Lock Out the Establishment in Cleveland!

Lock Out the Establishment in Cleveland!

By Patrick Buchanan

The Wisconsin primary could be an axle-breaking speed bump on Donald Trump’s road to the nomination.

Ted Cruz, now the last hope to derail Trump of a desperate Beltway elite that lately loathed him, has taken the lead in the Badger State.

Millions in attack ads are being dumped on the Donald’s head by super PACs of GOP candidates, past and present. Gov. Scott Walker has endorsed Cruz. Conservative talk radio is piling on Trump.

And the Donald just had the worst two weeks of his campaign.

There was that unseemly exchange with Cruz about their wives. Then came the pulling of the woman reporter’s arm by campaign chief Corey Lewandowski, an atrocity being likened by the media to the burning of Joan of Arc.

Then there was Trump’s suggestion, instantly withdrawn, that if abortion is outlawed, then women who undergo abortions may face some punishment.

This gaffe told us nothing we did not know. New to elective politics, Trump is less familiar with the ideological and issues terrain than those who live there. But the outrage of the elites is all fakery.

Democrats do not care a hoot about the right to life of unborn babies, even unto the ninth month of pregnancy. And the Republican establishment is grabbing any stick to beat Trump, not because he threatens the rights of women, but because he threatens them.

The establishment’s problem is that Trump refuses to take the saddle. Again and again, he has defied the dictates of political correctness that they designed to stifle debate and demonize dissent.

Trump has gotten away with his insubordination and shown, with his crowds, votes, and victories, that millions of alienated Americans detest the Washington establishment and relish his defiance.

Trump has denounced the trade treaties, from NAFTA to GATT to the WTO and MFN for China, that have de-industrialized America, imperil our sovereignty and independence, and cost millions of good jobs.

And who is responsible for the trade deals that sold out Middle America? “Free-trade” Republicans who signed on to “fast-track,” surrendered Congress’ rights to amend trade treaties, and buckled to every demand of the Business Roundtable.

The unstated premise of the Trump campaign is that some among the Fortune 500 companies are engaged in economic treason against America.

No wonder they hate him.

As for Trump’s call for an “America First” foreign policy, it threatens the rice bowls of those for whom imperial interventions are the reason for their existence.

If the primary goals of U.S. foreign policy become the avoidance of confrontations with great nuclear powers and staying out of unnecessary wars, who needs neocons?

Should Trump lose Wisconsin, he can recoup in New York on April 19, and the following week in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware and Maryland.

Yet, a loss in Wisconsin would make Trump’s climb to a first-ballot nomination steeper.

Still, if Trump goes to Cleveland, having won the most votes, the most states and the most delegates, stealing the nomination from him would split the party worse than in 1964.

The GOP could be looking at a 1912, when ex-President Theodore Roosevelt, who won the most contested primaries, was rejected in favor of President Taft. Teddy walked out, ran on the “Bull Moose” ticket, beat Taft in the popular vote, and Woodrow Wilson was elected.

Cruz says the nomination of Trump would mean an “absolute trainwreck” in November. But, Cruz, 45, with a future in the party, would be foolish to walk out as a sore loser, as Nelson Rockefeller and George Romney did in 1964.

A Cruz rejection of a nominee Trump would mean the end of Cruz. The elites would hypocritically applaud Ted’s heroism, publicly bewail his passing, then happily bury and be rid of him.

Cruz, no fool, has to know this.

If the nomination is taken from Trump, who will be 70 in June, he has nothing to lose. And as “Julius Caesar” reminds us, “such men are dangerous.”

Trump and Cruz, though bitter enemies, are both despised by the establishment. Yet both have a mutual interest: insuring that one of them, and only one of them, wins the nomination. No one else.

And if they set aside grievances, and act together, they can block any establishment favorite from being imposed on the party, as was one-worlder Wendell Willkie, “the barefoot boy of Wall Street,” in 1940.

All Trump and Cruz need do is instruct their delegates to vote to retain Rule 40 from the 2012 convention. Rule 40 declares that no candidate can be placed in nomination who has failed to win a majority of the delegates in eight states.

Trump has already hit that mark. Cruz almost surely will. But no establishment favorite has a chance of reaching it.

With Cruz and Trump delegates voting to retain Rule 40, they can guarantee no Beltway favorite walks out of Cleveland as the nominee — and that Ted Cruz or Donald Trump does.

