Each year since 2008, the U.S. has given $147.3 million to cotton farmers–in Brazil.
Shifting US tax dollars to foreign nations is one example of some of the consequences of free trade policies that redistribute income.
In 2008, Brazil argued before the World Trade Organization (WTO) that U.S. agriculture subsidies to cotton producers violated WTO agreements. Following the WTO’s secret tribunal ruling, instead of ending the subsidies or saying to hell with the WTO, Congress and the Administration agreed to pay the Brazilian cotton industry $147.3 million a year – the amount determined as the losses Brazilians incur as a result of U.S. cotton subsidies.
Now, not only are U.S. cotton farmers receiving millions in subsidies, but we are paying a $147.3 million fine to Brazil every year, year after year, instead of fixing the problem! It’s like choosing to pay a $150 parking ticket every day for your car to sit in front of a fire hydrant rather than in your own driveway.
$147.3 million is not going to solve the debt crisis, but we have better uses for this money here at home instead of Brazil. $147.3 million could be used to:
1 Reduce the deficit
2 Fund Meals on Wheels to deliver approximately 21 million meals to seniors who are struggling with mobility
3 Send up to 20,000 kids to Head Start for a year
4 Provide 26,000 Pell grants to students
The US government has been overwhelmed by a tidal wave of corruption and greed unleashed during the Reagan years. And so nothing will be done to end US taxpayer support of Brazilian cotton growers. That’s because in the corrupt climate of Washington D.C. profits are more important than people, even if such a thing isn’t in the US Constitution.
The US Constitution requires 2/3s of the US Senate vote for any treaty to become law. However, something called an Congressional-Executive Agreement has been made up and become some weird kind of “make believe” treaty. This Anti-Constitution agreement only requires majority yes votes from both houses of congress for the make believe to take effect, like the effects of a narcotic. The Congressional-Executive Agreements is clearly in violation of the US Constitution, although the Koch Brothers/Corporate wing of the US Supreme Court disagrees with this.
The secret tribunals in these treaties are also unconstitutional.
Article III Section 1. states, The judicial Power of the united States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. Section 2 continues, “The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States and Treaties made, or which shall be made under their Authority….
In other words, only US courts can decide the legal issues that arise from treaties. And no free trade treaty has been passed with two-thirds votes of the US senate.
That suggests free trade treaties and their secret tribunals are illegal devices to subvert the will of 99 percent of US citizens and are used to redistribute their tax dollars, their incomes, and their political rights granted under the Constitution to the 1 percent.
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