Am I the only one worried?
By ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, former U. S. senator
2010 - The country is going broke. Am I the only one worried? I've watched
government for fifty-two years - presided in both Houses of the State
Legislature, served as Governor, and thirty-eight years in the Senate
in Washington - and Washington has turned Kennedy's phrase to: Ask not
what you can do for the country, but ask what you can do for your campaign.
The Senate Chamber has turned into campaign headquarters of the two political
parties, and the media no longer covers the needs of the country, but
only the campaign.
Every Mayor, every Governor, in the land is struggling to pay for this year's government. But Washington dissembles with ten-year budgets, hoping to bring down the deficit from 10% of the GDP to 3% of the GDP in five years and appoint a commission to study it and report back after the election.
Congressmen and Senators the same as Mayors and Governors. We elected
them to determine and provide for the needs, not study. The $5 trillion
in tax cuts by President George W. Bush was exactly the $5 trillion added
to the national debt during his time. But the media reveled in tax cuts
and today acts like any public servant that wants to raise taxes and pay
for the government is stupid. The country grows, the economy grows, there
are more people to be taken care of, and spending cuts won't do it. A
tax increase is necessary. Washington ought be debating taxes rather than
appointing study commissions.
anywhere they train to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat" Al Qaeda
is playing cowboy. The nineteen that trained to fly a plane into a building
received training not in Afghanistan, but in Arizona, Florida, and Conway,
South Carolina. On 9/11, the State Department listed Al Qaeda in forty-five
countries - in the United States, but not Iraq. We can't go to war in
The Congress should immediately eliminate the tax incentives to create jobs in China. The President long since should have put on a 10% surcharge on imports. Long since he should have cancelled the corporate tax to replace it with a 5% value added tax. A 3% VAT, with exemptions for food, housing and health, would replace the revenues of the corporate income tax, 2% would help pay for health costs and start paying down the debt. The President can create millions of jobs by enforcing the War Production Act of 1950 that provides for production and a ready supply of those items necessary to our national defense. Under Section 201 of the Trade Act, "endangered" automobile production like GM can be protected with import quotas or tariffs.
If we don't
move now, China will control us. It won't be nuclear or missiles or space,
but economically. China is slightly altering our technology, patenting
it, and before long the Chinese article will be the article of production
and trade. We won't be able to produce economically. Our environment,
our middle class, our standard of living, our democracy will be gone.
This is my outlook for 2010. Please tell me I'm wrong.
Senator Hollings of South Carolina served 38 years in the United States Senate, and for many years was Chairman of the Commerce, Space, Science & Transportation Committee. He is the author of the recently published book, Making Government Work (University of South Carolina Press, 2008).
© 2010, Ernest F. Hollings. All rights reserved. Contact us for republication permission.
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