No matter who wins in Cleveland, the establishment must lose.

The Remainderman

The Remainderman

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Donald Trump won more votes in the Iowa caucuses than any Republican candidate in history.

Impressive, except Ted Cruz set the new all-time record.

And Marco Rubio exceeded all expectations by taking 23 percent.

Cruz won Tea Party types, Evangelicals, and the hard right.

Trump won the populists and nationalists who want the borders secure, no amnesty, and no more trade deals that enable rival powers like China to disembowel American industries.

And Rubio? He is what columnist Mark Shields called Jimmy Carter, 35 years ago, “the remainderman of national politics. He gets what’s left over after his opponents have taken theirs by being the least unacceptable alternative to the greatest number of voters.”

Marco is the fallback position of a reeling establishment that is appalled by Trump, loathes Cruz, and believes Rubio — charismatic, young, personable — can beat Hillary Clinton.

But there is a problem here for the establishment.

While Rubio has his catechism down cold — “I’ll tear up that Iran deal my first day in office!” — his victory would mean a rejection of the populist revolt that arose with Trump’s entry and has grown to be embraced by a majority of Republicans.

Cruz, Trump, Carson — the outsiders — won over 60 percent of all caucus votes. Their anti-Washington messages, Trump and Cruz’s especially, grew the GOP turnout to its largest in history, 186,000, half again as many as participated in the record turnout of 2012.

Most significant, 15,000 more Iowans voted in GOP caucuses than the Democratic caucuses, where participation plummeted 30 percent from 2008.

What does this portend?

While Iowa has gone Democratic in 6 of the last 7 presidential elections, it is now winnable by Republicans — on two conditions.

The party must be united. And it cannot lose the fire and energy that produced this turnout and brought out those astonishing crowds of tens of thousands.

The remainderman, however, cannot reproduce that energy or those crowds. For Rubio is not a barn burner; he is a malleable man of maneuver.

Arriving in Washington to the cheers of populists reveling in his rout of Charlie Crist, Rubio went native and signed on to the Schumer-McCain amnesty.

He voted for “fast track,” the GOP’s pre-emptive surrender of Congress’s constitutional power to amend trade treaties. He hailed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade treaty President Obama brought home.

Now he is moving crabwise away from TPP. Shiftiness, however, does not bother the establishment, it reassures the establishment.

Rubio is “The Hustler,” the “Fast Eddie” Felson of 2016. And the Beltway is all in behind him.

He is now the candidate of the Washington crowd that a majority of Republicans voted to reject in Iowa, the darling of the donor class, and the last hope of a Beltway punditocracy that recoils whenever the pitchforks appear.

Which brings us to the antithesis of Rubio — Bernie Sanders.

Given where he started a year ago, a sparring partner for the heavyweight Clinton, and where he ended, a split decision and a coin toss, the Brooklyn-born Socialist was the big winner of Iowa.

In the Democratic race, it is Sanders who has been getting the Trump-sized crowds, while Hillary and Bill Clinton have been playing to what look like audiences at art films in the 1950s.

Sanders will likely have the best night of his campaign Tuesday — if Hillary Clinton’s surge does not overtake him — when he wins New Hampshire.

After that, however, absent celestial intervention, such as a federal prosecutor being inspired to indict Clinton, he begins a long series of painful defeats until his shining moment at the convention.

But just as a stifling of the Trump-Cruz-Carson rebellion, with another establishment favorite like Rubio, would bank all the fires of enthusiasm in the GOP, Clinton’s rout of Sanders would cause millions of progressives and young people who rallied to Bernie to give up on 2016.

And if both the Sanders’ revolution that captured half his party in Iowa, and the Trump-Cruz revolt that captured half of their party are squelched, and we get an establishment Republican vs. an establishment Democrat in the fall, America will be sundered.

For there is not one America today, nor two. Politically, there are at least four.

Were this Britain or France, the GOP would have long ago split between its open-borders, globalist, war party wing, and its populist, patriotic, social conservative wing.

The latter would be demanding a timeout on immigration, secure borders, no amnesty, no more needless wars, and a trade policy dictated by what was best for America, not Davos or Dubai.

Democrats would break apart along the lines of the Clinton-Sanders divide, with the neo-socialists becoming a raucous and robust anti-big bank, anti-Wall Street, soak-the-rich and share-the-wealth party.

