The Corner

Is This What Presidents Do?

Republicans in Congress should ask themselves what they would be saying now if Hillary Clinton had been elected and then began threatening and shaming companies when she didn’t like their perfectly legal business practices, making individual “deals” with individual companies who do a lot of business with the government to “persuade” them to change decisions about where to place factories in return for taxpayer-funded benefits (before even being vested with any formal authority), and claiming she would use trade policy and the tax code (including highly regressive tariffs that punish consumers) as weapons against corporations that locate some operations abroad. 

Whatever they would have said then they should say now. I’m guessing it would have included “industrial policy,” “central planning,” “picking winners and losers,” and “cronyism” at the very least, and rightly so.

Yuval Levin is the director of social, cultural, and constitutional studies at the American Enterprise Institute and the editor of National Affairs.