There’s a much better way to do this. Restoring a balance of trade with a return to the tariff policies successfully employed by this nation for the first 171 years of our history, prior to the signing of the Global Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in 1947, would grow our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) by $700 billion, not just for one year or two but every year from now on. And the program wouldn’t cost a dime. In fact, instead of adding trillions in debt, between the tariffs collected on imports and the tax revenue collected on the higher GDP, federal tax revenues would easily swell by $500 billion per year. Second and third shifts would be added at auto and parts plants across the country. Idled plants would be restarted. At the same time, the profit potential needed to justify domestic production of other products would be restored. Instead of creating a mere three million jobs under Mr. Obama’s plan, many of which would be temporary, six million permanent, high-paying manufacturing jobs would come home and millions of additional construction jobs would be created to rebuild America’s manufacturing infrastructure.
Sure, it’d be a tough sell with the global community. But if we are on the brink of “an economic catastrophe from which we may not be able to recover” as Mr. Obama claims, then this is no time for timidity. Over the past three decades, our trade deficit has poured $9 trillion into the global economy. We’ve done our part and we’re tapped out. It’s time for the rest of the world to stand on their own two feet. Mr. Obama has said that only the government can pull us out of this rapidly deepening recession, and he’s right. But fixing our broken trade policy is a far more effective way to do it than with any deficit spending programs. It’s time to stop pretending that we can have a vibrant economy with an emaciated manufacturing base. We need long-term solutions that fix our economy and our balance sheet permanently, not short-term gimmicks that make us feel better now at the expense of future generations.