These splits may be postponed again in 2016, but these rebellions are going to reappear until they succeed in overthrowing our failed establishments.

For the causes that produced such revolutions — Third World invasions, income inequality, economic torpor, culture wars, the real and relative decline of the West — have become permanent conditions.

Don’t Take Your Guns to Town, Paul

Don't Take Your Guns to Town, Paul

By Patrick J. Buchanan

The honor of it all aside, Rep. Paul Ryan would do well to decline the speakership of the House. For it is a poisoned chalice that is being offered to him.

The Republican Party is not, as some commentators wail, in “chaos” today. It is in rebellion, in revolt, as it was in the early 1960s when Barry Goldwater’s true believers rejected Eisenhower Republicanism and Nelson Rockefeller to nominate the Arizona Senator for president.

A similar and bristling hostility to today’s establishment has arisen, in the GOP Congress, the country, and the presidential race.

The acrimony attendant to this militants revolt explains why Speaker John Boehner packed it in, singing “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” and why Donald Trump remains far out in front for the nomination.

Ryan’s popularity and pleasant persona are not going to be able to smooth over those divisions. For they are about ideology, and about issues such as free trade and amnesty for people here illegally, where Ryan stands squarely with the establishment and against the revolt.

Many House rebels and Trump supporters look on the hollowing out of America’s industrial base as the direct result of trade treaties negotiated for the benefit of transnational corporations, whose profits are contingent on cutting production costs by moving factories out of the USA.

Ryan voted for all of those trade deals. And Ryan voted for fast-track, the unilateral surrender of Congress’s power even to amend the trade treaties that Barack Obama brings home.

Should he become speaker, Paul Ryan would have to round up Republican votes for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal Obama has negotiated. But not only are Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton opposed to TPP, Trump calls it a “disaster” that fails to address the critical issue of “currency manipulation.”

The TPP has already been rechristened by Republican rebels as “Obamatrade.” If Ryan harbors ambitions to be president, he will steer clear of this coming battle between nationalism and globalism.

As former Speaker Newt Gingrich suggests, a Speaker Ryan would be embattled as soon as he took up the gavel:

“It’s easy to get 218 on the first vote, and then you get to keep the government open through a continuing resolution, and then you get to the debt ceiling, and, if you’re not careful, by Christmas you resemble John Boehner.”

On the issues of mass immigration and illegal immigration that have roiled the Republican race, Ryan is regarded as an open-borders man.

Says Rosemary Jenks of NumbersUSA, which is fighting to halt the invasion:

“He (Ryan) has been … pro-amnesty, pro-mass immigration, pro-replacing American workers with foreign workers … all of his career.”

In the early 1960s, the Goldwaterites demanded “A Choice Not an Echo” in the title of Phyllis Schlafly’s best-seller, an updated version of which is now in print. Those conservatives did not want to compromise with their adversaries in the Republican establishment or Democratic Party. They did not want to work together. They wanted to change policy. They wanted to change the direction of the country.

Backing the Freedom Caucus in the House and the “outsiders” in the GOP presidential race are men and women of a similar mindset, who have been recognized and re-identified by the National Journal’s John Judis.

They are the Middle Americans Radicals, the “MARS.”

Their temperament is that of their forebears in the ’60s and ’90s, but their issues are today’s. Patriotic and nationalistic, they cherish the country they grew up in and do not want it changed by mass migration. They want illegal immigrants sent back. On whether a devout Muslim should be president, they are with Dr. Ben Carson.

When Trump says, “We never win anymore,” that resonates to these folks. They see 21st-century America as a nation that cannot win its wars, or secure its borders, or build an infrastructure of roads, bridges, rails and airports to match those rising in other countries.

Moreover, the spirit of revolt in the GOP, indeed, in both parties today, is not confined to the USA. It is roiling Europe. In Britain, France, Spain, Italy and Belgium, nationalism is tearing at the seams of nations. Secession from the EU appears to be an idea whose time is coming.

Popular resistance to the dictates of Brussels and Angela Merkel’s Berlin, and to mass migration from the Middle East and Africa that threatens to swamp the smallest continent, are familiar to the Americans of 2015 as well.

Paul Ryan is not going to be able to unite a House Republican caucus that is splitting on issues like this. As chairman of the House Committee on Ways & Means, he is better off working on supply-side tax cuts.

