Miracles Do Happen

Bill Neinast


Tis the season for reruns of Miracle on 34th Street.  This, though, may be the last year.  Next year, the version may be Miracle on Pennsylvania Avenue

Christmas and New Year will have to be celebrated before Donald Trump is even close to moving into the White House.  He has, however, begun to prove he is a man of his word.

One of his campaign promises was to bring jobs home and keep them here.  One of his frequently cited examples of the job drain was Carrier Corporation’s plan to move 1,000 jobs to Mexico.

Trump threatened that Carrier would pay a price if they did that.  Now, more than a month before he assumes office, Carrier announces that it will keep the 1,300 jobs that were going to Mexico in their Indiana home.

“But, but, but,” stammered Josh Earnest, the White House Press Secretary, “Carrier will be paid $700,000 in incentives to stay put.”

So what?  In recent years, Texas spent millions of dollars in tax incentives to lure businesses to the state.  Frequently, Washington County and Brenham city officials extend tax incentives to businesses to come to or expand in the county and city.  That is a normal business practice.

Compare the Trump approach to this threatened loss of jobs with that of President Obama.  At a Town Hall Meeting on June 1, a member of the steel workers’ union asked Obama about the proposed move of the Carrier jobs to Mexico. His comment was something like “Not to worry.  We will just retrain the employees for different jobs.”

Deciding which of those two approaches is best for the American economy does not require a Phd in business.

While Earnest was still trying to downplay the Carrier turnaround, Trump took him off the hook by giving him another drum to beat.  

Trump’s accepting a call from President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan was, in the opinion of Earnest and other media types, the equivalent of declaring war on our “friend” China.

Oddly, there has not been even a mention of the Taiwan Relations Act in any of the hysteria over Trump’s alleged meddling in foreign affairs before he is inaugurated.  The preamble of that Act is, “To help maintain peace, security, and stability in the Western Pacific and to promote the foreign policy of the United States by authorizing the continuation of commercial, cultural, and other relations between the people of the United States and the people on Taiwan, and for other purposes.”

The act creates the non-profit American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and then  authorizes de facto diplomatic relations with the governing authorities by giving special powers to the AIT to the level that it is the de facto embassy.

Not mentioned, either, is the implied agreement that the U.S. would come to the aid of Taiwan if China tried to assume control of the island by force.  Trump refers to this by implication when he talks of the military aid we provide to the Taiwanese.

No Democrat or member of the news media seems to remember that China is aggressively pursuing a larger presence in the Pacific.  When it literally gives the finger to U.S. protests over the military related islands it is building in the China Sea, there is just a shrug of the shoulders, a slight frown, and a comment something like, “That’s just diplomacy.”

In the eyes of Trump haters, however, a Chinese protest is an earth shaking event.  They seem oblivious to how illogically they are reacting.   For them approving AIT as a de facto embassy in Taiwan is okay, but  it is earth shaking for someone who does not currently hold any office to talk with the island’s president.  Where is the logic in that?

Another way to look at this situation is to recognize that Trump is not a politician; he  is a hard headed businessman.  He says and does what he has to do to get the job done.

Throughout the campaign he said he would bring China to heel and after this little tete-a-tete, China will probably listen up after the inauguration.  After that date, most nations may begin to tread a little lighter around us.  Is that bad?

So here’s the perspective.

There could be a gold mine out there.  The writer/producer of Miracle on Pennsylvania Avenue might create a new Christmas season classic with yearly residuals flowing in.


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