By ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, former U. S. senator


SEPT. 3, 2014 -- Politicos always follow the polls, results and never the cause or solution. For example, politicos never tell how Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Senate partied together, travelled together and even limited spending in campaigns.

But when the Supreme Court in Buckley v. Valeo reversed the law, unlimited spending took over, Senators started raising money against each other, campaign committees took over fundraising and partisanship set in. Then, Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, filibustered everything the Democrats proposed, so Democrats couldn't' get a vote and Harry Reid, the majority leader, filled up every bill called for consideration with amendments so Republicans couldn't get a vote on their issues. Gridlock! What sustains gridlock? Money.

Wall Street, the Big Banks and Corporate America want to keep the offshore profits flowing so they contribute to the President and Congress to avoid making it profitable for Corporate America to invest and produce in America - to do nothing. We can't live on imports. The duty of the President and Congress is to build and protect the economy. Chris Matthews announces on Morning Joe (9/3/14): "We can protect our workers and still have free trade." Chris keeps quoting President Kennedy. As JFK's Profile in Courage, Henry Clay said in 1836 about free trade: "It never existed. It never will exist." Today, David Ricardo's Comparative Advantage is Japan and China's controlled capitalism with closed markets and predatory practices. We're buying helicopters from Russia and importing uniforms for G.I's (NY Times, 12/20/13). Chris never mentions Kennedy's enforcing the Defense Production Act of 1950 to protect textiles in 1961.

The U.S. protects the health, safety and environment of its workers - their minimum wage. The economy is what is not protected. Globalization is a trade war with production looking for a country cheaper to produce. Corporate America locates from country to country to be competitive. In December 2006, the Princeton Economist Alan Blinder estimated that in ten years the U.S. would offshore 30-40 million jobs. Economists estimate that for every for every $1 billion deficit in the balance of trade it costs 9,000 jobs. With the 2013 deficit of $471 billion, the U.S. lost 4,239,000 jobs. We are losing jobs as fast as we can create them. In the beginning the U.S. was in a trade war (Boston Tea Party) and the Founding Fathers, two years before the Constitution and four years before Madison's First Amendment Rights, enacted the Tariff Act of 1787 to protect the economy. Chris never mentions protecting the economy.

Politicos like Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell, Bill O'Reilly and Joe Scarborough constantly mention Reagan but they never mention that Reagan, in 1984, protected steel, motor vehicles, computers and machine tools vital to our economy. Politicos constantly mention President Nixon but never mention that Nixon, in 1971, leveled a 10 percent surcharge on imports to repair the deficit in the balance of trade. Politicos constantly mention President Clinton but never mention that, in 1993, Clinton cut spending $250 billion, increased taxes $250 billion to give President Bush a balanced budget in 2001. Politicos never mention that the U.S. paid for all its wars, depressions, recessions, etc. and it took two hundred years for the nation to reach a debt of $1 trillion in 1981. Since 2001, Presidents Bush and Obama have borrowed and spent, increasing the debt $12 trillion in fourteen years.

Politicos never mention that the U.S. is not competing in globalization; that the President and Congress fail to make it attractive for Corporate America to invest in America; fail to replace the Corporate Tax with a Value Added Tax that is rebated on exports, closes all loopholes, giving instant tax reform; that is used by 160 countries; against enforcing our trade laws. Politicos fail to mention protecting production vital to defense and a strong economy; that we can jumpstart the economy and create millions of jobs by replacing the 35 percent corporate tax with the 7 percent VAT. Politicos never mention that we can break gridlock by amending the Constitution to empower Congress to limit or control spending in campaigns as Congress did in 1971, 1973.

The best Off-Broadway show is the President and Congress acting like they are performing their duty but really are engaged in one grand fraud by taking the contributions and doing nothing.

Why don't politicos expose the fraud? Why don't politicos tell it like it is?

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 Making Government Work (University of South Carolina Press, 2008).

© 2014, Ernest F. Hollings. All rights reserved. Contact us for republication permission.

About Fritz Hollings

Ernest F. Hollings served the public for 56 years -- 38 years in the United States Senate and as South Carolina's governor, lieutenant governor and a member of the S.C. House of Representatives.

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