As long as they don’t try to bring people in, it’s fine.
    Seriously, you can’t make this shite up.
    As for that tax return thingy, WikiLeaks has declared war on trump. Google it. Regrettably, what starts in laughter (even if it’s only through derision), ends in tears.
    Thanks again, Mr Brisbane and commenters. Take care
    Happy New Year, Roosters. We live in interesting times.

  45. Kaye Lee

    A current WhiteHouse.gov petition seeking to have Trump release his tax returns has already garnered more than 385,000 signatures, easily making it the most widely supported initiative to ever appear on the White House website.

    The petition reads: “The unprecedented economic conflicts of this administration need to be visible to the American people, including any pertinent documentation which can reveal the foreign influences and financial interests which may put Donald Trump in conflict with the emoluments clause of the Constitution.”

    The White House petition system is anything but binding, but it has reached the designated 100,000 threshold to warrant an official response from the powers that be.

    As it stands now, it’s a safe bet that Trump will never release his tax returns. Addressing the issue a few days ago, Kellyanne Conway said: “The White House response is that he’s not going to release his tax returns. We litigated this all through the election. People didn’t care. They voted for him.”

    http://bgr.com/2017/01/27/donald-trump-tax-returns-petition-white-house/

    I saw Donald Trump’s tax returns. Here’s why you should, too

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/world-business/i-saw-donald-trumps-tax-returns-heres-why-you-should-too-20160512-gou36g.html

  46. Kate Ahearne

    Matters Not and Kyran, Thanks for opening up the discussion into these new channels. So many powerful points. So much to consider,

  47. Kate Ahearne

    Kaye, Thanks for the info and the link. It does seem to be true, in any case, that Trump has been bankrupted 4 times. That fact didn’t seem to be disputed during the campaign, and, as Kellyanne Conway pointed out, ‘People didn’t care.They voted for him.’ Buyer remorse is no doubt.setting in, and maybe, like Al Capone, he can be got through the back door.

  48. Möbius Ecko

    “…We litigated this all through the election. People didn’t care. They voted for him.”

    Yet another alternative fact from Kellyanne Conway. Trump intimated he would release his tax returns if he was elected.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/trump-tax-returns_us_5884e7cfe4b070d8cad32f89

    And I would think a petition approaching 400,000 signatures is not an indication people don’t care.

  49. Kaye Lee

    In Ossining, N.Y., home to a Trump National Golf Club, town officials say that a tax break being sought by the company would cost their coffers more than $200,000 a year.

    In seeking the reduction, Trump’s attorneys have claimed that the club is worth far less than the roughly $15 million value assessed by the city.

    Trump’s attorneys have filed papers with the state claiming that the “full market value” of the property is $1.4 million. The same golf course appears on Trump’s new financial disclosure form released this week as part of his presidential campaign — valued by him at more than $50 million.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-income-tax-returns-once-became-public-they-showed-he-didnt-pay-a-cent/2016/05/20/ffa2f63c-1b7c-11e6-b6e0-c53b7ef63b45_story.html?utm_term=.11d7c5133a62

  50. Kate Ahearne

    Kaye, Oh boy! $1.4 million – $50 million. That’s quite a credibility gap!

  51. Annie B

    Robert G S ….

    ” I don’t see this expulsion, which is what I believe it to be, as a bad thing for Trump at all.” >>>>>> etc. etc. “This is a sound political move.” … It may be ? – then again it might not be at all. … I would think it depends on exactly what he is doing this for. For the good of the people ? … or for his own further self-aggrandisement ? Waving the big stick of authoritarianism, attempting huge changes to such things as the ACA ( Obamacare ) by issuing an executive order to start rolling it back , freezing the CNN ( I doubt he can actually do that to be honest ) … and now several more agencies, with no explanations to the people as to why – and for how long. … He just does it – because he believes he can, with impunity.

