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The Hypocrite of the Month Nominations Are Out

Irwin M. Stelzer

It’s time for the January 2018 Hypocrite of the Month awards. The nominees are . . .

Jerry Brown and Andrew Cuomo, governors of the two largest states controlled by the Democratic party—which accuses the new Republican tax cuts of favoring the rich at the expense of the middle class. Brown and Cuomo are preparing to sue the federal government because the new tax law limits deduction for state income, sales, and property taxes to $10,000. Until now, the deduction has been unlimited. Clearly, this change hits people with large and expensive homes, none of whom are likely to be poor.

Senator Dick Durbin, immigration advocate Eddie Vale and all who have been claiming to represent the interests of the Dreamers who were brought here illegally by their parents and are now adults. President Trump has risked antagonizing his base by offering the Dreamers not only the right to remain here, but a path to citizenship. In return the president asks for tighter border security and a reduction of immigration unrelated to merit. No deal says Durbin. “A legislative burning cross,” says Vale. In their reckoning, the interests of future immigrants of uncertain training and skills takes precedence over the 1.8 million Dreamers who Durbin and others have always characterized as hard-working, good students who have proved themselves in the labor market.

Surely their position has nothing to do with the fact that future immigrants are likely to be Democratic voters and they want to maximize the size of this pool.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. When President Trump announced his travel ban last year, Trudeau tweeted, “To those fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith,” to which he later added “regardless of who you are or where you are from, there’s always a place for you in Canada.” And so they came, across the border into Quebec, some 10,000, mostly Haitians who feared to remain in the United States, to which they had immigrated illegally. About 1,400 more arrive every month.

It turns out that Canada does not have the infrastructure to handle these immigrants, many of whom are now living in tents provided by the army. So Canadian representatives, among them Pablo Rodriguez, a member of parliament, met with members of the Hispanic community in Los Angeles and told them, according to the Wall Street Journal, that they should not assume they would be welcome in Canada, “and could be deported to their country of origin it they make the trip north,” instead of merely being returned to the United States. “Furthermore, if they have been denied asylum in the U.S., they are unlikely to receive it in Canada.”

Margaritis Schinas, deputy director general of the European Commission. In response to President Trump’s warning that he considers the trading relationship with the European Union unfair, Schinas warned, “The European Union stands ready to react swiftly and appropriately in case our exports are affected by any restrictive trade measures from the United States.” In other words, a group of countries that run a trade surplus of $93 billion annually with the United States is willing to take us on in a trade war even though they have more to lose than we have. Also, consider the fact that the E.U.’s own trade barriers hurt exports of our AAA products—autos, agriculture, and audio-visual products.

Autos: The European Union, which exports lots of vehicles to the United States, has an import duty of 10 percent; ours is 2.5 percent. Car & Driver magazine reports that the 10 percent duty imposed on imports into the European Union is preventing BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen from building more factories here in which to make cars for export to Europe.

Agriculture: The multiple tools that protect the agricultural sector of the European Union are embedded in the founding documents of the E.U. and designed, in the words of two European professors, “to make the presence of foreign products in the domestic market difficult (impossible),” and to stimulate exports, using subsidies.

Audio-visual products: The European Union has an exemption from WTO rules that permits it to limit the market for American films, television programs, and what are called “cultural” products. It requires that at least half of TV broadcasting time in Europe be allocated to European-made programing. Which is far more potent than mere tariffs.

And the winner is . . . send your vote by clicking on “Respond” (it’s right down there).

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