The United States is facing economic disaster on a scale few nations have ever experienced. Most people are unaware of the easily observable signs of this crisis, where it came from and how to stop it. While we persist in our superpower mentality, we have quietly become a second-class country in many respects.
Tag Archives: Barack Obama
“Free trade” has essentially led to the most massive wealth transfer in the history of the world. The United States has not witnessed a trade surplus since 1975, and since then $4 trillion has been lost through trade deficits caused by “free trade” on our end and protectionism on the other. The most significant flaw with all of our “free trade” agreements is that they are impossible to enforce. If “free trade” is impossible to enforce, competition becomes impossible. “Free trade” depends on the premise that all countries will play by the same rules. However, in the real world, assuring that this occurs is incredibly expensive, time-consuming and inefficient to contest.
Tuesday’s contests may not have committed any delegates to the Republican National Convention, but they may have had the more important effect of showing that the Republicans have far from coalesced behind Mitt Romney’s candidacy. Rick Santorum swept all three states, including over 55 percent of the vote in Missouri’s primary. Whether this signifies a resurgence in Santorum’s campaign or merely that Romney is weak, these contests have shown that the battle for the Republican nomination is far from over.
Santorum spent far more time in Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota than his rivals did, and his efforts paid dividends. Unlike his narrow win in Iowa, Santorum dominated Tuesday’s contests. He garnered a 30 point margin of victory in Missouri’s “beauty contest” primary, the largest margin of victory in any Republican primary this year. He also had 17.8 and 5.3 point victories in Minnesota and Colorado, respectively. Santorum gained these wins by positioning himself as the true conservative candidate, a title Mitt Romney has struggled to earn for himself. Santorum’s efforts were helped by the fact that Newt Gingrich was not on the ballot in Minnesota, though Gingrich’s performance in the other two states was lackluster.
The question now becomes whether Santorum can use these victories to invigorate his campaign and compete in more hotly contested states. Flavor of the month candidates dominated the pre-primary campaign season for the Republicans, but as the primaries began it was expected that the Republican base would quickly solidify behind one or possibly two candidates. This has not been the case, with Santorum and Gingrich continually surging and receding as the alternative to Mitt Romney.
After decisive victories in Florida and Nevada, Romney was looking more and more like the presumptive nominee. His handlers had drawn him in and kept him from answering questions whenever possible, attempting to avoid damaging gaffes. But after a weak showing yesterday, including a third place finish in Minnesota, Romney will have some work to do to solidify the top spot. Romney still has the most financial firepower, something which Rick Santorum lacks. Santorum also has gone largely unscrutinized up to this point, and Romney’s campaign has not hesitated to use its funds for attack ads.
The troubling thing for the Republicans should be the lack of enthusiasm for any one candidate. While three candidates have had victories so far, each of those candidates has finished third or lower in another contest. Last year, it looked as if the Democrats might face an enthusiasm gap, but with the current field of Republican candidates it is looking even more likely that the Republicans will have trouble getting out the vote. Every indication before yesterday was that Romney should have been able to coast to victory, but the Republican base is simply not motivated to get out and vote for him. They are beginning to question his conservative credentials and his ability to beat Barack Obama.
The Republican race has focused on negativity, and that has not given the American people anything to get excited about. The candidates have not shown that they are the strong leaders Americans need to get the American economy back on track. Unless one candidate can step forward and convince voters that they have the solutions the country needs, it will be difficult to displace Barack Obama next Fall. Attack ads can augment the campaign of a strong candidate, but they need to accompany substance.
Last week’s Iowa Caucuses already led to the exit of one Republican candidate for president, Michele Bachman. Today’s New Hampshire Primary will likely mark the end of the road for at least one more candidate. As the race for the White House narrows, the money that unfortunately drives our political campaigns will begin to coalesce around the most viable candidate. So far for the Republicans that appears to be Mitt Romney, although his margin of victory in New Hampshire may be used as a gauge to see how strong his support with his base really is.
We will very soon see that the KORUS FTA will NOT export more American products as promised, it will export more American jobs!
This agreement is over 500 pages long. Did members of Congress read the agreement? Did they understand it?