Thursday, June 13, 2019

A Week After Attacking Biden, Democrats Are Poised To Pass Hyde Amendment

It seems like only last week that Democrats were excoriating Joe Biden for his support of the Hyde Amendment. Actually, it really was only last week. That’s why many observers are somewhat surprised that House Democrats just passed a bill that keeps the Hyde Amendment alive for another year.

Last week, the pro-abortion left viciously attacked Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden for his continued support of the Hyde Amendment, a series of laws that prohibit using taxpayer funds for abortion. The backlash against Biden’s deviation from the leftist norm was so swift and severe that the candidate reversed himself quickly from a position that he had held for nearly a half-century.

“Circumstances have changed,” Biden told his supporters.

Now, a few days later, CNN reports that the Democrat-controlled House is scheduled to vote on a major spending today that will include the Hyde Amendment. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) introduced an amendment to remove the Hyde Amendment language from the bill, but the House leadership denied her a vote after the House Rules Committee determined that Pressley’s amendment decided it violated rules.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has urged his caucus to support the minibus spending bill, which includes funding for a wide range of federal departments and services. Democrats say that they don’t see a way to remove the Hyde Amendment language at the moment.

Biden’s reversal was “probably a rational decision for him to make,” Hoyer said, but added, “We have to deal with the legislative process here in the Congress.”

The Democratic conundrum on the Hyde Amendment is similar to the Republican problem on defunding Planned Parenthood and Obamacare or passing funding for the wall. Democrats control only one house of Congress while legislation must pass through the Senate and cross the president’s desk before it becomes law. If House Democrats pass a bill without the Hyde Amendment, it would be DOA in Mitch McConnell’s Senate.

The standoff would set up a confrontation over spending of the sort that has resulted in brinksmanship or government shutdowns in the past. Such standoffs usually reflect poorly on both parties and tend to be unwinnable.

Added to tactical concern is the fact that Democrats are out of the mainstream when it comes to federal funding for abortion, just as Republicans are on defunding Planned Parenthood and building a wall. Slate cites a bevy of polls that show that most Americans don’t want abortion to be a service funded by taxpayers.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did signal that the Hyde Amendment is definitely a target for Democrats should they win enough votes. “I wish we never had a Hyde amendment,” Pelosi said, “but it is the law of the land right now and I don't see that there is an opportunity to get rid of it with the current occupant of the White House and some in the United States Senate.”

The bottom line is that Democrats really don’t want the Hyde Amendment, but, having seen Republican frustrations with trying to force controversial items through Congress, they know that it is much easier to stop a piece of legislation than to pass one. Democrats don’t want to be viewed as obstructing a necessary spending bill just prior to the election. If Republicans blocked the bill without the Hyde Amendment, Democrats would be forced into a lose-lose situation of either publicly surrendering or shutting the government down and then publicly surrendering while fighting for an unpopular position.

Democrats aren’t necessarily being hypocritical on the Hyde Amendment. Instead, they are being pragmatic and acting strategically. They haven’t changed their core principles of supporting abortion and spending more taxpayer money, but they do realize that it would be counterproductive to their cause to push the issue now.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Cruz And AOC Are Coming Together On Contraception

They say that politics makes strange bedfellows and nowhere is that more true than the unlikely alliance between Texas Senator Ted Cruz and self-identified democratic socialist congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The two, who are polar opposites in almost every way have indicated their agreement on a bill to prohibit former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists and now seem to have found common ground on birth control.

Cruz reached out to AOC yesterday on Twitter after the New York leftist tweeted that birth control should be available over the counter. Cruz responded that he agreed and offered to team up on a “simple, clean bill” that would make birth control available without a prescription.  At press time, AOC had not yet publicly responded to Cruz’s offer.

Making birth control more readily available is an idea that makes sense. Over recent decades, out-of-wedlock births in the United States have risen dramatically. The CDC reports that births to unwed mothers now account for almost 40 percent of births. The unmarried birth rate for women under 44 is slightly higher than 40 percent.  