After the GOP capture of the House in 2010, Ryan, with new Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, wrote a book about what they were going to do, titled, “Young Guns.”

“Young Guns” Cantor and McCarthy are now lying toes up in the OK Corral, and if Paul Ryan becomes speaker, he will end up the same way.

Is It Really All Our Fault?

Is It Really All Our Fault?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

As Middle America rises in rage against “fast track” and the mammoth Obamatrade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, The Wall Street Journal has located the source of the malady.

Last Monday’s lead editorial began:

“Here we go again. In the 1990s Pat Buchanan launched a civil war within the Republican Party on a platform targeting immigration and trade. Some claimed Pitchfork Pat was the future of the GOP, though in the end he mainly contributed to its presidential defeats.”

But, woe is us, “the GOP’s Buchanan wing is making a comeback.”

Now it is true that, while Nixon and Reagan won 49-state landslides and gave the GOP five victories in six presidential contests, the party has fallen upon hard times. Only once since 1988 has a Republican presidential nominee won the popular vote.

But was this caused by following this writer’s counsel? Or by the GOP listening to the deceptions of its Davos-Doha-Journal wing?

In the 1990s, this writer and allies in both parties fought NAFTA, GATT and MFN for China. The Journal and GOP establishment ran with Bill and Hillary and globalization. And the fruits of their victory?

Between 2000 and 2010, 55,000 U.S. factories closed and 5 million to 6 million manufacturing jobs disappeared. Columnist Terry Jeffrey writes that, since 1979, the year of maximum U.S. manufacturing employment, “The number of jobs in manufacturing has declined by 7,231,000 — or 37 percent.”

Does the Journal regard this gutting of the greatest industrial base the world had ever seen, which gave America an independence no republic had ever known, an acceptable price of its New World Order?

Beginning in 1991, traveling the country and visiting plant after plant that was shutting down or moving to Asia or Mexico, some of us warned that this economic treason against America’s workers would bring about political retribution. And so it came to pass.

Since 1988, a free-trade Republican Party has not once won Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois or Wisconsin in a presidential election. Ohio, the other great Midwest industrial state, is tipping. The Reagan Democrats are gone. Who cast them aside? You or us?

Since the early 1990s, we have run $3 billion to $4 billion in trade deficits with China. Last year’s was $325 billion, or twice China’s defense budget. Are not all those factories, jobs, investment capital and consumer dollars pouring into China a reason why Beijing has been able to build mighty air and naval fleets, claim sovereignty over the South and East China seas, fortify reefs 1,000 miles south of Hainan Island, and tell the U.S.

Navy to back off?

The Journal accuses us of being anti-growth. But as trade surpluses add to a nation’s GDP, trade deficits subtract from it. Does the Journal think our $11 trillion in trade deficits since 1992 represents a pro-growth policy?

On immigration, this writer did campaign on securing the border in 1991-92, when there were 3 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

But the Bush Republicans refused to seal the border.

Now there are 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants and the issue is tearing the party apart. Now everybody is for “secure borders.”

We did urge a “moratorium” on legal immigration, such as America had from 1924 to 1965, to assimilate and Americanize the millions who had come. The Journal Republicans called that xenophobia.

Since then, tens of millions of immigrants, here legally and illegally, mostly from the Third World, have arrived. Economically, they consume more in tax dollars than they contribute.

Politically, most belong to ethnic groups that vote between 70 and 90 percent Democratic. Their children will bury the GOP.

Consider California, which voted for Nixon all five times he was on a national ticket and for Reagan in landslides all four times he ran.

Since 1988, California has not gone Republican in a single presidential election. No Republican holds statewide office. Both U.S. Senators are Democrats. Democrats have 39 of 53 U.S. House seats. Republican state legislators are outnumbered 2-to-1.

Americans of European descent, who provide the GOP with 90 percent of its presidential vote, are down to 63 percent of the nation and falling.

By 2042, they will be a minority. And there goes the GOP.

Lest we forget, the “Buchanan wing” also opposed the invasion of Iraq while the Journal-War Party wing howled, “Onto Baghdad!”

“Unpatriotic Conservatives,” we were called in a cover story by a neocon National Review for saying the war was unnecessary and unwise.

Now, a dozen years after the “cakewalk” war, GOP candidates like Marco Rubio and Bush III are trying to figure out what it was all about, Alfie, and what they would have done, had they only known.

