THE RED FLAG PRESENTS: ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST TRUMP'S HORSES LEAVING THE STABLE OR WHAT A DIFFERENCE A TARIFF MAKES

John Nichols in Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide To The Most Dangerous People In America (2017) in a chapter titled "Swimming In The Government Sachs Swap," writes of Gary Cohn's membership of the Trump swamp.  Nichols posits that when Donald Trump sat down on May 4, 2017, with the editors of the Economist magazine, he was accompanied by National Economic Council director Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.  They listened attentively as their boss made a fool of himself.

TRUMP VOWS TO DRAIN THE SWAMP OF GOLDMAN SACHS OFFICERS

Donald Trump had in February of 2016, when he was campaigning in South Carolina before that state's critical Republican primary, warned that voters should reject Texas senator Ted Cruz because "the guys at Goldman Sachs ... have total, total control over him--just like they have total control over Hillary Clinton."  By February 2017, however, Trump had a different view altogether.  As the new president of the United States he was busy appointing a graduating class of Goldman Sachs alumni to top positions in his administration:

Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin

Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Jim Donovan

Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Habib Powell, who in her spare time advises Ivanka Trump; their West Wing offices adjoin one another.

And, of course Gary Cohn.

Nichols posits that though he accepts the director of the National Economic Council title, Cohn is broadly recognized as Trump's "chief economic adviser."  That's kind of a big deal.  People who recognize how Goldman Sachs has always operated know that Cohn and his compatriots have things covered, even if they sometimes have to listen to Donald Trump brag about how he came up with Keynesian economics.

Cohn aligned with a West wing faction known as the "New Yorkers" that included Dina Powell, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, among others, the bete noir of Steve Bannon.  Bannon and Cohn had one thing in common: both were Goldman Sachs graduates.

Bannon, a frequent critic of Wall Street played a critical role in framing the final Trump campaign ad that featured an image of Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein as the candidate decried "a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities."  However, for a time in the Trump administration the Goldman faction seemed to be winning.  That is until:

Trump Formally Orders Tariffs On Steel, Aluminum Imports

Mar 8, 2018
Originally published on March 8, 2018 8:49 pm

Updated at 4:47 p.m. ET

President Trump ordered steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from every country except Canada and Mexico. It's the boldest move to date for the president who campaigned on a protectionist platform that is sharply at odds with Republicans' free trade orthodoxy.

Trump signed the orders Thursday afternoon during a White House event featuring steel and aluminum workers in blue jeans and holding hard hats.

"A strong steel and aluminum industry are vital to our national security, absolutely vital," Trump said. "Steel is steel. You don't have steel, you don't have a country."

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., issued a statement disagreeing with the administration's approach, arguing instead for "targeted enforcement" against bad trade practices by countries like China.

"I disagree with this action and fear its unintended consequences. I am pleased that the president has listened to those who share my concerns and included an exemption for some American allies, but it should go further," Ryan said. "We will continue to urge the administration to narrow this policy so that it is focused only on those countries and practices that violate trade law."

The president ordered a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent levy on imported aluminum to take effect in 15 days. Although Trump initially wanted to apply the tariffs worldwide, carve-outs were added for Canada and Mexico for the time being. Aides say exceptions could be made for other U.S. allies.

Canada is the leading supplier of imported steel and aluminum to the U.S., accounting for 16 percent of imported steel and 41 percent of imported aluminum, as CNBC has reported.

Trump said the order would show "great flexibility and cooperation toward those that are real friends."

Domestic steelworkers have applauded the president's move.

"Everybody's just happy," said Mark Goodfellow, head of the Steelworkers Local 420A in Massena, N.Y., where Alcoa employs about 500 people. "It feels like the American worker is getting a break and finally getting a shot to compete on a level playing field."

U.S. Steel announced plans to restart one of two idle blast furnaces in Granite City, Ill., and call back some 500 workers. Century Aluminum plans to invest $100 million in its smelter in Hawesville, Ky., and hire 300 additional workers.

