On August 23, Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma spoke at a town hall meeting in Oklahoma. His key statement was that he believes Obama’s extreme actions have brought him “perilously close to impeachment”. He didn’t detail the legal ‘high crimes and misdemeanors” he has in mind. Instead, he cited failures of “ abuse
of power”and “incompetence”. Americans from all walks of life can cite examples of our President’s failures, especially in rebuilding the economy and creating jobs for our millions of unemployed. The President’s broad record is simply abysmal.
It’s in the area of U.S. global trade policy where there’s no doubt that the President has made big unilateral decisions while ignoring public interests and mandated Congressional oversight. For example, the ‘free trade’ agreement with South Korea known as KORUS was pushed through Congress in 2011 with little debate amidst promises by the President that it would help reduce our huge global trade deficit and create good jobs here. Instead, it has added $20 billion to the trade deficit and led to few, if any, jobs.
Now comes TPP, the worst example of all, worse than previous big ‘free trade’ agreements like NAFTA that lost a half-million jobs to Mexico alone, as well as an annual increased trade deficit of more than 500 billion dollars. TPP, or the Trans Pacific Partnership, is a deal under secret negotiation with a dozen Pacific Rim nations
plus Australia and Japan and perhaps China later. Mr. Obama has permitted hundreds of corporate lobbyists to participate in secret drafting sessions while refusing to give either Congress or the media much information.
Now he’s pressing for “Fast Track Authority’ to rush the agreement through Congress with minimal debate or the opportunity for amendments. This is certainly “abuse of power”, while analysis of “leaked” copies of the draft agreement indicate that America will lose much of its regulatory authority inkey areas such as product safety, pure food and drug restrictions, and even contractual law. Mayor Bloomberg of NY has just blastedthe President for letting the tobacco industry submit a proposalto reduce restrictions on tobacco sales that could cause a billion smoking deaths worldwide in this century. That surely looks like presidential ‘abuse of power’ and ‘incompetence’ to me.
The foregoing paragraph may seem unfair to the President. But those who know him well say that he believes the U.S. should aid and give ground to smaller nations, while deferring to a world-system of international cooperation and governance. As a deeply concerned citizen, I strongly object to the President’s leadership,
both his results after 5 years in office, and his plans for our future as typified by the disastrous TPP “free trade deal!
Kenneth Davis is a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce, and former VP and Chief Financial Officer at IBM.