Our agenda in that decade was — stay out of wars that are not our business, economic patriotism, secure borders, and America first.

The foreign debt and de-industrialization of America, the trillion-dollar wars and the chaos of the Middle East, the shortened life span of the Party of Reagan, that’s your doing, fellas, not ours.

Obama’s Republican Collaborators

Obama's Republican Collaborators

By Patrick J. Buchanan

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.

Will the GOP Capitulate Again?

Will the GOP Capitulate Again?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“Free trade results in giving our money, our manufactures, and our markets to other nations,” warned the Republican Senator from Ohio and future President William McKinley in 1892.

“Thank God I am not a free-trader,” echoed the rising Empire State Republican and future President Theodore Roosevelt.

Those were the voices of a Republican Party that believed in prospering America first.

For a quarter century, however, the party of the Bushes has been a globalist, New World Order party, and fanatically free trade.

It signed on to NAFTA, GATT, the World Trade Organization, most-favored-nation status for China, CAFTA, and KORUS, the U.S.-Korean trade treaty negotiated by Barack Obama.

So supportive have Republicans been of anything sold as free trade they have agreed to “fast track,” the voluntary surrender by Congress of its constitutional power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations.”

With fast track, Congress gives up its right to amend trade treaties, and agrees to restrict itself to a yea or nay vote.

And who is leading the fight to have Congress again surrender its power over trade? The GOP vice presidential nominee, and current chairman of ways and means, Paul Ryan.

Yet when one looks back on the devastation wrought by free trade, how can a party that purports to put America first sign on to fast track yet again?

In the first decade of this century, the United States lost 5 to 6 million manufacturing jobs. We lost 55,000 factories, a devastation of industry not unlike what we inflicted on Germany and Japan in 1944-45.

The trade figures are in for 2014. What do they show?

The United States ran a trade deficit of $505 billion. But as the Economic Policy Institute’s Robert Scott points out, in manufactured goods, the U.S. trade deficit rose to $524 billion, a surge of $77 billion over 2013.

The U.S. trade deficit with China soared to $342 billion. Our exports to China amounted to $125 billion. But our imports from China were almost four times as great, $467 billion.

Since Jan. 1, 2000, U.S. trade deficits with China have totaled an astronomical $3.3 trillion.

How do Clinton, Bush II and Obama defend these trade deficits that have done to our country exactly what McKinley warned they would do in 1892 — given away “our money, our manufactures, and our markets” to Communist China?

Have the Chinese reciprocated for this historic transfer of America’s productive capacity and wealth by becoming a better friend and partner?

While the United States ran a $505 billion trade deficit overall, in goods we ran a trade deficit of $737 billion, or 4 percent of GDP.

And while our trade deficit in goods with China was $343 billion, with the European Union it was $141 billion, with Japan $67 billion, with Mexico $54 billion, with Canada $34 billion, with South Korea $25 billion.

Our Mexican neighbors send us illegal migrants to compete for U.S. jobs. And our multinationals send to Mexico the factories and jobs of Middle America, to exploit the low-wage labor there. One can, after all, assemble Fords more cheaply in Hermosillo than Ohio.

Of particular interest is Korea, with which the United States signed a free-trade agreement in 2011. Since then, U.S. exports to Korea have fallen, U.S. imports have risen 80 percent, and we ran a $25 billion trade deficit in 2014.

With the KORUS deal the template for the new Trans-Pacific Partnership, how can Republicans vote to throw away their right to alter or amend any TPP that Obama brings home?

Was the national vote to give Republicans majorities in Congress unseen since 1946 a vote to have the GOP turn over all power to write trade treaties to Obama and his negotiators who produced the greatest trade deficits in American history?

Do these record deficits justify such blind confidence in Obama? Do they justify Congress’ renunciation of rights over commerce that the Founding Fathers explicitly set aside for the legislative branch in Article I of the Constitution?

“If we don’t like the way the global economy works,” says Paul Ryan, “then we have to get out there and change it.”

No, we don’t. The great and justified complaint against China and Japan, who have run the largest trade surpluses at our expense, is that they are “currency manipulators.”

Correct. But the way to deal with currency manipulators is to rob them of the benefits of their undervalued currencies by slapping tariffs on goods they send to the United States.

And if the WTO says you can’t do that, give the WTO the answer Theodore Roosevelt would have given them.

