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Don't be a Pander Bear

Tip for politicians: when you consult your political advisers on a policy matter, you might want to also consult your economic advisers, to make sure that their ideas will actually work. Because when they don't, you're in trouble. Last year, the Bush Administration imposed tariffs on steel imports in advance of the midterm Congressional elections; now it turns out that the tariffs are backfiring.

Eighteen months later, key administration officials have concluded that Bush's order has turned into a debacle. Some economists say the tariffs may have cost more jobs than they saved, by driving up costs for automakers and other steel users. Politically, the strategy failed to produce union endorsements and appears to have hurt Bush with workers in Michigan and Tennessee -- also states at the heart of his 2004 strategy.
It's not difficult to say "Told you so" here, since everybody did in fact tell Bush so. Except Karl Rove, I guess.

Sometimes bad economics can make good politics, but only in the short run.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 19, 2003 1:47 PM.

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