John Bolton on Tariffs on Imports of Chinese Goods

From The Hill:

President Trump’s incoming national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday he hopes impending economic tariffs against China could be “a little shock therapy” for the country.

Electroconvulsive therapy is, as I understand it, something used for depression, mania, and catatonia. So, is Mr. Bolton suggesting China suffers from one of these three disorders? Given the magnitude of the tariff effects is unlikely to be sufficient to induce significant economic pain, isn’t a different metaphor more apt? If we’re sticking with military metaphors (given it’s a trade war we’re threatening), I would think “shot across the bow” fits the bill.

At least Mike Flynn had the sense to defer economic questions to economists.

20 thoughts on “John Bolton on Tariffs on Imports of Chinese Goods

  1. pgl

    “”I don’t think anybody is looking to have a trade war”.

    Has the man with the ugly mustache ever discussed this with Navarro and Ross? They certainly want a trade war.

    Bolton’s supposed expertise is foreign policy but he is dangerously incompetent at that. His knowledge of economic issues is even worse than that of the three stooges (Kudlow, Navarro, and Ross).

  2. 2slugbaits

    I would think “shot across the bow” fits the bill.

    I’m not so sure. It takes a great deal of training to execute a successful shot across the bow, especially in choppy waters. Given this administration’s inability to shoot straight (or even talk straight), a more likely outcome is that Team Trump will shoot itself in the foot. BTW, I wouldn’t expect either Trump or Bolton to understand military metaphors….they were both draft dodgers back in the day.

      1. ilsm

        Chicken hawk…. LBJ and Nixon’s losing propositions were not for him to give anything for (so much for dominoes) but sending poor volunteers off to lose for ARAMCO and al Qaeda is just fine.

        Now trump just goes down the hall rather than turn on Fox news.

    1. noneconomist

      How long will it take for “Trump team” congress members Nunes and McCarthy (“My Kevin”to figure what kind of hurt China can put on their heavily-dependent agricultural districts, which export considerable amounts to various countries, including China?
      Do they believe their unemployment rates—now over 8%—will go down?

  3. Moses Herzog

    I can give you the one-sentence CliffsNotes version of what John Bolton is— “A poor man’s Dick Cheney”

  4. Moses Herzog

    For some reason, this digby lady’s blog site seems to take awhile to process on my comp, I’m not sure if others will have the same issue. But you can get most of her stuff for free by RSS feed, and I think she’s a pretty solid writer (I don’t generally read women writers). I recommend “subscribing” (it’s free) if you use an RSS reader, I’ll leave you with 1 of her recent blog posts, and another by a gentleman who posts on the same site “Tom Sullivan” (I assume that’s his real name, but it may be pseudonym):

    If you visit often, you’ll notice they often amalgamate the better political cartoons there, and that’s lots of fun.

    [edited for content – MDC]

    1. pgl

      ‘It appears that diGenova plans to concentrate on a PR campaign aimed at diverting attention onto some separate line of investigation into Hillary Clinton and the FBI, along with a full-court press aimed at muddying Robert Mueller’s reputation. While diGenova certainly has experience in high-stakes partisan TV wrestling, he’s likely way over his head when it comes to dealing with a complicated counterintelligence investigation. It’s not clear how any of this is supposed to clear the president’s name, but it’s apparently what Trump considers “counterpunching.”‘

      I would let everyone know what I really think of diGenova except for the fact that the children might be reading this.

  5. Moses Herzog

    This is from Friday’s NYT, and connects John Bolton to both Bannon and Cambridge Analytics.

    Get ready to hear Cambridge Analytics discussed ad nauseam on every outlet but FOX News and Sinclair stations. Not that I’m against it, just saying get ready for every braindead TV anchor to name drop it (with zero understanding of it, or attempt to survey the territory) like he just discovered plutonium.

  6. Lord

    Sounds about right. Create a commotion, surprise everyone, do a swift retreat, and declare victory. Nothing like creating problems to solve them when you have little chance doing anything more. Could get sidetracked and compound them in a tantrum though.

  7. Moses Herzog

    Bolton is a vitriolic nutjob, who makes unsubstantiated accusations against other countries and makes up false charges against American intelligence officials, and then fires those same officials when they dare to challenge him about boldface lies. Remind you of anyone??

    Bolton is a supreme Class A nutjob. Even Bannon (that I am aware of) didn’t go around [internally] making false accusations against individual intelligence officials. That is borderline schizophrenic behavior. As in, fictional character Carrie Mathison on “Homeland” gone off her meds for 6 months couldn’t touch this guy’s insanity.

    From Dafna Linzar’s 2005 WaPo story:
    “But yesterday, Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio), whose concerns promoted the delay in the committee’s decision, told a luncheon of the Cleveland Club that he was still undecided. “I am concerned about people’s interpersonal skills,” he said in response to a question about Bolton.
    In the past three weeks, the panel has been told about four instances in which people said Bolton sought to remove officials who disagreed with him. In his own testimony, Bolton said he lost confidence in two intelligence analysts who disagreed with his assertions about Cuba and he tried to have them reassigned. He has not fully responded to questions about the cases involving State Department officials.
    Wolf, who worked directly for Bolton in the current administration and in the President George H.W. Bush administration, is no longer on close terms with his former colleague. He would not comment yesterday on the substance of his 75-minute testimony, which was described by two committee staff members.”

    Again, the article was written in 2005, so you have to ask a question: “How much do people change (personality/psyche wise) in between the age of 56 and age 69?? Do you know any people who change much in that stage of their lives??” When you have Senate Republicans who would rather not get entangled with this nutjob Bolton, that is a HUGE red flag

  8. dilbert dogbert

    “impending economic tariffs against China could be “a little shock therapy” for the country.”
    Please define which country.

  9. Benlu

    Latest news is that trade war could be averted as ongoing negotiation is making encouraging progress.

    1. pgl

      Let’s hope you are right. Let’s also keep Trump off of his twitter before he screws this up too.

    1. Moses Herzog

      I’m hoping he’s in favor of psychiatric drugs, ‘cuz my guess is Bolton should be taking at least 5 of them.

      Funny how quickly these Republicans warmed up to hemp and marijuana when they figured out they had a “new” tax revenue source. It’s only a matter of time until all 50 states switch over, including recreational use. Senators and Congressman don’t mind opioids though, because all their buddies in the American Medical Association have handed those out to adults like drug dealers hand out meth laced lollipops to children. See, being a drug dealer is super cool and “beneficial to society” when you get a medical degree and the stamp of approval from the American Medical Association—-they call it an “association” because if they called the “AMA” what it really is—a Doctors’ Union—then Doctors couldn’t bad-mouth labor unions all day long at the local golf club without looking like the jack*sses many of them are.

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