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Free-Trade Kool-Aid Drinking Gets a Pass in "Here's the Deal"

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Here's The Deal Book Cover
(image by David Leonhardt)
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This book takes on the partisan issues of tax-cuts versus spending, and admirably examines the proximate causes of our fiscal dilemma but overlooks several root-causes. No mention is made of the free-trade induced cumulative U.S. trade deficit, since the late 1960s, of over $10 Trillion, how it has structurally weakened our economy and its quadruple effect on our fiscal deficit.
Also ignored is how virtually all our major trading partners have replaced tariffs with value-added taxes (VAT) as highly effective consumption tax to minimize tax avoidance, enhance global competitiveness and increase savings/investment.
The quadruple effect on the trade deficit, include: higher safety --net spending, reduced general tax and employment tax revenue, and lower interest rates, which have artificially ballooned the present-value of off-balanced sheet liabilities like Social Security and Medicare.

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