The quagmire of war

Although, in this case, I'm not referring to Iraq.

I'm referring to a trade war, born out of Bush's decision to slap a 30% tariff on imported steel in order to placate the domestic steel unions a couple years ago. One of the many negative side-effects is now about to come true: The Europeans are considering enacting trade tariffs of their own, making many American imported goods harder to sell overseas.

Detroit News columnist Thomas Bray brilliantly explains why the steel tariffs should be dumped, and propping up such failing industries creates more harm than good.

The harsh fact is that jobs in the steel industry have already declined to the vanishing point … The steel industry has been on life support for decades. It's not worth a trade war to protect a commodity of declining significance to the American economy. What people in the older industrial states need and want is a vibrant economy that will provide opportunity to their children, not hot, sweaty jobs in aging, uncompetitive steel mills.

In its extreme example, this was tried repeatedly in the former Eastern Bloc to disastrous consequences. Will Bush finally show some fiscal conservatism and lift the tariffs before a Trans-Atlantic trade war spirals out of control into other industries?

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Let's not forget the Chinese

Let's not forget the Chinese textile quotas the US government just slapped the country with.

I don't know if Bush lied about the justifications for the Iraq war, but he sure as hell lied about his "free trade" qualifications. The man is a protectionist. He's not as bad as the Democrat candidates only by virtue of making his protectionist decisions seemingly only on as-he-needs-it political sport rather than an integrated part of his economic plan.

Bush's protectionism is

Bush's protectionism is inexcusable. Now, I generally despise the professional/National Democratic Party, but at least with those jokers, all of the front-runners have essentially Bush's Iraq policy- so the difference comes down to domestic/trade policy.

Clark is a weasel, but at least he isn't saying "re-regulate the economy". What a tin ear Dean has.

Since the Republicans are

Since the Republicans are going back to the days of Smoot-Hawley, why don't they go back to military non-intervention while they're at it?