In reading Mike Thibodeaux’s letter in Thursday’s Advocate, defending his tea party, I write this letter in the hopes that we can use that letter’s content to understand just how wrong-headed the tea party’s positions are.
Thirty-five years ago, as Japanese cars poured into the United States and jobs were lost, the Republican Party used the same argument Thibideaux uses in his comment letter in 2011: He touches on the two things about America that discourage job creation: more taxes and regulatory reform “which have paralyzed businesses into not spending, not hiring and having to move operations offshore.”
Neighbors, we have weakened regulation on banks, on utilities, on Wall Street, and have lost our life’s savings because of it. We have weakened government inspections and received e. coli in our food. We have cut taxes on businesses to be “business friendly.” And you and I both know that millions of jobs have been bled from this country under these policies.
Small businesses do not hold back because of uncertainty. They understand jobs are being lost and will continue to be lost.
The market is sick. Why?
Big businesses are not uncertain. They have the North American Free Trade Agreement, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and U.S. laws that allow them to move offshore and still sell back to this market. They have laws that allow them to bring foreigners into this country to work on visas, taking American jobs. They have hourly rates overseas of under $2 per hour. Tax policy is irrelevant. And America will never be able to compete on price!
If you will not consider these arguments, pray think on this: American business has no common interest with American workers.
Globalization has made profit maximization the only corporate goal. So eliminating taxes will not add jobs — not until the hourly rate falls to Third World levels.
The scariest thing about the tea party people is that they seem to believe fanatically the argument that American business will respond to tax cuts, and that “it is good” for the federal government to be small and weak.
None of us doubts that changes must come to the government; however, only a strong federal government, one blessed with the regulatory authority it wielded prior to the 1980s, can protect you and me from global business and Wall Street. And only a government that will repeal NAFTA and GATT can hope to arrest America’s decline.