"My father worked in the industry and worked at that plant for 40 years," Dusty Stevens, a superintendent at the Century plant, said at the White House event Thursday. "This hits home for all of us in Hawesville."

Both the steel and aluminum industries have been under heavy pressure from imports. In recommending tariffs or quotas, the Commerce Department noted that employment in the domestic steel industry has shrunk by 35 percent in the past two decades, while the aluminum industry shed nearly 60 percent of its jobs between 2013 and 2016.

"Those are bedrock, backbone industries of this country," said White House trade adviser Peter Navarro. "And the president is going to defend them against what is basically a flood of imports that have pushed out American workers, aluminum smelters. And we can't afford to lose them."

Authority for the tariffs comes from a seldom-used law from the 1960s that was designed to protect domestic industries deemed vital to national defense.

But Defense Secretary James Mattis questioned that premise, noting that military demand for steel and aluminum can be met with just 3 percent of domestic production. What's more, unless the U.S. declares war on its neighbor to the north, metal supplies from Canada are not likely to be compromised.

Experts say the real challenge for industry is China, which produces almost as much steel in a month as the U.S. does all year. But the U.S. has already imposed anti-dumping measures against Chinese producers, and relatively little Chinese metal flows directly into the U.S. market.

"Even though China's overcapacity is weighing down global prices, it's not the direct cause of a loss of our aluminum and steel industries," Navarro said. "The direct cause is simply the foreign steel that crosses our borders. And that is what we must stop."

Critics worry that tariffs will increase costs for businesses and consumers and could spark retaliation from America's trading partners. Republican lawmakers have been urging the White House to adopt a more surgical approach.

"We're on the verge of a painful and stupid trade war, and that's bad," Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said in a statement. "This isn't just bad for farmers and ranchers in Nebraska who need to buy a new tractor, it's also bad for the moms and dads who will lose their manufacturing jobs because fewer people can buy a more expensive product. Temporary exceptions for Canada and Mexico are encouraging, but bad policy is still bad policy."

Ultimately, it is unlikely that lawmakers will take action to counter the president, despite technically having the ability to do so.

The tariffs have also caused friction within the administration. Trump's top economic adviser and free trade advocate Gary Cohn announced his resignation on Tuesday.

"President Trump is a unique negotiator," Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said this week, as Radio Iowa reported. "Sometimes he keeps people off balance, even his own staff."

Many farmers are heavily dependent on export markets and could be hit hard in a trade war. Asked for his advice, Perdue chuckled softly and said, "Pray."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

President Trump is making good on his pledge to protect the U.S. steel and aluminum industries. This afternoon, the president ordered steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Critics, including Republicans in Congress, warn the move will drive up prices and could spark retaliation by other countries. The impact was softened somewhat because Trump exempted imported metal from both Mexico and Canada - that's the leading U.S. supplier. In a few minutes, we'll hear what lawmakers have to say. First, NPR's Scott Horsley joins us from the White House. Hey, Scott.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with you.

KELLY: We have been awaiting this formal order for a week since the president first telegraphed his intent to impose tariffs. What was the scene like there at the White House?

HORSLEY: Well, the event took place in the Roosevelt Room. There were some cabinet officials on hand and a lot of men and some women in blue jeans and holding hard hats. They looked on as the president signed orders imposing a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum. Those are actually larger levies than the Commerce Department had recommended. The president says he wants to protect homegrown steel mills and aluminum smelters that he considers vital to national security.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We want to build our ships. We want to build our planes. We want to build our military equipment with steel, with aluminum from our country.

HORSLEY: This was the strongest move to date by a president who campaigned on an aggressive protectionist platform. And it comes, Mary Louise, on the same day that 11 other countries around the Asia-Pacific region were actually signing that big trade agreement that Donald Trump pulled out of.

