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Against jobs in the United States
By ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, former U. S. senator

DEC. 31, 2010 -- The President and Congress continue their charade of creating jobs so it's time we list those opposed to creating jobs in the United States:


(1) The business leadership that customarily sets economic policy is against U. S. jobs. After years of trying to get the government to protect its investment and production, Corporate America off-shored its production mostly to China to meet the competition in the trade war. China provides the building and labor. If you make a profit, there is no corporate income tax unless repatriated. You can reinvest in China for more profit. If the first investment doesn't work out, Corporate America walks away with no legacy costs. With no labor problems and bigger profits in China, Corporate America is against jobs in the U. S. to keep its China profits flowing to keep its stock up.

(2) The big banks, the financial houses, Wall Street want to keep the China profits flowing so they oppose the government competing in the trade war to create jobs.

(3) President Obama is against U. S. jobs. Globalization is nothing more than a trade war with production looking for a cheaper country to produce. In this war it is not company versus company, but country versus country, government versus government. The President of our government is charged with protecting the economy and enforcing our trade laws. The President refuses when General Motors is endangered and waits for it to go bankrupt; he refuses when we don't have helicopters for Afghanistan and have to go begging to Russia; he refuses to impose import quotas when vital production like communications is no longer produced in the United States; he refuses to impose import quotas like President Nixon when our trade deficit in 1971 was a miniscule of our trade deficit today; he refuses to compete in the trade war, which would create millions of jobs.

(4) Congress is against U. S. jobs. Congress should remove the disadvantage of our tax laws and call for enforcement of our trade laws. But if it does, coming down on its head will be Wall Street, Corporate America, the Business Roundtable and Tom Donahue of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce contributing to Congress' defeat. Congress engages in a charade of "jobs" bills for stimulation and small business. Small business doesn't create jobs. Manufacture is the jobs multiplier and the engine of growth. The competition in the trade war is for manufacture, not retailing. When President Obama took office, the economy had been stimulated $13 trillion in eight years, and we were losing 799,000 jobs a month. Stimulation is spent.

(5) The media is against jobs. It goes along with the charade of "jobs" bills, tax cuts, growth, stimulation, small business, and never mentions the trade war.

"Our only hope is for the people to get on the President and Congress to cut the fundraising, enforce our trade laws, and compete in the trade war. But as long as the President and Congress continue their charade of wars and "jobs" bills, the United States will not only stay on Bacevich's "path to permanent war" but the path to a jobless America and permanent poverty."

-- Hollings

(6) The people of the United States are against U. S. jobs. They go along with the charade of the President and Congress because they have been politically brainwashed:

(a) "Tax cuts grow the economy and create jobs." It took the U. S. 205 years to accumulate a trillion dollars in debt in 1981. Instead of growing the economy, Ronald Reagan's tax cuts grew the debt to $2 trillion in eight years. President Clinton cut spending and increased taxes, which created 22 million jobs in eight years. But Bush gave us $5 trillion in tax cuts causing the debt to grow $5 trillion and we lost almost a third of our manufacture.

(b) "Government doesn't create jobs, business creates jobs." In the trade war government is the principal creator of jobs and the only protection for domestic investment, production, jobs and the economy.

(c) There is too much regulation. "Free up American business, and we'll have jobs." Teddy Roosevelt taught us that capitalism works best regulated. The banks have now proved that capitalism doesn't work unless regulated.

(d) Government shouldn't set an "industrial policy." Government has already set an industrial policy in domestic commerce (anti-trust laws, etc.), and an industrial policy for foreign commerce with trade laws.

(e) We can't adopt a value added tax because we would never stop spending. We haven't stopped spending without a VAT and a VAT could stop the wasteful spending on interest costs. Moreover, a VAT is necessary to make us competitive in the trade war. One hundred fifty countries compete in the trade war with a VAT that's rebateable on exports. We could eliminate the corporate income tax and replace it with a 5% VAT that would bring Corporate America home. Corporate America's $1 trillion in off-shore profits could be repatriated tax free to invest in production and jobs. VAT exemptions for the low income on food, health and housing costs would still leave $400 billion to pay down the debt.

We make wars where none exist and go AWOL in a real war -- the trade war. With production locating anywhere, every nation is competing in the trade war for investments, production and jobs -- except the U. S. The financial crowd that caused our economic collapse insists on its staying collapsed with cries of "free trade," "don't start a trade war." Our only hope is for the people to get on the President and Congress to cut the fundraising, enforce our trade laws, and compete in the trade war. But as long as the President and Congress continue their charade of wars and "jobs" bills, the United States will not only stay on Bacevich's "path to permanent war" but the path to a jobless America and permanent poverty.

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.

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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