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Paul Krugman argues that Trump’s spin is nonsense — he’s losing the trade war

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President Donald Trump has declared that he is close to reaching a “Phase One” agreement in negotiations in the trade war with China, a development that would forestall threatened tariff increases and roll back some of the punitive measures already in place. The deal is not yet finished nor released in detail, but Trump and his defenders are already celebrating it as a huge win.

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But economist Paul Krugman warned Thursday: not so fast. In general, there are no winners in a trade war, he said. But there are losers, and in Trump’s war with China, Krugman argued, the U.S. president is undoubtedly a loser.

“That’s certainly how the Chinese see it,” Krugman explained on Twitter. “Trump tried to bully them; they hung tough; and are basically ending up where they started, buying agricultural products while selling us increasingly sophisticated manufactured goods.”

He continued:

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Farmers, Krugman explained, have significantly suffered as a result. Bloomberg reported recently that under the trade war, farm bankruptcies have spiked 24 percent. Even if Trump gets serious concessions from China, he can’t undo that impact on Americans.

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One way Trump has tried to mitigate that impact, though, is by spending billions of government funds to compensate for the damage to farmers that he caused. And as Krugman pointed out, that bailout is significantly larger than the much-discussed auto bailout under President Barack Obama, which was called for because of the effects of the financial crisis, rather than the White House’s recklessness.

“Furthermore, even if we do get a sustained deal — which is still far from certain — the whole episode will have two big long-run costs. First, business uncertainty about capricious policy is here to stay,” Krugman continued. “Second, the Chinese have learned the same lesson North Korea’s Kim learned: Trump talks loudly but carries a small stick, and can be rolled. Trump has made us weak, neither trusted by our allies nor feared by our enemies.”

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But for those hoping this major blunder will hurt Trump politically, Krugman has little consolation.

“Now, Trump may not suffer politically. Elections turn not on how good things are, but on whether they’re perceived as getting better. This actually gives politicians an incentive to do stupid things for a while, then stop around a year before the election. Sound familiar?” he wrote.

 

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Internet slams ‘cringe-worthy elitist’ Mike Bloomberg for saying he’s too rich to use TurboTax

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At the Democratic presidential debate in Nevada, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stumbled after being asked when he will release his tax returns, when he suggested that he "can't go to TurboTax" because he's too wealthy.

Moderator: "You've said you'll release your tax returns, but why do Democrats have to wait?"

Bloomberg: "We do business around the world. The document will be thousands of pages. I can't go to TurboTax."

😂😂😂#DemDebate

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Trump wants Ric Grenell to keep his ambassador job while also overseeing every intelligence agency: report

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On Wednesday, President Donald Trump was reported to be planning to appoint U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell to serve as acting Director of National Intelligence — a position for which he has zero qualifications. The move raised immediate fears, given that Grenell is a hardline Trump loyalist.

But it doesn't stop there. Reports also suggest that the president intends for Grenell to keep serving as Ambassador to Germany at the same time as he is overseeing every U.S. intelligence agency.

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‘You lost me’: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez graciously defuses confrontational question

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In an appearance on ABC's popular daytime talk show "The View" Wednesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke about what she called a "disconnect" between centrist, establishment members of the Democratic Party and progressive lawmakers who have been viewed as agitators in the party.

Co-host Whoopi Goldberg said that while she had applauded Ocasio-Cortez's surprise victory in her 2018 primary against Wall Street-backed former Rep. Joe Crowley, she has since cooled on the lawmaker due to what she views as a dismissal of baby boomers' past activism. Ocasio-Cortez has pushed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to back a Green New Deal, called on her fellow Democrats to support Medicare for All, and criticized Democrats who take big-money donations from the financial, for-profit healthcare, and fossil fuel sectors.

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