KELLY: Indeed it is. What's going on with the exemptions we just mentioned for Canada and Mexico because initially the president had said these tariffs need to apply to everybody - every country?

HORSLEY: He did. He was worried that otherwise any country that was exempted would just become a backdoor for imports from the rest of the world to come through and evade the tariff. But after tremendous pressure, Trump agreed to at least a temporary exemption for Canada and Mexico that could be extended. It sort of depends on how talks proceed on extending - or rewriting the North American Free Trade Agreement. And the president said he might grant exemptions to other U.S. allies as well. The carve-out for Canada is especially important because, as you mentioned, that's the biggest exporter of steel and aluminum. Canada accounts for about 16 percent of imported steel in this country and 41 percent of imported aluminum.

KELLY: Well, how big a deal is this today for steel and aluminum workers?

HORSLEY: For the workers, it's a big deal. Both these industries have been badly beaten up by foreign competition. I talked this week with Mark Goodfellow who heads the Steelworkers Local in Massena, N.Y., where there's an Alcoa aluminum smelter. Their workforces - only about a third of what it was two decades ago. But Goodfellow says, with this announcement, things are looking up.

MARK GOODFELLOW: Everybody's just happy that we're - it feels like the American workers is getting a break and finally getting a shot to compete on a level-playing field.

HORSLEY: We had an announcement this week that U.S. Steel plans to restart one of two idle blast furnaces in Illinois and call back 500 workers. Also Century Aluminum is planning to invest money in an advanced aluminum smelter and hire an extra 300 workers in Kentucky.

KELLY: In Kentucky. Why has the president faced so much opposition though?

HORSLEY: Well, for every worker in a steel mill or an aluminum smelter, there are more than 40 who work in industries that use steel and aluminum. And those companies will have higher costs and could be at a disadvantage. Here's how Missouri Senator Roy Blunt put it in a meeting with the president.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ROY BLUNT: We make aluminum, and we make steel in Missouri. But we buy a lot of aluminum, and we buy a lot of steel as well. From bass boats to beer cans, there's a lot of aluminum out there.

HORSLEY: And there's also the threat that there could be retaliation by other countries against U.S. exports.

KELLY: All right. Thank you, Scott.

HORSLEY: You're welcome.

KELLY: NPR's Scott Horsley at the White House. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR. http://northernpublicradio.org/post/trump-formally-orders-tariffs-s...

Amity Shlaes in The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression (2007) reminds us that Herbert Hoover, like Donald Trump, was a businessman, but with more panache.  Moreover, both Hoover and Trump share a narcissistic traits in personality.  Shales writes that in spite of all his international and domestic successes by age thirty-five or forty Hoover still feared criticism, but less than before--he encountered it so infrequently.  Luck and talent had done their work, and he began to feel his greatness was unlimited.  Not only Americans but also foreigners had the same impression.  Getting to know Hoover at the 1919 WWI peace conference, the economist John Maynard Keynes was deeply impressed.  Hoover, Keynes said operated in "an atmosphere of reality, knowledge, magnanimity and disinterestedness, which, if they had been found in other quarters also, would have given us the Good Peace."  Others might live lives of periodic setbacks; Hoover seemed immune.  Sherwood Anderson, author of Winesburg, Ohio, wrote with astonishment that Hoover's was the face of a man who "had never known failure."

UNDERMINING THE FORGOTTEN MAN

Although the Smoot-Hawley Tariff did not cause the Great Depression, it contributed to its disastrous outcome.  Unlike Trump, Hoover was a humanitarian and self-made millionaire who liked a challenge.  As the stock market began to slide between 1929 and the end of 1930, Hoover decided to wage a war against inflation.  Market fever was in any case the sort of thing Hoover deplored; he had been complaining about abuse of credit for four years.  Meanwhile, the market was beginning to look worse.

