The Trumpeter Blows His Own Horn …

Da trumpeter is patting himself on the back today.  He pats himself on the back entirely too much, for one with such small hands.  Today, on the surface, it might seem as if he has good reason, but before you jump on his bandwagon marked “praise da trumpeter”, let us look at the whole picture.

Donald J. Trump had been vowing for months on the campaign trail to call the head of Carrier from the Oval Office and hit the company with huge tariffs if it followed through on its decision to close two Indiana factories and move more than 2,000 jobs to Mexico. “This is so easy,” he told cheering crowds last spring. “It’s not presidential when the president calls up the head of a damn air-conditioning company, but it’s so much fun for me.”  Well, today Trump is patting himself on the back and tooting his horn loudly.  On Wednesday, Carrier issued the following press release:

“We have negotiated an agreement with the incoming administration that we believe benefits our workers, the state of Indiana and our company.

We are announcing today that Carrier will continue to manufacture gas furnaces in Indianapolis, in addition to retaining engineering and headquarters staff, preserving more than 1,000 jobs.

Today’s announcement is possible because the incoming Trump-Pence administration has emphasized to us its commitment to support the business community and create an improved, more competitive U.S. business climate. The incentives offered by the state were an important consideration.

This agreement in no way diminishes our belief in the benefits of free trade and that the forces of globalization will continue to require solutions for the long-term competitiveness of the U.S. and of American workers moving forward.”

The keyword here is in the last sentence of the third paragraph:  incentives.  The incentives will cost the taxpayers of Indiana $7 million.  And even with that, the Wall Street Journal reports that Carrier “still plans to move 600 jobs from the Carrier plant to Mexico,” plus moving another 700 other jobs that will be lost when it closes a separate plant in Huntington, Ind. In other words, under Trump’s alleged triumph, Carrier is shipping 1,300 jobs from Indiana to Mexico, even as it receives millions of dollars from the taxpayers of Indiana. In fact, the deal keeps about 800 of the 2,100 jobs that were scheduled to relocate, in Indiana.

The news, according to the Indiana Star, was greeted by some with a sigh of relief, and by others with concern and skepticism.  Some fear that they will be forced to make concessions, such as lower pay, additional responsibilities or something else.

Trump had initially threatened to impose a 35% tariff on businesses that relocated jobs outside the U.S., and his supporters applauded that.  But what they apparently were not considering was that the consumers would pay for that tariff in the form of higher product prices.  At the same time, Trump had criticized government efforts to keep businesses and therefore jobs, in the U.S. by offering incentives such as tax breaks.  Yet, this is exactly what led to Carrier’s decision to maintain approximately 1,000 jobs in Indiana.  Now the concern among some analysts is that other companies will see this as an opportunity, whether they had plans to outsource jobs or not, to receive incentives to keep their operations based in the U.S.  A valid concern, I believe. In the words of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, “In essence, United Technologies [Carrier’s parent company] took Trump hostage and won.”

One might ask, also, if Mr. Trump plans to bring his own companies back to the U.S., or if he will be charging himself a 35% tariff?  Funny, isn’t it, how this isn’t talked about much, but it is a legitimate question.

  • The Donald J. Trump Collection includes ties, suits, dress shirts, eyeglasses and other accessories. Trump shirts were made in China, Bangladesh, Honduras and Vietnam. Some Trump sport coats are made in India.
  • Trump Home products has a range of items, including chandeliers, mirrors, bedding, table lamps, cabinets, sofas, barstools, cocktail tables and more, some of which are made in Turkey, China, India, and Slovenia.

So, might we expect Trump to actually put his money where his mouth is, or do the rules, as he has said about other things, not apply to him?

Trump is, according to all reports, gleefully gloating, giving himself kudos, and even taking a ‘victory tour’ through the Midwest, beginning, of all places, in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Here is how he spent his time in Cincinnati: he encouraged chants of “Lock her up” by invoking Hillary Clinton’s name, incited boos of home state Governor John Kasich, mocked independent candidate Evan McMullin as a nobody and spent close to four minutes attacking the “nasty, dishonest press.”  This is presidential behaviour???  Can anyone imagine President Obama doing this?  Can we all imagine what the critics would have to say about President Obama if he acted in this fashion?  Even if Trump had done a wonderful thing, and in my opinion, he did not, such childish, juvenile behaviour would be extremely inappropriate and decidedly un-presidential!

