Who says bipartisanship is dead?
We recently had 57 Senators and 152 House members – (obviously) culled from both Parties – sign letters to Barack Obama Administration Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. In which they expressed concern about inexpensive Korean steel being in mass quantities imported here.
Interestingly, they express this concern within the context of their appreciation of the greatness and import of…fracking. The oil and gas extraction method that is hurtling us towards energy independence – in spite of the Left’s vociferous, irrational opposition. Steel is, of course, a vital component of fracking. This same sentence appears in both letters:
The discovery and production of shale gas in the United States is a strategic benefit for both America’s economic and energy security.
See – bipartisanship. The environmentalist loons should take a flying leap.
Why is the bipartisan contingent concerned about the cheap Korean steel dumping? American job loss.
U.S. steel producers employ 8,000 workers across the country making OCTG. Each of these jobs supports seven additional jobs in the supply chain and the steel produced for the U.S. energy market accounts for approximately ten percent of domestic production.
They are diagnosing a real problem – foreign countries dump all kinds of oft-subsidized products here. But they are prescribing the wrong long term solution. To truly fix this – for the world and forever – we need less government. Both here and abroad.
In actual free markets – domestic and global – consumers benefit from the least expensive goods produced by the most efficient companies. But we have nothing remotely resembling free markets – either domestically or globally.
This steel situation is a fabulous example of the high cost of terrible domestic government policy. The damage being done by government to domestic manufacturing and production has been awful and increasing – for decades. As government piled on ever higher taxes and more and more laws and regulations, more and more domestic production became internationally-manufactured imports.
We have the industrialized world’s absolute highest corporate income tax rate. The cost of the regulations we dump on businesses is simply stunning – more than $1.8 trillion per year. And then we wonder why less and less people want to do business here.
If I invite you into my house, and then beat you about the head and shoulders with a bat – I should at least have the decency to not act surprised when you get up and leave.
Korea can make steel – and then ship it half way round the world – and still price it below our domestic production in part because they are abusing trade laws. But also because our domestic price of government is so incredibly huge.
Congress is responsible for the gi-normous tax and regulatory burdens on our businesses. They should get their own House (and Senate) in order.
Cut and reform dramatically the tax code, cut way back the regulatory uber-thicket – and rein in the unelected regulatory agencies that are each and every day piling more and more burdens on business.
Our government is smothering us. It needs to allow us up for air.
Editor’s Note: This first appeared in Red State.