By ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, former U. S. senator
MARCH 22, 2011 -- Congress is full of protective politicians who refuse to lead. Most have come to Congress by way of money and polls, and they figure that if they have enough money and protect their record by voting the polls, they'll have no trouble with re-election.
Some are complaining that the President didn't consult Congress before going into Libya, but most are saying: "Shut up. Regardless of the outcome, we can't be blamed." The polls show that everybody is for defense and against taxes. That's why we're still in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's why we refuse to pay for government and continue to run trillion dollar deficits. On Morning Joe, commenting on Libya, several commentators cautioned: "We're doing nothing about Syria, Bahrain, and Yemen." We're always somewhere else in the world, but never taking care of the needs at home.
as Commander-in-Chief in the war against Libya, karaokes to Brazil stating:
"In this increasingly interconnected and fiercely competitive world,
our top priority has to be creating and sustaining new jobs and new opportunities
for our people." The President is right about the competitive world,
but the President and Congress are not competing. As Governor I led a
delegation of business executives to Brazil fifty years ago. We got jobs
then, but today Brazil is taking jobs from us. In this competitive world,
Brazil, that was buying turbines from GE, told GE that it would stop buying
them unless GE moved to Brazil. We now have an empty GE plant in South
Carolina. That's my point. All countries are competing in globalization
except the United States.
We developed Sematech in the '80s, saving Intel and Hewlett-Packard. I launched the Advanced Technology Program in the State, Justice, Commerce, Appropriation Bill to support innovation. The National Academy of Engineering had to certify the technology as innovative and it had to be approved by a committee in the Department of Commerce - no earmarks. The industry had to provide 50% of the funding. The Advanced Technology Program was highly successful, but President George W. Bush defunded it as "corporate welfare."
of crying for innovation, if President Obama would reinstitute the Advanced
Technology Program, it would create millions of jobs. But it doesn't pay
to develop innovation in the United States. Intel has long since closed
up in Silicon Valley, moved to Dublin, Ireland, then to China, and now
in Vietnam. Steve Jobs has 700,000 workers developing innovation in China
with more in South Korea and Taiwan. If President Obama had enforced Section
201 of the Trade Act to save General Motors when it was endangered, GM
would not have gone bankrupt, needing a bail-out. Enforcing Section 201
would create millions of jobs. In the trade war which ensues, President
Obama cries for education but refuses to protect the economy. We need
a lot more education in South Carolina, and we never have produced an
airplane. But Republican leaders in the Legislature packaged a $900 million
benefit for Boeing, and we are now producing Boeing's Dreamliner.
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).
© 2011, Ernest F. Hollings. All rights reserved. Contact us for republication permission.
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