The jury is out on the Carrier deal, as far as this writer is concerned.  The governor of Indiana could have just as easily worked the deal for Carrier to retain approximately 1,000 jobs in exchange for $7 million of taxpayer money.  That said, I imagine a relative few in Indiana will sleep a bit better tonight, and that is a good thing, though they need to thank the taxpayers of Indiana rather than Mr. Trump.  As for his ‘victory tour’ … I see it as just another opportunity for the narcissist to toot his horn, or blow his trumpet, if you will.

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15 thoughts on “The Trumpeter Blows His Own Horn …

  1. I am originally from Syracuse, NY, founding city of Carrier Corporation. My dad worked at Carrier, as did my father-in-law. When I graduated from college, my first job was at Carrier. When United Technologies took over Carrier, they decimated the company. If you drive by Carrier’s former campus in Syracuse, there are empty fields where the sprawling buildings once stood. Carrier razed the perfectly good buildings because they didn’t want to pay New York taxes on them. When they decided to leave Syracuse, the city and the state offered them incentives that make the ones in Indiana seem like chump change. The company thumbed their collective noses at the city where it was founded and packed up and left taking thousands of jobs with it. Carrier is not being generous with their actions in Indiana. Trump cut them some kind of deal where they don’t lose, or possibly make, money by staying for the next four years or so making him able to say that he delivered. Look for them to pull out as planned.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Jill and friends,

    Since when do we expect DT not to take advantage of a photo-op and to bask in a arena of adoring followers.

    The only for sure outstanding selection that DT has made for cabinet level / important posts is General James Mattis as Defense Secretary.

    The worst are those incendiary, ideologues who are NOT OPEN-MINDED OR CAPABLE OF GIVING CREDENCE TO AN OPPOSING VIEW from his scorched-earth campaign. This crowd includes Gen. Mike Flynn, Steve Bannon and Senator Jeff Sessions.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I do not know much about Mattis, but he is on my list of people to research, so I will likely be writing about him soon. If he is as qualified as you say, I wonder how Trump chose him … seems out of character for him to actually choose a qualified individual, especially now that I hear he may put Palin over Veteran’s Affairs! Shoot me now, please!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jill, it is a symbolic victory for Trump and Pence, we should not ignore that. And, it will help those who would have been displaced. There are lot of things to be considered as we move forward:
    – I am not a fan of incentives, in general, as leaders in other states use them to court companies to their state. The taxpayers need to know the full deal.
    – Often, the company benefits, but the projections don’t pan out and market conditions change, so the state does not fully realize the deal.
    – The same people who are applauding lambasted President Obama for bailing out the auto industry, for which we were paid back for the loan.
    – Future companies will threaten to move to gain incentives to stay – why pay for plant updates, when you can get the state to pay for it.
    – How do you pick winners and loser? In this case, the $7 million had already been offered by Indiana and was turned down. Trump raised the issue of federal contracts for its parent. This raises the issue of picking a contractor based on pliability not viability.

    With that said, I am all for strategic macro decisions that would entice folks to stay and repatriate their corporate income. Not all regulations are bad, but let’s make them smarter and more effective. The corporate tax rate is higher than others’ corporate tax rate – let’s reduce but limit deductions so tax is paid. Companies benefit from our nation.

    And, I am not against incentives, but the terms of the deal need to be publicized and they need to be limited, so as not to be a modus operandi.
    Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am neither for nor against incentives in general, but rather take them on a case-by-case basis. I think what annoys me most here is his disgusting self-congratulatory mode. Really, this deal could have been made without any involvement from him, and if Pence had not been so busy trying to discriminate against the LGBT community, he could have made a similar deal a year ago. Sigh. Bottom line is that the man sickens me and I have a hard time finding a kind word for him, but the braggadocio just needs to go … he surely does not have the aura of professionalism that we have seen for the past nearly 8 years. Sigh.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. 7 million is a small price to pay for over 1000 lost jobs to Mexico. Consider all the money lost by shipping those jobs to Mexico? Not to mention lives shattered. If you understand economics you would see that the revenue lost by these jobs would far out-weight any perceived losses by taxpayers. It all comes out in the wash. He is standing by a promise to make America great and keep its jobs. It’s far more than what Obama has done in his entire 8 years for the working people of America. And Trump is not even the sitting president yet? Again, getting this information from the Wall Street Journal, one of the most biased news organizations against Trump, go figure.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s surreal, but this is reality; the mob has taken over. However, I still have hope that Trump’s narcissism (he wants to be remembered as no. 1) will guide him towards reason – a middle way. The alternative (him and us know) is colossal failure. Of course the dread keeps nipping at the heels but…..let’s wait and see…where that carrier pigeon lands.

    Liked by 2 people

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