Monday, May 1, 2017

Trump’s Futile Faith in His Market-Based Negotiating Skills - by Gary North

This was a bad week for anybody who believed for five nanoseconds that Donald Trump was going to get anything through Congress.

The vote on ObamaCare was postponed again. ObamaCare is now permanent. Trump is never going to get enough votes to replace it with something else, which would have been worse anyway. The monstrosity should be repealed. It should not be replaced by anything. But once the Democrats ram some welfare state policy down the throats of the Republicans, the Republicans never repeal it. Their constituents get their hands on money from Uncle Sugar, and they will not tolerate a repeal of the law which gives them access to the money. In other words, the voters like the welfare state as long as it benefits them. There is no philosophical opposition among the American people to the expansion of government wealth redistribution.

Then there is NAFTA. Trump campaigned on a promise to get this country out of bondage to NAFTA. This week, Trump said that he is going to stick with NAFTA. He is simply going to renegotiate parts of it. Big deal. Fat chance.

That law was a monstrosity from day one. Surrendering American sovereignty to some international organization is always a bad idea. From a philosophical standpoint, getting a better deal out of NAFTA is a bad idea. It means surrendering to the idea of the transfer of any national sovereignty to an unelected agency of the New World Order. A better deal can always be renegotiated later by another President to turn it into a worse deal. There is only one deal worth considering: getting out now. That deal is now off the table.

So, those conservatives who naïvely thought that Trump was going to get ObamaCare repealed now know that he isn't going to be able to do this. He doesn't have the votes in Congress. Congressional Republicans never have the stomach for repealing anything that the Democrats get passed into law. Other conservatives, who recognize that NAFTA has been a disaster philosophically, now know that they are not going to see the USA pull out of NAFTA.

ObamaCare is now going to go the way of all flesh. It is an economic disaster, and it is going to become a much worse economic disaster. The Democrats will get blamed, but not entirely. Because the Republicans have twice refused to overturn it, they now are up to their eyeballs in responsibility for it. The good news is this: when the Democrats come back into power during the next recession, they will probably not repeal it. Their fingerprints are all over it. Nancy Pelosi rammed it through the House of Representatives. The Democrats' Left wing wants a single-payer system where the government funds the whole thing, but the Left didn't get that through in 2010, and I don't think it's going to get it in the future. They may. Democrats may figure they have the votes, and they might as well replace ObamaCare with something much worse. But I think it is going to stay on the books. It is not full-scale socialized medicine.

I had thought that Trump might get us out of NAFTA. That was the only thing he promoted in his campaign that I thought he might pull off. Now, he has waffled. He is pretending that he has the ability to renegotiate bits and pieces of the law. I doubt that he has ever read the law. He thinks of himself as a negotiator. In politics, negotiations are not the same as they are in business. The criteria of success are different. Negotiations in business mean that people on both sides are trying to get money. Negotiations in politics mean that people on both sides are trying to get power. NAFTA already provides power to non-politicians. It was the transfer of power from politicians to faceless bureaucrats who are not elected. This is what the New World Order always wants. It is what it usually gets.

As long as the bureaucrats remain in control of policy, which is forever unless NAFTA is abandoned by the US government, they don't care if Trump gets this or that point renegotiated. Enforcement will always be in the hands of the bureaucrats, and the bureaucrats ignore the politicians except on rare occasions. The politicians are not in charge. The bureaucrats are in charge. That's why NAFTA is a disaster. It is going to remain a disaster.

The Trump Presidency is demonstrating clearly to anybody who bothers to pay attention that nothing is going to change in Washington, except possibly to get worse if he gets us into a war. Any hope that a Trump supporter has that anything fundamental is going to change in Washington is simply another example of people believing that the Punch and Judy show in Washington has anything to do with the real power in Washington, which is the power of unelected bureaucracy.

There are two ways to reduce the power bureaucracy. One is to cut their budgets. This is never done. Second, politicians can repeal the law that created the agency. This is also never done. The power of administrative law continues to expand. Congress is peripheral once it passes a law.

ObamaCcare is going to be funded. The Republicans are not going to repeal it. NAFTA is going to be funded. The Republicans are not going to repeal it.

Congressional Republicans are part of the system. There is no way that Trump or anybody else is going to get these people to vote against the welfare state. Once a law is on the books, Republicans are not going to repeal it. They have too many constituents in their districts with their arms into the loot up to their elbows or shoulders.
Trump is not philosophically committed to limited government. It would take a philosophically steadfast President to repeal ObamaCare and pull out of NAFTA. Trump is not a philosophically steadfast President.

So, sit back and watch the show. The liberal media hate Trump, despite the fact that he is impotent. They love Obama, despite the fact that he is visibly on the take of Wall Street, as his $400,000 speech indicates.
Anybody who believes that national politics will change anything significant will spend his whole life dreaming of victory, and then holding his nose when victory supposedly is achieved.