The reason that the government and taxpayers should care about the unmarried birth rate is that when an unmarried parent raises children, the family often qualifies for federal benefits. The growth in the entitlement state driven by single-parent families contributes to both the increasing federal deficit and the increasing American dependence on the government. Children raised in single-parent households are also more likely to have a variety of bad outcomes such as becoming a juvenile delinquent, poor performance in school, abuse alcohol or drugs, and becoming a single parent themselves.

Although the Census Bureau reported in 2016 that the majority of American children live in two-parent families, the share of children in two-parent households has fallen by about 20 points since 1960. About 23 percent of American kids live in a single-parent household headed by their mother. Of the children in two-parent households, about 99 percent live in homes where the parents are married.

The hope is that if birth control is more readily available then fewer parents will choose to have children before getting married. If birth control is available and used consistently, it might also help to reduce the number of abortions. The most common reasons given for abortion all revolve around the mother’s belief that she is not ready to have a child, i.e. abortion is being used in lieu of birth control.

One of the biggest potential problems with the increased availability of cheap birth control is that the US birth rate is already too low. The birth rate has been declining for several years and is already below the level at which the current population will replace itself. The coming population decline could have negative effects on everything from economic growth to maintaining America’s global dominance.

There might be more problems with the legalization of OTC birth control from AOC’s side of the aisle. Reason Magazine described earlier this year how, despite years of usage and research that prove the safety of birth control medications, Democrats and Planned Parenthood started resisting the idea of cheap, OTC contraception just as Republicans were warming to the idea.

This isn’t the first time that Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez have teamed up. The two have previously worked together to push for a ban on former congressmen becoming lobbyists. As with birth control, the roots of the congressional lobbying ban idea came from Twitter with Cruz responding to an AOC tweet. So far, the duo has not presented legislation to Congress.

As a conservative, I have more problems with a ban on lobbying than with cheap contraception. Even though lobbyists are never popular with voters, the profession is specifically protected by the First Amendment on two grounds. First, lobbyists enjoy the same free speech rights as other citizens and, second, the right to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances” is also included at the forefront of the Bill of Rights.

Nevertheless, I do applaud Cruz and AOC for having the courage to reach across the aisle in an environment where compromise is considered to be toxic by many. For Cruz’s part, it represents a significant departure from his “my-way-or-the-highway” attitude seen in the 2013 government shutdown. His compromises with AOC may mean that the Texas senator is maturing as a legislator.

The truth is that compromise is the only way to get things done in Washington. That’s not a bug either. It’s a feature that the framers built into the Constitution to prevent a tyranny of the majority. The authors of the Constitution wanted Americans to work together to solve their problems and make the country better, not simply denounce the other side as traitors or criminals and issue Executive Orders or national emergencies. 

Originally published on The Resurgent

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Trump’s Re-election Chances Are Slim But Not None

I’ve long been skeptical about Donald Trump’s chances for re-election. The mere fact that the president started with a popular vote loss and then proceeded to become even more unpopular due to his behavior and policies while in office is an obvious sign that his battle for re-election will be fought in an uphill fashion. Now, as more and more polling comes in about potential matchups with Democrats, the data confirms that Trump is in for a hard fight.

I have noted in the past how President Trump’s approval has fallen almost everywhere since the 2016 election. The president’s popularity has sagged to the point where even many red states now look like battleground states. This is particularly true in those states where farmers have suffered from the trade wars.

Josh Kraushaar recently wrote in National Journal that Trump is “in the weakest political shape of any sitting president (Republican or Democrat) since George H.W Bush.” He continues, “Trump hits 50 percent disapproval... in North Carolina, Arizona, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Iowa — all states he carried in 2016.”

Now, The New York Times reports that even Mr. Trump’s own internal polling shows him to be trailing Joe Biden in the states that he needs to carry in order to win the election and the president seems to be in denial of that fact. “After being briefed on a devastating 17-state poll conducted by his campaign pollster, Tony Fabrizio, Mr. Trump told aides to deny that his internal polling showed him trailing Mr. Biden in many of the states he needs to win,” the Times said this week. “Trump instructed aides to say publicly that other data showed him doing well.”

If you’re a Trump supporter, you’re probably thinking that you’ve heard all this before. The polling up to Election Day showed Mr. Trump being soundly defeated by Hillary Clinton and he won. The pundits gave Hillary a 99 percent chance of winning and she lost. The polls were wrong then so they are garbage now.