In November 1929--Hoover pushed to a public works program by a healthy sum of $423 million on the theory that spending would boost the economy.  When congress convened in December, the president, called for "expansion of the merchant marine, the regulation of inter-State distribution of electric power, the consolidation of railroads, the development of public health services, and departmental reorganization for greater economy."

But this was only the beginning.  This time, he thought, perhaps the president could broker the recovery.  "Words are not of any great importance in times of economic disturbance," he announced.  "It is action that counts."  The problem with the economy, at least as it was evolving, was mostly a monetary or an international one--Germany was already in depression, [which led to the rise of Hitler and the Nazis].  Yet at first Hoover focused on fixing the US economy with domestic fiscal tools.  And before a year would pass, Hoover had done damage that mattered on three fronts: by intervening in business, by signing into law a destructive tariff, and by assailing the stock market.

By April 1930 the secretary of commerce announced that public works spending was at its highest level in five years.  At the same time, Hoover went to work on another front: farm prices.  These were at painful lows, in part because of production incentive programs advanced by Hoover himself earlier in the decade.  The government had lured farmers into overproduction.

Shlaes declares that there was a monetary element to the problem as well.  Looser money or credit policies could have limited the farmers' problems. 

So in fact could have more orthodox adherence to the gold standard--giving up sterilization. (The Fed veered from the old gold standard tradition.  It sterilized the effect of all that new money from 1929 gold seeking a safe haven in the US by selling bonds--in effect, soaking up money from the economy to offset any monetary expansion, dropping the money supply.)  But Hoover chose to stick to the narrow challenge of pricing without regard to monetary factors.

If farm prices were too low, he would raise them.  Strengthening protection might bring them up.  Protectionism had in any case been part of the Republican Party platform in 1928, in which the party had reaffirmed the tariff as a "fundamental and essential principal of the economic life of this nation."  And on April 15, 1929, well before the autumn siege, the president had as good as promised a new agricultural tariff: "Such a tariff not only protects the farmer in our domestic market, but also stimulates him to diversify his crop."

Now, with farmers in need, the tariff idea gained momentum.  [Unlike now], Lawmakers pushed for it.  In the House, the leader was Willis Hawley of Oregon; in the Senate, Reed Smoot of Utah.  In the end the legislation called for one of the highest tariffs in U.S. history.  The new law made sense on an emotional level: America was in trouble, so America's domestic producers must be protected with fresh advantage.  In the autumn of 1929 it became clear that a large new tariff would indeed pass the Congress--and that it would be up to Hoover whether to sign it.

TARIFFS BAD FOR GENERAL ECONOMY?

For the general economy the tariff was bad news.  As Benjamin Anderson of Chase Bank would point out in an address the next March, the preceding fifteen years, going back to 1914, had seen an excess of exports over imports of $25 billion.  America sold more than it bought in the international arena.  Others agreed.  A new tariff would shut U.S. sellers off from the world at a time when they badly needed customers.  It would deprive foreign governments of trade.  It would drive the prices of imports up for consumers at home.  It would hurt other nations, nations that the United States hoped would become its markets.  It would certainly hurt the worker.  It would also, in the long run, hurt the farmer, by offering yet more--and greater--incentives to continue doing something that was uneconomical.

In May 1930, one thousand and twenty-eight economists signed an open letter urging the president to veto the tariff legislation--and published the letter in the New York Times.  Irving Fisher was among them.  So was James Bonbright, the expert in utilities finance.  And so was Rex Tugwell, whose name came after Bonbright's on the list.  The language of their protest was strong:

        We are convinced that increased restrictive duties would be a mistake.  They would operate, in general, to increase the prices which domestic consumer would have to pay.  By raising prices they would encourage concerns with higher costs to undertake production, thus compelling the consumer to subsidize waste and inefficiency in industry.  At the same time they would force him to pay higher rates of profit to established firms.... Few people could hope to gain from such a change.

