A view from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen

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U.S.A. needs a new tariff to solve problems

The history of human communication is replete with divers methods and methodology.
We have had, for instance, Samuel F. B. Morse’s telegraph; Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone; Guglielmo Marconi’s radio; and Mr. Farnsworth’s television; but, marvelous as all these are, none can rival the anonymous Republican communicator who has devised the method or methodology presently used to communicate to each and every Republican office-holder, spokes-person, mouthpiece and shill the message whereby they are all told every day just what the “word of the day” or “phrase of the day” shall be.
Some of these words or phrases are granted a longer life than just a day, such as their beloved phrase, “Death Tax” for the inheritance tax.
The current favourite is “job-killing.”
Any proposal that our Republicans find not completely to their liking is immediately labeled “job-killing,” whether it has any bearing on the job market or not.
And with their usual technique of dealing with facts and reality as a thing which they can either accept or deny, they just ignore any real threats to the job market that arise from any of their ideas.
A prime current example is their demand to repeal the health care bill, or Obamacare (this is one of their labeling efforts that has back-fired on them, since many of the Democrats now regard this as a flattering reference to the President and his unprecedented success in getting the bill enacted, which no other prior president, Republican or Democrat, had succeeded in doing).
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has reported that repeal of the bill will add billions to the deficit and debt, while the eventual implementation of the bill will decrease both the deficit and the debt.
Even though the Republicans have now decreed that any addition to the deficit is a “job-killer”, and likewise that increase in the debt is also a “job-killer,” they just cavalierly dismiss the C.B.O. report, as having no relevance, merit, or basis.
The truth of the matter is, there are no direct “job-killing” bills, just as there are in reality no “job-creating” bills, except for a few of the stimulus bills.
We should face the facts — until and unless we enact some version of the old Humphrey-Hawkins bill for direct employment by the government of the unemployed, any action of the government will simply be an exercise in faith that maybe if government does something, what ever it is, that some folks will be inclined to put somebody to work, but all these efforts can have but an indirect effect on employment, if they have any effect at all.
For instance, it is and has been an article of faith, equivalent to the Ten Commandments, with the Republicans, that the richest segment of society must not be made to pay the tax rates they paid during the halcyon days of the Clinton Administration.
But if their rates are cut, they will have the money to create new jobs.
They say this with a straight face, and would doubtless imperil their immortal souls by swearing to it that this is the gospel truth, even though they know, or should know, that their rich masters are presently sitting on approximately two TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS, none of which they have proposed to use to create a single new job for anyone, other than possibly a new lobbyist or two to carry the “gifts” to their most obliging congressman. In truth, if these rich folks thought they could add to their wealth by creating a new job, they would create that job, even if they had to borrow money to do so.
But, if you’ve got Two Trillion Dollars sitting with your favourite banker or broker, making money every day, you are not going to rock the boat by using some of it to create a job for someone you don’t know, and about whom you couldn’t care less.
In truth, these Republicans don’t now, didn’t before, and probably never will care about the fate of the working men and women of this country. Their only purpose in this “job-killing” rhetoric is to create a weapon for use by them and their lackeys and boot-lickers to beat up on Democrats and anyone else who has a real feeling for the common people and their needs.
The real job-killers are these:  Republicans’ Boardroom Buddies; Financial Finagling Friends; Cynical Corporate Cronies; and Global Economy Gonzos.
They say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. It seems just as impossible to teach some dogs to forget their old tricks.
For instance, there are folks without number who will not grasp the notion that our money is not backed up by the gold stored at Fort Knox, or that their greenbacks are no longer silver certificates, redeemable for an equivalent amount of refined metallic silver, despite the fact none of our money has any connection to either gold, silver, or any other item or article of value for decades.
Similarly, the number of folks who think that cutting Social Security will solve the deficit and debt problems is huge, and include a great number of people who think they are experts, including the host of NBC’s Meet the Press show, David Gregory, who showed his ignorance by his facial expression of absolute disbelief when Sen. Harry Reid said on Sunday’s show that tampering with Social Security would have no effect on the deficit or the debt.
You, regular reader, know that Sen. Reid was correct, inasmuch as we have in previous columns explained to you why this is so, and how Pres. Johnson had the unified budget enacted so that he could use the money in the Social Security Trust Fund to make it look as though the Viet Nam War was not as great a financial drain, as it in fact was.
David Gregory, his research staff, and the folks at NBC aren’t as smart as you are, and neither are a lot of economists who consider only the budget’s “bottom line.”
All these ignoramuses should get off their “bottom” and get a “line” on the facts and then we could really get to work to solve the financial problems we currently face.
One sure-fire solution which they would never consider, because they can’t forget what they have heard, even though it’s wrong, would be to reform the tariff.
Because some erstwhile economists erroneously thought that the Smoot-Hawley Tariff was to blame for the great Depression, all of them now fear the use of the tariff like the plague.
But, in truth, a substantial tariff on imported consumer goods would add immeasurably to the government’s income; reduce the domination of our consumer market by the Chinese; and, actually create an atmosphere wherein we might once again manufacture the things we use and need, (ergo create more jobs most likely, although not guaranteed,) and promote our national security.