Nixon speechwriter Ben Stein made a brief but memorable appearance in the '80s coming-of-age classic "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off." In his dreary monotone, Stein taught his half-asleep class some basic economics:
"In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort to alleviate the effects of the... Anyone? Anyone?... the Great Depression, passed the... Anyone? Anyone? The tariff bill? The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act? Which, anyone? Raised or lowered?... raised tariffs, in an effort to collect more revenue for the federal government. Did it work? Anyone? Anyone know the effects? It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression. Today we have a similar debate over this."
Donald Trump was rather busy in the '80s what with his surefire investments in the USFL and Atlantic City casinos, so perhaps he and Ivanka didn’t make it to the theaters. But the president and his economic advisers might want to pick up a "Ferris Bueller" Blu-ray to learn the lessons even a high schooler will understand.