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The Economy & Jobs

Americans have watched in horror for decades as our elected politicians continue to bloat the size of our federal government with often unnecessary and unconstitutional programs. Both major parties currently squander away more of our hard earned tax dollars than at any point in history. They have put in place policies and programs that ensure that we are over-taxed, over-governed, and over regulated. The results have been to balloon our national debt to unsustainable record levels every year, give away billions of dollars and U.S. jobs due to our unsustainable trade deficit, and shoving an unwilling citizenry headlong into national bankruptcy and incremental socialism.

We all know how much the Democrats love to tax and spend. Their socialistic policies are well documented. The Republican Party, which found its majority in 1994 on the back of the “Contract With America,” has sold out the revolution that put them into power. Our government has never been bigger, its assault on our jobs and economy has never been fiercer, and its spending on social programs exceeds anything that could have been imagined by misled voters all through the 1990’s. The rate of spending would truly make Lyndon Johnson proud.

There is a better way to rebuild our nation's economy and job infrastructure. The path to a better America is adherence to constitutionalism and real fiscal discipline. The time for lip service is over. Here are the blueprints to economic independence, growth, and success:

1. Pass a balanced budget amendment
The so-called balanced budgets reached during the Clinton administration were achieved by taking money out of government retirement funds. That is not a balanced budget.
2. Establish budget priorities and spending limits.
The overall budget of each federal department, as well as each line item of the Federal budget, shall be prioritized such that if unexpected costs arise, or revenue does not meet projections, there will be an orderly retrenchment, thus preventing deficit spending.
3. Pay down the federal debt as quickly as possible.
All Federal commitments to bondholders will be kept until the debt reaches zero and taxpayers no longer have to pay interest on the debt.
4. Apply surpluses to maximize economic independence.
Accumulating current-year budget surpluses and allocating them judiciously will relieve taxpayers of a tremendous burden. Budget surpluses should be applied in the following order:
a. Eliminate the federal debt.
b. Fortify military capabilies.
c. Fund tax reductions.
d. Strictly enforce a prohibition against using budget surpluses to expand existing entitlement programs or create new ones.
5. Establish strict fiscal controls for all federal programs.
Operating procedures for all federal programs must adhere to the following requirements:
a. Submit realistic, comprehensive cost estimates before implementing any program.
b. Provide mechanisms for tracking actual costs.
c. Provide for the orderly scaling back of the program if costs exceed estimates.
d. Provide a clear statement of quantifiable benefits that are expected to accrue to the taxpayers from the program.
e. Establish a mechanism for measuring the attainment of benefits actually realized. The executive branch shall be charged with publishing an annual report detailing the actual cost and attainment statistics for all programs. Any program that fails to deliver at least 75% of its stated benefit shall become null and void after two consecutive years of non-attainment.
6. Review all existing government programs every five years for cost-effectiveness.
Programs that are not accomplishing their initial goals cost-effectively will be eliminated.
7. Adopt forthright accounting practices.
Trust-fund balances must be removed from the budget-deficit calculations, so that the true size of the federal deficit is made clear to the American people. Report all trust-fund balances according to the same generally accepted accounting practices that businesses must follow.
8. Audit every department of the federal government annually.
9. Reestablish the United States Treasury Bank.
In order to maintain its sovereignty as a self-government, it is vital that the United States federal government reestablish a United States Treasury Bank. Therefore, as provided for in their original charter, the privately owned Federal Reserve Banks shall be purchased by the United States government, and United States Treasury Notes shall replace Federal Reserve Notes as the official currency of the United States of America.
10. Cease and desist from making loans or grants to foreign entities.
As long as the United States has a national debt, a trade deficit, or unfunded long-term commitments to Social Security, it violates the fiduciary responsibility of the Federal government to our own people to make any loan or grant to any foreign entity. Therefore, the Federal government shall make no further loans or grants to foreign entities from taxpayer funds.
11. Eliminate funding for the United Nations.
12. Dismantle all unconstitutional departments and agencies.
Whereas the Federal government has no Constitutional authority to expend funds for the propagation of ideas, we call on Congress to eliminate funding for the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Endowment of the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and all similar activities buried within other Federal budget items. Furthermore, we call on Congress to dismantle the Department of Education and return the responsibility of our children's education to state and local control.
13. Dismantle the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
14. End corporate welfare and special interest subsidies.
15. Establish user fees for federal services.
Whenever possible, services provided by the federal government shall be supported by user fees. Such user fees shall be used to fund the service provided, and not be used as revenue sources for other programs.
Foreign-Trade Policy

