Makings of a Political Sh-tStorm
It’s been another tough week for President Trump, and he has a lot of those. In fact, probably 50 out of the last 52 has been tough, with 2 good ones when he was on vacation and was kept away from Twitter! Seriously though, Donald Trump has had a very tough time, the job seems more than a little beyond him, and he’s getting beaten up on all sides – political life is apparently not as easy as running a business with little opposition.
This week he is quoted as saying that certain countries are sh-tholes, and thus the reason why so many people want to immigrate to the US from there. Now, let me just say that the idea that many places are under privilleged, poor, and even dangerous to live in is correct. The President of the United States and effective leader of the free world should be able to express that sort of thing without being vile. That Trump was vile about the subject says a lot about him.
However, that isn’t what this story is about.
This story is about Fiat Chrysler announcing that they will spend 1 Billion US in Michigan, part of a plant move from Mexico back to the US. Of course, Donald Trump is out there crowing about and saying it’s clearly because of something he has done. Well Bad news for Trump, the truth is a little less than he wants it to be.
Fiat Chrysler will have to spend an additional $1 billion on Michigan facilities over 15 years to qualify for $1.9 billion in business tax credits under an agreement approved Tuesday by the state’s economic development board.
Now, you ready? The story is from 2015, long before Donald Trump was even an entry in anyone’s Presidential pool. Chrylser negotiated, during the Obama era, a deal with Michigan to get a huge amount of tax credits if they spent 1 billion over 15 years to get a 1.9 billion credit (nearly double their money back, if you like). So, over the last 2 years, they have been putting the plan together.
Donald Trump would like you to think that tax changes passed recently are the reason for this sudden move. He seems not to understand that nothing in the car industry is done suddenly, but rather over years. The tax changes I am sure help the plan and make it better, but I also think the potential for the collapse of NAFTA is a contributing factor. Companies like Fiat Chrysler have to plan years ahead and take calculated risks and shift production based on how they feel the landscape will be years from now.
So Trump is out there trying to take credit, in the same manner he tried to take credit for saving jobs at a Carrier air conditioning facility. Just this week, another 200 jobs from that facility have been lost, and that doesn’t appear to be the end of it. Short term political gains don’t really pay off.