The days when the United States was a superpower have ended. The proof is in our failures.
Our trade deficit, or the money we lose collectively as a nation, has grown since the 1960s reaching its highest point in 2006 with a loss of $817 billion dollars. To be a superpower the U.S. should be gaining a surplus, money earned from selling American goods to foreign countries, not developing a deficit.
We are now borrowing money at an unprecedented rate. In 2007 it appeared that foreign interests owned a fourth of our nation's debt at just over 25 percent. If the 52 percent we loaned ourselves to make currency is taken out of the equation, as this is not really a "debt"- in the same sense, the reality is that foreign interests controlled over 50 percent of the U.S. debt in 2007.
As of December 2008 our debt has grown to over 10.6 trillion dollars. With the current plans to spend 7.2 trillion dollars in bailouts, this number may almost double.
Borrowing is a part of life in the U.S. and some may argue that if we are able to borrow from other nations, these nations must think we have the capacities to eventually repay the debt. At one point in time this may have been true, but at our present rate we will never be able to pay our nation's debts.
According to Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution "The Congress shall have 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 "- To borrow money on the credit of the United States; To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations "- To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution "-"-
The sixteenth Amendment adds to this, ""- power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived without apportionment"- "-
So this gives the government the right to gain money through taxing imports and exports, taxing production or consumption of goods, or by taxing the people. Before 1913 the government gained the majority of its income through the shipping of goods, duties set up through tariffs.
Thanks to the ideals of "free trade"- our government can no longer make money through the movement of goods in or out of our country. While the "trade"- itself (cash for goods) may not really be free, in the "free trade"- world the movement of goods must be free of charge, so the U.S. government can charge no duties, no taxes.
The inability to set tariffs may seem unconstitutional at first glance. Sadly, it is not. Our government removed power from our great Constitution when they signed "free trade"- deals. Article 6 of our Constitution states that, ""-all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land "-"- allowing groups like the WTO and agreements like NAFTA to usurp the power of our Constitution.
The whole reason we fought the War of Independence was to gain the right to run our nation as we, the people of the United States, see fit. Super-governmental organizations, like the World Trade Organization do not have the best interest of the U.S. in mind. The WTO does not care about our debt, or how we will repay our creditors. These "free trade" treaties revert America to its colonized status before the revolution, making us subservient to foreign interests. Chapter 11 of NAFTA gives foreign companies the right to sue the U.S government if they feel our laws are detrimental to their trade.
"Free trade"- leaves the United States with just two ways to repay our debts; we can raise taxes on income (Amendment 16), or we can raise sales taxes (Article 1, section 8).
With all of our jobs fleeing the country through outsourcing, there will not be much the government can tax us on. We could be like China and find loopholes to raise sales taxes on imports, but that would enrage our foreign debt holders. One complaint from them to the WTO would quickly prohibit us from raising our sales taxes on foreign products without raising taxes on US made goods as well.
The U.S. loses nine out of every 10 trade disputes brought before the WTO. These unfair and often bias judgments prove that the WTO is a detriment to our nation and our citizens.
To repay our debts, the U.S. must stop borrowing and go back to what we know works; limit government spending and bring back Duties, Imposts and Excises through tariffs. Throwing money at a problem is never the sole answer. Throwing money borrowed from foreign investors has historically proven to be even worse!
We must work to make changes. Our leaders in Washington must work on getting us out of "free trade"- deals and passing laws to protect our dying manufacturing base. Currently our government does more to protect international or foreign corporations than it does to help our home-grown companies.