On the issue of trade agreements, many hard-working Americans have seen the increasing pace of outsourcing and direct transfer of American jobs to overseas nations. Those workers are paid only a fraction of domestic wages, and corporations save even more money by not having to pay for additional benefits. Due to the ease of transferring capital and labor, U.S. corporations have exported American jobs to bolster their bottom line. This is a major step in a race toward the bottom, which lowers Americans' real wages.

Regulation of trade using tariffs and treaties, to promote the general welfare of the United States, is a fundamental Constitutional mandate. Eliminating trade deficits and protecting domestic production are paramount.

The America First Party advocates a Trade Policy that:

1. Operates within the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution;
2. Restores Congressional authority to regulate commerce;
3. Safeguards American labor, health, safety and environmental standards from cheap imports;
4. Eliminates trade deficits;
5. Protects U.S. jobs and industry in order to ensure the blessings of liberty to all Americans and their posterity.
A vital national trade policy shall require:
1. A strict "Buy American" policy that patronizes American made goods;
2. A rigid ban on imported products of child, prison, or slave labor;
3. U.S. ability to manufacture and stockpile all products vital to maintaining U.S. strategic military strength and national security;
4. The ability to feed our own people;
5. The clear labeling with the country of origin on all food sold in the United States.
The America First Party will support only candidates for federal office who support the following positions:
1. All international trade agreements are in fact treaties and as such must be passed by a 2/3 super-majority in the U.S. Senate.
2. "Fast Track" trade negotiating authority shall not be abdicated to the Executive Branch.
3. A complete U.S. withdrawal from the following institutions: World Trade Organization (WTO), North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), International Monetary Fund (IMF), and World Bank.
4. Revocation of Most Favored Nation trade status from any nation that restricts the basic human rights of workers.
5. Revenue tariffs shall be required on all foreign-made goods sold in the United States, in order to achieve balanced trade and to replace federal income taxes.
The above positions demonstrate that the economic process currently labeled as "free trade" actually represents a "race to the bottom". By adhering to the above positions, the United States will guarantee its ability to be self-sufficient through bilateral trade and negotiation with other nations.

The results of “free trade” have been disastrous for Ohio. The following articles submitted by a member of the America First Party of Ohio explains what has been happening right here at home.

NAFTA Hits Ohio!

Ohio holds a unique position in our great republic. The Buckeye State has held a powerful seat in the world of U.S. politics. Often referred to as a "swing state," Ohio has held in its hands the outcome of recent presidential elections, been the focus of an ongoing investigation into voter fraud, and one of the key battleground states in the fight for faith, freedom, and economic survival.

NAFTA was rammed through the U.S. Congress, thanks to the unrelenting effort of the Bush dynasty, Bill Clinton, and Al Gore. It seems like only yesterday that Al Gore and Ross Perot squared off on CNN's Larry King Live, where Gore went on to make Perot’s argument look weak and poorly planned. Over a decade later we in Ohio are seeing the results of that pseudo-religious doctrine of "free trade." Despite these results, the outcry against NAFTA and other free-trade agreements, although present, is seldom heard in the way that is necessary to bring our national focus back to "We the People."

It is truly shocking to see the statistics on job losses across Ohio that directly relate to NAFTA. Some of the hardest hit towns in our state are Zanesville (losing close to 1,000 workers directly related to NAFTA), Greenfield, Cincinnati, Dayton, Glenwillow, Marion - the list goes on and on. Those jobs were either lost to NAFTA imports, moved to Canada, or moved to Mexico. According to many Internet sources, about 40,000 jobs were lost in Ohio as a result of NAFTA by early 2001.