    Tomorrow is an unknown, and as far as I know, most reasonable people will look at track records of an individual in the public eye – their performance, their public appearances, their manner, their rhetoric and demeanour etc., and make up their minds as to how the future – with this person – might turn out. This applies in all walks of life, and certainly must apply to the President or Prime Minister of any country. It is simple common sense. He carried his followers / voters along on a wave of euphoria mixed with outrageous comment, and bilious innuendo – to win. He has an ability ( and not an enviable one ) to appeal to the weakest denominators in any groups. … Bad management from the Democrats, and waves of hysteria, saw him win.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2017/01/22/white-house-begins-purging-climate-change-science/#6d1fad2e6409 – – – –

    I believe it is widely known as a ‘right-wing’ conservative type news outlet, which I hope persuades you Robert in particular, to read this article thoroughly.

    One small paragraph is enough, surely to have all who might be interested, to investigate this link.

    The article contains much information – not the least of which is the following :

    “According to NBC, all EPA employees have been given a gag order and all contracts and grants have been frozen. That means monitoring children for Pb poisoning has stopped, water and air quality monitoring has stopped. People’s lives are actually at risk. This is unprecedented and dangerous. The Clean Air Act alone has saved more lives than any single law and legislative act in history.”

    So – I ask you to consider what Trump is trying to achieve ? …. Is it aimed at improvement – or aimed at fear-mongering …. and the dumbing down of a populace. ? And can anyone, including a PotUS, attempt to stop the freedom of speech ? This goes against the First Amendment to the Constitution, and frankly I hope invites a hefty look at impeachment. … So far Trump has not behaved in any way like a true leader. …. He’s come out with both guns blazing – putting people’s lives at risk, not to mention their sense of safety and stability.

    That’s not a ‘Leftie’ idea either, btw. …. there are a lot of people, including many of those who voted for him – and his own Republican party ( if indeed that is still what it is ? ), plus others across the world ( and no doubt many politicians of all persuasions ) who are at best bewildered, at least apprehensive, and at worst very afraid. … Is our own spirit of ‘a fair go’ applicable here ? Should we give the bloke a ‘fair go’ …. and when does the U.S. in particular, decide ‘enough is enough’ …….

    We wait to see.

  52. Kyran

    “Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us. I want to say, on behalf of my countrymen, who live many miles away on the other side of the Atlantic, who are far distant from you, that they take the greatest pride that they have been able to share with you, even from a distance, the story of the last 18 years. I know of no town, no city, that has been besieged for 18 years that still lives with the vitality and the force, and the hope and the determination of the city of West Berlin. While the wall is the most obvious and vivid demonstration of the failures of. the Communist system, for all the world to see, we take no satisfaction in it, for it is, as your Mayor has said, an offense not only against history but an offense against humanity, separating families, dividing husbands and wives and brothers and sisters, and dividing a people who wish to be joined together.
    What is true of this city is true of Germany—real, lasting peace in Europe can never be assured as long as one German out of four is denied the elementary right of free men, and that is to make a free choice. In 18 years of peace and good faith, this generation of Germans has earned the right to be free, including the right to unite their families and their nation in lasting peace, with good will to all people. You live in a defended island of freedom, but your life is part of the main. So let me ask you, as I close, to lift your eyes beyond the dangers of today, to the hopes of tomorrow, beyond the freedom merely of this city of Berlin, or your country of Germany, to the advance of freedom everywhere, beyond the wall to the day of peace with justice, beyond yourselves and ourselves to all mankind.
    Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. When all are free, then we can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one and this country and this great Continent of Europe in a peaceful and hopeful globe. When that day finally comes, as it will, the people of West Berlin can take sober satisfaction in the fact that they were in the front lines for almost two decades.”

    JFK, in front of the Berlin Wall, 26th June, 1963.

    We know so much, yet we learn so little. Apologies, Mr Brisbane, but there was something annoying me about building walls. Take care

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