The year's end is upon us and the country is bogged down in the same quagmires we started with 12 months ago. It seems to be politics as usual in the nation's capital.
We continue to reward manufacturers with tax breaks for moving their factories to low-wage countries at the expense of jobs--some 3.3 million manufacturing jobs lost in the last few years.
The trade deficit continues to worsen. In 2006 it ballooned to $856 billion. The flood of imports--which won't be stemmed unless Americans curb their appetite for inexpensive imported consumer goods and automobiles--is now complicated with tainted meat, lead-paint toys, and who knows what else.
Beyond that, China and other countries continue to manipulate their currency to favor their exports and protect their industries and jobs markets with various trade barriers. Although we have had a "manufacturing czar" appointed as an assistant secretary in the Commerce Department, it appears little of substance has been done to level the global trading field for American exports. It'll get worse. Chrysler has a deal with a Chinese auto manufacturer to build cars there for the U.S. market. GM is reported to be looking hard at manufacturing in China.
The immigration problem with Mexico is no nearer being solved--perhaps because there is no practical solution. Our politicians tread lightly around the immigration situation for fear of alienating the Mexican vote. Our deteriorating infrastructure, recognized for decades as a problem that has to be addressed, continues to be ignored. Maybe it's time to combine the two problems and bring back FDR's Works Progress Administration.
We are still mired in a war most of us don't want and don't even understand. It already cost $1 trillion. No wonder we don't have the resources to upgrade the infrastructure. In October the national debt stood at $9 trillion, and it's increasing by $l.4 billion daily. That breaks down to some $30,000 per man, woman, and child in the United States.
Folks continue to lose their homes, some their life's savings over the mortgage debacle. After...