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Eric Boehm reports on Trump’s bottomless ignorance of trade. A slice:

Rather than reducing the manufacturing trade deficit, the higher tariffs likely led to its sharp increase, writes Ed Gresser, a former assistant U.S. Trade Representative. “Manufacturers import goods so as to turn them into other goods, and are big tariff payers,” writes Gresser in a post for the Progressive Policy Institute, where he now works as vice president for trade policy. “So the tariffs raised the costs of industries like automobiles, machinery, and toolmaking; they faced a bit more challenges competing against imports and succeeding as exporters; and the overall goods/services deficit grew more concentrated in manufacturing.”

In other words, the exact opposite of what Trump (and his advisors, including tariff-happy Peter Navarro) said would happen. After six full years of higher tariffs, this debate is settled. Trump was wrong and his critics were correct: Hiking tariffs does not reduce a country’s trade deficit.

Joe Lancaster is correct: “Trump’s trade war as a whole was a miserable failure, with higher prices for consumers and fewer American goods sold.”

GMU Econ alum Louis Rouanet writes insightfully about the rise in rents and Democrats’ role in this rise. A slice:

While the money supply has increased by more than 30 percent since 2020, and the Federal government deficit is above 5 percent of national income with no end in sight, Democrats have preferred to blame the private sector. Their most recent target is RealPage, a US software provider that analyzes supply and demand dynamics in the rental real estate market to help landlords price their properties. President Biden went so far as to say “we’re cracking down on big landlords who break antitrust laws by price-fixing and driving up rents.” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and nine Democratic co-sponsors introduced the Preventing the Algorithmic Facilitation of Rental Housing Cartels Act earlier this year. This type of Advil politics, where the government attempts to treat the symptoms instead of the underlying causes of inflation, comes with costly unintended consequences.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board explains that “soaring U.S. debt is a spending problem.” A slice:

You may have heard that the 2017 GOP tax cuts blew a giant hole in the federal budget—or so Democrats tell voters. The Congressional Budget Office’s revised 10-year budget forecast out Tuesday offers a reality check. Spending is the real problem, and it’s getting worse.

CBO projects that this year’s budget deficit will clock in at roughly $2 trillion, some $400 billion more than it forecast in February and $300 billion larger than last year’s deficit. This is unprecedented when the economy is growing and defense spending is nearly flat. The deficit this fiscal year will be 7% of GDP, which is more than during some recessions.

CBO says deficits will stay nearly this high for years, and the total over the next decade is now expected to total $21.9 trillion compared to $19.8 trillion in its February forecast. Debt held by the public will grow to 122.4% of GDP in 2034 from 97.3% last year.

Notably, CBO’s revenue projections are little changed. Revenue is expected to total 17.2% of GDP this year—roughly the 50-year average before the pandemic, as the nearby chart shows. But CBO significantly revised up projections for federal spending. Outlays are now expected to hit 24.2% of GDP this year and average 24% over the next decade. Wow.

GMU Econ alum Dominic Pino understandably wonders why Ben Kamens (a spokesperson for a Democratic member of Congress) isn’t mortified for having posted publicly on Twitter what he, Ben Kamens, has posted on Twitter. A slice:

“Just got a call to let me know my student debt has been canceled. This is why elections matter. Thanks @JoeBiden.”

Ben Kamens, the communications director for Representative Marcy Kaptur (D., Ohio), posted that on X today. It included a picture of the letter he received from Nelnet, the company that serviced his student loans. The letter begins, “Congratulations! The Biden-Harris administration has forgiven your federal student loan(s) listed below with Nelnet in full.”

Kamens’s two loans were taken out in 2010. The original principal balances were $2,750 and $5,500. Again, he posted this on X for the entire world to see.

As the text of his message demonstrates, he’s not the least bit ashamed about the fact that he, a grown man and college graduate with a full-time job, was apparently unable to repay debt with a principal of $8,250 over a span of 14 years.

Robert Graboyes interviews Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, visionary surgeon and entrepreneur.”

Adam Smith would not be surprised by the fact that emancipation – as reported here by James Pethokoukis – was an economic boon to all but the slavers.

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague, Veronique de Rugy, makes clear some of the benefits that would ensue if the U.S. Supreme Court gets rid of Chevron deference. A slice:

If Chevron is overturned, it could significantly impact how courts review and interpret agency regulations. That could in turn curtail the extent to which agencies can interpret ambiguous statutes without direct congressional authorization.

One hope is that agencies will exercise more discretion when interpreting their own powers and mandates under existing statutes. A second hope is that Congress responds by drafting statutes with more care and precision, thus being clearer—for agencies and the public—about what it intends and doesn’t intend. Finally, there is also the possibility that we could look back at some regulatory abuses passed under the veil of the Chevron deference and challenge them.

The bottom line is that we might be only one Supreme Court decision away from Congress being obliged to write better and more explicit statutes than it usually does. This obligation doesn’t seem like a lot. Some scholars believe that hopes for markedly improved lawmaking post-Chevron are wishful thinking. But considering Congress’ now-routine cowardice at doing its job, I will take even a little hope over despair.