In the wrong direction

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

JUNE 10, 2013 -- There are many more knowledgeable on foreign and domestic policy but having listened to the experts for 38 years in the U.S. Senate, I feel that the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction.


On domestic policy, I have been trying for years to limit the offshoring of our economy and encourage the on-shoring. The President and Congress are doing everything possible to favor Corporate America's developing China's economy instead of developing ours.

For years we've refused to enforce trade laws against Japan's and China's predatory practices and, as a result, we've lost our textile, motor vehicle, steel, electronics, computer and machine tool industries - vital to a strong economy. To survive, Corporate America has to compete in globalization. So does the United States. The government refuses to compete.

Our friend Lawrence O'Donnell is constantly on TV saying: "The government needs to help us go back to work." He never says how. The President and Congress should long since have changed the Corporate Tax law, stopped the devaluation of currency, acted against predatory practices and protected vital production so as to limit the offshoring and make it attractive for Corporate America to invest in the U.S. We should replace the 35 percent Corporate Tax with a 7 percent Value Added Tax, releasing $2 trillion in offshore profits for Corporate America to repatriate tax free and create millions of jobs. This tax cut provides billions to balance the budget in two years instead of "ten year plans" that never balance.

"We should be concerned about economic superpowers and by the end of President Obama's term China will have the world's largest economy -- with our help. We better start helping ourselves."

-- Hollings

On foreign policy, Fareed Zakaria publishes an article in the Washington Post (6/6/13) entitled "China Is Not the World's Other Superpower". Yes it is - an economic superpower. Like many on The Council on Foreign Relations, Zakaria thinks of only "a military superpower". In the Korean War, China caused us to retreat to the 38th parallel. In the Vietnam War, we could have taken all of Vietnam in one month but withdrew after ten years because we didn't want to go above Hanoi for fear that would cause China to come in.

Having checkmated the U.S. twice, China realizes that there is no longer a military superpower. Even little North Korea is a threat with its nuclear. China knows that any military conflict with the U.S. threatens to go nuclear. So, as Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore told Senator Richard Shelby and me in 2002, "China is determined to take over the world economically." China became an economic power in 1989 after Tiananmen Square. The U.S. obtained a Resolution in the U.N. to investigate human rights in China. China went to its economic friends in Africa and the Pacific and there has never been a hearing on the Resolution.

A few years ago when Japan seized China's ship captain, China withheld rare earth supplies vital to Japan's computer production and Japan quickly returned the ship captain. China is determined to make its currency a global currency. It backs its currency with gold. Australia and Iran already accept China's payment in Rimini. China buys strategic properties for its economy around the world. China deploys work crews to build railroads and bridges while the U.S. deploys 196,000 military and threatens countries with drone kills.

Everyone that disagrees with us is not a terrorist. In George Crile's book "Charlie Wilson's War," the words "Taliban" or "Al Qaeda" do not appear. As Charlie told me: "We won that war because Afghans don't like foreigners. In fact, they don't like each other. We were always working the Southern Warlord to go along with the Northern Warlord. When we leave, the Warlords will still be in charge." Drone kills might eliminate a terrorist, but killing innocent bystanders and children creates terrorism. It doesn't stop the War on Terror, it spreads it. We've got to stop trying to spread democracy with our military and go back to spreading democracy with our Good Neighbor Policy.

Tell Zakaria that we should be concerned about economic superpowers and by the end of President Obama's term China will have the world's largest economy -- with our help. We better start helping ourselves.

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).

© 2013, 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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