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Kerry Is So Very… Kontradictory – Part I

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Is there any issue, major or minor, that Senator John F Kerry has not flip-flopped on? I think you would be hard pressed to find one. But for those of us who will be spending the next seven months pointing out all of his “subtle” shifts on every issue imaginable, its going to be fun!

Here is a case in point:
——————————-
FLIP:
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), 12/3/03: “Well, any candidate for president who stands up and tells people, as some are, that they’re going to just stop [outsourcing] by getting tough on trade or whatever, is lying to the American people [emphasis mine]. Outsourcing is particularly painful at this moment because we haven’t been creating jobs, and we haven’t been creating jobs to some measure because of the overhang of the 1990s, the excess capacity that we were left with and the need to sort of burn it up.” (Sen. John Kerry, Remarks At Council On Foreign Relations, New York, NY, 12/3/03)

FLOP:

KERRY AIDE, 2/19/04: “‘Outsourcing is a new phenomenon,’ a Kerry aide said. ‘We don’t really have a clue what’s going on.'” (Jonathan Weisman, “Democrats Can’t Get Firm Grip On Jobs Issue,” The Washington Post, 2/19/04)

KERRY, 02/19/04: “It makes no sense at all for the American taxpayer to subsidize sending our jobs overseas. We’re going to repeal every tax loophole and benefit that rewards any Benedict Arnold CEO or company for exploiting the tax code to export American jobs. We should be exporting American products, not American jobs.” John Kerry at AFL-CIO Meeting Speaking on Jobs & The Economy
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So, just a few short months ago in early December of 2003, Senator Kerry states that anyone who tries to say they’ll stop outsourcing just by getting tough on trade (likely a critique directed at Howard Dean) is “lying,” but now, this is exactly what Kerry is saying. So, I guess, by his own admission, he’s lying.

So good of the Senator to make that clear for us.

David Flanagan
Viewpointjournal.com

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  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    I checked out his speech, and it doesn’t look like a flop if you read the rest of that section of his speech.

    “We’re still not seeing the job creation that we need.

    “Now, the government — I’ve never been one of those Democrats who runs around and says the government is going to create all the jobs, et cetera. Clearly, there is public infrastructure investment …which we ought to be doing, which is one way to begin to create jobs and help move the economy.

    “But the real future of our country is going to be defined by the degree to which we accelerate the creation of high-value-added jobs in the so-called critical technologies and areas that will stem from science and research and development, and the excitement of the movement of capital to those efforts. I don’t think we’re doing enough of that.

    “I have a proposal for a job-creation tax credit. I have a proposal for a differential for companies that elect to stay here, to have a lower tax rate. I have a proposal for a zero capital gains tax up to $100 million new issue of stock, held for five years, which produces products and/or hires people in any of the so-called critical technologies. And the reason for that is, those designations represent almost all the IPOs that you could envision in the near future. That will excite that movement of capital. “

    That all makes sense, and is not contradicted by the second quote you provide.

    He is for taking action to improve our job situation without getting tough on trade. I guess you could say that the “or whatever” is contradicted, but reading his first speech in full you see that in it he was talking about taking tax actions to help alleviate the problem then, so his second quote is just more of the same.

    But jobs and the tax situtation are seriously endangered by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman William Thomas (Republican-Calif.). I wrote about this in Stop subsidizing offshore jobs last December. Following is some of what I said then. Clearly the Republican congressional majority is a major part of the problem.

    $140 billion is about to be spent on subsidies to off-shore multinationals if House Ways and Means Committee Chairman William Thomas (Republican-Calif.) has his way.

    It started in January 2002, when the WTO announced a $4 billion penalty on the US for subsidizing exports and violatiing free trade rules. Companies getting the largest breaks break to keep jobs in the US included: Boeing, General Electric, Intel, Microsoft, Honeywell International, Caterpillar, Motorola, Cisco Systems and DuPont. This subsidy amounted to $5 billion per year.

    Bill Thomas’s response (H.R.2896) is to cancel the subsidy and replace it with $140 billion in corporate tax cuts, most going to companies with off-shore manufacturing. The US manufacturers listed above would get next to nothing.

    “The idea of providing massive new subsidies to the manufacturing sector is the worst sort of industrial policy,” said [former Treasury Department official Leonard E.] Burman, who hastened to add that Thomas’s bill could create distortions of its own by virtually eliminating taxation on foreign earnings and enticing companies to channel income through overseas operations.

    Kerry looks like a knight in shining armor in comparison. He’s trying to create jobs in America, unlike Bill Thomas.

  • http://www.viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    Hal,

    I read the entire speech as well, and it constitutes a flip-flop from his previous statement in December where he states:
    —————–
    Outsourcing is particularly painful at this moment because we haven’t been creating jobs, and we haven’t been creating jobs to some measure because of the overhang of the 1990s, the excess capacity that we were left with and the need to sort of burn it up.”
    ——————

    Now, I have no problem with his ideas for incenting businesses to keep jobs here in the US. As a matter of fact, I would support all of what Kerry suggests. But, at the same time, I’m not sure if Bill Thomas is disagreeing with Kerry either. I think what Thomas is suggesting is offering tax breaks targeted to companies who currently offshore a lot of their work as an enticement to bring them back.

    I can’t tell you this for certain, of course, because I haven’t read the proposal. With that said, I wouldn’t support giving subsidies or tax breaks to any company UNLESS they first brought jobs back to the US.

    So, on some of the issues we agree. On the issue of Kerry doing a bit of a flip-flop, I still believe I am right on this, especially since Kerry seemed to be responding to one of Dean’s speeches on how he was going to “get tough” on corporations.

    In the end, you can’t beat these companies over the head with a club. You do that and they either leave the US entirely to survive or they go out of business. Either way, you lose.

    Anyway, thanks for your comment.

    David

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    “I’m not sure if Bill Thomas is disagreeing with Kerry either. I think what Thomas is suggesting is offering tax breaks targeted to companies who currently offshore a lot of their work as an enticement to bring them back.”

    Your opinion doesn’t match the facts. Here are some links you might find useful. I’m repeating the link I provided above (since that one seems to loop back to your post), and adding a few more:

    Stop subsidies for offshore jobs
    Congress Weighs Corporate Tax Breaks
    U.S. ETI Legislation – Can Trade Sanctions be Avoided? ?

    Thomas’s committee voted on the bill on strict party lines and it passed out of committee. However, the bill is still not law. Thomas named the bill the “American Jobs Creation Act of 2003″ but other legislators (bipartisan) see it as exporting jobs.

    Note that the bill replaces a $5 billion/year subsidy for domestic exporters (which creates U.S. jobs) with about $14 billion/year (the latest reckoning) of which about $8.5 billion subsidizes foreign operations of multinationals. It appears that it doesn’t have a chance of passing in the Senate. Its likelihood of survival has dropped considerably during the last two months and the issue of exporting jobs has gained prominence.

    (It may be something in the water here in California, as our heavily-Democratic state legislature seems to have the same propensity for paying off business and special interests.)

    As far as Kerry goes, I don’t see any inconsistency when you read the entire speech. You can pluck a small section from anything anyone says, then mischaracterize it.

    But it’s your post.

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