Not exactly.

If we look back at archived national polls of the 2016 election on Real Clear Politics, the average of polls gave Hillary a three-point lead. That is almost exactly identical to the national popular vote result. The split between the popular vote and the Electoral College came down to about 53,000 votes spread over five key states. Most of the polling in these states also showed a close race. Polling was substantially off in only one state, Wisconsin, where Hillary’s eight-point lead in the polls turned into a one-point loss.

Some analysts realized that the race was closing in the final days of the election. The wonks at FiveThirtyEight gave Trump an almost one-in-three chance of winning in a forecast that is still archived. While they still figured Trump to be an underdog, a 30 percent chance of winning is a far cry from a 99 percent chance of losing.

Even with stolen Democratic emails dribbling forth throughout 2016 campaign, it took yet another October surprise to put Donald Trump over the top. Polling showed that James Comey’s memo to Congress was the deciding factor in pushing voters toward Trump. The president cannot depend on a similar fortunate circumstance to save him next year, however.

An unnamed “ally” of the Trump campaign made Trump’s case to Axios, saying, “Trump has always under-polled. Until it's actually a binary contest, though, these polls really don't matter.”

“When Trump gets a shot at defining someone one-on-one,” the Trump surrogate said, “They're no longer going to be what they are now, which is, for the most part, a 'generic Democrat,’” He added that the Trump campaign hopes to define the eventual Democratic opponent by support for such policies as the Green New Deal and Medicaid-for-all, policies that he hopes will frighten away most Americans. Finally, the solid economy is what the Trump campaign hopes will be its ace-in-the-hole.

“Historical data says that with the economy roaring like it is, the incumbent always wins,” the Trump ally says.

The problem with this strategy is that Trump previously faced the candidate widely panned as the worst in modern American history, a candidate who also had a radical agenda that included a public health insurance option, and he still failed to win a majority of the popular vote and came within a whisker of losing the Electoral College. Likewise, voters twice refused to be put off by Barack Obama’s radically leftist ideas. Portraying the Democratic candidate as a radical will motivate the Republican base but won’t necessarily win swing voters.

Likewise, depending on the economy is not a sure thing. Just ask Hillary Clinton who was running on the promise of “four more years” in an economy that was not so different from the current one. Unemployment has been trending down since the Great Recession ended in 2009 while the stock market has continued a ten-year climb. Economic growth under Trump is only marginally better than it was under Obama.   

Another problem with relying on the economy is that the trade war is taking a toll. I recently reported how the tariffs were offsetting the benefits of tax reform for both individuals and businesses. With the Chamber of Commerce and agriculture groups signaling opposition to the tariff war, President Trump may be about to lose core Republican constituencies such as businesses and farmers despite the good economy.

Worse, there are signs that economic growth may be slowing due to the trade war. One leading indicator is the transportation industry. Forbes recently reported that rail shipments were down almost every month of 2019. There are other indicators as well, such as last week’s disappointing jobs report and slowing transaction volume for businesses, which may be partly due to trade uncertainty. A recession is not a foregone conclusion, but if one occurs President Trump will own it.

The 2018 midterm elections should have been a wakeup call for Republicans. Despite the good economy and Trump’s control of messaging in the final weeks of the election, the GOP took a beating in the House and only maintained control of the Senate through a very favorable map that allowed red state Republicans to eke out victories. Swing voters who supported Trump in 2016 swung back toward the Democrats in 2018.

The wild card is Russia. In 2016, Trump benefitted from Russian interference even if the Trump campaign did not actively work in concert with the Russian government. Few steps have been taken to protect the election infrastructure from similar interference next year. If the Russian government does launch new attacks on the 2020 elections, there is no guarantee that they will benefit Mr. Trump this time.

