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Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:36 PM

Why isn't anyone talking about the trade deficit when discussing the national deficit?

It seems blatantly obvious that the national deficit is largely caused by the loss in tax revenue because of excessive imports without adequate tariffs. The real solution is to tariff imported goods so that the trade deficit ends up being neutral. I would suggest a "means-tested" import tariff where countries that provide social services like democracies in Europe are taxed less than countries like China or India that do not provide social services. It could also be adjusted to deal with currency manipulation. I guess the argument against this is that it could cause a "trade war", however I personally suspect that this is a red herring. Our economy is so imbalanced right now I doubt it could get much worse. We have the most powerful agricultural sector and tech sector in the world so we don't really face much competition in those really important areas. Other countries will be forced to trade with us in those areas.

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