Bush And WSJ Editorial Board Have Learned Nothing, Know Less

"I`m concerned about protectionism, isolationism."

Those were the first words President Bush spoke as he
sat down Wednesday at an editorial board meeting at
The Wall Street Journal.
on the Record
| The President visits with the

Journal editorial board. February 1, 2007]

Reading his remarks calls forth only sadness. For
neither the president nor his acolytes at the Journal
appear to have

learned anything
from the disasters their ideas have
visited upon the party and country.

Can Bush not see that the isolation of America is a
result of the war he launched on a nation that, no
matter how odious its regime, did not threaten us? Can
he not see clearly now the idiocy of the Journal`s

10-year crusade
for a "MacArthur
Regency" in Baghdad?

Has this president learned nothing? And, if not, what
does that portend for Iran?

As for protectionism, does Bush not see the link
between the rise of economic nationalism in America, the
rout of his party in November and the humongous trade
deficits he has been running up?

When the trade figures for 2006 come in, it will be
revealed that the United States ran the greatest trade
deficit in history, close to $800 billion, near 7
percent of GDP. And the greatest trade deficit with any
one country will be recorded—a trade deficit with

of nearly $230 billion.

Because China fixes its currency 40 percent below
where it would float in a free market, Beijing is
siphoning factories, technologies and jobs out of our
country at a prodigious rate. For two decades, China`s
annual growth has been consistent at 9-10 percent.
Beijing has accumulated $1 trillion in hard currency
reserves, most of it in

dollar-denominated instruments.

A good slice of that trade surplus, and of the
billions Beijing collects in annual interest on that
share of our national debt it holds, is used to finance
the greatest military buildup in Asia since

in the

Our "strategic partner" just sent us a
message in the clear. Using a

land-based ballistic missile,
Beijing blasted a
satellite out of the sky, 500 miles above the earth.

Does President Bush not understand the correlation
between his trade policy, our sinking dollar and the
loss of 3 million manufacturing jobs on his watch?
Economic patriotism is on the march because economic
globalism is failing America.

We are being skinned alive by our trading partners.
While we have eliminated tariffs, they impose
value-added taxes of up to 20 percent on U.S. goods
entering the country and rebate the VAT on goods they
export to the United States. This system operates like a
40 percent tariff on U.S. goods. That is why we are
running record trade deficits with Canada, the European
Union, Japan and Free Asia.

Bush has now begun his campaign for renewal of
"fast track"
authority, which expires in July. Under
fast track, Congress agrees to give up its

constitutional right to amend trade treaties.

But to give Bush a blank check to negotiate trade
treaties after his record trade deficits makes as much
sense as giving him a

blank check to launch another war.
Some adult has
got to grab the steering wheel here.

In closing, the president delivered a little
disquisition on history to the editors. Reading it, one
has the sinking feeling of that professor of

Civil War history
who, at semester`s end, was asked
by one of his students, "Sir, why were all the major

Civil War battles
fought in

national parks?"

Said Bush: "Sometimes, nativism, isolationism and
protectionism all run hand in hand. We`ve got to be
careful about that in the United States. The 1920s was a
period of high tariff, high tax,
no immigration.
And the lesson of the 20s ought to
be a reminder of what is possible for future

What is President Bush talking about?

Under Harding-Coolidge and Treasury Secretary Andrew
Mellon, tariffs were indeed doubled to 38 percent, but
imports were only 4 percent of GDP and most imports came
in duty-free. And Wilson`s wartime income tax rates were
not raised, but slashed from Wilson`s 72 percent to 25

When Harding took office, the unemployment rate was
12 percent. When Coolidge went home, it was 3 percent
and America was producing 42 percent of the world`s
manufactures. Between 1922 and 1927, the economy grew at
7 percent a year, the largest peacetime growth ever.
They were not called The Roaring Twenties for nothing,
Mr. Bush.

As for "nativism,"

immigration law of 1924
simply cut back immigration
to 160,000 a year, and declared that the racial and
ethnic profile of America was fine and should not be

Sam Gompers

A. Philip Randolph
wanted immigration stopped.

Thanks to that law, by the 1950s, almost all
immigrants and their children had been fully assimilated
and Americanized. What was wrong with that, Mr.

Or do you and your

Journal acolytes


not like
the country you grew up in?

Ronald Reagan, who

loved Cal Coolidge
, went to

Eureka College.
Bush, who thinks the

Republican Era of the 1920s
a disaster, was educated

Yale and Harvard.
Maybe that`s the problem.



Patrick J. Buchanan

no introduction
readers; his book

State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America

can be ordered from