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Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.” Matthew 17:26b

By Riley J. Hood—Milwaukee County Constitution Party

America has had her factories, jobs, and now her oil and other natural resources sent to foreign countries who hate us. The biggest beneficiary of the “global economy” is the People’s Republic of China, but there are other nations as well. Over the last 50 years, we have had a libertarian “free trade” policy, which in reality is a “global” trade plan in which Congress has ceded their authority to the United Nations, via GATT and NAFTA, etc. America has been reduced to exporting garbage, our national debt, and not much else. Our middle-class has sunk into a “safety-net poverty.”

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We need to talk about some intended consequences. Our founding fathers, especially Alexander Hamilton, envisioned a manufacturing and industrial nation. The view of “Jeffersonian agrarianism,” was a minority view, and Thomas Jefferson would have rejected the economic suicide of our nation. Our founders knew their Bibles, and they knew their history.

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And when they were come unto Capernaum, they that received tribute money came unto Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute. He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, what thinkest thou, Simon? Of whom do the kings of the earth take tribute? Of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then the children are free.” (Matthew 17:24-26) Jesus Christ, in his own words, affirmed the revenue tariff, yet libertarians think they are smarter than God. We read in the Old Testament of Israel receiving tribute from foreigners, and also a tax revolt against Rehoboam when direct taxation was introduced.

Our US Constitution says, “Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises…” “To regulate commerce with foreign nations, ” “To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standards of weights and measures;” Article I, Section 8 makes no mention of “free trade.” To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, the economy has money and goods. If you keep them both in America, America benefits from both.

President Trump proposed a tariff on imported steel to restore manufacturing independence so that our national defense can rely on equipment made by our citizens, in companies owned by our citizens. Libertarians are moaning about “unintended consequences,” while the PRC has declared economic war against us. Our “partners/enemies” won’t sit by while we assert ourselves, but economic independence and the benefits of American ownership promote the general welfare. The intended consequence of the revenue tariff was that by 1872, America was the world’s leading economy. The intended consequence of free trade is that we are a second-rate economy, sinking into a third-rate economy.

The Constitution Party of Wisconsin has supported the Revenue Tariff for the last 26 years, here are some excerpts from our Platform:

“All treaties must be subordinate to the Constitution, the Constitution is the only instrument which empowers and limits the federal government.” “Congress may not abdicate or transfer to others these powers. We oppose the unconstitutional transfer of authority over US trade policy from Congress to agencies, domestic or foreign, which improperly exercise policy-setting functions with respect to trade policy.”

“We favor the withdrawal of the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and we oppose any trade agreement which results in diminishing America’s economic self-sufficiency, exporting jobs, or diminishes America’s capacity for economic self-reliance, and the provision of national defense.”

“Foreign interests have been abetted in gaining access to America’s high-tech secrets under the guise of commercial enterprise. We propose that technology transfers which compromise national security be made illegal, and violators be prosecuted. All weapons systems, military uniforms and equipment purchased for the American military be domestically produced in their entirety along with all their component parts.”

“Article I, Section 8 provides that duties, imposts, and excises are legitimate revenue-raising measures on which the United States government may properly rely. We support a tariff based revenue system, as did the Founding Fathers, which was the policy of the United States during most of the nation’s history. In no event will the US tariff on any foreign import be less than the difference between the foreign item’s cost of production and the cost of production of a similar item produced in the United States. The cost of production of a US product shall include, compensation paid to American workers.”

“Tariffs are not only a constitutional source of revenue but, wisely administered, are an aid to the nation’s economy. Since the 1934 Trade Agreements Act, the US government has engaged in a policy which has undercut the wages of our working men and destroyed the jobs of hundreds of thousands of workers.” “In the name of free trade, multi-national corporations have been given tax breaks by the US government not available to American businesses, and money extracted from US taxpayers has been used by the government to subsidize and encourage businesses to move abroad. Such improprieties must cease.”

“The United States government should establish the policy that businesses investing abroad do so at their own risk. There is no obligation by our Government to protect those businesses with the lives of our service personnel, or the taxes of our citizens.” “We see our country and its workers as more than bargaining chips for multinational corporations. We reject the trade concept of Most Favored Nation status, used to curry favor with regimes whose policies are abhorrent and which are in conflict with the interests of the United States of America.”

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

Robert W Peck

Robert Peck began his political activism in the 1990s, first with the Ross Perot independent Presidential campaign, followed by the Republican revolution of 1994, then the Pat Buchanan Presidential primary bid of 1996, which lead to his acquaintance with former Nixon administration official, and Constitution Party founder, Howard Phillips. It was through Phillips, and his involvement in the Constitution Party, that Bob was introduced to the principles of Christian Constitutionalism that have come to shape his political views. Bob has been publishing political commentaries since 2008, facilitated local presentations of the Institute on the Constitution educational course, participated in organizing various political events and campaigns, and has served in the Constitution Party at both the local, state and national levels.


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