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1. Taxes on imports paid for most of our federal budget for most of our nation’s existence.  We didn’t even have an income tax until 1916.

2. Jobs didn’t leave the United States because corporate tax rates were too high.  That came after the jobs left to help make up for the lost revenue.

3. Jobs didn’t leave our country because labor was cheaper overseas.  It was always cheaper somewhere else.

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4. Jobs left our country when we stopped taxing imports.

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5. We are told that if we start taxing imports again, consumer prices will rise to pay for those taxes.  But those taxes will go to the government.  We could easily reduce income taxes to compensate for that with no loss of revenue.  See #1.

6. We are told this will start a trade war, which will hurt our export industry.  This wasn’t an issue for the 140 years before we had an income tax, and this wasn’t an issue before we stopped taxing imports and sent our jobs overseas.

7. We are told that taxes on imports contributed to the Great Depression.  Taxes on imports were raised after the Depression began, which did hurt exports.  But taxes were raised everywhere else as well.  And the government starting growing at a fast pace, taking a lot of money out of people’s pockets.  And nobody thinks that had anything to do with prolonging the Depression?

8. Relying on exports to strengthen or support our economy is bad economic policy.  That would mean that we are relying on the rest of the world doing well before we can.  They have to do well first to be able to buy our products.  Why would we want to rely on other countries for our own prosperity?

9. Relying on exports ties all the world’s economies together such that problems elsewhere hurt everybody else.  Somebody somewhere is always having problems.  Relying on exports is like the addicted gambler who believes that he will get lucky more often than not.

10. Free trade is like having a labor pool of 3 billion people.  You can always find somebody who will work for less, and this drives down wages for everybody.

11. When we made all of our own stuff, we had good paying jobs for everybody, including the millions of immigrants coming here.  Now that the jobs have left, we don’t have enough jobs for the people who are already here, and wages keep going down.


You’re not going to solve our jobs problem by doing more of the same thing that caused it in the first place.



The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

Larry Craig

concerned citizen


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