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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/4/16

Sanders Response to Clinton's Speech on Jobs

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Bernie Sanders
The American people are sick and tired of establishment politicians who promise to create manufacturing jobs during campaign season, but support trade policies that make it easier to outsource these jobs the day after they get elected.
If Secretary Clinton really supported manufacturing jobs she would have joined me on the picket lines against the North American Free Trade Agreement. Instead, she said that "NAFTA is proving its worth."
If Secretary Clinton was sincere in protecting factories, she would have joined me in opposing permanent normal trade relations with China. Instead, she said that this disastrous trade deal was in the best interest of America and American workers.
If Hillary Clinton really cared about jobs in Michigan, she would never have said that the Trans Pacific Partnership was "the gold standard" of trade agreements when she was Secretary of State.
If Secretary Clinton really thought offshoring was bad, she would not have said that outsourcing jobs to India has benefitted many parts of our country.
We need to fundamentally rewrite NAFTA, Central American Free Trade Agreement, permanent normal trade relations with China, and the Korea Free Trade Agreement to lift up the living standards of workers in America. Trade is a good thing, but it has got to be fair.
We need to abolish the Export Import Bank that provides corporate welfare to the largest outsourcers in America and create a U.S. Employee Ownership Bank to provide financial assistance to workers who want to start their own businesses. Workers who are owners will not ship their own jobs to China and other low wage countries.
We need to eliminate federal tax breaks, contracts, grants, and loans to corporations that throw workers out on the street and provide financial assistance to small businesses that are creating good jobs in America.
We need to impose countervailing tariffs on imports from China and Japan until they stop manipulating their currencies. We need to make sure that strong and binding labor, environmental, and human rights standards are in the core text of all trade agreements.
We need to repeal the 1996 welfare reform law that Marian Wright Edelman rightfully called "the biggest betrayal of children and the poor" she had ever witnessed.
How many jobs would we have been able to create rebuilding America if we did not spend trillions on the Iraq War, the biggest foreign policy blunder in the history of the United States? I voted against this war═ż Secretary Clinton voted for it.
Yes, we need to rebuild Flint, starting but not ending with the water system. Flint was poisoned by lead in the drinking water and the negligence of local and state officials. But let's not forget that NAFTA and other free trade agreements turned a prosperous middle class city into a living nightmare for thousands of its residents.
Yes, we need to rebuild the middle class, raise wages, create millions of jobs, and reduce childhood poverty. But electing establishment politicians who make promises to protect manufacturing jobs on the campaign trail only to break them once they are sworn in will not help rebuild Michigan and it won't help rebuild America. It will only lead to the continued deindustrialization of cities and towns throughout America and the hollowing out of the middle class. We have got to do a lot better than that.
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Bernie Sanders is the independent U.S. Senator from Vermont. He is the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history. He is a member of the Senate's Budget, Veterans, Environment, Energy, and H.E.L.P. (Health, Education, (more...)

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