The economists went on to predict that "many countries would pay us back in kind."  As for unemployment, they reminded the Republicans, "we cannot increase employment by restricting trade."  They pointed out that farmers, the bloc whom the lawmakers were aiming to please, would also suffer from Smoot-Hawley.  "The vast majority of farmers would also lose.  Their cotton, pork, lard, and wheat are exported crops and are sold in the world market."  Among the other signatory were seven professors from Hoover's alma mater, Stanford, including the dean of a business school that Hoover had helped to found.  Without free trade, the golden "passportless" world would fade.

Thomas Lamont of J. P. Morgan was watching his bank shrink; it would lose half its net worth in the Hoover years.  "I almost went down on my knees to beg Herbert Hoover to veto the asinine Hawley-Smoot Tariff," Lamont recalled.

Washington received 106 wires from forty-nine General Motors overseas officers in fifteen countries.  GM's European director, Graeme K. Howard, sent a telegram whose message was as terse as it was clear: PASSAGE BILL WOULD SPELL ECONOMIC ISOLATION UNITED STATES AND MOST SEVERE DEPRESSION EVER EXPERIENCED.

Writing from Paris on May 19, the New York Time's Carlisle MacDonald predicted trouble.  French Prime Minister Aristide Briand had proposed a novel idea: a United Europe, including a common market, also then a new thought.  The author speculated that such an entity might not like the idea of Smoot-Hawley and would become a "medium for contraction" at some point.

A HOVEREQUE SOLUTION THAT TRUMP MIRRORS

The medicine ball was in Hoover's hands, and this time, he dropped it.  He announced that it was nationally important to have a tariff, and also important for the executive to play a key strategic role in formulating it.  He wanted to stop "congressional logrolling"--the congressional game of setting tariffs on specific industries to please specific constituencies.

The position he therefore ended up adopting was Hooveresque.  He would not oppose the new tariff but would battle to make it fairer.  He therefore activated the engineering of a "flexible tariff" that would be controlled by a bipartisan commission made up of a precise fifty-fifty breakdown of commissioners from each party.  The commission would achieve an important goal of Hoover's: they would take tariffs as far away from politicians as he could get them.  It would be a "definite rate-making body acting through semi-judicial methods."  The commission would then set tariffs based on a rational review of costs and prices at home and abroad.  There was one other thing: the executive would then have the authority "to promulgate or veto the conclusions of the commission."  The progressive and engineer in him triumphed over the international merchant.

Congress gave Hoover what he wanted.  Hoover not only signed the legislation; he signed it ceremoniously, in June 1930, using six gold pens, one each for the Republican lawmakers Smoot, Watson, Shorridge, Hawley, Treadway, and Bacharach.  But by focusing on winning the battle of flexible tariffs, Hoover lost the more important struggle: to right the ship in a storm.

WORLD REVENGE & TRADE WAR NOT EASY

Tariffs may help Big Steel, but hurt the smaller manufacturers

Mar 7, 2018

Last week, President Donald Trump announced that he was going to impose 25 percent across-the-board tariffs on imported steel, alongside a 10 percent tariff on aluminum. While there's been public pressure on the president from many corners, including his fellow Republicans urging the president change his mind, the administration has been steadfast. Today, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that the president plans to sign the tariffs by the end of the week, adding, "There are potential carve outs for Mexico and Canada based on national security, and possibly other countries as well."

While we don't yet know what the tariffs look like, there are already Steel CEOs and business owners who are issuing some words of warning. Lisa Goldenberg, CEO of Delaware Steel Co. based in Pennsylvania, is one such business leader and a regular guest on our show. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke with Goldenberg about how the tariffs may affect her company and the steel industry as a whole. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

Kai Ryssdal: I have to tell you when this news broke last week, everybody around here was like, "Oh, we've got to call Lisa! We've got to call Lisa!" And I'm like, "You know what? Let's just let this sit for a little bit and give her a chance to think about it, and then we'll get her on the phone." So here we are, on the phone —

Lisa Goldenberg: I have to tell you that wherever I go, people have been saying to me, "When's Kai calling you?" Strangers! I am in Arizona, and two people walked up to me in the lobby, whom I've never met, and said, "Are you Kai's steel lady?" So there you go.

