Tariffs were originally set up by Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, to help protect American industries. During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, then leader of the new Republican Party, similarly implemented a 44% tariff to protect American manufactures and generate funds for the war and the construction of railroads. After World War II and during the Cold War, the U.S. government began lowering trade barriers and instituting what is known as “free trade.”
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Many are predicting that Republicans will win back the Senate in 2014. Predictions don’t matter, because in reality it makes no difference who wins: Republicans and Democrats are equally corrupt. Both parties operate without the best interests of the public in mind because both parties are controlled by lobbyists and corporations who fund the campaigns that get our Congressional representatives elected in the first place!
Our Founding Fathers wisely divided power among the three branches of government. To Congress went the ability to make laws. To the executive branch went the ability to execute the laws. To the judiciary went the ability to interpret those laws. It is a system that served us well when we adhered to it, because it dilutes the corrupting influence of power. Obama’s intention to start legislating from the executive branch is a disturbing step towards a dictatorship.
The United States is in dire need of better leadership. Many former American presidents and leaders implemented active industrial policy geared toward manufacturing at home, and these policies worked. There are inspiring examples of U.S. directorship on both sides of the aisle, and they go all the way back to the birth of our country. Since then, the most successful American leaders have made a point to protect American businesses first and foremost.