Paul ryan, who tolerated trump’s nazi embrace and f.b.i. loyalty pledge, balks at tariffs vanity fair yale university tuition fees for international students

For his entire adult life and, let’s be honest, probably a good portion of his teen years, paul ryan has fantasized about tax cuts the way some people fantasize about having sex with a porn star. Not just any old tax cuts, of course, but the kind that disproportionately benefit corporate america and the upper-echelons of the ultra rich, while handing average americans an extra buck-fifty a paycheck and expecting an outpouring of gratitude in return. We know this because 1) he’s openly and unabashedly obsessed with ayn rand, and 2) just a few short months ago, the house speaker released a sizzle reel highlighting his many urgent calls for tax cuts spanning nearly 20 years in office.

In donald trump, a man who has never demonstrated conviction in anything other than enriching himself and other people named trump, ryan saw an opportunity for his longtime dream to become a reality. That’s why, for more than a year now, ryan has put up with everything from the president demanding loyalty from the head of the F.B.I. (“ he’s new at this!”) to his decision to give nazis a free pass (“ he’s learning!”) to his refusal to release his tax returns, even though wisconsin’s first son could compel him to do so (“tee-hee!”). And in december, ryan’s commitment to holding his nose and looking the other way paid off, big time.

This week, though, we learned that there are, in fact, limits to what ryan will put up with, and they involve imperiling the legacy of his tax bill and upsetting his corporate sugar daddies. In the wake of the president’s decision to announce that he plans to effectively start a trade war, ryan’s spokeswoman, ashlee strong, said in a statement on monday: “we are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the white house to not advance with this plan. The new tax-reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don’t want to jeopardize those gains.” to be clear, most people outside of the G.O.P. Already expect the long-term effects of the tax bill to be a deficit-busting mess. But with trump’s call to slap steel and aluminum imports with 25% and 10% tariffs, more or less out of spite, the havoc wreaked on the economy could be even worse, with experts estimating 146,000 job losses, among other consequences. Presumably, ryan was also inspired to find his voice on the issue—and to fire off at least one passive-aggressive tweet—on account of the fact that the koch brothers, who donated half a million dollars to his fundraising committee after the bill passed, harshly condemned the tariffs. And as they teach lawmakers on their first day on capitol hill, one mustn’t upset one’s benefactors.

Trump, though, apparently could not care less about ryan’s (or anyone else’s) concerns, telling reporters monday “we’re not backing down” and that the tariffs are “ 100 percent” happening. The U.S., he said, has been “ripped off” by other countries for too long, and “we are going to take care of it.” perhaps the one ray of hope in this otherwise terrifying situation? Because this whole thing was put together in such a half-assed, completely slipshod way, trump’s advisers—the ones who support the tariffs—are already hedging their bets:

Peter navarro, an adviser and the architect of many of mr. Trump’s campaign-trade promises, confirmed on sunday that the president would not exclude any country from the tariffs but said individual companies could apply for exemptions for certain products. . . . Navarro [also] left room for change in the timing of the tariffs, which the president said would be signed this week. “toward the end of the week,” mr. Navarro said in a separate appearance on CNN’s state of the union, when asked when the tariffs would be announced. “at the latest, it would be the following week.”

“if he for some reason should change his mind, then it will change,” mr. Ross added, noting that he had no reason to believe that the president would do so.

Or as a top republican put it to politico: “I’ve stopped worrying and reacting to the day-to-day because you get all stressed out about something, then you realize tomorrow morning by lunch that it’s never going to happen.”

It’s almost as though you can’t trust a guy who (allegedly!) had an affair with an adult-film star named stormy daniels right after his wife gave birth to their son: