WaPo: “Lower tariff rates reduce tariff revenue!”

Brad DeLong assailed the Washington Post twice today, yet refrained from attacking the front page investigative story centered on this premise:

Each legislative season, corporate executives and lobbyists quietly draft hundreds of bills to suspend tariffs. Over time, the changes cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue, a Washington Post analysis of U.S. trade data found.

No economist is quoted in the story. Apparently the authors didn’t put much effort into finding someone willing to suggest that lower input prices might be good for consumers (a.k.a. taxpayers) and the economy.

Tom Palmer pointed to the story and has more.

[I have some qualms about this form of liberalization, especially its temporary nature, but I don’t buy the WaPo spin.]