Letter: Tariff math needs an explanation

Posted
Editor of the Reformer,

Perhaps someone can explain this tariff business for me. My math isn't so good, but my calculator tells me that 25 per cent of $100 is $25. So for every $100 worth of steel the Chinese sell us they will have to pay us $25. It doesn't take a genius to know that the Chinese are about as likely to fall for this as the Mexicans will for paying for the wall. So for $100 of steel they will be collecting $125 total. Where will they get this money? The people who buy the steel, right? No problem for me, I don't buy any steel. Ford and Chevy; they can afford it. But wait, when the price of gas goes up U.P.S. charges us more for packages. I guess Ford and Chevy will charge extra for cars. No problem, I got all the cars I need, if I can just get them thru inspection. Beer cans aren't made of steel anymore, ha ha.

But didn't they put tariffs on aluminum, too? They will be charging me more for something I use for 30 seconds before it flies out the car window? What the hell. I still don't get the principle here. I blame it on my high school ski coach, Johnny Caldwell. He was also my algebra teacher and I was so tired from ski practice that I slept thru algebra class.               

I just got my old high school dictionary out. First time I've looked at it since high school. "Ta'rif; Arabic. A schedule of duties imposed by governments on imported goods." (Arabic, weren't they Muslims?) Duties. I thought duties was something you were supposed to do. Back to the dictionary: "Duties; old French. TAX: esp: a tax on imports." Aha it's a TAX! Now I get it. They just raised our taxes, but are calling it a "tariff." Sneaky. Donald Trump and the Republicans just raised our taxes. Who is going to get that money? The Chinese? Not. The Mexicans? Not likely. The U.S.Treasury? No, they are dismantling that. Trump Towers, Inc?

 Further investigation reveals that there is a town at the southern tip of Spain called "Tarifa." I bet this is where the word tariff snuck into the Spanish language. How did it get into English? The Mexicans. The commander in chief thinks they tried to steal Texas from us, and then they burned down the White House, or was it the Canadians? Same thing I guess. Maybe we need a wall on the northern border, which the Chinese will pay for with the tariff.

Turns out that algebra was also invented by the Arabs. This is all very confusing.

Can anyone out there explain this to me?

Richard Foye

South Newfane, July 10


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