It has become pretty clear that Donald Trump is still figuring out what it means to be president. But, in trying to report on a man with no political history or experience, the press is still figuring out how to cover Donald Trump.
In trying to understand what will happen to policy in the new administration, the press tries to reconcile a RINO (Republican in Name Only) president and a republican controlled Congress. With a long tradition of championing free markets and capitalism, the current republican controlled Congress seems poised to either publicly challenge on trade and commerce what very much resembles a third-party president that lost the popular vote by over 2.5 million votes, or fully embrace what feel like pre-WWII trade policies.
Today we saw headlines across many major news outlets proclaiming that “Top House Republican won’t back Trump’s tariff proposal,” “House G.O.P. Signals Break With Trump Over Tariff Threat,” and “Trump’s tariff plan hits a hurdle: Congressional Republicans.” The press was reporting on vague statements made by a couple of House Representatives that still show signs of uncertainty and trepidation on how to deal with a RINO president that even seems fearless in attacking members of his own party. Republican Representative Kevin McCarthy said when asked by reporters about Donald Trumps proposal to levy a tax on goods entering the U.S. from American companies offshoring jobs:
“‘I think the point the president-elect was trying to make was he wants to create jobs in America,’ McCarthy said of Trump’s latest comments about tariffs. ‘Today, the best way to make that change is through tax reform … I think there are other ways to achieve what the president elect is talking about, but the only way you can do any of this is you’ve got to have tax reform.’…Asked if Trump’s tariff plan made him uneasy, McCarthy merely added: ‘I don’t want to get into some kind of trade war … I think creating an incentive where you have a tax structure [that’s attractive to companies ] in American, that means lower corporate taxes, you won’t have’ companies leaving.'”
When asked the same question, Republican Representative Paul Ryan stated that:
“…an overhaul of the corporate tax code would more effectively keep companies in the United States than tax penalties. ‘I think we can get at the goal here,’ he said, ‘which is to keep American businesses American, build things in America and sell them overseas — that can be properly addressed with comprehensive tax reform.'”
The truth is that, regardless of vague comments, no one really knows what will happen. It’s highly doubtful that a republican Congress will go to war with a republican president in the middle of a propaganda campaign aimed to convince America that the Republican Party was given a mandate by the electorate. So, there are few clues in the wealth of innuendo and speculation.