Armstrong Economics Blog/The Hunt for Taxes
Re-Posted Aug 26, 2018 by Martin Armstrong
People really think we have free trade and somehow Trump is reversing that fact. This, of course, is how the press has portrayed the issue, but that is just far from the truth. Trump is now looking at putting a 20%-25% tariff on cars coming from Europe. Personally, I only have German cars so I would not like to see that outcome. But personal wishes are not something I can explore for analysis. What I can say is that far too much is being fudged.
Countries are using DUTIES as the alternative to tariffs. It has gotten so impossible, we can no longer create the mugs we always give away at every conference in the USA when the conference is in Europe or Asia. Our last two conferences in Asia required us to manufacture the mugs in the country of the conference because we cannot get them into the country even when we hand them out for free. To government’s nothing is FREE and then you have to negotiate the “duty” to pay based upon what you would have paid for a cup manufactured in their country.
On that score, I have to agree with Trump. He has offered a free trade deal to the EU dropping all tariffs if they do the same. France rejected. There should be no tariffs and NO duties. Just for once let there be free trade. It has NEVER existed. Before the income tax, the US-funded itself with excise taxes. Excise taxes are taxes paid when purchases are made on a specific good, for example, gasoline. Excise taxes are often included in the price of the product. There are also excise taxes on activities, such as on wagering or on highway usage by trucks. One of the major components of the excise program is motor fuel today. Now we have consumption taxes in this manner AND income taxes. Government is now funded by just shaking us upside down and inventing countless taxes so they do not have to report the total cost of taxes.