Friday, May 01, 2015

His Legacy Awaits, Potentially

Representative Gerry Connolly of Virginia seems to be leading the charge of the pro-corporate New Democrat Coalition for fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the less controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP or Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement/TAFTA). He warns  "This is President Barack Obama’s trade deal, and we shouldn’t allow Democrats to forget that.”

Fortunately for Connolly/Obama and  unfortunately for the country, the Republican caucus, which supplied in the entire Congress zero(0) votes for the Affordable Care Act, generally has forgotten that the TPP is President Barack Obama's trade deal.  At least 172 of 245 House Repubs ar expected to vote for the deal.

No more than twenty Democrats in the House will be supporting the President's effort to obtain authority for an up-and-down vote, with no amendments allowed, in Congress for the TPP. It is clear, as it always has been, that Representative Alan Grayson will be among the majority in his Party. In the video below, among his arguments is the TPP and the TAFTA

would put our $30/hour workers directly in head-to-head competition with workers in Vietnam and Brunei, who are lucky to make 30 cents an hour. 

"Free trade" countries like that are free of health and safety rules and environmental protection, free of social security, pensions and health care, free of child labor laws, free of the right to organize, and even free of the rules against slave labor.

Charles Pierce describes the TPP as "the job-wrecking locomotive coming down the track to which the American middle class is tied."  Long-lasting and irreversible, the damage to the country nonetheless would be gradual, which might be the only factor preventing it from being President Obama's dominant legacy, exceeding that of even the Affordable Care Act. Sticking a shiv into the middle class- heckuva job, Barack.

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