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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The D.C. Watch

“Rhetorical questions are thenorm in the speech of Capitol Hill,but sometimes they cross into the landof self-evident, redundant tautology.A good example of this can be foundduring a session took place recentlyover China’s supposed hindrance ofAmerica’s economic recovery, whichwas reported by the New York Timeson September 16, 2010.At this particular meeting, TreasurySecretary Tim Geithner explainedto members of Congress that his departmentwas urging the Chinese to”allow ‘significant, sustained appreciation’of its undervalued currency.”In response, Congressmen fromboth sides of the aisle made a series ofunbelievably blatant soapbox speechesabout how they deplored the Chinesedragon’s economic subterfuge.Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) statedthat “[t]here is no question that theeconomic and trade policies of Chinarepresent clear roadblocks to our recovery.”He also remarked that, “I’ve listenedto every administration, Democratsand Republicans, from RonaldReagan to the current administration,say virtually the same thing. And Chinadoes basically whatever it wants,while we grow weaker and they growstronger. It’s clearly time for a changein strategy.”To me, this seems like a techniqueoften seen in political theater on CapitolHill. The reason being is that theanswer is straightforward: China holdsthe fate of America in its hands in theform of US government debt. Therecan be no strategy until we, as a country,fix our federal budget system.It’sjust that simple.His GOP colleague, Senator RichardShelby, rehashed the same sentimentby saying, “The only question is:Why is the administration protectingChina by refusing to designate it as acurrency manipulator?”Again, the answer is the same:China has us between a rock and ahard place in terms of our fiscal solvency.Obama and friends can’t andwon’t play hardball with no cards toplay due to partisan politics and budgetarymayhem.Geithner demurred to these platitudesand continued on with the list ofcomplaints against China’s economicpolicies, which included violations ofintellectual property and heavy subsidiesfor exports and R&D.For a government that’s committedto making our economy green, it’sfunny how Obama’s policies don’t jivein the same way as his rhetoric. Theunions can whine all they want, but it’sjust babbling in the wind.What about the WTO rules?Well…as they say, nice guys finish last.The issue of subsidies is somethingthat was of special concern of theUnited Steelworkers union, which hadmade a official complaint to the FederalGovernment about China regardingits subsidies to the green energy sector.Geithner promised to “review [it]carefully].”That’s code for doing nothing,while appeasing public or union sentiment.Whatever hope or change thatyou expected from Obama and pals isnot likely to be forthcoming or in theway most people expected.As I see it, poking the Chinesedragon in the eye doesn’t solve ourproblems. Call me callow if you want,but there’s no point in crying overspilled the milk that we call the USeconomy.”