Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




Bringing LIBERTY to Capitol Hill -- 2008
Saturday Morning, October 13, 2007, 10:30am

A Discussion of The President's Saturday Morning Radio Address

Click here to listen to a replay of the October 13, 2007 Ozarks Virtual Town Hall

Notes and Summary of the Broadcast -- Global Trade and the Economy

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This is an historic time for our Nation's economy. Last week, we learned that September was America's 49th consecutive month of job creation -- the longest uninterrupted period of job growth on record. And on Thursday, we learned that the American economy set a new record for exports in a single month. Millions of American jobs depend on exports. More exports support better and higher-paying jobs -- and to keep our economy expanding, we need to keep expanding trade.

This week, I traveled to Miami to discuss the importance of trade and to call on Congress to pass new free trade agreements.

How the President Differs from the American vision of "Liberty Under God":

  • The Bush-Clinton regime believes in managed trade, not free trade.
  • The Bush-Clinton regime believes in entangling political alliances

The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible."
— Washington, Farewell Address (1796) [Washington’s emphasis]

I deem [one of] the essential principles of our government, and consequently [one] which ought to shape its administration,…peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.
— Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801) 

  • Free trade means the eliminated of government-created obstacles to trade, not more government power.

President's Radio Address Liberty Under God

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This is an historic time for our Nation's economy. Last week, we learned that September was America's 49th consecutive month of job creation -- the longest uninterrupted period of job growth on record. And on Thursday, we learned that the American economy set a new record for exports in a single month. Millions of American jobs depend on exports. More exports support better and higher-paying jobs -- and to keep our economy expanding, we need to keep expanding trade.

The President says the economy is good. A business can be "productive" and "sales" can be up, but it can be bankrupt, because its costs exceed its income, or because it defers costs into the future with no possibility to repay. "Our" economy (government statistics) might be good-looking, but may harbor extravagant debt and mismanagement.

Bureau of the Public Debt : The National Debt To the Penny
updated daily

This figure is inches away from Nine Trillion Dollars.
This figure, if announced by a corporation on the New York Stock Exchange, would result in jail terms for its accountants, because this figure does not include trillions of dollars the government owes Social Security recipients, Medicare recipients, and many others. A newly published paper by a researcher for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis warns that a ballooning budget deficit and pension-welfare timebomb has created a $65.9 trillion fiscal gap that will force the United States into bankruptcy.

These deficits are funded by government-caused inflation, manipulation of the currency and credit system. This policy is unconstitutional.

Abolish the Fed - Rep. Ron Paul

This week, I traveled to Miami to discuss the importance of trade and to call on Congress to pass new free trade agreements. In January of 2001, America had trade agreements in force with three countries. Now we have agreements in force with 14 countries, including seven in Latin America. And Congress now has an opportunity to increase America's access to markets in our hemisphere by passing three more free trade agreements in Latin America with Peru, Colombia, and Panama.


What's wrong with these trade agreements? They abolish the Constitution and government of the United States of America. Learn more here:

These three agreements will expand America's access to 75 million customers. These 75 million customers are the equivalent of the populations of California, Colorado, Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, and Massachusetts combined.

To the extent that these trade agreements actually provide consumers with freedom, they are good. So far, all trade agreements have given us managed trade -- regulated trade -- not free trade.

Why Free Trade -- genuinely free trade -- is good:
See the important essay by George Reisman.

The first of the new Latin American trade agreements that my Administration negotiated is with Peru. This agreement would level the playing field for American businesses and workers and farmers. While almost all Peruvian exports to the United States now enter duty-free, most American exports to Peru face significant tariffs. The free trade agreement would immediately eliminate most of Peru's industrial tariffs, as well as many of its barriers to U.S. agriculture exports, and make American products more affordable and more competitive in that country. Bush seeks NAFTA expansion to Peru - Pursuing FTAA one nation at a time.
The second of the new Latin American trade agreements that my Administration negotiated is with Colombia. Colombia is now our fifth largest trading partner in Latin America and the largest market for U.S. agricultural exports in South America. The free trade agreement with Colombia would immediately eliminate tariffs on more than 80 percent of American industrial and consumer exports. It would provide significant new duty-free access for American crops. And for the first time in history, U.S. companies would be able to compete on a level playing field.  
The third of the new Latin American trade agreements that my Administration negotiated is with Panama. This agreement will immediately eliminate tariffs on 88 percent of our industrial and consumer goods exports to Panama. It will increase access for American farmers and ranchers. And it will open opportunities for American businesses to participate in the multi-billion dollar project to expand the Panama Canal.  
As we work to pass these trade agreements with nations in Latin America, we'll also work to pass a landmark free trade agreement with an ally in the Far East -- South Korea. This agreement would open up one of the world's most powerful economies to more American goods and services exports. This agreement is projected to add more than $10 billion to America's economy. And like our agreements in Latin America, this agreement would strengthen our relationship with a democratic partner in a critical part of the world.  
I know many Americans feel uneasy about new competition and worry that trade will cost jobs. So the Federal government is providing substantial funding for trade adjustment assistance that helps Americans make the transition from one job to the next. We are working to improve Federal job-training programs. And we are providing strong support for America's community colleges, where people of any age can go to learn new skills for a better, high-paying career. Free trade -- genuinely free trade -- increases our standard of living in the long-run.

