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Obama's Republican Collaborators

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By:Pat Buchanan | April 21, 2015

The GOP swept to victory in November by declaring that this imperial presidency must be brought to heel, and President Obama's illicit seizures of Congressional power must end.

That was then. Now is now.

This week, Congress takes up legislation to cede His Majesty full authority to negotiate the largest trade deal in history, the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, and to surrender Congress' right to amend any TPP that Obama might bring home.

Why the capitulation? Why would Republicans line up to kiss the royal ring? Is Middle America clamoring for "fast track"? Are blue-collar workers marching in the streets to have Congress grant "Trade Promotion Authority Now!" to Barack Obama?

No. Pressure for fast track is coming from two sources.

First, the editorial pages of papers like The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post that truckle to the transnational corporations that provide the advertising revenue stream keeping them alive.

Second, Obama is relying on Congressional Republicans who, for all their bravado about defying his usurpations, know on which side their bread is buttered. It's the Wall Street-K Street side.

Fast track is the GOP payoff to its bundlers and big donors.

And so, we must hear again all the tired talking points about free trade, soaring exports, jobs created, etc.

But what is reality of the last quarter century of "free trade"?

The economic independence that enabled us to stay out of two world wars—until we chose to go in and help win them swiftly—is history.

We are a dependent nation now. We rely on imports for the necessities of our national life and the vital components of our weapons systems. Hamilton must be turning over in his grave.

Where once wages rose inexorably in America and the middle class seemed ever to expand, we read today about income inequality, the growing gap between rich and poor, and wage stagnation.

Did $11 trillion in trade deficits since Bush I have anything to do with this? Or do we think that the 55,000 factories and 5-6 million manufacturing jobs that went missing in the first decade of this new century had no connection to those huge trade deficits?

Is there a link perhaps between all those factories closing in the USA and all those factories opening in China, or between a U.S. average annual growth rate of 1.8 percent since the turn of the century, and a Chinese average annual growth rate of around 10 percent?

We read of China's hoard of $4 trillion in cash reserves, of Beijing creating a replica of the World Bank, of European and Asian nations rushing to sign up to get a piece of the action in building China's new "Silk Road" to Europe.

Monday's New York Times tells of Premier Xi Jinping coming to Islamabad bearing gifts. Pakistani officials say Xi will be signing agreements for $46 billion for the construction of railroads, highways and power plants over the next 15 years.

Where did Xi get all that money to displace America in Asia?

Last week came news that Japan has narrowly passed China as a holder of U.S. federal debt. Between them, they hold $2.5 trillion.

Did the tidal wave of imports from Japan and China, and the historic trade deficits we have run with both nations for decades, have anything to do with our Athens-like indebtedness to our Asian creditors?

When we look back to NAFTA, GATT, the WTO, MFN and PNTR for China, the Korean-U.S. free trade deal, CAFTA with Central America—almost all have led to soaring trade deficits and jobs lost to the nations with whom we signed the agreements.

As for the bureaucrats and politicians who promised us big new markets for exports, rising trade surpluses, better jobs—were they simply ignorant, or were they knowingly lying to us?

No one can be that wrong for that long. The law of averages is against it.

Writing yesterday, Peter Morici, chief economist in the early Clinton years at the U.S. International Trade Commission, says the Korean deal alone, and the import surge that followed, cost America 100,000 jobs.

"Asian nations target specific industries—such as autos and information technology—and compel U.S. firms to establish factories and research facilities in their economies," as China, Germany and Japan manipulate their currencies to keep exports to us high and imports from us low.

Morici estimates that our annual $500 billion trade deficit costs America 4 million jobs and is a contributing cause of the fall of U.S. family income by $4,600 since 2000.

Unless changes are made in TPP, he writes, "Congress should deny President Obama authority to negotiate yet another jobs killing trade pact in the Pacific."

What the nation needs is not only a rejection of fast track, but also a trade policy that puts country before corporate profit, workers before Wall Street, and America first.

Such a policy once made the Republican Party America's Party.


Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at




4/21/2015 03:52 PM

  The only effective way to combat all of this is to institute a practical, concrete mechanism that unites foreign opposition to American hegemony with domestic opposition to corporate hegemony. For all intents and purposes the two hegemonies go hand in hand and are essentially one and the same. That mechanism is European and Japanese access to America's political direction via legalized financing of political activity. With new actors among the 'dramatis personae' the plot will take a decidedly different turn.

4/21/2015 05:26 PM

  "Congress takes up legislation to cede His Majesty full authority to negotiate the largest trade deal in history, the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, and to surrender Congress' right to amend any TPP that Obama might bring home." This same Congress used theatre, dramatic effect, ceded the national podium of both houses of congress to foreign ministers to examine nuclear talks with Iran, to influence them ,and if possible undermine them. Why such a public display of "freedom" and “hypocrisy” joined at the hip? Because they are! The trade deal and war with Iran serves the same interest on the backs of the same folks. Most folks are NOT clamoring for "fast track", most blue collar workers who have had their manufacturing plants closed and jobs shipped overseas are NOT marching in the streets for more of the same, and NOT clamoring for more war in the Middle East after 13 yrs of the duopoly debacle This is just another recent attempt by our owners to get a fair another advantage all under the snake oil charade of bi-partisan support. Not a dimes worth of difference!

Tom Piatak
4/21/2015 07:15 PM

  Free trade has devastated Middle America, and weakened the ties that once joined us together, but this seems to matter very little to our ruling elites. It is indeed a "Great Betrayal," as Pat Buchanan titled his excellent book on the subject.

Clyde Wilson
Columbia, SC
4/21/2015 09:03 PM

  The Republican party does not now and never has represented anything except the greed and power-seeking of those who direct it. It does not now and never has had any principle. It has always consisted of posturing to win office and has NEVER considered promises to the people as anything except advertising copy to be discarded once in power. It is long past time when anybody should be at all surprised when the party fails to support any principle and betrays its voters. Our only hope is that the remaining patriots will finally free themselves of their inertial mental slavery to the GOP. President Tom, the problem is not "free trade" which does not exist now and never has really been tried. The problem is that financiers rather than producers control the government.

Tom Piatak
4/21/2015 11:46 PM

  Prof. Wilson, Yes, the dominance of financiers over producers is much to be lamented.


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