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To the editor:

Who pays the tariffs on Chinese goods and now potentially goods from Mexico? We do. The U.S. consumer. A recent study by the New York Fed, Princeton University, and Columbia University found "that the U.S. tariffs were almost completely passed through into U.S. domestic prices, so that the entire incidence of the tariffs fell on domestic consumers.”

The March 3, 2018, headline in the conservative National Review read: Tariffs are taxes. A regressive tax on low-income families. Republican politicians have sold themselves as low tax crusaders. In the age of Trump, the party leaders have fecklessly lined up behind Mr. Trump even when he raises tariffs (taxes). It’s party before principles and maintaining power is more important than the American working family.

On February 25th Trump Tweeted “Now, China is paying us, right now, billions and billions of dollars of tariffs a month. Every month, billions of dollars. I love it.” Sadly, this president has a problem telling the truth and he thinks his supporters will just believe him. Many do. The truth is China hasn’t paid a dime. U.S. importers like Walmart and Target pay the tariff and pass the cost on to American consumers. Trump’s anti-China rhetoric feeds his base of supporters who are actually paying for this nonsense. Unfortunately, we all pay.

Despite Trump touting a surging economy, the Bureau of Labor Statistics published a recent report that wages for the majority of working Americans aren’t just flat they’re actually falling. Now the cost of goods at retailers like Walmart, Costco and Smiths will also increase. Let’s get real here. Several years into the Trump administration, the American family is losing economic ground. The president scores points with his base voters for his anti-Chinese, anti-Mexican diatribes, but in the final analysis, it’s just empty rhetoric. Hyper-nationalist hate speech doesn’t pay your rising bills or feed your family. It’s time for systemic change. We can’t afford the Apprentice any longer. We need a competent adult at the helm.

John Nelson