The Constitution gives no authority whatsoever for Federal programs to help manufacturers and vendors of vinyl LP-records shift to CD's, or to help any displaced workers become competitive. These programs are unconstitutional. They are also inefficient. Sending money to Washington D.C. to help someone in your neighborhood is the worst decision you can make.

Expanding trade will help our economy grow. By passing these trade agreements, we will also serve America's security and moral interests. We will strengthen our ties with our friends. We will help counter the false populism promoted by hostile nations. And we will help young democracies show their people that freedom, openness, and the rule of law are the surest path to a better life. So I call on Congress to act quickly and get these agreements to my desk.  
Thank you for listening.  

Additional Resources:

  • Christian Misunderstandings of Globalism
  • Club for Growth Symposium on Free Trade
  • Trade Policy Analysis no. 35: Thriving in a Global Economy: The Truth about U.S. Manufacturing and Trade | Cato's Center for Trade Policy Studies by Daniel Ikenson
    • Here are some of his observations:  
      • “the rising level of U.S. imports and exports has been associated with positive developments in key manufacturing performance indicia”;
      • “As manufactured imports declined in 2001 and 2002, manufacturing output, exports, and revenues declined as well.  When imports began to pick up again as the manufacturing recession was ending, all of those real variables tracked upwards, adding more data points to the line that confirms a strong positive correlation”;
      • “As manufacturing imports have achieved new heights, manufacturing output, revenues, exports, and profits have all set records, too.”
      • “The premise that U.S. manufacturing is under duress from imports is not supported by the data”;
      • "profit growth (operating performance) is a function of revenue growth (expanding exports) and cost reduction (increasing imports of production inputs)." 
    • Allowing low-cost imports can reduce U.S. manufacturing costs
  • Trade Deficit Myths
    • When the economy is weak, Americans buy fewer imports, decreasing the "trade deficit." When the economy is strong, Americans buy more imports, increasing the "trade deficit." So why should we want a decreasing "trade deficit?"
  • Vicente Fox Admits Plan for New North American Currency
    • "Trade Agreements" are too often a means to abolish Constitutional government in the U.S. and replace it with unconstitutional government by foreign governments.
  • Ms. Clinton's Trade Adjustment -
    • PRESIDENT Bill Clinton had to fight many powerful lobbying groups to win approval of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993. None was more imposing than that most Democratic of constituencies, organized labor. Mr. Clinton stood up to the unions: He publicly condemned the AFL-CIO for its "roughshod, muscle-bound tactics" against undecided Democratic members of Congress. In the end, he was rewarded for his persistence. Not only did NAFTA pass, but Mr. Clinton won reelection in 1996 -- with the unions' support. Fourteen years after NAFTA was approved, the case for free trade remains the same. Though it imposes costly dislocations on workers in less-competitive industries, it benefits the country as a whole by increasing efficiency. Over time, the result is more jobs and lower prices.
              Yet Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) seems to have forgotten her husband's winning formula. Campaigning for president, she has been busily repudiating his legacy on free trade, voting against the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement in the Senate and backing away from NAFTA.
  • Stephen Spruiell on Trade on National Review Online
    • Free trade has not led to greater unemployment; it has merely shifted jobs to industries in which America has a comparative advantage. Meanwhile, the idea American manufacturing is in decline is nothing more than an anti-trade myth, a bedtime story protectionist lawmakers tell their rattled constituents. (Today the globalization bogeyman came for manufacturing, but tomorrow, you could be next!) As Cato’s Ikenson explained on National Review Online Tuesday, “[U.S.] Manufacturing is thriving by historic standards.” The jobs lost in that sector stem from productivity increases, not outsourcing.

The Democrat Party Radio Address:

Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont, delivers this week's Democratic Radio Address.

Once again, the subject is SCHIPS.

