WI Senate Disappointment

The recent debate between the candidates for the GOP nomination to oppose Tammy Baldwin to become the junior senator from Wisconsin was notable for its lack of fireworks.  Bad manners are unrelated to political courage as Ron Johnson has shown us.  We were disappointed that neither Kevin Nicholson or Leah Vukmir disagreed with The Donald on trade or anything else.  Nobody needs to be unpleasant to disagree.  Strong support for free trade would be our number one criteria for picking a WI GOP senate candidate.

Sidebar: Does this mean we would vote for Tammy if she came out as a free trader?  Well, it seems extraordinarily unlikely as her website leads with “Building a made in WI economy.”  So Tammy is the problem and not the answer for us.  End Sidebar.

We understand the political problem that the media (and the moderator was a legacy  reader) is looking for divisions on the right and ignores them on the left.  For example when some Democrats attack The Donald on tariffs it signals a major conflict over there.  We also understand that The Donald is thin skinned.  Still, we think the way to victory is for Kevin or Leah to find a way of being on The Donald’s side without expressing their unquestioning support for anything is has or will do.  We suppose expecting for two versions of Ron Johnson from one state is too much to hope for.  Political courage is in short supply but there are folks like Ron.  He makes the current and potential junior senators look junior indeed.

Good News

Jim Geraghty has good news for the GOP and particularly Wisconsin when he reports a poll that shows Tammy Baldwin 14 points underwater a question of deserves reelection versus time for a new person.  Perhaps it is her offensive ads suggesting that she can stop Wisconsin companies being acquired by companies in other states.  Perhaps she wants to stop leveraged buyouts (LBO).  Any honest reporting of LBOs will create a list of hits and misses (just in Wisconsin) and that most of the misses would have gone bankrupt in any case.  Heileman might be an exception.  Harley Davidson would be a positive example.

Sidebar: Stop laughing.  We know that there won’t be honest reporting on any economic issues.  We wish the right and the GOP would go honest but they are afraid to do that.  End Sidebar.

Of course, the WI GOP will need to find a fair impression of Ron Johnson to win.  We hope they can.


Tammy And The Donald

The title refers to escapades economic rather than sexual.  Tammy is Wisconsin’s Democrat junior senator, surname Baldwin, who is running for reelection this year.  The Donald is undoing his previous good work on corporate and personal taxes by raising the excise taxes called tariffs.  It might cause a trade war.  It is certainly not well received in the equity markets.

Tammy is highlighting her agreement with The Donald on protectionism and trying to get him to take additional foolish actions on trade.  On tariffs she seems to agree but tries not agree with The Donald:

Bad actors like China are not playing by the rules on steel, aluminum and paper. We need the new tools provided in this legislation to take on China’s cheating,” said Senator Baldwin.

We’re not sure how this is different from The Donald:

Trump said this week he’ll slap 25% tariffs on $50 billion to $60 billion in Chinese exports to the U.S., including aerospace, information and communication technology, and machinery. The move is aimed at countering Chinese cyber and intellectual property theft of U.S. technology. It also tries to push back against China’s demands for technology transfers from U.S. companies in return for access to China’s market.

She is trying to move The Donald even more into the protectionist camp.  We see her touting her buy [more expensive] American in her TV ads.  Here is a press release that explains her position:

“We need to put America to work rebuilding our infrastructure and strong Buy American standards need to be at the foundation of any plan. Taxpayer money should not be spent on foreign steel from Russia and China. American workers need to rebuild our infrastructure with Made in America products,”

Of course, increasing tariffs and buying American are two sides of the same coin.  In both cases you are charging all Americans more to benefit a few Americans and harm other Americans.  There is no reason that we can’t work on infrastructure without without paying economic rents Tammy’s friends.

Sidebar: Tammy chided the administration for not being explicit about buy American in their infrastructure proposals.  We can’t find the WSJ op-ed on the cost of American infrastructure but we would support eliminating all restrictions on infrastructure projects so Americans can get full value for their tax dollars.  Tammy wants the opposite: high prices for everyone with the benefits going to her favored few.  End Sidebar.

We hope that Tammy and The Donald don’t end up in the same political bed on buy American.  We hope that the GOP can find a good replacement for her.  Tammy’s actions reveal that the Democrats are highly unlikely will have a better replacement for The Donald in 2020 or 2024.