March 11, 2004

Bra Tax I couldn't make this up if I tried. This is another great idea from George W. Bush. The president recently said his critics support "protectionist trade barriers." The bizarre thing is he brags about his support of free trade and then does things like this.

To show just how absurd this is, one of the new trade restrictions applies to brassieres. Keep in mind that there are no domestic bra manufacturers. Some components are produced here, but all are exported to low-wage countries in Latin America for assembly. And this is only done because of a law requiring a certain degree of domestic content in order to avoid trade barriers when the final product is imported. In other words, it is an entirely artificial arrangement. The reality is that 100 percent of brassieres are imported, so there really is no domestic industry to protect.
Bush is putting a tariff on a product that isn't made in the United States. That's hysterical.
The Bush administration has shown incredibly poor judgment in trade policy ever since taking office. Its steel tariffs backfired by costing more jobs in steel-using industries than were saved among producers, and its budget-busting agricultural subsidies doomed a multilateral trade agreement. From the point of view of trade, it is the worst administration since Herbert Hoover helped bring on the Great Depression by signing the Smoot-Hawley tariff in 1930.
The sad thing is that this article was produced by the conservative National Review. Sad.
  • And imagine if they stopped exporting bras to the US in protest of the tariffs, then women would have to go around... without bras... Lemme think about this one. I'm as of yet undecided.
  • titty tax!
  • First they came for the brassieres, but I had no titties....
  • After what he did for the American steel industry, Bush shouldn't be allowed near a tariff. Or a bra, for that matter.
  • Bras of the free world unite!
  • That's it! I'm never wearing a bra again!! SO THERE Mr. Bush!!
  • Where's the NSFW warning? All this talk about bras and bush...
  • That's it! I'm never wearing a bra again!! He probably did it as a favour to Schwarzenegger.
  • No bras? Sure, that works for a year or two - but then you'd have saggy boob women everywhere!
  • Yet another reason to make it a one termer, musing.
  • "For example, a tariff of 48 percent is applied to sneakers costing $3 or less. This means that poor people, the ones most likely to buy such shoes, pay $4.79 instead of $3.23, which is what they would sell for without the tariff." so - uh - you can buy sneakers that cost less than $5? seriously? are we talking "shoes i'd only wear if i was homeless" or are we talkin' "dirt cheap shoes that in three years will be ridiculously expensive 'cause they'll be adopted by the urban counterculture since they're cheap and thus end up as an overpriced fashion item, a la doc martin's after punk discovered them and fashion subsequently discovered punk"? man. and i usually spend $30 for a pair of sneakers...