Guest Post by Warner Todd Huston
In only a week President-Elect Donald Trump has taken complete control of the economy news in the media, especially with his two big jobs deals, and his detractors — both left and right — are furious about all of it.
As November ended, President-Elect Trump announced that he had brokered a deal with the Carrier air conditioning manufacturing company to keep about 1,000 jobs in Indiana, jobs that the company had announced were to be moved to Mexico. Trump decided to make an effort to put a monkey wrench in those plans.
Trump’s focus on Carrier is not sudden. On the campaign trail Donald J. Trump often targeted Carrier for its February announcement that it was closing its Indiana-based manufacturing lines and moving several thousand jobs to a new plant in Mexico leaving thousands of Indiana residents without a livelihood.
So, Carrier became one of Trump’s first targets before he even took the oath of office. The President-Elect announced the deal to much coverage in the media and while there were many naysayers, in the days following his announcement polls have shown that Trump’s deal is wildly popular with the American people.
A new poll sponsored by Trump-hating Politico finds that the President-Elect’s Carrier deal is a big deal as far as voters are concerned. Fully 60 percent of combined voters in the poll said that the Carrier deal caused them to view Trump more favorably.
This week Trump has done it again with an announcement from the lobby of Trump Tower, New York, that Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank — owner of the Sprint cell phone network — will be launching a $50 billion investment in the U.S.A. which is to include a target of the creation of 50,000 new jobs.
Trump announces that Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank, has agreed to invest $50 billion in U.S., create 50K new jobs. https://t.co/NRYqaLHY4J
— ABC News (@ABC) December 6, 2016
In the video posted by ABC News, Trump and SoftBank Group Corp. founder and Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son entered the lobby of Trump Tower in New York to announce the new agreement.
“This is Masayoshi Son of SoftBank from Japan,” Trump said in the video, “and he’s just agreed to invest fifty billion dollars in the United States and 50,000 jobs. And he’s one of the great men of industry so I just want to thank you,” he concluded shaking Mr. Son’s hand.
The SoftBank deal was in association with Foxconn, the company that manufactures the iPhone and other devices in China.
This is the business plan Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son showed reporters — clearly co-branded with Foxconn, which he said initiated the deal. pic.twitter.com/5lE52PufZ7
— David Martosko (@dmartosko) December 6, 2016
Of course, some are already speculating that all this is just a ruse for SoftBank as it butters Trump up in order to smooth the way for the merger the company was trying to engineer between T-Mobile and Sprint.
Is this related to desired Sprint-T-Mobile merger? https://t.co/1zTRPKOUud https://t.co/CSu5qCIAbW
— Josh Greenman (@joshgreenman) December 6, 2016
On the same day he announced SoftBank’s plans, Trump also came out in criticism of the contract with Boeing for a pair of new Air Force One planes. Trump insisted that the cost of the planes has spiraled out of control and the contract should be canceled.
“Well the plane is totally out of control, going to be over four billion dollars for the Air Force One program, and I think it’s ridiculous,” Trump told the press on Tuesday. “I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number. We want Boeing to make a lot of money but not that much money.”
While many news sources initially scoffed at Trump’s price tag claim, it soon came out that the cost is, indeed, around $4 billion all total for the two planes.
In addition, as part of his jobs discussion, Trump has also repeatedly brought up his idea of imposing stiff tariffs (or import taxes) on goods brought into the country from elsewhere and that, too, is being viewed favorably by American voters. A recent Economist/YouGov poll, for instance, found that a whopping 73 percent of Republicans like the idea. This is significant because Republicans usually favor businesses in their thought process and a heavy import tax is certainly not business friendly.
Interestingly, 49 percent of Democrats like the tariff idea, as well. But even at nearly 50 percent that is a good number from Democrats, especially after a punishing election that isn’t yet even a month in the past.
Trump’s GOP now >
APPROVE of “imposing stiff tariffs or other taxes on U.S. companies that relocate jobs”
Republicans: 73% pic.twitter.com/KJpqf4y9f6
— Will Jordan (@williamjordann) December 6, 2016
Speaking of polls, another poll question finds that 56 percent of voters think it is perfectly fine for a president to directly negotiate with a private company.
This led arch conservative Congressman Justin Amash (R, MI) to lament “R.I.P. rule of law.”
R.I.P. Rule of Law https://t.co/IQj0y3lE6s
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) December 6, 2016
With Trump sucking up all the oxygen in the media, many are wondering where the heck Barack Obama is. For one, the left-wing Atlantic is wondering that very question.
“In the four weeks since the election, which seem like four centuries,” the magazine wrote,”Donald Trump has dominated the news and done real strategic and economic damage with his stream of intemperate tweets.”
The piece goes on to scold Obama for letting Trump dominate the news and for allowing him to do things like the Carrier deal.
The Atlantic piece ends with some big time whining.
Everything Barack Obama has stood for, Donald Trump—not yet in office–is doing his best to discredit. For the next 44 days, Obama will still be the most powerful person on Earth, so he might as well sound that way. Remind us of what the country is, what it should stand for, how it can find a steady path ahead.
But liberals aren’t alone. A growing number of Republicans are also starting to speak up to oppose Trump’s ideas on jobs and the economy.
The Wall Street Journal called Trump’s Carrier deal a “shakedown” that should violate the principles of those who believe in the free market.
The NeverTrump Weekly Standard has also attacked Trump’s deals calling them “a rotten precedent” and criticized the GOP for abandoning free market capitalism.
Yet another NeverTrump magazine, this time the National Review, slammed everyone on the right for the hypocrisy of ignoring the meddling Trump is doing in the business sector after they spent 8 years slamming Obama for doing the same things.
Even former Alaska Governor and Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin piped up calling Trump’s Carrier deal an example of “crony capitalism.”
Still, which ever side you favor, it is clear that the whole political discussion is being driven by President-Elect Donald Trump. Congress is background noise and Barack Obama is already ancient history.
Cross-posted from Constitution.com