Pat Buchanan

The Fortune 500 were the greatest welfare states in history. They were the geese that laid the golden eggs for America's middle class. And the free-traders killed them, because their ideology told them what's best for consumers here and now is best for America.

So foreigners dumped their steel, and we gobbled it up. And their steel mills survived, and ours went under. And they flooded our market with Volkswagens, Hondas and Toyotas, and one by one took down our auto companies, so that the U.S. auto industry, which had 98 percent of the U.S. market in the 1950s, have less than 50 percent today.

Mexico now exports more cars to the United States than we export to the world. Chrysler is on the ropes. Ford lost a record $12 billion last year. GM is losing market share. Toyota is No. 1 in the world because Tokyo set out to make itself No. 1. Anybody think the Japanese care two hoots about Adam Smith or David Ricardo?

As one after another of the big companies go down, they head into bankruptcy court and ask for relief from creditors. What are the largest of the liabilities they shed? "Legacy costs" -- the cost of the pension and health insurance of Steve Skvara and his wife.

As we all buy up those TVs and radios and motorcycles and cars and clothes made in Japan and made in China, we kill factories all over America and push America's companies into chapter 11.

"But isn't that the free market?" comes the retort. Should we have to pay more for the goods we buy?

Answer: No and no. Europeans and Asians are skinning us alive. We impose corporate taxes that average 40 percent, state and federal. Europe imposes corporate taxes averaging 24 percent. Advantage Europe.

Europe imposes an average Value Added Tax of 19 percent on all they produce.

But they rebate that VAT tax on exports to the United States and stick a 19 percent VAT equivalent on all imports from America. Without calling it a tariff and a subsidy, it is a tariff and a subsidy.

For decades our trade wimps have put up with this.

What needs to be done is simple. Impose a 20 percent entry fee on all imported goods and services, and use the $500 billion to cut taxes on U.S. producers. Steve Skvara is a casualty of globalism, but maybe we can save the next generation from the same fate.

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
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