Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admitted that Trump's tariffs are causing harm to working Americans.
Trump has been full-steam ahead on his reckless trade war, wrongly claiming his retaliatory tariffs will actually be paid by China and Mexico.
But on Thursday, in an interview with Fox News, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said out loud what economists and Democrats who oppose Trump's tariffs have been saying all along: Tariffs are a tax on American consumers.
McConnell made the comments in an interview with Fox News' Guy Benson, who asked McConnell whether there is a veto-proof majority in Congress to block Trump's tariffs.
To which McConnell replied:
Let me just say there is a lack of enthusiasm among Senate Republicans for what would amount to a tax increase, frankly, on working-class people. I mean drives up the cost of goods that you would be purchasing at Walmart and other places. So, I'm hoping this can be avoided.
This now puts Republicans in an awkward position.
In fact, experts warn that the tariffs could tank the economy, a decidedly terrible result.
And now, McConnell flatly admitted — on tape — that Trump's tariffs are a tax increase on Americans. If Republicans sit by and do nothing while Trump carries out these tariffs, it means Republicans are complicit in this tax increase, and they could be hit with it in campaign ads for elections in key states in the 2020 election.
Of course, while McConnell admitted tariffs are bad, he didn't say in any certain terms that Republicans would do anything about the tariffs. He just said that he is hopeful that Trump will change his mind. And that's not the kind of threat that would get Trump to change his mind.
It's only marginally better than House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's tactic, which is to implore Republicans in his caucus not to criticize Trump's tariffs, in the hopes of convincing Trump they're a bad idea. Yes, his logic makes no sense.
But McConnell's comments will now put the GOP in a bind. Will they sit by and let Trump raise taxes on Americans, a concept anathema to Republican orthodoxy, or will they step in and do something?
Judging by the last two-and-a-half years of Trump's tenure, the answer is likely the former.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.