The bottom line is that neither President Trump’s personality nor his policy has endeared him to swing state voters as they have to his base. While Trump cannot be counted out for re-election, he faces a difficult campaign. If he can stay off Twitter and not act crazy for the next 18 months, his odds would improve greatly, but both are unlikely. On the other hand, if the economy softens in the months leading up to the election, Trump’s goose is likely to be cooked.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Justin Amash Splits From Freedom Caucus

CNN reports that Amash said in March that he had stopped attending Freedom Caucus meetings due to disagreement with other members over the direction of the country under President Trump. Other Freedom Caucus members unanimously opposed the call for impeachment from Amash, who has one of the most conservative voting recordsin Congress.
The group seems to have parted ways amicably. “I have the highest regard for them, and they’re my close friends,” Amash said. “I didn’t want to be a further distraction for the group.”
While Amash has been almost universally criticized by other Republican officials, his constituents seem happy with his stance. At a town hall in May, Amash received a standing ovation from voters and many expressed support for the congressman who says his job is to uphold the Constitution.
Other Republicans seem to focus on supporting the president. As Donald Trump repeats his tactic of using emergency declarations to bypass Congress and bending the law to use tariffs to pressure US trading partners, few Republicans, including those on the Freedom Caucus, have stood up against the abuses of presidential authority, much less Mr. Trump’s bad behavior with respect to the Russia investigation. Republicans who criticized Barack Obama’s abuses of executive authority have shown little interest in reining in President Trump.
There is speculation that Amash’s divorce from the Freedom Caucus is part of the groundwork for a run for president, possibly as a Libertarian. Amash himself has given no indication of this but has not ruled out a presidential run. Amash told the Detroit News last week that he plans to run for re-election to his congressional seat as a Republican.
Rep. Amash formally left the Freedom Caucus this week, but, in truth, the Freedom Caucus left Amash long ago. Like the Republican Party in general, the group’s principles now seem to reflect not what is constitutional, legal, ethical, and moral but what President Trump says.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Trump's New Tariff Threats

In the days following the announcement of the Trump Administration’s border security deal with Mexico, President Trump has doubled down on his use of the what often seems to be the only arrow in his quiver.

“Tariffs are the answer,” the president told CNBC.

“As soon as I put tariffs on the table, it was done. It took two days,” Trump said. “If we didn’t have tariffs, we wouldn’t have made a deal with Mexico.”

Over the weekend, the New York Times disputed that claim, citing reports from negotiators on both sides that said that the major components of the deal had been reached months before. The timetable of the asylum agreement and the number of Mexican troops deployed to the country’s Guatemala border were apparently adjusted after Mr. Trump threatened to launch a new trade war.

Regardless of how true the president’s claim that tariffs saved the day is, Trump seems determined to repeat the strategy again and again. In fact, he has already threatened another country with a new round of tariffs.

On Monday, the president threatened to impose new tariffs on China if President Xi Jinping does not attend the G-20 meeting later this month. In a phone interview with CNBC, President Trump said that he would immediately implement tariffs on the approximately 60 percent of Chinese imports that are not currently subject to import taxes. American consumers ultimately pay the tariffs on imported goods, but the higher cost of the imported goods decreases demand and lower sales ultimately hurt the foreign companies… or so protectionists hope.

China is “going to make a deal because they’re going to have to make a deal,” Trump told the CNBC host, claiming “China is getting absolutely decimated by companies that are leaving China, going to other countries, including our own, because they don’t want to pay the tariffs.”

For their part, China has threatened to shut off supplies of rare earth minerals to the US. China controls 90 percent of the world’s supply of rare earths, which are vital to the construction of electronic items such as smartphones, electric vehicles, and weapon systems.

If that weren’t enough, President Trump is already threatening to raise tariffs on Mexico once again. In a Monday morning tweet, the president said that if Mexico’s legislature failed to approve the deal, “tariffs will be reinstated!”

Mexico and the United States have a new trade treaty pending ratification by both countries and Canada. Trump’s repeated tariff threats against Mexico may make ratification difficult.

President Trump’s tendency to go back to the well on the tool that he is able to implement without congressional approval is proving to be a problem. While the self-proclaimed “Tariff Man” says that “tariffs are a beautiful thing,” others disagree.

Myron Brilliant, the executive vice president of the Chamber of Commerce, warned against Trump’s use of tariffs, saying, “The weaponization of tariffs, the increase of threats on our economy, on our farmers, on our manufacturers, our consumers, is going to hurt our country. It also creates uncertainty with our trading partners.”