At that point, the side effects hit Ohio. The recession that was coming on from the exuberance of the 1990s was obviously on its way. Then national tragedy furthered that economic decline. As a result, millions of Americans lost their jobs due to layoffs. The side effect, often called out-sourcing, hit the white collar workers of Ohio. How many times have you read about our jobs being sent somewhere other than Mexico - for example, India, China, Indonesia, etc.?

Thanks to the collusion of our two-party system, the Democrats and Republicans have dealt a forceful blow to the blue-collar workers of America, those that make the nuts and bolts of the world’s most vital economy. Then, as an encore, they threaten the very jobs of the white-collar workers, the other part of the vital economy, by shipping jobs to lands where Americans are hated and scorned. Let’s not confuse these "leaders" with true American Patriots!

True Patriots wouldn’t end the economic viability of hard-working American families, wouldn’t wreck the chances of the next generation proudly serving as the backbone of this nation. They wouldn’t threaten national security by providing the opportunity for financial corporations to send jobs overseas so that others can see our sensitive financial and banking information.

Don’t take our word on this. Pick up the phone and call your credit card company or other financial firms. We're guessing you’d have about a 15% chance of talking to someone who speaks poor English and gets paid a fraction of what the U.S. worker makes.

Outsourcing financial services also threatens the financial security of individual American citizens. Think about this for a moment. We have no control whatsoever over the handling of sensitive personal information overseas. If only 10% of those who have credit cards or conduct other financial transactions that are processed overseas were to declare bankruptcy due to identity theft, we would have a massive catastrophe on our hands. Do you trust your politicians now?

The America First Party is the answer. Let’s put control back in the hands of those who can be entrusted with the responsibility, instead of a bureaucracy that doesn’t care about Ohio. Let our local leaders, directly responsible to us, determine the best course of action.

It never fails to amaze us how our politicians always preach that they are in the same mold of the founding fathers of this country. Not according to George Washington, who said, "I hope, someday or another, we shall become a storehouse and granary for the world" (June, 1778). We have been just that, and now we’re giving it away.

NAFTA and Bankruptcy in Ohio

The bankruptcy rates in Ohio and in the U.S. reached a record high in 2003 according to information regarding public policy. Ohio’s bankruptcy rate grew at the highest rate of all the 50 states from 2000-2003. In 2003 there was an average of 5.5 bankruptcy filings for every 1000 people in the U.S. That rate was 7.7 for every 1000 people in Ohio. That makes Ohio’s bankruptcy filings the 8th highest in the nation!

NAFTA has brought down a heavy sword on Ohio’s hard working citizens. By 2001 Ohio had lost in excess of 40,000 jobs of direct relation to NAFTA. But that’s only part of the picture. Outsourcing of American jobs, the biggest side-effect of free trade, has been blamed for more opportunity lost that the 40,000 jobs of direct relation to U.S. trade policy.

Do we see a coincidence between failed trade policies, the treason against our manufacturing sector and the hardworking families of Ohio, and the mammoth jump in the bankruptcy rate in our great state? Of course we do. So does the Governor, our state legislature, our two U.S. Senators and our Congressmen. Still, no one is coming to the defense of Ohio’s families. Instead, filing for bankruptcy just got harder thanks to Bush and his friends in America’s multi-national corporations.

This great nation, by hard work and determination, gave the opportunity for those very “leaders” and corporations to flourish. It’s time that Americans demand the same loyalty in return.

Traitors in our Midst

Former Congressman and U. S. Foreign Trade Representative, and current Director of the Office of Management of Budget, Rob Portman has been among the most avid promoters of so-called "free trade." Ohioans should take note that Rob Portman is the silver-spoon scion of one of the richest families in Ohio. The Portman Equipment Company, located in the Cincinnati area, built the family fortune by selling foreign-manufactured material-handling equipment (lift trucks and related machinery). The Portmans have benefited substantially from "free trade" by undercutting domestic manufacturers, and they will continue to benefit even more substantially with Rob as "their man in Washington" spearheading the expansion of "free trade" to the detriment of long-suffering fellow Ohioans.