If he really wants the job, presidential hopeful Donald Trump should probably figure out what the office can and can’t do.
Trump showcased his continuing delusion of ultimate executive power to do everything ever at a speech at Liberty University today. And in addition to his lofty goals to construct a huge wall completely sealing off the border between the United States and Mexico (“Someday they’ll call it Trump Wall”) and build a military “so big, so strong, [and] so powerful that nobody is going to mess with us,” he also turned his attention to companies like that have outsourced production overseas to save money on labor and taxes.
“We’re gonna get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries,” Trump said, apropos of nothing.
The plan he presented during the speech was to impose a 35 percent tax on goods “every time they come across the border.” He believes this will create such a burden on companies like Apple and Ford Motor Company (which also got called out with a big dose of Trumpiness) that they will have no choice but to move production back to the United States.
That’s a fantastic plan when you’re shouting it to a huge room of people who agree with you, but Trump is missing something: The president can’t do that.
Obviously, Trump has never let the truth get in the way of a good outrage, but the candidate — who spent a lot of today’s speech talking up how much he loves both free trade and China — appears to be under the impression that he can unilaterally decide where companies can and can’t build.
He can’t impose those huge, deal-fueling taxes he’s talking about. Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution is pretty clear that that’s Congress’ job, and if we’ve learned one thing over the past eight years, it’s that it’s really difficult for the president and Congress to get anything done if they have even minor disagreements.
But the crowd liked it, probably because Trump was talking so quickly that they couldn’t really get a chance to think about how insane this plan is, and that’s really all he was going for.