Instead of wringing our hands over income inequality and wage stagnation, why don’t we turn these trade deficits into trade surpluses, as did the generations of Lincoln and McKinley, and T. R. and Cal Coolidge?

Derail Fast Track!

Derail Fast Track

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Last November, Republicans grew their strength in Congress to levels unseen since 1946. What united the party and rallied the nation was the GOP’s declared resolve to stand up to an imperious president.

Give us powerful new majorities, said John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, and we shall halt these usurpations of Congressional power.

And, so, what is the first order of business now in the Ways and Means Committee of Paul Ryan and Senate Finance Committee of Orrin Hatch?

“The first thing we ought to do,” says Ryan, “is pass trade promotion authority.” Trade promotion authority, or “fast track,” is a synonym for Congress’s surrender of all rights to amend trade treaties, and a commitment to confine itself to a yes or no vote on whatever deal Obama brings home.

Watching the GOP’s reversion to form calls to mind the term the neocons gave the French for refusing to join Bush II’s big march to Baghdad: “cheese-eating surrender monkeys.”

With the huge Trans-Pacific Partnership in negotiations, Obama wants Boehner and McConnell to agree in advance not to tamper with it. “Hands off!” he demands. If this GOP agrees to this, it will, in its first great decision, be engaging in an act of self-castration.

Why would they do this?

Has Obama’s record been so impressive the GOP should give up its constitutional power to amend trade treaties? As the liberal group Public Citizen notes, the biggest trade deal of Barack’s term, the U.S.-Korea trade pact modeled on NAFTA, has been another job-killer for American workers:

“Since the Obama administration used Fast Track to push a trade agreement with Korea, the U.S. trade deficit with Korea has grown 50 percent — which equates to 50,000 more American jobs lost. The U.S. had a $3 billion monthly trade deficit with Korea in October 2014 — the highest monthly U.S. goods trade deficit with the country on record.”

Everywhere we hear that the issue of our time is the wage stagnation of the middle class.

But what has caused U.S. wages to stop rising for longer than any period in our history? What caused the inexorable growth of U.S. wages, from the Revolution to Reagan, to stop dead?

Like Poe’s “Purloined Letter,” the answer is right in front of us.

Wages are the price of labor, and price is determined by supply and demand. Wages have fallen because the supply of labor has exploded.

Following the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, we threw open America’s doors to a flood of immigrants, legal and illegal.

Some 40-50 million have poured in, an unprecedented expansion of the labor force.

As these immigrants — many uneducated, unskilled, unable to speak English well — entered the labor pool, they were willing to work for less than native-born Americans who needed higher wages to sustain their standard of living. In the service industries, manufacturing, construction, U.S. employers found themselves in a buyers’ market for workers right here in the USA.

Yet, over a million new low-wage workers pouring into the USA every year was not enough for our banksters and corporatists.

Thus, “free-trade” Republicans and their collaborators in the Business Roundtable and U.S. Chamber of Commerce decided to drop the U.S. labor force into a worldwide labor pool where the average wage was but a tiny fraction of an American living wage.

Like Dr. King, our transnational corporations had a dream — a dream of bypassing all U.S. regulations on wages and hours, health and safety, and the environment — a dream of getting rid of all those high-wage U.S. workers and their unions.

How to realize this dream?

Move production out of the United States, out from under the jurisdiction of U.S. law, into the Third World, and then bring your products back free of charge. To these folks, America is the best market to sell into, but, as a place to produce, give us China!

Mexicans, Latin Americans, East and South Asians, Chinese would all work for less than Americans, thus enabling corporate executives to take home fatter shares of far larger profits, in salaries, bonuses, benefits, stock options and soaring equity prices.

Like NAFTA and GATT, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is an enabling act for multinationals to move freely to where it is cheapest to produce while securing access to where it is most profitable to sell.

A new Magna Carta — for the billionaires’ boys club.

For 40 years, U.S. workers have seen factories close, jobs disappear and company towns become ghost towns, the “creative destruction” of Joe Schumpeter’s felicitous phrase.

Only the wholesale destruction was no accident, it was planned.

For scores of millions, the American dream is gone, sacrificed to the gods of the global economy — a new world economic order created by and for an elite whose 1,700 corporate jets were parked wingtip-to-wingtip last week while they partied in Davos.

That is why there may be a Syriza in all of our futures.