Ryssdal: Well there you go. So now that we've got you on the phone— that's a great story — what do you think?

Goldenberg: Well, it's an exciting time. For my company, tariffs are a good thing, but I wear a lot of hats, as you and I have discussed. I think this is the kind of thing, what's good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander. So when we talk about manufacturing, just to give a primer and take it back a step, traditional big steel mills where the steel is actually made, this is very, very good for Big Steel. There's manufacturers, and that's where we get into a tricky part. I sell into what we call nonresidential construction. So that's big-box stores and what you see in your community. Those prices on the goods that I sell the companies who manufacture product have gone up 30 percent overnight.

Ryssdal: Wow.

Goldenberg: And they will continue to rise. They will continue to rise.

Ryssdal: Are your clients coming to you, and saying, "Lisa, you're killing me here. I can't pay this. I'm going to have to pass this on to my customers"?

Goldenberg: Absolutely. Hundred percent. And when Wilbur Ross goes on television talking about the price for a can of Coke, I honestly — he's a guru, and I highly respect him in what he does. I have no idea of what he's talking about. I'm charging manufacturers 30 percent more in the last two weeks, and I will continue to raise that number. I will be in the market. I'm a warehouse, but I'm also a trader, so I pass on not all, but most of it as soon as I can, of the increase, "it" being the increase.

Related "Let's be honest: corporate taxes are pretty low," this CEO says What capacity do U.S. steel manufacturers have to meet demand if ta... Infrastructure spending could be good news for the steel industry —...

Ryssdal: Are you, as the CEO of a steel company, are you hiring? Are you going to expand?

Goldenberg: Well, I'm cautiously optimistic. We will have a very strong quarter. This is once in a lifetime, this is where you make money. The question is, when this "falls apart," when this changes, I don't want to be left with extraordinarily high-priced inventory. So I need to be extra, extra cautious. Let's remember, there are no new tariffs. This is a conversation.

Ryssdal: Right. It sort of sounds like, when you're using words like "when this falls apart," it sounds like either you think these tariffs might not be all that they're going to be cracked up to be, or, like President Bush, they're going to go into place. There will be WTO conversations, and European retaliation, and they're going to be pulled back.

Goldenberg: Of course they're going to be pulled back, and they may be pulled back before they even happen. We will have tariffs. It might be a way to negotiate NAFTA. It's old and antiquated. Maybe this is a negotiation strategy. The president negotiates with a very big stick. So you go in with a lot of drama, people freak out, now you sort of negotiate. So at the end of the day, we will have tariffs. Do I think they will look like what's proposed? No, I do not. http://nprillinois.org/post/tariffs-may-help-big-steel-hurt-smaller...

Shlaes posits that the economist proved to be right: Smoot-Hawley provoked retaliatory protectionist actions by nations all over the globe, depriving the United States of markets and sending the country into a deeper slump.  Dozens of nations acted, as it became clear the tariff would become law, or after the formal signature France imposed an auto tariff; so did Italy.  Australia and India legislated new duties.  Canada raised tariffs three times.  The first tariff, an emergency retaliation, hit 125 classes of U.S. products.  The Swiss, furious at a duty on watches, boycotted U.S. imports to their country.

There were indirect international consequences as well.  Foreign governments still owed considerable debts to the United States.  Some of those debts were denominated in gold.  To get the gold to pay those debts, the governments and their people had to be able to sell in the United States.  The tariffs made this necessary task more difficult.  At a time when the country could have pulled itself out of a slump through trade.  Washington was buttressing the walls preventing that trade.

