THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Keeping Everybody Happy

The Republican Leader, John Boehner, has just submitted in the Washington Post "A Better Plan for Jobs" that emphasizes small business. I know all about small business. I handled the appropriation for the Small Business Administration and agreed with Robert Reich, who wrote in 1991 in The Work of Nations, that the Fortune 500 had not created a new job in ten years -- concluding that we had to look to small business for the creation of jobs.

But in the global economy today, an industrial power must have industry to create the wealth to sustain small businesses. Our trouble is that we import from industrial powers like China over half of what we consume and we have the export profile of an eighteenth century colony. There is no wealth to sustain small business.

Of course, John Boehner, like we Democrats, fails to mention trade. Running a deficit in the balance of trade for almost thirty years, we are now exporting two billion dollars a day of wealth. President Obama and Republican Leader Boehner both recommend small cans of help to bail the sinking economy boat. But they avoid doing anything to plug the hole of trade, production, and job deficits in the bottom of the economy boat.

We are not trading. We are not competing in the global economy because the Fortune 500 and the money crowd in New York, are getting rich investing, developing, and producing in China and importing back into the United States their production for a bigger profit. The money crowd -- Wall Street, Fortune 500, the big banks, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Business Roundtable, the National Retail Federation, the National Federation of Independent Business, the U. S. Chamber of Commerce -- all are for off-shoring, creating jobs in China and India, and oppose Washington creating jobs in the United States.

If President Obama executed the War Production Act of 1950 with tariffs or quotas for our nation to produce the equipment and materiel necessary for our national security, coming down on his head will be the financial crowd just described. And, similarly, if Senator Boehner or Senator Harry Reid, or any other Congressman or Senator, puts in a bill to make us competitive in the global economy, coming down on his or her head will be the same financial crowd just described.

So like a dog chasing its tail, the government in Washington keeps the financial crowd happy to keep the campaign contributions coming by appearing on the weekend shows and in the headlines about their concerns and silly small business attempts at jobs, being sure not to create jobs, compete in the global economy, and protect the United States' economy. Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution makes the Congress of the United States responsible to regulate the economy. But God forbid any regulation to make us competitive in globalization.

The need for money for a candidate for public office is devastating. To be elected the seventh time for the United States Senate in 1998, I had to raise $8.5 million. Eight and a half million is thirty thousand a week, each week, every week, for six years. It is not just being diligent raising money the year ahead of the election. It's all six years. 1998 was eleven years ago. More is needed now. Candidates have been coming in for the U.S. Senate race next year in South Carolina and I've told them they would have to raise half of $14 million. If you can raise the $7 million to show you're a viable candidate, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee will zoom in and raise the other half.

But you can bet your boots that Senator DeMint, who is running for re-election, will have the $14 million. The Republicans, regardless of issues, will want to keep that seat. It's impossible now for a Democrat to raise the $7 million. Obama is not doing a good enough job and Boeing has removed the Republicans' vulnerability on jobs.

So exactly what we voted against in 1971 and 1973 in the United States Congress has come to pass. You've got to buy the office. I'll never forget the concern. Maurice Stans raising money for Richard Nixon was callous, convincing, and cash. I was junior Senator at the time, but the senior Senators were afraid of a Jack Kennedy coming in and buying the office.

Now the first thing I have to tell a candidate, after he raises the necessary money, come back and we can help. No one has come back.

The free press ignores the problem. They continue to publish the rich crowd's nonsense of "free trade," "protectionism," and "don't start a trade war." The United States was founded in a trade war. The Navigation Act of 1632 required all exports from the colony to be carried in English bottoms. The Townsend Act triggered the Boston Tea Party, which triggered the Revolution. The first act of the first Congress in history on July 4, 1789, was a "protectionist" tariff bill of 50% on numerous articles.

Tariffs and protectionism financed and built the industrial power, the United States of America. We didn't pass the income tax until 1913. One of John Kennedy's Profiles in Courage, Henry Clay, exclaimed about "free trade" on the floor of the United States Senate: "It never existed ... it never will exist ...." President Abraham Lincoln rejected the suggestion that we get the steel from England to build the transcontinental railroad. He cried: "We'll build our own steel plants so that when completed we'll not only have the railroad, but a steel capacity." Lincoln was a builder. Lincoln was a protectionist.

Edmund Morris, in his famous Theodore Rex, described the United States in 1900:

This first year of the new century found her worth twenty-five billion dollars more than her nearest rival, Great Britain, with a gross national product more than twice that of Germany and Russia. The United States was already so rich in foods and services that she was more self sustaining than any industrial power in history.

All we're doing now in Washington to create jobs and building our economy is keeping the money crowd happy and getting re-elected.

Read more commentary by Senator Hollings at CitizensForACompetitiveAmerica.com.