Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.orgWe oppose Big Government – because it’s dumb. It’s expensive, oafishly clumsy – and awful with resource and impulse control.

Government is just another organism. And just like any other organism – its first instinct is self-preservation.

Which is why you see these very many Deep State Borg Bots attacking President Donald Trump in any and every way they can. Trump is serious about shrinking government – and Big Government is attacking back.

Governments love joining together to form new governments – removing themselves even further from accountability to the people they allegedly represent.

The United Nations (UN) is just such a governmental superstructure. So too is the European Union (EU). How accountable to…anyone or anything do those two entities look?

Heck, Britain voted to get out of the EU…in 2016. #Brexit for the win. And British government officials have spent the last two years…doing everything they can to prevent Britain from getting out of the EU.

Because governments – look out for other governments. It’s like the old joke:

Q: Why won’t sharks eat lawyers? A: Professional courtesy.

And governments use other governments – as absolution. If one government grows – it’s an excuse for every other government to grow along with it.

Which is why so many other governments freaked the heck out when Trump and Congressional Republicans so substantially reduced corporate tax rates. That’s not what governments are supposed to do – to themselves, or each other.

If every government keeps taxes and spending high – the world is much better place…for government. Trump and the Republicans were upsetting what Big Government advocates view as the natural order.

It is this Big Government mentality – that has so royally screwed up our international trade market.

Governments the world over have imposed all sorts of taxes on imports.

But even more pernicious – are the domestic subsidies governments dump into their products. Which warp international trade – the moment those subsidized products enter the marketplace.

Because every dollar a government spends to subsidize a product – is a dollar less that product’s seller can charge on the global market. That ain’t a free market.

Let’s take a look at just one currently-hot, globally-traded commodity – sugar.

The US Congress is currently finalizing the 2018 iteration of its awful Farm Bill. And looking to add an amendment thereto: some variation of The Sugar Policy Modernization Act (H.R. 4265).

There’s a bit of a problem with this amendment. The rest of the world – is doing nothing resembling anything similar.

We’ll be subjecting our farmers – and everyone else in the US with gigs having anything to do with production and distribution – to the US-job-killing massive government subsidies of other nations.

There are over 100 countries that sell sugar on the global market. Yet Brazil controls almost half the entire market. How? They subsidize their sugar – at over $2.5 billion a year. That ain’t free trade.

Thailand is the world’s second largest sugar exporter – controlling nearly 10% of the market. How? They subsidize their sugar – at about $1.3 billion per annum. That ain’t free trade.

Their subsidized sugar – crowds the US (and everyone else) out of the global marketplace. Which kills thousands of US jobs – all the people who could otherwise be producing, distributing and exporting American sugar.

This is the exact sort of very fake DC “free trade” that Trump has been rightly excoriating…for decades. It has already cost us millions of jobs. And we are now also about to throw everyone left in the sugar production industry out of work.

As much as I’d like to get rid of our Farm Bill – its sugar component and all the rest – to do so unilaterally is really very stupid.

We’ll be sacrificing tens of thousands of additional US jobs on the altar of free trade puritanism – while the rest of the planet is engaged in nothing having anything to do with free trade.

And this bill – is looking to kill these jobs even faster than that. This bill – will mandate a substantial increase in the importation of other countries’ Big Government. Via a substantial dose of increased Big Government on our end.

This bill mandates the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) – operate sugar policy at a 15.5% stocks-to-use ratio.  Get that? Big Government mandating private stockpiles – VERY free market.

This new government-mandated surplus – is about 2% higher than the current market surplus. Because the government thinks this new government-mandates surplus – guarantees market equilibrium. Because government really understands markets and their equilibriums.

There is no way for the USDA to achieve its government-mandated equilibrium increase – other than to import approximately 250,000 additional tons of sugar.

You know – like massively government-subsidized Brazilian sugar. Or massively government-subsidized Thailand sugar.

Bringing here the US-job-killing, anti-free market policies – of governments the world over.

The same dumb trade policies we’ve allowed to suck millions of jobs out of our nation – will now be brought into our nation, to kill even more jobs…from the inside.

This is yet another example of Big Government – looking out for other Big Governments.

Only this is even worse. This is allegedly Less Government types – imposing government mandates to increase our imports of other nations’ Big Government.

Which will only domestically accelerate the US job losses – this international inanity has already been killing for decades.

Does that make any sense to you?

It doesn’t to me.

Oh – Here’s a bit of irony to see us out.

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) – is a very good DC think tank. I very much like and admire their president Grover Norquist – and his staff is a bunch of really amazing people.

ATR has been running ads on a DC conservative talk radio station (and who knows wherever else) – sharing with its hearers this sentiment:

Trump Should Keep America Competitive By Stopping Foreign Price Controls: “America needs to get tough on our foreign trading partners to ensure they pay their fair share for the cost of developing life-saving and life-improving medicines. Allowing the importation of price controlled medicines, as some have proposed, would only make this problem worse.”

Yes indeed – importing Big Government is a very bad idea. Other governments subsidize these drugs – warping the marketplace.

Importing these market-warping subsidies into the US – will do even more damage. Because to do so is to expand Big Governments’ market-warping reach.

All of this is very true – and ATR should be applauded for loudly saying so.

So where is ATR on importing government-subsidized sugar?

Reforming the Sugar Subsidy Will Strengthen the Farm Bill: “Members of Congress have an opportunity to reform this archaic program within the farm bill by supporting an amendment by Representative Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.)….

“Legislation to reform the sugar subsidy, the Sugar Policy Modernization Act of 2017 (H.R. 4265/S. 2086), has been introduced in the House by Representatives Foxx and Danny Davis (D-IL) and in the Senate by Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) in the Senate.”

Oops.

Bemoan the irony.

Also the very bad policy.

This first appeared in Red State.

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