TRUMP BEWARE THE KOCHTOPUS

Jane Mayer in Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires behind the Rise of the Radical Right (2016) writes that Charles Koch's political trajectory had been a long climb, from the John Birch Society bookstore in Wichita and the Freedom school and the Libertarian Party on the outermost fringe of political irrelevance.  The force of his will, combined with his fortune, had made him one of the most formidable figures in modern Americans politics.  Few had waged a more relentless or more effective assault on Americans' belief in government.

Charles and his brother David had built and financed a private political machine that had helped cripple a twice-elected Democratic president [Barack Obama], and begun to supplant the Republican Party, [with the Tea Party].  Educational institutions and think tanks [including the AEI] all over the country promoted his worldview, doubling as a talent pipeline.  A growing fleet of non-profit groups [such as Americans for Prosperity] mobilized public opinion behind his agenda.  The groups trained candidates and provided the technological and financial assistance necessary to run state-of-the-art campaigns.  The money they could put behind their chosen candidates was seemingly limitless.  Congressmen, senators, and presidential hopefuls now flocked to their secret seminars like the [2016] presidential hopefuls now flocked to their secret seminars like supplicants, eager to please them in hopes of earning their support.

Mayer posits that rare was the Republican candidate who wouldn't toe the Kochs' line.  John Kasich, the iconoclastic governor of Ohio, was one.  He prompted an angry walkout by some twenty donors at the Kochs' April 2014 summit for criticizing the Koch Network's position against Medicaid expansion.  In answer to Randy Kendrick, who had questioned his pro-Medicaid position, Kasich retorted, "I don't know about you, lady.  But when I get to the pearly gates, I'm going to have an answer for what I've done for the poor."  He added, "I know this is going to upset a lot of you guys, but we have to use government to reach out to people living in the shadows."  The Kochs never invited Kasich back again.

Politics

Charles and David Koch Will Not Launch Donald Trump Intervention To Stop GOP Nomination

Charles and David Koch will not use their $400 million political arsenal against Republican front-runner Donald Trump during the primary process, according to a report from Reuters:

“We have no plans to get involved in the primary,” said James Davis, spokesman for Freedom Partners, the Koch brothers’ political umbrella group. He would not elaborate on what the billionaire industrialists’ strategy would be for the Nov. 8 general election to succeed Democratic President Barack Obama.

The Kock brothers are the most powerful conservative mega donors in the United States.

The brothers are said to be “smarting from the millions they pumped” into the 2012 Republican presidential bids of Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, only to see both candidacies fail. https://www.rickey.org/charles-and-david-koch-will-not-launch-donal...

Trump owns his Trumpsters, but the Kochtopus owns Congress.  The Kochs and its Koch Network are globalist.  So far they have allowed Trump "free will," but now with the tariffs, he may have gone too far.

Views: 52

Comment by mary gravitt on March 12, 2018 at 12:43pm

Soon we will see what a difference a tariff makes.  The Koch brothers do not like Donald Trump only Alt-Kochs like Robert and Rebekah Mercer, as well as Sheldon Adleson supported Trump in 2016.  The Koch as well as the Koch Network/Kochtopus are globalist.  They don't like tariffs because they have so many international interest.  MobileExxon is a Koch Network member, Rex Tillerson was the former CEO of Exxon.  The GOP Congress was put in place by the Koch Network--that is why there is so much noise from the peanut-gallery.  Trump had better watch his step and walk back the tariffs or else.

Comment by J.P. Hart on March 14, 2018 at 8:03am

John Kerry! America Needs You!

Comment by mary gravitt on March 14, 2018 at 12:14pm

Thank you.  The entire US is under the thumb of the Kochs.  Trump wants his Trumpsters to believe that he does not have to back down.  If I were the Steel and mental workers, I'd save my money and the bonuses they may have been promised.  The Kochs and the Kochtopus don't like tariffs.

We can fight the Kochs and their influence if we can get rid of Citizens United because its all about money in politics.

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