Tag Archives: Obama

America’s Trade Deficit: An Enormous Concern

Another milestone (or more accurately millstone) was recently passed by the U.S. economy as the January trade deficit surged to an all-time record high of $107.6 billion, up some $26 billion from December’s $80.7 billion imbalance.*

Like the gigantic federal budget deficit, the trade imbalance is no longer talked about by the financial press.  There has been little criticism of President Biden on either matter nor are Administration officials questioned about how things can be reversed.  In fact, some commentators bizarrely contend that trade deficits show how robust an economy actually is!     

The trade deficit was supposed to be alleviated by former President Trump who vowed throughout the 2016 campaign that he would rectify the situation and repeatedly ridiculed U.S. trade negotiators for their lack of financial acumen.  He touted that his “friendship” with world leaders, most notably Chinese President Xi Jinping, would result in favorable trade deals for the country. 

Trade hawks got on board with Trump’s economic nationalism believing that he would not only fix imbalances, but create an American industrial renaissance.  Optimism ran high after his unexpected win in 2016. 

As president, after a couple of contentious years of on-again, off-again negotiations a first phase of an agreement with China was signed in early 2018.  During the negotiations, he boasted:

When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars

on trade with virtually every country it does business with,

trade wars are good and easy to win.**

In actuality, nothing significant was agreed upon with China despite the Trump Administration bragging that it was the first phase of a more comprehensive deal to come.  Despite all of the hoopla, the trade imbalance continued to grow and no deal was ever finalized. 

Besides the initial agreement with China, the next biggest trade policy act was the scrapping of NAFTA and its replacement with a new treaty, “The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement” (USMCA).  The new agreement was little different than the original treaty.

Thus, by the time he left office in 2020, the U.S.’s trade gap ($68.2 billion) was greater than during his predecessor, Barrack Obama’s term, who Trump lambasted for his ruinous trade policy.***

Trump wisely spoke little about trade during his unsuccessful 2020 re-election bid and, surprisingly, his opponents, despite the president’s miserable failure, steered clear of the issue.  Of course, the Democrats were limited in what they could do with an obvious feeble, senile, and vile candidate at the top of their ticket.

Like the Democrats, Trump’s trade-hawk cheerleaders have remained reticent about the escalating trade numbers and like the former president they too, are now discredited when it comes to trade.  If America could not overcome its trade gap with an economic nationalist as president for four years, then there must be a problem with their thinking.      

The reason why Trump failed – as will Biden – is that he, his negotiators, and the trade hawks who supported him are ignorant of basic economics. The burgeoning trade deficits are not the result of bad trade deals or that of ineffective tariff policies, but are the result of a deteriorating U.S. economy which is no longer one of production, but of consumption and debt.  A growing economy creates trade surpluses not deficits; it produces more than it consume.

Because of decades of anti-capitalistic economic legislation – confiscatory taxation, regulatory burdens, inflationary monetary policy, “crowding out” budget deficits, unemployment subsidies, minimum wage laws, and an overemphasis by the Establishment on higher education – the U.S. is no longer an industrial power and not a conducive environment for economic growth.    

Because it possesses the world’s reserve currency, the U.S. has been able to offset its trade imbalances by importing goods in exchange for dollars.  Even with this advantage, however, trade deficits have continued to grow.  It appears that even its status as the possessor of the world’s reserve currency may be coming to an end as the dollar’s preeminence will fall with the surge in price inflation.  This will have a devastating effect not only for the domestic economy but its foreign trade as well as the country will not be able to export dollars for goods in the future. 

The burgeoning trade deficit is a far more accurate indicator of the health of an economy than GDP, unemployment figures, or the government’s “official” rate of price inflation.  All these statistics are so manipulated that they do not come close to showing what is actually happening in the real world.  The trade deficit is a more reflective gauge of an economy’s productive capacity.    

That Trump posted the largest trade deficit in history also explodes his claim that under his watch, the U.S. had the greatest economy ever!  How he calculated and supported such nonsense (which was not challenged by the financial press) is hard to maintain with trade deficits in the stratosphere.

When America’s economy was at its zenith, it was a creditor nation with trade surpluses and producing goods which were sold the world over.  It had a high savings rate, a low inflationary environment, little public debt, and respect for private property, particularly the right for entrepreneurs to hire and fire whom they pleased.  All socio-economic groups prospered from the free market and free trade, not just the 1%. 