Trump fired back that Brilliant was “not so brilliant” and said, “He’s not protecting our country. He’s protecting companies who are members” of Chamber. The Chamber of Commerce represents American companies.

Mr. Trump’s tariff war runs risks both at home and abroad. Retaliatory tariffs by foreign trading partners hurt American exporters while Trump’s trade taxes are being paid by Americans, wiping out the gains from his tax reform. The constantly changing tax structure for imports and exports makes it difficult for American companies to plan for the future. If the trade war persists until the election, Republicans might find that businesses abandon them for Democrats who are perceived as more pro-business than a party that won’t challenge Mr. Trump’s erratic tax increases.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Monday, June 10, 2019

Focus Group Shows Pennsylvania Swing Voters Standing By Trump

President Trump’s 2016 Electoral College victory ran through Pennsylvania and the Rust Belt states of Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. While several polls have shown that Trump’s support in these states where he won narrow victories has eroded, a new focus group of Pennsylvania voters suggests that many Trump swing voters have not abandoned the president.

A recent focus group of Pennsylvania voters gives hope to Trump supporters that the president can pull off another upset victory in 2020. The Engagious/FPG focus group, which is discussed in an Axios article, contained several Obama/Trump voters who were unanimous in their continued support for Donald Trump.

Although they were not happy with Trump’s behavior, the focus group voters did like his performance on the economy. One of the voters, Tara Biddle, a 37-year-old kindergarten teacher, said, “I would be willing to vote for someone other than Trump who would continue the initiatives he's started” on the economy, trade, and immigration.

“The only thing I would say, I'd like someone to get his Twitter account away,” commented Tim G., 52.

When it comes to the Mueller report, the focus group’s swing voters were not impressed. “You could investigate every president; they’re all shady," said Jessica G. "Let’s just move on and let him do his job.”

The swing voters described their ideal leader as “assertive,” a “negotiator,” “powerful,” and “Christian.” Many of them agreed that these words also described President Trump.

The Pennsylvania voters stand in contrast to similar focus groups in Ohio and Wisconsin. Ohio voters yearned for Barack Obama while the Wisconsin voters liked much of Trump’s policy but were put off by his personality and temperament. Both groups seemed ready to abandon Trump for a Democrat.

The downside for Trump supporters is that the Pennsylvania focus group contained only eight swing voters, which is far too small to constitute a statistically viable sample. While the focus group’s voters solidly stand by their man, polling tells a different story.

One of the few polling firms that does regular state-level polling of President Trump’s approval rating is Morning Consult. The earliest poll in the series is January 2017, just a few months after the election. At that point, Trump had a net approval rating of 10 points. The most recent survey found the president underwater with a net approval rating of negative seven points. Another poll of Pennsylvania voters back in March yielded similar results with 61 percent of voters saying that Trump should not get a second term.

In 2016, Trump’s victory in Pennsylvania was a slim one. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 1.2 percent of votes cast, just over 68,000 votes. A swing of 17 points in his approval over the past two years could indicate that Trump’s support in the state has cratered despite the backing of the eight members of the focus group. It would take relatively few Trump voters going back to the Democrats to turn the state blue again.

While Pennsylvania with its 20 electoral votes is not a must-win state for Trump next year, his path to victory becomes much more difficult without it. Assuming all other state outcomes remain the same as 2016, if Trump loses Pennsylvania, he would lose the election if he also lost either Florida or Ohio.

With its mills benefitting from the president’s protective tariffs on steel and aluminum, Pennsylvania is one of the states most positioned to benefit from the trade war. If President Trump cannot win there, it is unlikely that he can carry the other Rust Belt states that he needs. Meanwhile, red states such as Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Texas are becoming battleground states, largely due to the impact of the trade war on farmers.

In the end, the picture of Pennsylvania is mixed. Neither Democrats nor Republicans can be certain of the holding the state at this point. President Trump’s re-election cannot be written off either is it assured.

