Who is the more liable imbecile in the current tariff debacles, the imbecile levying tariffs or the bipartisan collective group of imbeciles who gave away their Constitutional power?

To start off, I despise protectionism in all its many forms and I despise the use of tariffs as a weapon. It has NEVER ended well.

Trump is a fool for doing what he is doing.

However, if we were living in a Constitutional system, Trump would not be able to do any jack ******* **** of the sort.

Congress has long abrogated its Constitutional power of the purse, which includes tariffs, having passed permanent statutes given the President of the United States the standard power to lay and collect tariffs, a power he has no business having. Bipartisan majorities passed this legislation and neither party has moved to repeal this legislation, meaning both parties are equally on the hook for this travesty.

Did they always just ASS-U-ME that the person in the White House would always be a person of good judgement and character???

Did they forget the axiom that power corrupts??? That a man given such unilateral power may just decide to use that power for his own ends.

The founders intentionally gave the power of the purse and specifically the power of the tariff to Congress, a collective group, not to a single man.

Congress is ultimately to blame here, as they enabled this situation by granting the President such unilateral power. Trump could not levied these tariffs, without Congress’s previous grant (and frankly surrender) of power.

Trump is a moron, but Congress is ultimately to blame and deserves (on a bipartisan basis) the full anger of the public.

Unfortunately, Congress is unlikely to do the right thing, which would be, by a bipartisan veto-proof majority to strip the President of the United States of all power to lay and collect tariffs and fix it so that future Presidents must ask Congress for such authority on a case by case basis, to be granted for no more than 90 days at a time and which must be specifically reauthorized by a new Act of Congress every 90 days, until Congress decides such tariff is no longer required.

And to make it clear, I am giving Trump no pass at all here, he is certainly acting in a destructive manner with these tariffs. But the enabler (Congress) is far more liable and to blame than Trump himself, as without Congress’s prior yielding of its power to the President, Trump could not do the things he is currently doing.


One could argue that in the beginning, tariffs were meant to fund the government, so basically acting as taxes. Things shifted to where tariffs were seen as a foreign policy issue, hence the transfer of power to the executive. That said, I agree with you. The president shouldn’t have that much power.

No President should have this amount of power, but it speaks to the general cowardice that has existed in Congress for decades now. Power after power was just handed over to the White House because not enough people want to make the tough choices.

I think this is ultimately the lesson we should take from the Trump administration. The Presidency is far too powerful and Congress needs to retrench and reclaim its powers.

If the Presidency was at its Constitutional level of power, Trump might be a blowhard and an annoyance, but not really a danger as far as doing anything harmful.

The major problem w/ congress, specially the House, is the time demands on raising money to campaign. Also the deluge of lobbyist on technical issues. And the deluge of technical issues in general.

It is beyond the purview of this thread, but if Congress is simply structurally incapable of reclaiming its power, then perhaps it is time to think perhaps of a major structural change in our form of government. The extreme solution would be to shift to a parliamentary system, but there are some structural changes that could reign in an out of control Presidency short of a full fledged system-wide change.

1 Like

Fat chance we’ll ever get anything like a parliamentary system. Cons will never allow equal representation.

Trump raises tariffs on Mexico…

who is paying for that wall?

Yes congress gave up their power to the pres…but again Washington was the first to levy tariff against the Brits if my history is correct.

Washington was empowered to lay an embargo or embargoes in 1794, but it is the specifics that truly matter.

CHAP; XLI.—An Act to authorize the 'President of the United States to lay, regulate and revoke Embargoes,

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States be, and he hereby is authorized and empowered, whenever, in his opinion, the public safety shall so require, to lay an embargo on all ships and vessels in the ports of the United States, or upon the ships and vessels of the United States, or the ships and vessels of any foreign nation, under such regulations as the circumstances of the case may require, and to continue or revoke the same, whenever he shall think proper. And the President is hereby fully authorized to give all such orders to the officers of the United States, as may be necessary to carry the same into full effect: Provided, 'The authority aforesaid shall not be exercised, while the Congress of the United States shall be in session : And any embargo, which may be laid by the President, as aforesaid, shall cease and determine in fifteen days from the actual meeting of Congress, next after laying the same.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That this act shall continue and be in force until fifteen days after the commencement of the next session of Congress, and no longer.

APPROVED, June 4, 1794

The biggest difference is that the grant of authority was for a very defined period, until 15 days after the start of the next session of Congress. The President could not lay embargoes while Congress was in session and any embargo he laid during their adjournment automatically expired 15 days after the start of the next session of Congress.

There was a crisis existing at that time and Congress gave the President a tool to deal with it while Congress was in adjournment, but Congress took care to put strict limits on that grant of power. It was strictly limited in time and scope, unlike the laws of today.


Hey…I was just winging it.

Congress get even come together to do anything without partisanship.

They gave up their rights. Until they can come together and do what’s right for the country instead of their hardcore ideologue, They will continue relinquishing their powers.

That border should have been solved decades ago, trade deals should have been renegotiated upon flight of our manufacturing base. It’s not like they weren’t warned or couldn’t see the results.

Now having said that…it was their job. They failed.

So what’s the solution? You expect congress to work with Trump? Id so I have bridge to sell you.

I think you like it.

I think I prefer having the border secured decades ago…or we haven’t lost so much of our industries…or the theft/transfer of our technologies.

Don’t you agree?

Well said sir.

The ‘‘theft/transfer of our technologies.’’ That red herring never seems to die.

I couldn’t agree more. The executive branched should have its neck wound in.

The moment the next dem is elected POTUS.

Not before then?

No. Then.

Funny, I never heard a peep out of the libs about this for years.


How about an agreement to have it take effect 11/4/20 regardless of who wins.

Nope. Only if a dem wins.


1 Like