by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist
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Here we are again – our government doing what they do best – picking winners and losers. President Trump has done a lot of good things for this nation thus far, but protectionist tariffs aren’t one of them.
The first protectionist tariff, the “Dallas” tariff, was enacted in 1816. It happened again in 1824, in 1828, the infamous “Tariff of Abominations,” in 1832 to fix the problem in 1828 (which it didn’t), and in 1842, the “Black” tariff.
All these were passed to benefit the Northern States at the expense of the South, and all were major contributing factors in the run-up to the Civil War. No, the Civil War was not just about slavery.
And then there was the infamous “Smoot-Hawley” tariff of 1930. It was named after its authors, Utah Senator Reed Smoot and Oregon Congressman Willis Hawley. The purpose was to support U.S. farmers who had been ravaged by the Dust Bowl.
By the time 1930 rolled around, practically every legislator had added protections to Smoot-Hawley for their states’ industries. The bill ended up with proposed tariffs on 20,000 individual imported goods. Does this sound eerily familiar to anyone? It’s why bills are thousands of pages long – to attempt to hide such things.