The trade deficit can be turned around, but not through bureaucratic state orchestrated deals which favor big business and multi-national corporations at the expense of American consumers.  The proper trade policy is no policy at all, except the freeing of the economy from government intervention.     

*https://www.reuters.com/business/us-goods-trade-deficit-hits-record-high-january-2022-02-28/

**https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-trump/trump-tweets-trade-wars-are-good-and-easy-to-win-idUSKCN1GE1E9

***https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/05/us-trade-deficit-january-2021.html

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

                               

                               

                               

                               

The United States of Terror!

US Bombing Since WWII

Two recent articles* have again demonstrated that the greatest “terrorist” entity on earth is not the bogymen – Russia, China, Iran, North Korea – so often portrayed by Western presstitudes and the American government, but the United States itself!  Ever since World War II, the US has been the most militaristic, far surpassing all of the Communist and dictatorial regimes combined.

Some startling and rarely reported facts:

  • Currently, the US drops on someone or something a deadly explosive once every12 minutes
  • W. Bush’s military dropped 70,000 bombs on five different nations during his murderous regime
  • Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Barrack Obomber, launched 100,000 bombs on seven countries
  • Funding this mass murder is a reportedly $21 trillion (!) that is unaccounted for in the Pentagon’s coffers

Despite all of the “America First” bluster at the start of the Trump Administration, little has changed but, in fact, things have escalated.  While G.W. Bush in his wicked eight years dropped over 24 bombs per day and his successor upped that total to 34 bombs per day, the current Bomber-in-Chief has, in his first year in office, averaged 121 bombs per day!  For the initial year of his Presidency, 44,000 bombs were dropped on people and lands despite the fact that the US is not officially at war with a single country!

Despite these grisly statistics, which are hardly ever reported by the mainstream press, the military industrial complex and the controlled Western media outlets have propagated the lie of “precision bombing.”  Precision bombing has been trumpeted to minimize the effect of US aggression to the public that only true belligerents are targeted and not innocents.

When US bombing is reported by the press, the actual casualties and property damage are never accurately given.  The most notorious example of this mendacity was the coverage of Bush II’s Iraq war.  “The US and its allies ruthlessly carpet-bombed Iraq,” a UN report acknowledged, “reducing it from ‘a rather highly urbanized and mechanized society’ to a ‘pre-industrial age nation.’”

Later accounts of what actually happened showed that “only seven percent of the 88,500 tons of bombs and missiles devastating Iraq were ‘precision weapons.’”

Yet, it is hypocritical US policy makers that call certain regimes “rogue” and/or “terrorist” while their own defense budget is set at $700 billion to increase next year by $16 billion.  Yes, more taxes extorted from the public for the pulverization of peoples and their homes across the globe!

Even if these statistics were of common knowledge, do not look for things to change.  The majority of the American public loves its military and government and has been conditioned to overlook and accept nearly all of its military engagements and the propaganda that attempts to justify them.

Democracy Bombing II

What must change is ideology which, at one time, was strongly anti-interventionist, but gradually became pro-war.  Through education, the press, books, and the electronic media, the intelligentsia was able to manipulate public opinion.  Americans began to glorify war under the guise of spreading democracy and “freedom” to everyone, whether they wanted it or not.

Under current ideological conditions, a reversal of thinking to a non-interventionist foreign policy is not likely.  The only way that the nation’s rampaging foreign policy will be checked is through an economic collapse or a severe dollar crisis, the latter of which would end the greenback’s status as the world’s reserve currency.

If America no longer has the means to fund its military around the world, its imperialism will quickly come to an end.  It is extremely burdensome on a domestic economy to maintain a global empire and one that is actively engaged in costly military operations.  If the nation’s economy severely contracts or the dollar can no longer be printed with impunity, the bombing of other peoples and political involvement in overseas affairs would have to cease, or be drastically curtailed.  A historical example of this is Great Britain after WWII.

As it stands now, only financial calamity will bring down the world’s foremost terrorist state.  If such a scenario comes about, the US may become the recipient of the destruction, loss of life, and mayhem it has unleashed upon the world.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

*Tyler Durden, “America’s Military Drops a Bomb Every 12 Minutes, and No One is Talking About it.”  Zero Hedge,  6 June 2018,    *https://antoniusaquinas.comhttps://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-22/trumps-military-drops-bomb-every-12-minutes-and-no-one-talking-about-it

Tyler Durden, Debunking the Persistent Myth of U.S. Precision Bombing,” Zero Hedge. 23 June 2018, https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-23/debunking-persistent-myth-us-precision-bombing