It's not often that I agree with Jack Miller, of Center Township in Snyder County. But his letter on the "Trans-Pacific Partnership" was right on target. He does an outstanding job of dissecting and exposing this trade agreement for what it and many past trade agreements are: a fraud, a gift to special interests, and a surrender of American sovereignty.
This proposed new trade agreement is so onerous that those pushing it want to "fast track" it so that no amendments are permitted. And the idea that representatives of business are writing the bill and keeping members of Congress pretty much in the dark is outrageous.
Most of the time I support the position of big business and of small business. They are a vital part of our free enterprise system. But in a situation like this, those big businesses who want to "make a killing" on certain free trade agreements, without any regard for the well being of most Americans, must be stopped. And there are those in my own Republican Party who are so willing to accede to the greed of certain big business interests that they want unlimited immigration so that they can fire (or avoid firing) American workers in order to hire cheap immigrant workers.
However, I must go on record as totally disagreeing with Mr. Miller on his peddling in a more recent article the outright falsehood that Republicans shut down the government. The Republicans in the House of Representatives at least twice voted to keep funding the entire government, except for Obamacare. It was Obama and his toadies in the Senate who decided they would prefer to shut down the entire government rather than to see Obamacare not funded. Supporters of Obamacare state he and the Senate would not have agreed to a bill to defund Obamacare. But the Senate would not have had to pass a defunding bill. Obama would not have had to sign it. The Republicans in the House simply needed to stick together and not vote to fund it. Sure, Obamacare was authorized, but many bills are authorized, but then not funded, and therefore not implemented.
To recap and further explain, in an abbreviated way, the legislative process: Every bill before Congress (if it has a price tag), has to be passed twice: first to authorize it and secondly to fund it. Many bills that are authorized are not funded -- and so they are not implemented. Obama should know this and he probably does. However, he is so intent on following Saul Alinsky's book "Rules for Radicals" that he will follow the Alinsky rule: If you tell a lie and repeat it often enough, people will believe it. Just as when he was agitating for Obamacare, he made many claims, including his promise over and over again, "If you like the health insurance you have, you can keep it." We now know it was a lie. And he is on record as having said that he favors a "single-payer system," which everybody knows is socialized medicine run by the government.
And the idea of default was just a liberal scare tactic. The Republicans voted to fund everything, including payments on the debt, except Obamacare. So the only way the United States would have defaulted under the Republican plan would have been if the Obama administration would have refused to make payments on the national debt. Millions and millions of dollars are collected every day, so there always is enough money to pay for essential programs.
From his writings, it is obvious that Mr. Miller is erudite and very well informed. Certainly he knows, but apparently chooses not to admit, that it was the Democrats who chose to shut down the government, because they knew that their cheerleaders in the national news media would blame the Republicans. Sen. Toomey and Rep. Marino deserve accolades for standing up to the whole liberal establishment and not caving in to the forces who want to destroy our health care system and at the same time bankrupt our country.
The claim that it was the Republicans who shut down the government is an outright lie, and those who follow closely the workings of Congress know it.
n Donald J. Ely, of Sunbury, is the Republican State Committeeman for Northumberland County.