“I’m not saying [Trump] will win the state,” pollster Terry Madonna told Philadelphia website Billy Penn in March. “I’m merely pointing out we better be careful about saying he can’t win the state.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Friday, June 7, 2019

The Tariff Wars Are Killing Tax Reform’s Boost

Tax reform is so far the one significant legislative victory of the Trump Administration. The law that brought corporate tax rates down to a point where they were competitive with the rest of the world was sorely needed and individual tax cuts were the icing on the cake. However, the president’s tariffs, which are defined as “a tax or duty to be paid on a particular class of imports or exports,” are offsetting the competitive advantage that tax reform brought to American companies as well as the tax cut for consumers.

In a report that focuses on the individual aspects of tax reform, Bloomberg reports that middle-class earners got an average tax break of about $931 per the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. The New York Federal Reserve estimates that the tariff wars have already cost the average household about $831. On average, the trade wars have eaten up all but about $100 of the benefits of tax reform for the middle class.

The report also cites estimates on new tariffs threatened by President Trump. The tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods would be estimated to cost an average family of four about $2,294 annually according to Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a coalition of business groups opposed the trade war. Gary Hufbauer of the Peterson Institute for International Economics estimates that Mr. Trump’s tariffs on Mexican imports could cost households an additional $1,700 annually if the tariffs reach the highest level threatened by the president. The combined total cost of $3,994 annually to American families would be more than four times the average benefit from tax reform.

Many other taxpayers may have already passed the point where tariffs have eaten up any advantage from tax reform. A Tax Policy Center analysis of IRS tax data found that low-income households got an average tax cut of only about $40. Since low-income households rely disproportionately on cheap imports from China and elsewhere, tariffs have likely already eaten up any advantage that these households received from tax reform. About six percent of taxpayers received a double whammy when they paid more under the new tax law and then were forced to pay tariffs (and/or pay higher prices for domestic goods due to decreased competition) as well.

The effect of tariffs reaches beyond American households, however. Data on the effect of the corporate side of tax reform is harder to come by, but Accounting Today reported last year that the cost from the steel and aluminum tariffs was larger than the tax savings from tax reform for major automakers General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler for the first quarter of 2018. The report, made in July before the trade war heated up, forecast that tariffs could eat up a third to a half of the benefit of tax reform.

“The steel and aluminum tariffs hurt,” Ed Cohen, Honda Motor Co.’s vice president for government and industry affairs, said at the time. “The tax bill was intended to spur economic activity and this will have the opposite economic effect.”

The Tax Foundation estimated that, if fully implemented, the tariff war would offset about half of the benefit of tax reform, reducing US GDP by about 0.79 percent or $196 billion. The group also forecast that wages would fall by 0.51 percent and more than 600,000 jobs would be lost.

A recent poll from Monmouth University found that Americans overwhelmingly oppose Mr. Trump’s tariff war. Almost half of respondents - 47 percent - said that tariffs hurt the US economy compared to 25 percent who think they help. Sixty-two percent believe that US consumers will be stuck with the bill for the tariffs.

Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform agreed, saying, “Tariffs are taxes. They are very disruptive. Trade wars are civil wars and the losers are both Americans.”

Even Republican politicians agree that the tariff war is harmful. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said that tax reform “vaulted America back into the most competitive economy” but that “higher tariffs and the uncertainty that comes with trade disputes” are not good for the economy.

President Trump’s approval has already slumped in red states since the onset of the trade war. Farmers, a core Trump constituency, have been particularly hard hit by Trump’s trade policies. The Rust Belt states, home to many factory workers impacted by the tariffs, also show high disapproval for Trump in recent polling.

Even before the tariff taxes took a bite out of tax reform, the law was unpopular due to tradeoffs and flaws in its implementation. Changes to withholding tables led many taxpayers to be surprised by smaller than expected refunds or, worse, by unexpected tax bills that required them to write checks to the IRS. Individual tax revenues increased after tax reform, partly due to higher wages and economic growth, but total federal tax revenue fell by 0.4 percent as corporate tax payments dropped sharply. Thus far, the deficit has increased due to flat tax revenues and increasing federal spending.

With consumers paying more taxes due to President Trump’s tariff war and many seeing scant benefit from tax reform in either paychecks or tax refunds, Mr. Trump has given the Democrats a number of talking points as the nation careens toward the 2020 elections. Unless the president can start claiming some victories in the trade war soon, Republicans might find that businesses are exiting their coalition to support a pro-trade Democratic candidate.

The Resurgent