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Published: December 4, 2013 print this article Print save this article Save email this article Email ENLARGE TEXT increase font decrease font

Reconsider tariffs

Since at least the time of Bill Clinton (the guy who gave us NAFTA), Democratic officeholders and office-seekers have been promising to repeal provisions of the tax code that encourage companies to ship jobs overseas.
They never quite get around to saying which specific provisions of the tax code they’re referring to, but we can assume these provisions could not have been enacted into law without Democratic votes in the House and Senate.
So, the Democrats are asking us to vote for them so that they can undo their own handiwork. How stupid do they think we are?
But it gets worse. The export of jobs is fundamentally driven by the difference in labor costs, not by alleged tax benefits. The only way to stop or reverse the hemorrhaging of jobs is by repudiating the “Washington Consensus” (NAFTA, GATT, WTO) and going back to a system of tariff-based trade — but nobody who matters in official Washington is willing to consider that option.

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