Libertarian Response to Democrats:

  • Click here to go to a replay of the September 22, 2007 Ozarks Virtual Town Hall
  • Click here to go to a replay of the October 6, 2007 Ozarks Virtual Town Hall
  • See the September 22, 2007 Ozarks Virtual Town Hall.
  • "Private lobbying groups" often lobby Congress for government takeover of their industries - if it brings them profits or "security."
  • Bush wants to expand the SCHIP program, not cut it. He just doesn't want to expand it as much as the Democrats do. There's no evidence that this child would have been denied coverage under the White House expansion.
  • Expanding this government program is wrong. It is sinful and immoral to take money from Jones under threats of violence to give to "the poor children."
  • It is unconstitutional for the federal government to to this, even if it were moral.
  • Capitalism, not socialism, will ensure the greatest amount of the highest quality health care to every child in this country. The medical care available to this child would not have been available to him if he lived in the Soviet Union a few decades ago.
  • Democrats and Republicans are quibbling over ten or fifteen billion tax dollars. True leadership would inspire and orchestrate voluntary giving from those who can afford to do so.
  • Book Review: The Scandal Of The Evangelical Conscience - Acton Institute PowerBlog
    “If American Christians simply gave a tithe rather than the current one-quarter of a tithe, there would be enough private Christian dollars to provide basic health care and education to all the poor of the earth. And we would still have an extra $60-70 billion left over for evangelism around the world.”

Late Questions from Listeners

Unfortunately, a question arrived from a listener after the conclusion of last week's Town Hall:

I thought the Preamble for the Constitution said the purpose of that document was "to provide for the common weal. . ." How can that be done without education? Without public safety? Without regulation of industries that would otherwise rob the public and spoil the environment?

The preamble states:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Probably our listener was referring to the highlighted phrase.

What are "the blessings of liberty?" How are they "secured" by the government? The blessings include automobiles, computers, antibiotics, and thousands of groceries at the local market. How are these blessings "secured" by the government? By nationalizing the automobile industry, as in the Soviet Union? No, simply by protecting the nation from foreign invasion and eliminating trade barriers between the several States. What about punishing fraud and crime? Though considered to be a function of government, it was not considered to be a function of the federal government. Punishing crime remained with the states and local governments.

The question posed during the Constitutional Convention and during the ratification process was "What form of government best secures the Blessings of Liberty and promotes the general Welfare?" The answer given was not "a huge centralized federal government with unlimited powers," but rather a limited federal government that has only a few powers enumerated in the constitution, with the rest of government remaining with the states. The Tenth Amendment in the Bill of Rights summarizes the philosophy of the Constitution:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

In Federalist 45, Madison described the relationship between the federal government and the states in these famous words:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. [emphasis added]

And nobody believed that the state governments had the authority to nationalize production of computers, automobiles, and groceries. Government on all levels was tightly limited, and liberty extended to The People and their businesses.

This is the theory of constitutionally-enumerated powers. Only powers enumerated in the Constitution are possessed by the federal government.

But doesn't the "promote the general welfare" clause indicate that the federal government has vast, sweeping powers to whatever is necessary to "promote the general welfare?"

In testimony before Congress, CATO Institute scholar Jerry Taylor explained how the architects of the Constitution understood the "general Welfare" phrase:

In Federalist No. 41, Madison summarizes the relationship of the general preface language including the "welfare" language, to the subsequent more detailed enumeration of specific powers, as follows. 

"Some who have denied the necessity of the power of taxation [to the Federal government] have grounded a very fierce attack against the Constitution, on the language on which it is defined. It has been urged and echoed that the power to "lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States" amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction." (emphasis added) 

Thus, Madison, who like Story after him sought to defend federal power, treats with derision the claim of opponents of federal powers the claim that the "welfare clause" is a general grant of power. Madison continues Federalist No 41 in this language of angry paradox: 

"For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural or more common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify by an enumeration of the particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity ... what would have been thought of that assembly, if, attaching themselves to these general expressions and disregarding the specifications which limit their import, they had exercised an unlimited power of providing for the general welfare?" (emphasis added)

More information on the "general Welfare" clause can be found on our Constitution page, and this page.

Our listener mentions three functions which are necessary to secure "the Blessings of Liberty":

The first question to be asked is, must education etc. be provided by the government, or can it be provided by the Free Market: voluntary associations, businesses, and "We the People" networking together to assure that children are educated. In other words, which political theory is true: capitalism or socialism?

If socialism is true, we might still ask, should state and local governments decide how children will be educated, or should that be done by the federal government? In other words if only government can provide these elements of an orderly and prosperous society, which level of government?

The Constitutional answer precludes the federal government from involving itself in these areas. It would not have been ratified by states jealous to protect their own powers, or The People jealous to protect their liberties, if it gave to the federal government such sweeping powers.

Click here for a replay of this edition of the Ozarks Virtual Town Hall